by JENNIFER FRAKES | photo by Alicia Jeanne Photography

From the Heart

author_wright3After Kirby Wright graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with a degree in English Literature, he went into sales, first selling cars and then making the transition to resort sales. “In resort sales, I set up promotional booths throughout Southern California and did tons of driving. Thinking back on this experience, traveling provided fertile material for a wannabe writer. My life felt empty though because I felt an obligation to document the lives of my family in Hawaii, especially my grandmother,” related Kirby. He began writing poetry and was accepted into the Creative Writing department at San Francisco State University by renowned author Anne Rice. Kirby earned an MFA degree from SFSU, and in 2007, he published Moloka’i Nui Ahina, a creative nonfiction novel based on his grandmother’s rural life on Molokai, HI.

As an author, Kirby has received many awards and accolades, including receiving writer’s residencies in far-flung locations such as Hong Kong, Prague, Auckland, and Martha’s Vineyard. He was recently selected as Writer in Residence by the Aland Cultural Delegation in the Aland Islands, Finland. “I have discovered that travel benefits my creative side by removing me from the mundane existence of my ordinary world and placing me in a bright, shiny world that needs to be explored,” explained Kirby.


Name: Kirby Wright
Community: Shadowridge
Profession: Writer and lecturer
Hobbies: Swimming, hiking, gardening, restoring vintage cars
Favorite Local Spot: Iron Fist Brewing Co.

Kirby also finds inspiration within the Vista community. “I like the cool breeze coming up out of the southwest at dusk and the marine layer settling in over the rolling hills. I enjoy the eclectic mix of people in Vista, many of whom have given me ideas for writing,” revealed Kirby. In fact, he set his futuristic thriller, The End, My Friend, right in his Shadowridge neighborhood, and he hopes to film a short for the book in the area. Kirby has made Vista his home for more than 15 years and is involved in many local causes, such as saving the duck pond at Buena Vista Park.


When Kirby is not writing or engaging in community activism, he enjoys swimming, hiking, gardening, and restoring vintage cars. “My hobbies and interests seem to work their way into my writing eventually,” said Kirby with a laugh. He encourages aspiring writers to write about their experiences and about what excites them. “Write about love, hate, jealousy, and fear. Write from the heart and find your voice by focusing on your unique spin on the world around you,” advised Kirby.