Thursday, May 14, 2015

Author Interview with Kim Hotzon

Kim Hotzon is on Carly's View today. Kim is the author of Hands Full of Ashes, a multi-cultural romance.

CJ:  Thank you for joining me, Kim.

KH: Thank you for having me, Carly.

CJ:   Tell us a little about yourself.

KH: I was born and raised in British Columbia and  have spent several years teaching post-secondary for adults with learning disabilities at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. I live with my husband, children and a cat and dog. I spend a lot of time outdoors pursuing hiking, biking, skiing and kayaking. In my spare time, I write, of course, and I have recently joined a local writers group. I am also a member of the Canadian Authors Association and Romance Writers of America. 

CJ: You spent some time living in Japan. Can you tell us what your most memorable experience was?

KH: That's a tough question. There were many memorable experiences. A few that stand out are finding our furniture on the sidewalk (a peculiar behavior as viewed by the Japanese where foreigners go 'gomi' hunting for new and used furniture); visiting hospitals without the benefit of fluency in Japanese; getting my bicycle finally and thereby reducing my commute considerably; getting hit seven different times while riding the same bicycle (after the seventh time the bicycle was destroyed, thankfully, I was not) and seeing Kyoto for the first time. My life in Japan was difficult and beautiful and it provided me with the inspiration to write my memoir.

CJ:  How did the idea for Hands Full of Ashes come about? 

KH: From another life-changing, far-flung trip. This time, I headed to Rwanda, to do some humanitarian work. While I never planned to write a novel, the journey to Africa had a lasting impact and the idea for Hands Full of Ashes was born.

CJ:   Out of the characters you have written, which one can you relate to the most?

KH:  Olivia's inner fortitude and her desire to not only survive, but thrive.

CJ:   Do you have any advice for others who find themselves living abroad due to work?

KH: It's important to make connections with other expats, of course, but it's also important to make friendships with locals. Learning to speak the language is critical, and trying to adopt some of the local customs will go a long way to helping you adapt. Also, give yourself time. Culture shock is not something that disappears overnight, but if you have a positive attitude, things will improve with time. The initial hurdle of being in a foreign land will melt away to reveal new secrets, ideas, tastes, and a whole new approach to life. The last bit of advice is that if you're a woman, you may not expect to find other parts of the world as open-minded toward women's liberty. This may come as a shock, and you will have to prepare yourself for such a challenge.

CJ:  What is your favorite book and why?

KH: I have so many favorites! Right now, I would say it's The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver. It is an epic story of an American missionary family who travel to Africa in the fifties, with their three daughters. What befalls them is unimaginable. Ultimately, it is a story of familial bonds, love and survival. The exotic backdrop is also very appealing to me.

CJ:   Do you have a favorite author/s?

KH: Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Harper Lee, Jon Krakauer, Nora Roberts, Ernest Hemingway, Gillian Flynn, Alan Brennert, Immaculee Ilibagiza. My taste in reading spans nearly every genre with a special focus on women's fiction, suspense, fantasy, thriller and romance.

CJ:  Do you have any hobbies? If so, what are they?

KH: Reading, writing, travelling, kayaking, skiing, hiking and biking.

CJ:  Where do you see yourself in five years?

KH:  Reading, writing, travelling, kayaking, skiing, hiking and biking.

CJ:  Is there anything else you want your readers to know about you?

KH:  Readers can sign up with the Contact Form on my website for a chance to win a free e-book copy of Hands Full of Ashes.

CJ:  Thank you for joining me, Kim.




1 comment:

  1. Thank you Carly for having me on your blog today! I love your site, by the way!