From passion to print
Sometimes, when you fall in love with Maui, you just have to share it with the world.
So it was with Kihei residents Terri Marshall and Dawn Powell, who moved to the Valley Isle from Arizona about three and a half years ago after vacationing here for years and deciding this would be the perfect place to call home.
Their shared passion for exploring prompted them to gather as much information as they could about the island’s special places and turn it into their first book, “Maui Hiking, Waterfalls and Beaches,” which they self-published through Book Baby Publishing in March.
“There is so much to do here and so much to explore, we just can’t get enough,” Marshall said. “We basically wanted to share all the cool parts of the island with all that wanted to listen.”
Two years of their labor of love has led to a 282-page book, featuring 28 hikes of all levels, 37 waterfalls along the Road to Hana and 61 accessible beaches. They published the book under the pseudonym Marshall Powell, and it’s available at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and at Barnes and Noble in Lahaina.
Marshall and Powell, who ran a photography business in Arizona for more than 15 years, explored everything personally and snapped the more than 240 color photographs in the book themselves. They sought to create a guide book that presented safe and accessible sights that are also easy on the pocket-book – every recommended location is free to visit, aside from park fees at Haleakala National Park and Iao Valley State Park.
“We don’t give away any island secrets and don’t include anything that people should not do or that would put anyone in danger to do,” Marshall said.
“. . . Our intention was to have people enjoy and experience the island. Get out and explore, but to be respectful and understand the beauty that they were being allowed to share and not to take advantage and destroy what some of us call home.”
The two also wanted to present the information in an easy-to-follow manner, with the book featuring simple, no-fuss layouts and photographs that make it obvious when you’ve reached your destination.
The photography sets the book apart from other guides, which sometimes only include black-and-white photos, or just descriptions. In “Maui Hiking, Waterfalls and Beaches,” there’s a photo for every listed destination.
“On Maui, there are so many different names for some things that it can be very confusing as to what waterfall or beach you may have just found,” Marshall said. “We tried to clear that up a little by giving you the name, or names, and showing you what it should look like, so that no matter what you were searching for, you hopefully would know when you found it.”
The publishing process provided its own adventure.
Rather than pitching the idea to a publisher before starting, the two decided to dive into the process of researching and writing about the places they explored in their spare time. And rather than wait the many months it can take to find a publisher for the completed product, they decided to take that process into their own hands.
For those thinking about writing a book some day, the two recommend making it about something you’re passionate about, and then working hard to make sure it’s as accurate and thorough as possible.
“In the end, no one is perfect and nothing worthwhile is easy,” Marshall said. “But if you enjoy the journey, then the end is only the beginning for the next big adventure.”