Shmuel Olitzky, children’s author, writes mainly stories in the style of legends, into which he plants educational messages about love between man and nature. On his writing desk countless stories have been piled up. Some have been published, and others are patiently waiting for their timely chance.
How did you become a writer?
The curiosity to find what is hidden behind the horizon, led me at the age of 16 to start working on merchant marine ships, with which I crossed the "seven seas" and visited five continents.
Being a romantic person, I was deeply impressed by the beauty of the sunsets over the horizon and the infinite surfaces of the oceans. Consequently, whilst sailing on ships, I began writing poems, many of which were published in the monthly journal "The Israeli Seaman." Soon after, I started writing articles about my impressions and sailing adventures.
After resigning from the merchant navy, I was employed as a journalist in a leading newspaper in Israel. I was also writing for the children magazine Etzbaoni.
At a later stage of my life, I decided to dedicate my writing skills to children stories. Firstly, I wrote a series of three books, about the adventures of a mischievous child. Later on, I decided to write books with specific educational messages, and indeed my fourth book was written with the aim to deliver the message of "Love Your Neighbor".
What inspired you to write about ecological subjects?
Throughout my years as a seaman, I have sadly observed, the continual logging of rain forests in many countries and witnessed the loading of the tree trunks onto my ship for export. Obviously the wood chopping industry was not paying much attention to the vitality of these trees and their contribution as "the green lungs", for the lives of human beings and other living creatures.
So, I have decided to write about it for children. Consequently, an ecological fantasy story "The Would Be Desert Queen" was created. This story has hidden messages concerning preservation of nature and the protection of the environment quality.
After my first ecological fantasy, a second ecological fantasy was written, named "The Greedy Rich Man" which is an ecological drama. Now I am planning to write another Ecological story and with this an Ecological Trilogy for children is created, which is a first of its kind.
How do you start working on a new story?
The beginning of some of my stories first occurred to me in my dreams. I have an unusual habit: just before going to sleep, I put a paper and pencil under my pillow. If a story comes to me in my dreams, I wake up and write down a few words associated with the dream. In the morning, even before my coffee, I sit down at my desk and write a chapter about my fascinating night meeting. During my work, I begin countless drafts, many of which end up in the garbage bin. Sometimes it takes a year or even two until I feel the story is ready for publication. And I think my garbage bin has enough materials to write its own story!
How were your books received?
The rights of the story "The Would Be Desert Queen" were sold to a South African publisher, where it was published in English and it had accumulated words of appreciations from other countries such as Holland, Rumania and China.
This book was also published in Hebrew. The publication launch ceremony took place in the presence of the deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, members of the parliament, four ambassadors, Cultural Attaches, authors and heads of the Greens Organizations. UNESCO Israel sponsored the launch ceremony of the book.
What are you working on at the moment?
At present, I have finished writing a story-poem named "Playful Wind", for kindergarden children. It will be published as an illustrated book, which holds within a disc of the song that was especially composed for the poem.
Each year I travel to the Children Book Fair in Bologna, where I meet publishers from many countries and offer them the rights for my stories. In 2014, two more stories will be offered.
In addition to writing, I am continuing to perform as a Storyteller in hospitals, special needs children clubs etc., where the audience enjoys an hour or two of pleasure with a wide smile.
What genre are your books?
In brief, I have decided to write only stories for children which contain educational messages. Indeed, in my recent two books, which are legendry stories, educational values are implanted, mainly to preserve nature and to maintain positive relationship between people.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Each year, thousands of children books are published, some of which are legendry stories and others are vague and meaningless. My opinion is that it is very important to write stories for young children, which contain positive messages and educational values. These messages should cover one or more social or nature’s issues, and mainly provide a mission for the wellbeing of the community, humanity, living creatures, and nature in general, which all are building the life on our planet Earth.
I follow this motto.
You can contact Shmuel Olitzky at his email: email@example.com