If you want the short version, my name is Benita J. Prins and I’m a young Catholic Canadian fantasy writer with a terrible sense of humour and an obsessive love of Handel. I’m a LOTR nerd, a theology nut, a procrastinator, an actor, a classical singer, a would-be artist, a church organist – there isn’t much I don’t enjoy doing.
The first book I remember writing was called Lucy Larson. It was the pride of my life back when I was six or seven. The first chapter opened with Lucy making one of those lists of words where one began with each letter of the alphabet. I specifically recall this detail because I was so pleased with myself for using ‘Xerxes’ for X instead of the trite ‘xylophone’ (although I would’ve had no idea what ‘trite’ meant at the time).
In a later chapter, Lucy went blind (the Little House on the Prairie influence was strong with this one), and in the next, her eyesight was restored by an operation.
I gave a copy of this to our neighbours-at-the-time… I wish I could provide them with a copy of my current, much more polished, work.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, which I read when I was eleven, was the book that
drew me into a love of fantasy. I love to be inventing, and I feel lost when I don’t have a fantasy location to flesh out. I’ve been writing since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, but never had I experienced the thrill of creating entirely until I tried my hand at fantasy.
My writing is greatly influenced by my Catholic Faith, which is the most important part of my life. I enjoy writing Catholic themes in a way that’s accessible to anyone, Catholic or not.
Writing is only one of a myriad of hobbies of mine. I enjoy nearly everything! But music is my greatest passion after (maybe even before) writing. Baroque music – Handel in particular – is one of the most wonderful things in the world. I love singing, and I also play piano and organ. It’s interesting how playing piano can tie in with writing. I often come up with stories to match a specific piece of music, to create emotion when I play, and several times I’ve realised how I could actually write a book based on these stories.
Of course, because I’m the greatest procrastinator on earth, none of these stories has actually taken shape on paper yet.
Besides music, I’m into filmmaking and sewing, and soccer for fun. And I have a mania for organising things. I’ve lost count of how many different ways I’ve organised my bookshelf in the past… Some of my favourite authors are J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Michael O’Brien, John Buchan, and Jane Austen. And I love reading Catholic apologetics, theology, and philosophy.
(Still haven’t quite gotten through the Summa Theologica… but… working on that.)