About Joseph Olshan
Joseph Olshan - Quick Facts
- Favorite Activity (not related to writing): Skiing
- Favorite place to go when thinking through a plot issue or book idea: I love to go hiking with my dog in an open setting where I can see into the distance.
- Favorite Author: Leo Tolstoy
- Favorite Books: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy; A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry; Middlemarch by George Elliot
- Favorite Movie: La Strada by Fellini
- Favorite Pastime: Besides skiing, biking
- Favorite Speech and why: I suppose my favorite speech would be the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King. His rhetoric is pure poetry.
- What do you most like about being an author: Having the ability to write stories that will connect with people who can relate to them and perhaps give them a new perspective that will help them better cope with the challenge of living.
Do you teach on a specific topic?
I don’t teach writing, but when I edit books, I give examples and talk about craft in the context of what I am editing. This could be construed as teaching, although I try to keep the focus on the work rather than the disquisition on writing.
What specialized knowledge do you have?
I am both an author and a publisher – I see things from both sides.
Do you, as an author, provide in-depth research on a topic?
I don’t believe in heavily researching for a novel. If I have to research, that means I’m not confident enough in my own ability to tell a story and perhaps should find a story that does not need researching.
What else do you want to share?
I taught in the MFA program at NYU for six years in the 90’s.
Over the years, I have written for The Huffington Post and also for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Times of London, the New York Observer, and The Guardian.
Other Writings & Awards
- Clara’s Heart
- A Warmer Season
- The Waterline
- The Sound of Heaven
- In Clara’s Hands
- The Conversion
- Black Diamond Fall (forthcoming in September 2018)
- Books made into Movies: Clara’s Heart (1989)
- Awards: First prize in the John Holmes New England Poetry contest open to all college students in New England.
- First prize in The Times of London/Jonathan Cape Young Writers’ Competition
I am working on a novel that takes place in Westchester County, a suburb of New York City, in 1989 and is about the suspicious circumstances surrounding what may or may not be the suicide of a college professor.