In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls it “[An] ambitious and poignant debut.” Booklist affirms, “It is a strong testament to her writing that the threads of the story are clear, the characters fleshed out, and the history seamlessly tied into what is otherwise a deeply affecting story … This should have wide appeal to readers of character-driven stories, family dramas, and historical fiction.” And from internationally bestselling author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai (The Mountains Sing and Dust Child): “Majestic, powerful, mysterious, and captivating … Hula is a magnificent achievement … I cannot wait for readers everywhere to celebrate Jasmin Iolani Hakes’ talent.” Book’s out May. Jasmin herself will be our Saturday evening Special Guest Speaker in September to discuss its excruciating journey to publication after Outstanding Fiction recognition at LA16. Can’t wait.
Sunday afternoon our Special Guest Speaker will be Cristina LePort. Of her novel, Dissection, none other than Lee Child (Jack Reacher series and 2020 Booker Prize judge) declared, “High stakes, breathless suspense, and real insider authenticity―a terrific debut.” While Tess Gerritsen (another repeated international bestseller) hails, “With a terrifying premise and riveting medical details, Dissection moves at a frantic pace.” “LePort uses her own experience as a cardiovascular specialist to enhance an already engaging actioner,” concluded Kirkus. Still a practicing cardiologist, Cristina will discuss her author’s journey with us.
All that and a whole lot more await our community come Irvine, September 15-17, 2023. Be the (published) writer you aspire to be and be there or be … ware!
–Michael Steven Gregory
Executive Director, SCWC