Kirsten Plotkin Author [kirstenplotkin]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I grew up in Denmark and began to write stories as soon as I learned to write. At age fifteen my family immigrated to Australia. This meant a new culture and a new language. The greatest shock to me was to realize I would not become an investigative reporter and journalist in this lifetime. Much of my English was learned by writing. It took many years for me to regain my confidence to write fluently. It took even longer to find the time.
Not till I retired did time and my love for writing meet up again. It was ignited by what you might call a 'cause'. I had suffered a weight problem for twenty years. During that time I tried every diet known on the planet. I finally came to the conclusion that diets don't work. This got me thinking and I realized that for the first 40 years of my life I never had a weight problem. I stayed slim and maintained the same lifestyle. It made me remember some really significant events in the past and some things I had almost forgotten.
The reason for our weight problems and growing type2 diabetes today suddenly became crystal clear. That was around six years ago. That's when I returned to the traditional diet and lifestyle I had followed in the past. I got back into contact with my own body, I reminded myself how it works and I began to listen to it. I have not had a weight problem since.
The pressing desire to pass on what I had learned, particularly about the cause of today's obesity statistics, finally gave me the courage to write about it. We are all drowning in diet information. We have handed the responsibility for the welfare of our body to people who do not know or understand how the body works. Nor, it seems do they care.
It is not the 'right diet' that will cure the obesity epidemic we already face today. Or the type2 diabetes epidemic looming on the horizon. The problem is not the diets, the problem is: 1.that we diet at all. 2. That most of us have become carbohydrate addict's victims.
In the sixties diets were still for sick people, people with diabetes for example. Type2 diabetes was unheard of - and obesity? I don't recall ever seeing a healthy obese child, or hearing of one. Yet today, even child obesity is common. Most tragic of all, more and more children are falling victim to type2 diabetes. It should be obvious to anyone that we are heading for disaster. According to obesity statistics, eighty percent of us, including children, will be overweight within a decade.
That is why I have written a book called The Carbohydrate Addict's Manual, which will soon be published. That is also why I write constantly on my blog, to explain what has happened to us, you might say - behind our backs.
I have recorded close to a dozen videos, many of them are published on my blog. They will give you the kind of information nobody else will give you. If you wonder why nobody wants to tell you, you need only remember the tobacco industry's appalling display of public responsibility not that many years ago.
Too many people are in business to make you fat, and most of them are not even in the fast food business. They can only get away with it if you let them. I hope to get the opportunity to teach you how to get back in touch with your own body. How to take back the controls and never have to see a weight problem again. - At least not in your own family.
Kirsten Plotkin Author of The carbohydrate Addicts Manual
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
When I find time to read for pleasure I tend to favor social and political biographies. I don't know why, but they relax me.
Mostly I read anything about health that relates to the obesity and type2 diabetes problems, which i believe is the greatest health and social challenge we face in the twenty-first century.
Some of my writings can be found here:
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I never have a problem finding things to write. There are so many things I want to tell people about. Things they don't know because nobody else are talking about them. If anything, I wish I could free up more hours to write.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Currently, because of my particular interest, I'm inspired to write every time I read yet another piece of misinformation in a publication or on a blog, and that's almost every day. A bit of anger I think is what inspires me. I felt the same way in the past when important people and corporations would tell me that smoking was not harmful.
It's not that I'm inspired to write as much as I'm compelled to write!
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
When I used to write stories for myself I would have said 1. A snappy beginning, 2. A clever plot and 3. A satisfying conclusion. Of course I also liked to write satire. That was probably my favorite hobby. Then I would start with a current topic or controversy, turn it on its head and wrap it up with an ironic twist.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I have always been really comfortable in 1st person. It makes me feel I'm closer to the bone!
What well known writers do you admire most?
I'm embarrassed to say I have no one in mind right now. I'm so wrapped up in current events that I have very little time or inclination to be reflective.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Getting inside a character and observing it from within would have to be fundamental to the creation of a believable character. That may be because I prefer to write in 1st person but I'm sure it's important for any story.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Possibly, although it would take a bit of time to get me going.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
When I write about my 'cause', I imagine the person I'm talking to and i write for that person.
When I write for myself I do just that. I try to amuse myself and if I can laugh I feel great!
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
I my case, internal conflict is what drives me every day and forces me to write. Therapy is what I achieve if and when I have time to write for pleasure. I believe all writing that did not exist till your mind drove you to express it, either via the keyboard, or by putting pen to paper, - is by definition creative writing. It must be since it did not exist before.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Of course. It's the lifeblood to any writer who writes to get published!
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
I have never participated in anything.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
I never show my writings till I have written something I want to get published.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I have always known 'my voice'. Whenever I have had something really important to say I put it in a letter. Over the years, my family grew accustomed to receiving the odd 'important' letter from me. Growing up, my son always responded more positively from a letter than a serious reprimand.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I make schedules and set goals but they are often bulldozed by some idea that I must write about immediately. All I can say is: I do my best!
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
I have never needed props. If my computer, monitor and keyboard work, I'm ready to go. if not, there's always my trusty notepad.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
Years ago I had to do a draft by hand before I could type it. These days I do everything on my computer. I almost never print anything. In fact, it must be three months ago that I realized I need ink canisters for my printer. I have yet to get some.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I'm a member of a Skype group made up of like minded people, where I keep in touch daily. I frequent forums and blogs that are in my area of interest and expertise. I respond to my emails and my feeder but otherwise I concentrate on finding ways to reach people who will find my book helpful - even necessary.
What has been your experience with publishers?
I don't have any. Their reputation has made me reluctant to approach them. Instead I have focused on publishing online.
What are you working on now?
I have just completed a book called The Carbohydrate Addicts's Manual. Before I publish it I''m making sure it will find a readership through my blogs, my articles and other promotions I'm in the course of preparing. I'm also recording a serious of videos, some of them are already published.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
I very rarely if ever, hang on to anything I have written or done, unless it is to be published on the internet. It's like press clippings and TV appearances and anything else from my past life, when it's behind me it's gone.
Kirsten Plotkin Author