Darien Hsu Gee was seven months pregnant when she and her husband left their Price Waterhouse jobs in San Francisco and moved to the Big Island.

“It was a big, last-minute, spur-of-the-moment idea,” the ever-energetic and passionate Darien says. “We really felt called there and felt it was home for us.”

Turns out it’s the perfect spot—just ten years on, she’s an organized mother of three who home-schools her children, and having pursued her longstanding passion for writing, is a national bestselling author of four novels penned under the name ‘Mia King’.

“Life pushed us in the direction we needed to go,” Darien says, and she has siphoned her experiences into each book, including her most recent, Table Manners (out in paperback August 4), inventing creative female protagonists on the brink of big change, and plots revolving around food—complete with delectable recipes.

Her next book Friendship Bread will be published by Ballantine in 2011, possibly under her real name because of its markedly different focus on a town emerging from tragedy, but Darien still aims to entertain readers and inspire them to keep growing and chasing dreams.

“Don’t let people tell you what you can or can’t do—do what you want to do,” Darien advises.

“I’ve been writing since I was seven—it was only a matter of time before I trusted myself to do what I’m doing now.”

-By Christine Thomas


Need a new writing book? Here’s one Darien recommends: Scene and Structure by Jack M. Bickham

Follow Darien on Twitter @miaking