Olivia Castetter is the author of the Too Much memoir collection, as well as various other fiction and nonfiction pieces. In addition to writing and editing literary works that focus on trauma, abuse, and life as a survivor, she advocates for policy changes for sexual abuse survivors. Drawing on her experience as a survivor of childhood leukemia, she believes there is power in the word “survivor”—specifically that, no matter our battle’s details, we’ve survived things that others haven’t, and as harrowing as that is, it is also empowering.
In her spare time, she can be found exploring nature, learning about conservation at the zoo with her family, or nurturing her pollinator garden. Olivia is passionate about making her piece of the world a better place and strives to lead by example.
“When there is physical abuse, you can see the wounds as someone receives them. When there is emotional, mental, or sexual abuse, it can take years for the scars to reveal themselves because sometimes the recipient is just trying to survive,” she writes. “We absolutely have to make this world better for our children—environmentally and in every sense of the word. We must recycle our plastics but discard our emotional trash so our children can have the best future possible.”
How did she get here?
Olivia started working with Katherine Turner, Josha’s first author, in the autumn of 2019. Inspired by the transparency of the characters in Katherine’s novel, Finding Annie, Olivia embarked on accepting her identity as a survivor of sexual violence. A year and a half later, inspired by a chapter in one of Katherine’s nonfiction works, Olivia penned her #metoo statement. After sharing it with Josha, Olivia signed on with her Too Much memoir collection.
Olivia’s nonfiction is part memoir, part sociological examination. “It isn’t enough to see where we are,” she says, “we have to look at how we got here as a society.”
In January of 2022, Me, Too: Voicing My Story was released by Josha Publishing as volume one of her Too Much collection. In this memoir, Olivia both discloses her story of survival as well as calls out many of the tenets of our society that encourage the silence of survivors and the passive behaviors of bystanders. As much as she wanted to voice her story, she also wanted to explain how society enabled yet another generation to become victimized by sexual violence.
Expected in 2023, Olivia’s next book, This, Too: All Our Stories Matter, will examine the ways in which some survivor stories receive social or media attention while others are sidelined. She draws on her own experience with this when, in 2021, an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by her former teacher was conducted and she attempted to share her experience with the investigators, but was ultimately ignored because her story wasn’t quite as harrowing as the experiences of some other former students. She writes about her experience as an almost victim and how marginalized she felt, thereby imploring society to re-examine how trauma is gauged to take into consideration not only what occurred, but the impact on the survivors.
- Olivia is a gluten-free pescatarian! After her last pregnancy, she developed an allergy to dairy and mammal-based food products; a year later, she was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Her entire household has since adopted the gluten-free pescatarian diet, both in support of her and to protect the environment.
- In the summertime, Olivia enjoys trail running, even if she doesn’t do it as much as she’d like since becoming a mother.
- Other than waste from her pets’ cages, Olivia’s household is entirely waste-free—everything either gets composted, recycled, or upcycled (or, in the case of leftovers, consumed by her dog).
- Olivia wrote her first fiction—a short story—when she was ten years old and placed third in her county in the Young Author’s Contest. When she was fourteen, she wrote a poem and was published in a national collection of student poets.
- When Olivia was undergoing treatment for leukemia, she received art therapy; now, as she unpacks her childhood trauma, she’s turned to art therapy again and enjoys documenting her healing journey on paper and canvas.
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Meet Josha author Olivia Castetter!Tweet
Author. Editor. Activist.