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Get to know our talent and mentor from Croatia!

We asked talent Mirna Brođanac and mentor Olja Savičević Ivančević to participate in a double interview. We are happy to share their interesting and unique answers with you all!


Can you tell us who you are and what you do?


Mirna

I am Mirna Brođanac, an unemployed professor of Croatian language and literature for whom writing is a way to try to leave her mark in society.


Olja

I am Olja Savičević Ivančević and I am writer and poet.


What do you love the most about your job?


Mirna

Writing offers countless different possibilities to use your own creativity and imagination to talk about taboo topics. I love that the most.


Olja

The creativity and possibility of growth in all directions.


Why did you decide to get involved with ESM?


Mirna

Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to become a writer and one who will be a messenger for different people, regardless of the reason for their diversity. Talent Programme "Every Story Matters" seems like a great opportunity for me to achieve that.


Olja

It’s something different, new, and very important. Doing work with Mirna is a privilege, and very inspiring.


Did you like reading as a child? What were your favorite books?


Mirna

Yes of course! My favorite books were Mark Twain's adventure novels about the boys Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and the novel Paul's Street Boys by Fredric Molnar.


Olja

I read a lot as a child and my favorite books were Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking and Ivana Brlić Mažuranić’s Tales from Long Ago.


What does creativity mean to you?


Mirna

Creativity to me is the inspiring driving energy of an individual.


Olja

It makes me feel alive and useful.


When are you most inspired?


Mirna

I am most inspired when I notice some injustice done to me personally or someone weaker than most people or when I am overwhelmed by sadness.


Olja

When I’m in love with someone or something.

What do you do when you’re not feeling creative?


Mirna

When I’m not feeling creative I read books by my favorite writers, listen to good music, or just, in silence, look up at the sky.


Olja

I read, that can help.


What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 12?


Mirna

At the age of 12, I wanted to become either a writer or a nun, a missionary in Africa.


Olja

A writer.


How do you start your day?


Mirna

I start the day with a cup of sweet vanilla-flavored cappuccino and listening to just one good song from YouTube.


Olja

With kisses. Then coffee and writing.


What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?


Mirna

The best compliment was given to me by a doctor at the hospital concluding that the strength of my spirit overcomes every danger.


Olja

About my work? When my colleague told me that my stories make him want to write.


What makes you laugh no matter what?


Mirna

Staying close to a newborn baby and the smell of a new book are two things that cheer me up no matter what.


Olja

Tickling and good humor. I laugh a lot.


Olja, what is the best piece of advice you can give to Mirna?


Olja

Be persistent. Have fun doing it.


Olja, what do you wish you had known when you first started with your career?


Olja

I wish I had more self-confidence in the beginning.


Mirna

I have one last question for you: how do you manage to move so well in different literary genres and which of your works is most important to you?


Olja

The most important work for me is always the one I am focusing on at the moment. And I am very excited that I will work with you on your story.

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