Saturday, August 28, 2010

Welcome Olivia Starke

One Writer’s Journey From The Beginning
Olivia Starke

I know, I know, you’re asking yourself ‘Who the heck is Olivia Starke, anyway?’ Well let me introduce myself. I am the little girl who stared out the window while in class and imagined a wide and vibrant world beyond the monkey bars and merry-go-round. I was the same little girl who watched the landscape swirl by the school bus window, lost in a world of magic that no one else could see (how I pity them to this day.) College couldn’t even rein me in. I’d find myself staring at the stained walls in my dormitory room weaving stories that only I would ever know.

I was an only child, who lived on a working farm ten miles outside of a town of just a handful of people. I had a lot of responsibilities and chores, as most farm kids do. Rain or shine, illness, and health, the work had to be done. At times I had visits from the neighbors’ kids or my multitude of cousins, but the majority of the time I was left to my own devices.

After all, adults certainly couldn’t join me in my fanciful and colorful worlds.

My playmates were chickens and dogs. Cats and hogs. Rabbits and wildlife. I could chat up a tree and listen in turn to the tales it had to tell. I could lose myself for hours in the chicken pens as the old hens told me about their day of scratching in the dirt and egg laying. It was more fascinating than any nursery rhyme.

I could ride my beloved and trusty little pony, Babe, deep into the woods surrounding the very rural property. Before I’d know it, we’d be seeing dinosaurs and unicorns. (Don’t worry reader, my little mare knew her way home without fail, and so did I.)

I admit I preferred my own company, for the most part, to that of other kids. Perhaps to some, my childhood could sound sad and lonely, but that’s a matter of perspective. I have to say I wouldn’t change it for the world. Thanks to the fascinating worlds I created in childhood, I feel I can survive anything to this day. While others will grieve and mourn in desperation, I can turn to my imagination and write poems to ease the heartache. When others go into rages and lose their cool, I will simply turn that unfortunate soul into an expendable character in a story. (Nothing like having that rude man in the grocery store line take a face plant in a pile of cow dung.) And I can share my excitement and happiness in such detailed emails, that my friends can’t help but live the experience with me.

Some may see me as a silly daydreamer, but I live in a vivid multihued world full of endless wonder. How boring it would be to live in black and white.

Whatever your beginning, fellow writer, it was your unique gift to bring color to the world.

Olivia Starke is a multi-published author with six paranormal erotic romance releases available at Cobblestone Press ( She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Passionate Ink, and is a reviewer at Got Romance Reviews. Outside of her part-time retail job, she’s a full-time writer, and moonlights as a freelance editor for several ePublishers.When not glued to the laptop screen she’s catering to the needs of her four horses, four dogs, and two cats.
A Sorcerer's Pleasure is coming soon to Cobblestone Press.


Anita Mae Draper said...

Welcome to the Prairies, Olivia.

Wow, can I ever relate! Part of my childhood entailed living on a farm in Northwestern Ontario, although I didn't have many chores because we just lived there and didn't actually farm it. Like now. :D We live on the prairie about 10 miles south of a town of 500 people. The school has an attendance of 200 which includes all 12 grades + K.

We have 160 acres but we rent out our organic land. Hubby isn't a farmer. We just like living 'in the country'. We're also both loners and understand the need for our own space. Yes, we have a dish and all the electronics we could ever use, but our 4 kids have grown/are growing to be avid readers and I like to think the solitude contributes to that. Our youngest spends time in the barn loft playing with and taming the barn cat kittens. And when we lived in Ontario, our eldest used to go next door and read to the goats who were kept in while their owner worked in the city.

Thank you for sharing your beginning. Wonderful memories.

Anita Mae.

Jana Richards said...

Welcome Olivia.

I can relate as well. I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan 15 miles from the nearest small town. I had chores too, though I admit I wasn't as fond of the chickens as you seemed to be!

That kind of solitude is condusive to creating a vivid imagination. I was making up stories in my head from as far back as I can remember. I do the same thing now, except that now I get them down on paper.

Good luck with your writing.


Janet said...

Welcome to The Prairies, Olivia. Love your post - it's good to go back and see where you've come from and the influence that young person had on your life today. I, too, made up stories - not because I lived in a rural community, but because stories were so much more exciting than real life. And other kids loved to hear the stories - a storyteller from way back. I was also the class clown - so maybe it would be more appropriate to say I've been an 'entertainer' from way back.

Thanks for blogging with us today :)

Olivia Starke said...

Thank you ladies, and it's so good to hear others relate to my story! I'd love to return closer to my roots, I had an organic vegetable garden this year that produced more than my mother and I could eat.

Karyn Good said...

Warm welcome, Olivia.

Another farm girl here. I day-dreamed my way through chores, when I wasn't ditching them to read! I played out many adventures and can definitely look back and know my head's always been full of stories.

Olivia Starke said...

Thank you again, for letting me blog with you! Sorry I didn't get more of a turn out, I feel so unpopular lol

Mary Balogh said...

Oh, don't feel that way, Olivia (I hope you are still checking back today). I bet a large number of people who read your books would have come along today if only they had known about it or didn't have a thousand and one other commitments on a Saturday or--like me!--don't visit blogs too often for fear of getting sucked into cyberspace and never getting spewed out again. I have done workshops and library readings to five people and I have done them to fifty or a hundred people or more. And while the five embarrassed me no end, I did the reading anyway, sitting in a circce with the other people, and then chatted with them and answered their questions for a long time after. And the memory of that small, intimate session is as precious as that of the more obvious "successes." All writers can relate to your posting--and how wonderful it is to discover that our daydreamings and our precious gift of imagination can bring huge pleasure to a large number of other people.

Mary Balogh

Anita Mae Draper said...

And to back up what Mary said, Olivia, you've more than doubled the comments I received last week on a promotional post that took more time to work on that I could afford.

So actually, I envy your stats.


(No, I'm not sticking my tongue out at you... it's really a... a... kiss... yes, that's it.)

Anita Mae. :D