Menehune—fact or fiction?

And interesting aspect of living in the Hawaiian Islands is the people’s intriguing legends and myths. There are a lot of them. But as I mention in my prior post, the two legends that grab me more than the others are the Night Marchers and the Menehune. But it’s the Menehune legend that intrigues me most of all. Many local in habitants believe the mysterious Menehune roam the islands even today.

The Menehune are said by locals to be a people, often described as dwarfs in size, who inhabit the deep forests and hidden valleys of the Hawaiian Islands, far from the eyes of normal humans. It’s also said they primarily venture from their hiding places at night, again to avoid normal human contact. Their favorite food is the banana. It’s believed they like fish as well.

In Hawaiian mythology, the Menehune are credited with being superb craftspeople with unusual strength. Legend says that the Menehune built temples, fishponds, roads, canoes, and houses. Some structures that Hawaiian folklore attributed to the Menehune still exist, especially on the island of Kauai. One such structure is the Menehune Ditch, a historic irrigation ditch that carries water from the Waimea River. Another one of their amazing feats is the legendary overnight creation of the Alekoko Fishpond, which archaeologists estimate to be approximately 1,000 years old.

It’s believed this industrious race of little people lived in Hawaii before settlers arrived from Polynesia many centuries ago. And even though no physical evidence for their existence has been discovered, there have been a number of documented sightings into the twentieth century.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD STORY

Me CroppedI’m often asked what inspires me to write a particular story? An excellent question. The idea for a story can come in any form and at any time: an article I read, news headlines, a comment someone makes, even a song on the radio. Inspiration is as limitless as an author’s imagination.

Where did I get my ideas for the Jack Ferrell novels? Let’s go back to the beginning. My inspiration came when I stood on a stretch South-Maui beach and stared across the channel at the mysterious, deadly, uninhabited island of Kahoolawe.

Living on Maui, I wanted to write stories that resonated with the charm and mystery of the islands. When I read about Hawaii’s many colorful myths and legends, the idea hit me: Incorporate a legend or myth into an Adventure/Suspense story that takes place in the islands. It seemed only right that my first story, in what ended up being The Jack Ferrell Series, incorporated the legend of Maui; the demigod who pulled the islands from the sea with his giant hook. With that in mind, I wrote Glimmer of Gold that first released in 2012. And from there, Night Marchers and Cave Dweller. Jack Ferrell then left the islands in novels #4 and #5: Murrieta Gold and Blood Gold.

For those authors seeking inspiration, look to the town or area of the country you live in for interesting legends, tails, or facts and incorporated them into story. It’s a surefire way to dazzle your followers and keep them reading.