I’ve buddy read This Is What Goodbye Looks Like with Jaike from Jaike vs de boeken, and we both really liked the book! (If you want to read my review, click here) We came to the idea to ask if Olivia wanted to do an interview and she would! So let’s dive into the interview, shall we? 😉
In This Is What Goodbye Looks Like are two characters with a disability, Lea and Seth. I haven’t read Tone Deaf, but if I read the synopsis I see that the main characters also have a disability. How do you come up with these ideas?
I have a neuromuscular disease and am disabled, so writing disabled characters comes very naturally to me. I try to spread a message with my writing that disabled people are very normal individuals, and that it’s entirely possible for us to live happy, independent lives.
I sure understand that can be rough, and I think it’s beautiful that you write about disabled people.
How was the process of writing these books? Was it easy or very difficult?
It was very difficult! For me, there are few parts of writing that are easy. I usually write the first draft quickly (it usually takes around three months), and then I apply many rounds of intense revisions afterwards. It’s a hard process, but it also keeps me constantly entertained, because there are always new challenges to explore and overcome.
If you were Lea, would you have done the same or totally different?
Oh, great question! This is something I’ve asked myself many times, and I’m still not sure what I would do in Lea’s situation. In real life, I am very, very close to my mom, and I look at her as my hero. So I’m really not sure I could ever do anything that would case her pain. While I like to think I would be more honest than Lea, I’m not sure I’d actually have the strength to tell the truth.
I’m totally on the same page with you.
How did writing become your job?
Through a lot of really hard work, a bit of luck, and some fantastic mentors who helped me along. One of the many wonderful things about writing is that anyone can earn a job as an author, as long as they’re producing desirable books. Because of this, I was able to sneak into the industry at a young age, even though I had no traditional degrees or qualifications.
You said you wrote This Is What Goodbye Looks Like when you were 18. How young were you when you wrote Tone Deaf?
I was 15 when I wrote Tone Deaf, although it’s gone through a lot of revisions since that first draft.
That’s so young, and you’re already so talented! I can’t wait to read your other books.
Are you planning on writing any other books?
Yes, most definitely! My next novel is another YA Contemporary Romance, and it’s releasing this December. I’m very excited to keep sharing my stories with readers, and I hope to continue writing many, many books throughout my career.
I’m excited too – I really want to pick up your other books.
Do you have any tips for those of us who write?
Never give up. It’s cliche, but I honestly believe it’s the most important advice for writers to embrace. Writing is full of challenges and rejections, both before publication and after, but don’t let it stop you. Just keep writing until you reach your goals.
Another important tip is also a very fun one: Read as much as you possibly can! Reading is one of the best ways to learn how to write, so read every book you can get your hands on, and don’t be afraid to explore new genres and authors.
Thank you for your tips!
I’m so grateful for Olivia that she got to take time for us doing this interview. Olivia, thank you so much and (as I’ve probably said way too much) I can’t wait to read your other books!