Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The rise of Maui Inner Circle…and the demise of Maui Writer’s Conference

This is one of those good news, bad news scenarios.

The good news is that the Maui Inner Circle gets a mention as “notable authors” in Graham Brown's latest interview, dated 12 November 2010. Eight of us met at the Maui Writer’s Conference back in 2006, which I blogged about earlier this year, after three of us had published at least one book.  Of course the big breakout news then was Graham Brown’s thriller Black Rain published in January 2010, followed up by his latest book Black Sun in August.  He has also recently signed with Random House for a third book in his series.  Way to go, Graham!

Graham Brown Author Black Rain

Now the pressure is on for the rest of us at Maui Inner Circle to do our part.  For me, my fingers are crossed for a French translation deal for Lovers and Strangers Revisited, my award-winning collection of short stories set in Malaysia.  I also have a new book coming out with Didier, Spirit of Malaysia.  Other than some publications in literary magazines by Eric Paul Shaffer, author of Burn & Learn, Drew Tollman is in post-production for the film Hop, coming out Easter 2011.  She’s also starting to make deals for her pre-school show.  Her company is called Beach Plum Media and a web site is in the works. All the best, Drew!

The bad news is that the Maui Writer’s Conference where we all met is no more.  After a run of 17 amazingly successful years, with its auspicious beginning documented by director John Tullius in Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul, the conference switched its name to Hawaii Writer's Conference and its location to Waikiki.  A victim of the downturn in the economy and poor ticket sales for a fundraising event headed by Nora Jones (along with some contractual disputes over the $50,000 that she was paid in guarantee money—there are two sides to this story, so let’s not be too quick to blame her), the conference, unless it's part phoenix, is sadly no more as reported by Lee Cataluna in the Honolulu Star Advertisers.

Our year at the Maui conference is notable not only for Bobby Moresco (Crash, Million Dollar Baby) and Ron Powers (Flags of Our Fathers) but also the West Maui Mountain fire (above).  Now the Maui Inner Circle is looking to set the world on fire with our writing!  Rather appropriate since Graham Brown is writing about the Mayans and its apocalyptic year 2012, with the tag line, “forget everything you think you know.”

So forget everything you think you know about the Maui Inner Circle.  Our story is just getting started…wish us luck! And let's wish John Tullius some luck with his conference, too. Without it, we would never have met.

*As an update, Lovers and Strangers Revisited is now being translated into French!
                                                          -Robert Raymer, Borneo Expat Writer

**Update, the 20th anniversary of Lovers and Strangers Revisited

***Here the link to my website, to MPH online for orders for all three of my books, including my latest, Spirit of Malaysia and for Trois autres Malaisie.


Anne said...

I just arrived in Maui, 3rd time in my life, to discover a lot of writers, talent, and interesting personalities. What is the Maui Inner Circle and the Maui Writers Conference? Have I arrived too late? Hope to return to my place of birth (Brunei) one day. But for now, I'm in Maui and itching to write.

BorneoExpatWriter said...

Hi Anne, try a Google search for Maui Writer's Conference. It was one of the premier conferences in the country, regularly attracting the latest crop of Pulitzer, National Book Award winners and finalists and Oscar winning screenwriters as presenters.

It's a conference where major deals have been made and you had access to major agents and books editors. Sadly, missed by all who had the chance to attend it or were planning to -- often years in advance as I did.

Maui Inner Circle are eight writers, four of the 10 nominated writers for one of the awards at the conference that year who bonded and formed an informal editing group. We live all over -- I'm in Borneo. Two are in Maui, two others in Hawaii, and rest in California or Arizona.

Maui was one of my dream places to live because of the conference. The talent is there. Good luck with your writing! Perhaps we'll meet in Borneo some day...

The Phoenix Foundation said...


I have been writing of creative pieces, based on the practice of the law in Malaysia, so as to enable the people to "feel" and "understand" the legal system, whilst enjoying the reading{me thinks! }

How do I find a publisher?

This Maui Inner Circle prompts me to ask this question of you!

Do we have something like it in Malaysia?


BorneoExpatWriter said...

The Phoenix Foundation. I'm sure there are writers groups in Malaysia, especially in the KL area where so many writers live. When I was living in Penang, I contacted a bunch of writers living in the area and we formed a group for a couple of years. Then years later, a group of us who met for a playwriting class joined together and nearly produced a book of plays.

Attend literary events, readings, book launches, and just ask around, find some like minded individuals and meet when you can or do it all via email. To get started 3 or 4 is fine.

For publishers of law books in Malaysia, go to a bookstore to the section that would hold your book and see the names of publishers and contact them directly.

Also try MPH, Marshal Cavindish,Pelanduk

Good luck with both!