Have you ever been curious about who makes the handbound books BatCat Press produces? As we go through the second half of our 2015 – 2016 year at BatCat Press, we’ll introduce you to all twelve of the staff members that work year-round on creating our beautiful journals and publications! We hope you enjoy!
Olivia is our last featured student staff member. She joined BatCat about halfway through the year.
NAME: Olivia S.
FAVORITE BOOK: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
FAVORITE AUTHOR: Rick Riordan
FAVORITE GENRE TO READ: Fiction
FAVORITE GENRE TO WRITE: Fiction
OTHER INTERESTS: making bad jokes, baking, playing the viola, watching movies
“I was really nervous,” Olivia admitted, “and also intimidated, because I was joining this thing I had never done before, but I really wanted to do it. I really, really wanted to be on BatCat, so I told myself to suck it up and not mess anything up too bad.”
So far, so good! Olivia’s been a big help in this second semester. She taught at our March class, sold books at a Lincoln Park LAVA event, made books, helped with the reprinting of Apology to the Moon, helped paint and put together our 2016 AWP handouts, and now is working very hard on our two new publications, which will be released later this spring.
Olivia said that her favorite part of being on BatCat is bookbinding. “I used to only do the [traditional] spine, but I brought my sister and friend to the bookbinding class, and it was cool to see how I’ve improved to a point where I can teach others.”
She said she also really enjoyed marbling paper for journals earlier this year, but mostly, she’s been very excited about the different kind of printing techniques we’re learning and experimenting with. “My great grandfather was a printer,” she explained, “so it’s interesting to see that this is the kind of stuff that he did his entire life. It’s weird and cool.”
She added, “When I was little, we had this big box of stamps, and I was never allowed to use the stamps because I would’ve gotten ink everywhere, but I always wanted to use them because they were awesome! I remember in first grade, I finally got to use them for the 100th day of school. We were supposed to come in wearing a costume, and on it, you were supposed to have a 100 of something. Some kids had 100 pieces of cereal, but I got to use the stamps, and it was the only time in my entire life, and it was awesome. This is kinda similar, because you’re just stamping, but it looks a lot prettier than a mermaid, [which was the stamp I used].”
Because she came in a bit late, Olivia did not get to go through this year’s submissions with the rest of the staff, but she’s really looking forward to doing it next year! “I want to see what kind of things people are coming up with,” she said. “I wanna come up and find a really giant diamond in a really dark coalmine.”
Part of the reason Olivia is so excited about submissions is because you don’t often see work from small presses. “Whenever you go to libraries or buy books in a store, you really only see the big things that are getting published, so it’s really neat to see such amazing work go to such small places. They deserve more credit than what they’re given.”
Lastly, Olivia feels like, “in a weird way,” BatCat has brought her closer to her parents. “I come from 3 generations of engineers, so if I have a measuring question or something, I can ask my dad, and he can help me make my book even better, even though he works with trucks. And my mom has a business, so if I have an idea or something, I can talk to her about it, and she can say, ‘Well, this will work if you do it like that.’ So, BatCat has helped me understand my parents’ careers better.”
Check back soon for our last Meet the Staff!
Olivia C, Staff Member