ASPIRE: indies taking the world by storm / Livy


"i was getting close to finishing high school, and starting to ask those big questions: what i wanted to do with my life, what career path i would choose, what i wanted to do. and it was in that time and among all those questions that i felt God speak: what would you like to do? what would be fun for you?"

'what would be fun' and 'what would you like' - not the average questions most young adults find themselves considering as they feel the heat from the many pressuring voices, sometimes within their own families about very specific paths they should chose; but Olivia Jarmusch beams as she recalls this season of growth in her life: choosing to start out on an indie path of writing instead of going to college.

"i chose not to go to a traditional route. i chose not to go to university." Livy went on. "i did take a few classes online but i feel like that was just to appease people. i began to hear God's voice louder and louder: i needed to take the bold path."

like a personification of her up-beat acoustic songs and whimsical writing, it's hard not to smile when you're talking to Livy. wise beyond her years, she is long brown hair and sparking eyes. articulate and thoughtful. a contagious smile and conduit through whom stories seem to effortlessly flow - in both literary and musical forms.

"you're obviously so multi-talented, and your life seems to be exploding with creative work," i point out, "what first inspired you to the fact that you could independently be an artist and affect the world with your art?"

"i’ve always been a story teller," Livy responds. "i’ve always loved telling stories… in so many different mediums for as long as i can remember. i was around fourteen when i taught myself guitar and started weaving songs together from just three chords. i was mostly writing songs for friends of mine who were going through some pretty tough things in their lives."

though Livy is a writer - a published author of seven books to be exact - she's adamant that music is a unique communicator; a medium that can "bypass" the intellect and speak directly to the heart.

"music is in our dna," she explains, "it's part of who we are and that's why our hearts so effortlessly open up to it. there were times when i could sing about something encouraging for a friend when i knew my words would fall flat otherwise."

and this thoughtful, musical outlook doesn't end with Livy's songs - it naturally carries over into her writing.



"i've always been fascinated by the different aspects of storytelling - if i had to pin my music down to a genre, i'd call it "storytelling". and on the other side of the spectrum, i believe much of my writing voice stems from my songwriting roots: i express things very lyrically and poetically."

among the many titles you'll find in Livy's quiver of published works, The Coronation, her colorful modern fairy-tale, etched with morals and thought-provoking themes, stands out. if the vivid, watercolor splashed cover doesn't grab you, the substantial stack of five star reviews heralding Livy as "the best young Christian fiction writer" will command your attention.

"when did you start writing The Tales of Tarsurella series?"

"i started writing The Coronation when i was about 16, and it was during a time in my life when i wasn’t taking writing very seriously," Livy laughs a little as she recalls the novel's humble beginnings. "in fact, i was bogged down with a lot of other projects, some of which weren't getting finished… i was great at starting stories, but never finishing them. The Coronation kind of got shelved for a while."

not long after, Livy's cousins came to stay. they too, were writers.

"we all hung out and chatted about our writing and read bits and pieces of each other's books. they convinced me to read some of The Coronation - and their excitement and fascination with the story caused me to think, “hmm, i wonder if others would enjoy this as well?” that’s when I started to seriously consider publishing the story."

a fitting beginning, considering how much of Livy's career involves inspiring and encouraging other writers; Livy herself can attest to how much of an impact even a few words of encouragement can make.

"that's something i find so inspiring about you - your obvious passion to promote,
support, and inspire other authors. can you talk about what inspired you to cultivate such an awesome and inspirational writing community?"

"when i started self publishing, i didn’t know anyone else who was self publishing. i was kind of a lone ranger. the first book was a little bit rough, i was googling a lot of things myself, learning through trial and error," Livy says, "after releasing a few books and connecting with so many girls online, a passion started to stir inside of me to help others. to tell other aspiring indie artists that they're not alone, that we're navigating and building together. you’re not the first one to feel frustrated. even if you don't have people around you supporting your career, there's plenty of kindred spirits in the online writing community."

"so, so cool. and i know i have definitely benefited from the friendships i've cultivated through the writing community online. okay, back to The Rebellion - here's a fun one: who was your favorite character, if you have one, to write about?"

