Here at Olympia, we love hearing from our authors, getting an insight into their lives in writing and asking them what their advice would be to future authors. This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Judit Catan about their book!



How old were you when you first wrote something substantial?

It depends on what is meant by substantial. I wrote short stories when I was at college at the age of 24. I wrote my first serious and longer short story when I was thirty after four years of teaching. Then later on when I was 44 and after the birth of both my daughters, I wrote a large body of poems and some short stories. Thereafter, between the ages of 46 and 50, I began to write my first novel and some of my musicals. After that, I continued to write mostly musicals to date.


Did you ever have aspirations to become a writer?


Yes. Around the age of thirty when I was teaching creative writing to secondary school children, I secretly wanted to become a writer.



What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?


When I first started writing, I noticed how often I agonised over what to write and I was constantly listening to the critical voice inside me. At that time I remember benefitting from the advice just to write stream of consciousness and this helped me to allow myself to flow before I start any intentional writing. I also decided to take on this approach when I saw how well my less able pupils got on with their creative writing when allowed to write freely.



What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?


I would advise any aspiring writer to follow their heart when they are inspired without undue planning but also to take themselves to the blank piece of paper or their computer even when they are not inspired and believe that something will come up, then start writing. I would advise not to strive or try too hard but to remain in faith that valuable ideas will come.



What did you find easiest and hardest about writing?


The easiest I found was just to write without thinking too much and surprisingly, often some really valuable material would come up. The hardest thing I found was to write to somebody else’s specification, format or formula.



Was it faster to write your book or to have it published?


It was much faster to have it published then to write it. I took twenty years to revise and amend my manuscript. Publishing took just over a year.



What was your favourite part of your book to write?


I loved writing about the transformation of Josh, the boy who dabbled in magic and the transformation of Ben-Zaeir the terrorist because it turned out to be deep and authentic. I enjoyed writing about the whole process each of them had undergone.



Do you have any plans to publish more work?


I am hoping to publish my poetry and short stories, as well as my second novel, called ‘A Rude Awakening’.



If you could review Olympia Publishers in just a few words, what would they be?


I was happily working with Olympia. I appreciated their quick response when I needed help and their wiliness to be flexible when I wanted to change my blurb at the last minute. I would have loved to meet some of the stuff faces to face.



Get yourself a copy, here!