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New Hawaii Novel Released

A Whirlwind of a Tale: The semi-retired Richard Tillotson has pulled from his life's experiences to write several plays and a first novel.


Photo: David Murphey

For decades, Richard Tillotson “labored in the cubicles,” as he puts it, at Honolulu’s major ad agencies, writing TV spots, brochures and print ads for most of Waikiki’s major hotels.

Early mornings mainly, he did his own creative work. When he semi-retired two years ago, he found he could write “even after breakfast.”

The result: several plays and a first novel, Acts of God While on Vacation.

Tillotson took his inside knowledge of Waikiki hotels and coupled it with other odd bits of experience: his historical family connections with the English Parliament, a stint as a professional photographer and two years in the Peace Corps in Malaysian Borneo.

Tillotson’s characters include an obsessed anthropologist, an airheaded but beautiful British aristocrat, a Russian paparazzo, a hotel general manager, plus shamans, Japanese tycoons and a would-be witch or two. He assembles them all at Waikiki’s “Earl Court Hotel,” and throws in an Iniki-force hurricane.

It’s a comic novel with serious edges. Even more remarkable: It’s one of the few fictions set in Hawaii that gets all the details right. Tillotson nailed it with this one.

Acts of God While on Vacation, paperback, $14.95, available both on Amazon and local book stores this month. Kindle edition, $3.99.


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Honolulu Magazine March 2018
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