"i think i’d have to say my favorite in The Rebellion was a new character, who has a bit of a cameo appearance in the book. she’s an aspiring young author with a head full of dreams, and the way she gets swept into the story is a bit of an interesting twist that I really enjoyed writing into the story."

"i can see where you would have an easy time identifying with a character like that."

Livy laughs. "yeah, really - she's kind of a mini version of me."

"where there any key inspirations or epiphanies that sparked the idea for the coronation series?" i wonder aloud.

"one of the main themes in the trilogy, especially book one, is about guarding your heart - and carrying that over into relationships," Livy explains, obvious personal conviction in her tone. "the different ways God teaches us to guard our hearts. i wanted this book to be a beautiful arrow that would point you back to your relationship with God."

and the story doesn't end there.



"The Coronation is an ongoing saga - in fact, you're on the brink of releasing the second book in the trilogy: The Rebellion," i chuckle. "the title itself is enough to draw you right in! what can readers expect heading into the next installment in the series?"

"they can expect just a little bit of chaos," Livy laughs. "expect the unexpected! signature amounts of whimsy and the fantastic are sure the make an appearance, but make no mistake, the road gets rocky in this one."

"it's become a bit of a trend now among writers to make 'pin boards' of things that inspired the general vibe or theme of a book," i say. "so let's make a 'verbal pin board' - are there any particular vibes, or places, or things, that inspire the setting, or remind you of the book?"

"well, in contrast to book 1, which takes place in summer, The Rebellion takes place in the middle of the winter," Livy responds. "in fact the opening scene is set in a castle library in the middle of a snow storm. so the vibe is kind of warm and cozy...think: curling up with a cup of hot cocoa in a reading nook while a storm blows by outside."

"there's honestly nothing about that that doesn't sound super appealing. and it's hard, i find, to write a book about a season you're not in. like writing a summer book in winter."

"it really is!"

"it's like, you naturally want to just write the season you're in... or maybe in some cases you want to write about summer when winter seems like it's never going to end," i chuckle. "okay, Livy, here's the big question: as a writer, what is the one thing, or the most important thing you want readers to walk away from your work with?"

Livy's response comes with loving resolve: "on the surface, i would love for the story to inspire creativity and imagination, but beyond that, i want there to be something about the story that brings the reader back to their relationship with God. i firmly believe that if we’re consuming media that doesn’t remind us of who God is, and who He created us to be , then it’s kinda a waste of time. Why are we reading, watching, or spending our time with it, if it’s not going to draw us closer to God?  With the release of every new book, I always pray that my  my writing can be a reminder of the beautiful relationship our creator has with us - and just how precious that is. It truly means everything!"





Snag the first in her series, The Coronation





15 comments

  1. YAY another Aspire series installment!!!

    Livy was the one who interviewed you for her youtube writer's podcast, was it? I remember watching that. SO GOOD. Livy sounds like a lovely person and I definitely will be following her blog (it's so pretty!!)


    best.
    k.

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  2. I love this series so much. <3

    Livy is an awesome human who inspires so many people.

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  3. SOOO BEAUTIFUL!!! I need to check these books out yayyy <333

    xxx

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  4. Kate! This post is just stunning...your writing style is so beautiful! God has given you such a gift with words. Thank you for this interview, it was an absolute honor! Keep on being your amazing, world-changing-self!

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  5. AHhhh I love this! I've seen Livy around, but never got to know her very well. Thank you for spotlighting her! Her book looks SO good: I just put it on my TBR, and will have to snag a copy sometime!

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  6. This is a beautiful Livy series. A must read book. You really have the talent dear.

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  7. I'll like reading books. I'll consider this one. Thanks!

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  8. Sounds like a great series. I have been following Livy's blog too.

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  9. Seems like a fun books to read. Will check out on it.

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  10. This post is just stunning...your writing style is so beautiful!

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  11. I will consider to read this one..Feels exciting..

    Check this out: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/hassan-sadiq#/entity

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  12. Where can i find this book.Look interesting to read!

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  13. Livy wants to inspire so many people.

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  14. I wanna grab this copy.Interesting to read.

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