Thursday, May 28, 2020

Q&A with Debra Bokur

From my Q&A with Debra Bokur, author of The Fire Thief:
What's in a name?

Names! I go down rabbit holes when it comes to naming characters. Choosing a name for my Hawaiian detective, who also happens to be a kahu, or spiritual leader, was a struggle. I finally settled on Kali, but only after much deliberation. In the end, it was because the commonly accepted Hawaiian definition of the name is “someone who hesitates,” while in Hindu legend, the name refers to a powerful, dark goddess. There’s also a Greek translation, where the name means “rosebud.” I liked this weird mix of meanings, because she’s complicated and layered, and all of those qualities can be found in her personality, from the gentleness of a rosebud and the ferocity of an angry goddess to the simple human quality of hesitating.

When I settled on the surname for her uncle, Police Captain Walter Alaka’i, it was because Alaka’i translates to “leader.” He’s an older family member with many more years of experience as a policeman than Kali has as a detective, and it seemed fitting; particularly given that...[read on]
Visit Debra Bokur's website.

Q&A with Debra Bokur.

--Marshal Zeringue