Hi Olivia, what is your occupation?
I am a screen writer and director, but writing is my primary venture.
How did you get into this field?
Well, I am highly dyslexic and dyscalculic. When I was younger, my parents hired a tutor called Andy Crab. He was an author and over time, he helped me to become a writer. In terms of training, instead of studying subjects such as English language or Literature, I enrolled in the Screen Writing course at UCLAN.
That’s really interesting. What advice would you give to our readers if they have dyslexia too?
I think it’s important to channel your energy into something that you love. I was a lonely child in school and I tended to observe people and their actions which later became a virtue when honing my craft. I believe observation is a skill all screenwriters need to learn in order to replicate realistic characters and believable situations in their scripts.
Have you any projects you are currently working on?
I recently released a four-part audio series called Letter to Lenin. The project took two years to create, as well as a year of research at Manchester Socialist Library. A paperback version will be released on Amazon early 2021, but the Kindle version is available on Amazon now. It’s been a rollercoaster ride to say the least. As script writers, we have many scripts in our catalogue ready to try and sell at any given time. During the pandemic, however, creators have to be much more independent with how they produce work. Developing projects is always fun though, and it was a great achievement to have created an idea and seen it through to the end independently.
You have a company launching next year. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
The company is called Magnus Albion which means ‘Great British’ in Latin. The idea is that great, British creators and media makers will collate and share ideas. You can expect audio plays, adverts and short films. We also hope to develop new talent and work with freelancers in order to keep our content fresh.
You were recently interviewed by John Gilmore at BBC Radio Lancashire. How was that?
John is lovely and made me feel very welcome. My series centres around the mining community in Manchester. Mike Sweeney at Radio Manchester has a background in Mining so he took an interest in my work too.
Have you any advice for budding script writers?
My advice would be to seek as much information as possible. That could be in the form of formal training, courses, interviews or blogs. In fact, I set up a blog and its sister Instagram page which you can find at www.screamwriter.blog and screamwriter.blog on Instagram. Here, you can learn how to write a short film, how to self-publish a book and so much more. As well as this, I would suggest seeking a mentor. I had support from Andrew Davies who adapted Les Misérables for BBC iPlayer and worked on Bridget Jones Diaries and House of Cards. He played an important role in my success by providing me with useful critique and guidance.
Making Miss Mogul hopes to inspire the younger generation to enter the arts. How do you feel as a young woman in the arts?
I think it’s great as a screen writer because I have never felt underrepresented in this sector. The market is highly competitive, there is no doubt about that. However, it is also very inclusive and I believe it is truly an equal playing field for entertainment writers and screen writers. Women are represented more fairly in the industry and I think this is worth celebrating.
Thank you for chatting with us Olivia…
Follow Olivia on Instagram @Olivia_Lewisbrown.
For tips and tricks, head to www.screamwriter.blog.
To stream Olivia’s audio book, head to Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/audiobook/letters-to-lenin-episode-one