Introducing Author Kate Benzin

Posted on February 4, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Kate 2011 10I am very pleased to introduce you to Kate Benzin this week.  She’s an adventuress who shares her travel escapades with readers through her work.  I met Kate on a Facebook group and we became instant online friends.  If you haven’t read her books you’ve got to do it – you’ll be amazed, entertained and enlightened as you follow her on her journeys to different countries and cultures.  Now, so I don’t let the cat out of the bag, I’ll go on with my interview of Kate.  If you’d like to read my review of Kate’s book Transformative Travel In Nepal, you can check it out here.

Interview of Author, Kate Benzin

by L.Leander

What is your favorite pastime (other than writing)? (you can only pick one) and why?

Travel is my favorite pastime other than writing. Of course, this is a bit of a cheat because I use my travels as the basis for some of my books. For example, my book TRANSFORMATIVE TRAVEL IN NEPAL: FULFILLING A DREAM IN THE HIMALAYAS is the true story of my trekking experience in the Nepal Himalayas. I kept a very detailed journal every day and then used my journal to re-construct my experience. It’s written in a fiction style, but it’s definitely a true story.

I have another book in the works called TRANS-SIBERIA EXPRESS TRAIN: MOWCOW TO MONGOLIA – also about my travel experience on that iconic train ride. It’ll be a while before I publish that – just have too many books in the works.

Who are you as a writer?

I am a writer who like to delve into the emotions of how people react or why they act in certain ways. For me, plot is second to the emotional life of the characters.

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

The Indie Publishing movement is absolutely great. I’ve always written, but would have never bothered to actually publish a book without this movement.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

I have not ghostwritten, but have actually considered it. I’m collaborating with a friend on a book that is a lot of rambling of a person who was sliding further and further into depression, paranoia, schizophrenia. If she had not been willing to have me as a co-author, I would have ghostwritten because I think her journey into that dark place and then back to recovery is very important and needs to be shared.

I doubt that I would do any ghostwriting for the money simply because I’ve got too much on my plate as it is. I have no objections to ghostwriting on principle – I guess if I ever ran out of my own stuff, then I’d do that.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

Do I have to pick just one??? Here are 3 – Crime & Punishment, Steppenwolf, Brothers Karamazov

Do you believe writers need a degree to be successful?  Why or why not?

A degree??? What’s that???

No, seriously, people need to have experiences in order to be successful. In my jaded opinion, a degree only shows that you had the discipline to do what needed to be done in order to get that piece of paper. Well, maybe it’s not the only thing that it shows, but it certainly is not a requirement for success. To be successful, a person needs to look inside, examine what he/she finds there, and figure out what to do with what is inside.

You are camping in a tent in the woods.  A loud roar happens outside the flap to the tent.  What do you do?

I run out to see what it is. And hopefully, I have my camera with me to get a photo.

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

My greatest asset – that implies that I have more than one! I guess I would say adaptability. It happens to be foremost in my mind right now because it was a very needed asset in something that I lived through a couple of years ago which is the topic of my next book – FIRE & DEATH: LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF JAVA’S MOST ACTIVE VOLCANO. This is another true story about my experience when the volcano that I live on erupted and I had to evacuate my home with my dogs. As I wrote this book, I certainly saw how my ability to adapt was so important.

What do you treasure most on earth?

My dogs – they are my loves.

What did you like to do as a child?  Favorite games, pasttimes, friends, etc.

Well, of course, I liked to read. I can remember not playing after school with friends because I wanted to go home and read. Is that crazy or what?

What is the single-most important thing that has happened to you thus-far on your writing journey?

I guess that the most important thing is that I am constantly learning how to see the world differently. If I’m in the process of writing, then I’m looking at everything through the eyes of who I was then in the case of a memoir and how much I learned or experienced  and seeing how that has affected me. If I’m writing fiction, then I’m looking at things through that person’s eyes and seeing a different point of view.

It reminds me of when I first started painting – I never looked at anything the same way again. I saw colors more vividly – I saw shapes and colors that I’d never seen before. Writing does the same thing for me, but in a different way.

How important is being successful as a writer to you?

Well, as far as I’m concerned, just having strangers buy something that I put my heart and soul into – and then reading it – this is success to me, and I guess that’s pretty important. I like selling more copies, but that isn’t the most important part. Getting emails from readers who were touched by what I wrote – that is success – and yes, it’s important.

The genie is going to grant you three wishes.  What are they?

My first 2 wishes are the time and money to build a house on the property that I bought a few years ago very close to where I’m living now. Then the 3rd wish would be for me and my dogs to live out our days in that home. But I have to say that if I never build that house, I’ve already got a little piece of paradise where I’m living with my doggies already.

You get one day to spend any way you want with whomever you want.  Describe the day (money is no object)

I hate to be terribly boring, but I’m already living the life that I dreamed of when I was younger. Later on, I’ll probably be sorry that I didn’t choose some place and someone really cool. I guess the only thing that I’d love would be if I could have a day 50 years from now to see what kind of technology has developed.

Who or what were your main inspirations for choosing a writing career?

I can’t say that I had any actual inspirations. I always wrote as therapy for myself. I went through some very difficult times emotionally and writing was what got me through those times. And little by little, writing came to mean more and more to me.

Thank you for being my guest this week, Kate.  Readers, leave Kate a comment to let her know you enjoyed our chat.  And be sure to check out her books (scroll to the bottom to see the cover of her soon-to-be-released book, Fire and Death.

TransTravTransformative Travel in Nepal: A Himalayan Journey by Kate Benzin

Kate Benzin’s Websites:

http://katebenzin.com

http://traveling-forever.com

Kate’s Facebook page: facebook.com/kategypsy

Kate’s Email: kate@katebenzin.com

Kate Benzin Bio:

Kate Benzin is a seasoned traveler and tour director who has lived in Indonesia for most of the past 30 years. Indonesia became her home when she took a 3-month work assignment to train Indonesians on word processing equipment, and she fell in love with the adventurous lifestyle that living in Indonesia gave her. After working as a tour director in many countries of the world for the past 15years, she now spends most of her time writing in her home/office which she shares with her three Dalmatians.

Other books by Kate Benzin:

CoverHow to Find the Heart of Bali

FD 6 smallComing soon!!! Fire and Death: Living in the Shadow of Java’s Most Active Volcano

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4 Responses to “Introducing Author Kate Benzin”

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Great feature, Kate. Hope lots of people read this and buy your books.

Thanks for stopping by, Rudy. Kate is an amazing author and good friend – I love your digital photography – I can see why the two of you have collaborated!

What a great interview. Kate is so interesting and her writing life has taken her to places I’ve dreamed about. Great choice, Linda!

Kate is very interesting, Dannie. She loves travel and writes so well about it that you feel like you went along!


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