Today on Meet the Author we’re talking to Patricia M Osborne about going back in time to start writing earlier, meaningful visits from a spirit and her wonderful books….
Patricia M Osborne
Family Saga / Historical Fiction
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m in my 60s, married with grown-up children and grandchildren. I was born in Liverpool, spent time in Bolton as a child, and now live in West Sussex. Bolton had a big impact on me and often appears in my writing, in particular Part I of my novel, House of Grace.
I finished an MA in Creative Writing with the University of Brighton last September and graduated in February with a Merit. I’m a novelist, poet and I also write short fiction. Many of my poems and short stories have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. My debut novel, House of Grace, A Family Saga, set in the 1950s/60s was released in March 2017 and my first poetry pamphlet titled Taxus Baccata is to be published shortly by Hedgehog Poetry Press.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember, so I suppose it has always been in me.
How many books have you written and published?
I have written two books so far but only one has been published, House of Grace. The second, The Coal Miner’s Son, is with Beta readers at the moment so this should be published in the not too distant future. As mentioned above, I also have my debut poetry pamphlet coming out shortly.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
It has to be House of Grace because it was my first.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
Sometimes they jump out at me but other times I research popular names in the era and area of the country that I’m writing in.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
I don’t have a favourite author, I love too many of them but I’d probably choose Bernard Cornwell and The Last Kingdom because I was hooked from Page 1 and just had to read the full series.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
It was a poem titled ‘Clothes.’ It was all about different clothing and their colours but that’s all I remember. It won a competition in school when I was seven. I can’t remember what I won though.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
All sorts. I started work at the age of fifteen as a trainee office clerk where I was trained as a telephonist, audio typist and telex operator. I’ve been a shoe shop assistant, bank teller, mortgage and arrears interviewer, accounts clerk/PA/Secretary and hotel receptionist.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
Backwards and hopefully I’d be able to start my writing career a little earlier.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I’d want a conversation with my late mum and sister because I miss them both so much and if I ever had a problem then it would be them that I turned to.
What are your favourite things to do?
Playing my piano and listening to music. Taking photos when I’m out walking around parks, lakes and National Trust properties. All of these are great inspiration for my writing and I love being with my friends and family.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
It was about three months after my mum died. I was upset while working in my study. The back of my chair started to shake. I turned around expecting my husband or son to be there but they weren’t. No one else was there. I spoke aloud and asked, ‘Is that you, Mum?’ The back of my chair shook again. I believe it was my mum putting her arms around me to comfort me.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
That would have to be to believe in myself as a writer much earlier.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See. It’s a book that stays with you for a long time.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
House of Grace is a historical family saga set in the 50s and 60s. It’s about friendship, family, romance and fashion. It’s in into two parts with a young Grace in Part I and Part II, Grace as a woman. Part I opens with Grace finishing school with ambitions to become a fashion designer but her father, Lord Granville, sees this as trivial and instead wants her to marry a suitor of his choice. However, he agrees that she can stay at her roommate’s home for a summer vacation first, so long as she agrees to his terms. Grace goes to her friend’s in Bolton and her life is never the same again.
House of Grace may be purchased via Amazon http://mybook.to/HouseofGrace in paperback and Kindle and it is free to read with Kindle Unlimited.
It can also be ordered via bookstores and libraries by quoting ISBN 9780995710702 or readers may email me direct to find out how to purchase a signed copy.
Thank you so much Patricia for your interview. Reading the bit about your Mum gave me goose pimples! I’m a huge believer in spirits and 100% believe she was there comforting you – how lovely.
If you have any questions/comments for Patricia then get in touch.
Have a lovely day.