Sunday, February 19, 2012

Interview with Magda M Olchawska

Tell us about you.
I'm a writer & award winning filmmaker.
I've been making films and writing stories or making up stories for as long as I can remember.
I'm mostly interested in social issues (women & kids), human loneliness and fantasy.
I suppose that is why I make films about loneliness of human soul, which I would call dramas and I also write fantasy stories.

In 2004 I graduated from London College of Communication. In 2005 I set up a production company called Mayan Films to produce my own films.

In 2007 I set up a website for indie filmmakers to showcase their work & network.

I'm happily married to Marek and together we have a wonderful son Mikolay.

Tell us about your book.
While searching the attic for a wand for Julia, Mikolay notices a Shadow moving around the boxes, which magically disappears through the wall.

The little wizards follow the Shadow cautiously through the wall and discover hidden cages full of starving children and animals. Mikolay & Julia decide to rescue everyone.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
I started thinking about writing children books & stories right after I had my son. By that time I had already written several screenplays so it just seemed natural to write something for my little one.

I have always liked stories about wizards, witches and fairies, So again, it seemed natural to me to write about wizards who get into trouble. The ones who don't care much about following the rules and try to save the world if they can. Besides, it was my childhood dream to have special magical talents. ;)) 

What can readers expect when they open your book? Give us something that isn't on the book blurb.
The illustrations are pretty unique & unusual. We used real features, like eyes, for each character & everyone else, even a little cat wears cowboy boots. All of the illustrations are collages which have been created in the Photoshop on a lot of layers.

Each book, at the end, has a Find Out section where the children are asked to do certain activities or are warned against certain behaviours.

Besides, Mikolay & Julia are cool wizards who use magical tools for transportation to various places & can use magic to do all sorts of things.

How old were you when you started writing?
I think I was eight but then I dropped writing at the age of 15 & didn't write for another six or seven years.

Do you stick with one genre, or have you branched out to others? Which ones?
At the moment I'm sticking to children books. However, I do have more grown up short novel I'm working on.

Do you think you would ever branch out into another genre? If so which one(s).
I like fantasy a lot so maybe one day I'll write something in this genre.

Where do you get your ideas?
Anything can be an inspiration for me. Often it starts with one word or a phrase, image, illustration, sometimes a dream.

Who is your greatest inspiration?
My son.

What are you reading right now? 
I'm reading a bunch of books: Rascals Sing at the Opera House by Patricia Puddle, The Nameless World by Heather Payer-Smith & Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul by Jon Reiss & Sheri Candler. All are e-books.

Who are your favorite authors?
Kafka, Dostoevsky, J.K. Rowling, Camus, Antoine de Saint-Exupiry 

What is your current project?
Mikolay & Julia is a series of books about two five years old wizards in training. They get into all sorts of trouble while exploring and adventuring. Whilst creating trouble for themselves Mikolay & Julia manage to help a lot of different creatures in need.

Each book ends with a Find out section where children are asked to think about the environment or warned about dangerous situations that can come up on their way.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
Just being able to write & tell stories.

Do you believe in writer's block? 
I usually suffer from writer's block over the summer 'cos it's too hot for me to write. I just wait for the summer to be over & get back to writing.

What is the best writing advice you've ever received?
That writing is in fact a lot of rewriting. So don't stress out about your first draft.

What is the best advice you have for other writers?
Just keep on writing & set yourself deadlines for your projects.

What is more important to you, plot or character?
They're both equally important in my opinion.

Are you a panster or a plotter?
Definitely panster.

Preferred POV to write.
1st. person.

Preferred POV to read.
1st. person.

Tell us 5 random things about you the person not the author
1. : I'm vegeterian.
2. : I like walking.
3. : I love watching "Friends"
4. : I don't cook.
5. : I love working.

Where to connect online

What format does your book(s) come in?
Paper cover, kindle, e-pub & pdf.

Where to buy your book