Local author Olga Cossi continues writing children’s books in her nineties
She may be in her nineties, but Santa Cruz author Olga Cossi says she still has a plethora of untold children’s stories up her sleeve. “I have a lot of books I’m still working on,” says Cossi, who published her first book in 1967. “My favorite piece of writing, which I regard as my best work, has not been published yet.”
Cossi began writing at a young age, but it took a while for her to develop a passion for it. “I had an older sister who made me read all of her required reading for school. She made it through school not reading a single book, and I grew to love reading and writing,” recalls Cossi. “My first published piece of writing was published in the third grade, and it was printed in my sister’s name.”
Although Cossi’s first piece of work was not rightfully credited to her, since then, she has successfully released numerous children’s books, and one autobiography, which came out last year. To stay sharp and keep her creativity flowing after all these years, Cossi writes for about two hours every morning. “I have a very active mind,” she says. “I have a stack of dictionaries on my desk at all times. I study words every morning, and it’s a very stimulating thing for me to do. Sometimes I get up at 3 in the morning because I start thinking, and then I start learning.”
Her latest work, released in May, is a contemporary novel called “Playing Your Heart Out.” The book is based on a true story of a young girl named Sara who finds solace in soccer while her parents are going through a divorce. “I see many kids devastated by divorce—it just flattens them out,” says Cossi.
Though divorce is a sensitive topic, particularly for youth, the lesson at the heart of the book is a positive one. After all, many of Cossi’s stories are written with the intent to encourage, and to inspire young people to think, read, and write. “I write for children because I think I’ve never truly grown up I suppose,” she says.
For more information about Olga Cossi and her books, visit olgacossi.com. “Playing Your Heart Out” is now available on Amazon. You can also catch Cossi on KUSP’s “First Person Singular” series, on which she appears regularly.