Friday Spotlight: Kiyara Benoiti

One question I get a lot about my fiction is: where did your talent for writing come from?

I would have to say that it runs in the family on my mother’s side. Her side seems to be adept at anything artistic. Mom used to paint until arthritis settled in her hands. I have a couple of relatives who write short stories, and many who play musical instruments, and also several who are teachers of English, literature, and history.

Is such talent hereditary? Yes, I believe it is. My school-age children all seem to have the ability to draw well; one of them also enjoys writing stories as well as building sculptures with clay and Play-Do that really impress me with their detail.

The arts is something I feel strongly about. I wish schools would focus more on the arts instead of only the basics of math and science; English and a foreign language are a must in the learning process, and both help promote literature and writing. It seems to me, though, that the world is rushing towards more advanced technologies and the fine arts are fading. Even televised or film cartoons are computerized, music is synthesized, and thousands of books are downloaded from the Internet.

In the next decade, I believe e-books will be the primary reading medium, but it would be a shame if our learning system banishes painting, drama class and other arts schools once taught. There is a wealth of talent in the world, thousands of people eager to learn, and, by setting an example, it intrigues and whets the appetites of those who know little about the fine arts.

Writing is a gift for those who pen the words as well as those who read the words. Literature should be treasured. It’s freedom of expression.

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