Book Club Mom’s Author Update: Karen Haid

Author name: Karen Haid

Genre: Non-fiction culture/travel

Books: Calabria: The Other Italy, Basilicata: Authentic Italy

News: In these times of restricted travel, I feel very fortunate to have had the many wonderful experiences abroad that have enriched my life and on which I can now reflect as I remain close to home. While disappointed with having had to cancel the tours of my fledgling travel company, Karen’s Travel LLC, I used the time to work with my designer for the cover and interior of my new book and I am very pleased to announce that I have recently published my second book Basilicata: Authentic Italy!

Reflecting back 12 years ago, when I moved to the region in the toe of the Italian boot, I would never have imagined that my 4-year Southern Italian immersion would have resulted in two books and a blog about the area. After Calabria: The Other Italy, My Italian Blog and related social media pages, I turned my attention to another lesser-known area of Italy and began my on-the-ground exploration and extensive associated research of Basilicata.

Why Calabria? Why Basilicata? Visitors to Italy complain of the crowded trails of the Cinque Terre and a mobbed Venice. Why not travel to a place with a little elbow room? Not to mention where the locals outnumber the guests. In Calabria and Basilicata, I have often felt as though I had the whole place to myself. Just me and the locals.

In Basilicata, I traversed Mediterranean beaches and Alpine forests, visited medieval castles and modest homes, attended folkloric festivals and sampled earthy local cuisine, as I uncovered the past and the present, from pre-Greek to the story of emigration that continues today. My writing mixes personal experience, history, culture and contemporary social topics in a travelogue format. What’s the genre? Exactly what all the experts advise against: difficult to categorize.

If you would like to journey to the rocky region in the heart of the Italian south, to a land where ancient pagan rites live alongside those of the Catholic Church, world-class wine washes down edible hyacinth bulbs, zip-lines parallel old mule trails, and the air is infused with the ideals of Roman poets and brigands, check out Basilicata: Authentic Italy.

You may just be curious as to what it’s like to sleep in an ancient cave in the historic Sassi di Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and last year’s European Capital of Culture.


Are you working on a new book? Have you won an award or a writing contest? Did you just update your website? Maybe you just want to tell readers about an experience you’ve had. Book Club Mom’s Author Update is a great way to share news and information about you and your books.

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25 thoughts on “Book Club Mom’s Author Update: Karen Haid

    1. Thanks, Robbie. I wanted my covers to reflect something important about the regions and at the same time give the impression of a journey. Calabria is surrounded by water – 500 miles of coastline, and Basilicata is mostly mountainous – over 90% of the territory is mountains and hills.

    1. Hi Lynette – I was there once, but it was a long time ago. I think if I went now that I’m older, I would get a lot more out of the trip. Thanks for stopping by and learning about Karen’s books!

      1. I think you’re right about getting more out of a visit when you’re older, but I think it also has to do with time and experience as much as age. The first time you go, everything is so new. You walk down the street and there’s ancient history, medieval and renaissance history, but it’s all a jumble. The same with tasting the food – it all seems so good but it’s also new. Then, with time, things start to fall into place as you’ve developed a perspective.

  1. Hi, Barb and Karen – Thank you for sharing Calabria and Basilicata with us. I have been fortunate to have been to different areas of Italy and to walk from Lucca to Rome along the Via Francigena Trail. I 100% agree about the wonder and beauty of getting away from the tourist crowds and experiencing smaller parts of Italy surrounded by nature and locals. Your adventures sound truly fascinating!

    1. Thanks, the Via Francigena must have been very interesting, as well. Calabria just organized an “official” 55-kilometer trail to go across the end of the boot near the narrowest section, called “coast to coast.” It’s always fascinating to read the old travelogues of those who explored rugged mountain areas on foot, which sounds lovely in theory, but I’m more of a walker than a hiker.

    2. Hi Donna – I was in Italy once, years ago after college, but I did not give it the attention it deserved. We did go to lesser known towns and that was great, but our trip was too rushed to appreciate what we saw. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    1. Hi Jeff – thank you for reading and commenting. I was only there once and didn’t spend enough time taking in the sights. I hope you and your family have a nice holiday – stay healthy!

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