An Interview with Patricia M. Osborne
It is a great pleasure to be joined today by my friend and fellow author, Patricia M, Osborne. I first met Patricia at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School and she writes the most gripping and engaging family sagas. It will be most interesting to hear all about her writing.
Thank you for inviting me, Val.
1 Please tell my readers a little about yourself?
I am married with grown-up children and six grandchildren. I was born in Liverpool but now live in West Sussex. In 2019 I graduated with an MA in Creative Writing (University of Brighton).
I have written two novels, family sagas, part of a trilogy, House of Grace, Book 1, and The Coal Miner’s Son, Book 2. ‘The Granville Legacy’, Book 3, is a work in progress. I also write poetry and short stories, many of which have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies and my debut poetry pamphlet is due for imminent release.
As well as writing, I run a successful blog at Whitewingsbooks.com where I feature other writers and poets. I enjoy sharing my knowledge, acting as a mentor to fellow writers and as an online poetry tutor with Writers’ Bureau.
2 What inspired you to become a writer/author?
I have loved writing from a small child and written poems for as long as I can remember. In fact, I won my first poetry competition when I was around seven.
However, it was only when I started my creative writing courses as part of my BA degree that I saw writing in a new light. For a time, learning the technical tools stifled my creative side but thankfully that was short-lived and today my writing is quite different to that of my younger self.
3 What is the best thing about being a writer/author?
Being able to lose myself into any character, place, and era of my choosing.
4 What is your writing routine like?
My muse works better later on in the day so I tend to use mornings and early parts of the day to market, mark poetry assignments, or do edits and feedback for other writers, thus leaving me the latter part of the day for my own writing. It doesn’t always pan out that way, but so be it. I never add pressure to myself if I haven’t managed to write because writing for me is fun, not a chore.
5 How much time is spent on research?
I don’t think I can answer that question. It’s a bit like, how long’s a piece of string? I spend whatever time is needed to get me the information I require. Sometimes that can be nominal, yet other times can take days or even weeks.
6 How much of the book is planned out before you start writing it?
I like to have at least the opening, middle and the end so I know where I’m going.
7 What do you think is most important when writing a book? Characters, plot, setting, etc
That’s a difficult one to answer. Plot to keep the reader turning the page, but then if you have a dull character who’s going to want to read about them. Setting again is important.
8 What is your latest book about?
My latest book is The Coal Miner’s Son, Book 2 in the House of Grace trilogy, returning to the Gilmore and Granville saga. This time the story uses two different point of views, one nine-year-old George Gilmore, and the other his estranged aunt, Elizabeth Granville. For those readers who have read House of Grace it’s nice for them to discover Elizabeth’s story.
Blurb of The Coal Miner’s Son
After tragedy hits the small coal mining village of Wintermore, nine-year-old miner’s son, George, is sent to Granville Hall to live with his titled grandparents.
Caught up in a web of treachery and deceit, George grows up believing his mother sold him. He’s determined to make her pay, but at what cost? Is he strong enough to rebel?
Will George ever learn to forgive?
Step back into the 60s and follow George as he struggles with bereavement, rejection and a kidnapping that changes his life forever. Resistance is George’s only hope.
All books act as standalones.
9 What inspired it?
It all began when I was working on my dissertation for my BA degree. After abandoning previous plans, I needed a story at the last minute. I had already created a coal miner character as part of my GCSE assessment in 2013, inspired by George Orwell’s ‘Road to Wigan Pier’. This character then became Grace Granville and I started to piece my story together a bit like a jigsaw. It would be a riches to rags novel with Grace’s ambition to become a fashion designer and her father seeing it as a frivolous pastime, instead wanting her to marry someone of his choosing. Inspired by television dramas ‘Mr Selfridge’ and ‘House of Elliot’. My protagonist, Grace, was inspired by my late Mum and Jack loosely molded my father. House of Grace trilogy was born.
10 Why did you pick the genre or genres that you write in?
For novels and short stories, I tend to write about family because I love reading and watching family saga. For poetry, my favourite genre is nature, particularly mythical, and that’s simply because I love the stories I uncover during research.
11 How did you go about getting a publishing deal? Or how did you become self-published?
For my novels I went down the indie route, mainly because I wanted to get my books out there and then following my first visit to Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in 2016, I was so inspired by the indie authors there that I came home determined my book would be in the Swanwick bookroom by 2017 but my product had to be equal to what any traditional publisher would provide. Steps I took involved using a good editor, eye-catching covers, and having my manuscripts professionally formatted.
Many of my short stories and poems have been published traditionally in various magazines and anthologies and my debut pamphlet ‘Taxus Baccata’ is to be released in July 2020 by Hedgehog Poetry Press. I obtained this publishing deal after my poetry collection was chosen as one of the winners in a pamphlet competition offered by Hedgehog Poetry.
12 Any new books or plans for the future?
As mentioned above, my poetry pamphlet ‘Taxus Baccata’ will be released on 24th July 2020. Taxus Baccata is a collection of nature poetry and includes
poems based on myth, folklore, and legend around trees.
The final book in the House of Grace trilogy, ‘The Granville Legacy’ will be published by Spring 2021. (All books in the trilogy may be read as standalones).
I hope to publish a children’s picture book ‘Twin Princes of Ebon Mage’ under the name Patsy Redman later this year. ‘Twin Princes of Ebon Mage’ is based on a mythical tale around the banyan tree and suitable for children 6-9 years.
13What authors have been an influence on your writing?
I was influenced by Catherine Cookson, Lyn Andrews, Louisa May Alcott, and Barbara Taylor Bradford to write family saga novels, and the imagist, H D Doolittle (Hilda Doolittle), and Emily Dickinson for poetry.
14 What writing advice would you have given yourself when you started?
To treat the first draft of a poem or story as a framework to develop then follow with layering and editing.
15 What writing advice would you give to an aspiring writer or a new author to the block?
As above but also share their work with other writers. Get involved in writing groups, either face to face or online, where you can critique each other, and finally don’t fear rejection. Rejection is part of the journey for a writer.
16 What has been your favourite book so far this year?
That has to be Margaret Atwood’s Testaments
17 What is your all-time favourite book and why?
Louise May Alcott’s Little Women because it was this book that inspired me to write family saga. It was the first grown-up book I read when I was seven. My teacher wasn’t happy because she said I should be reading Secret Seven and Famous Five like the rest of the class. I remember the book was little, had a red hardback, small print and paper-thin pages. I think it must have been a library edition.
18 What genre do you read most often?
I love historical fiction but open to reading all genres as I have many writer friends and like to read their books, and I belong to a reading group.
19 What are you currently reading?
I am reading Duplicity by Fin C Gray. Fin is a writing friend who I met on my first residential writing course when studying for my BA degree. I am also reading Don’t Go Back (Anna Shenton) Anna is another writing friend who I have got to know through Facebook social media groups. And finally, I am about to embark on Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge which is this month’s book to read in my reading group.
20 Anything else you would like to add?
Although I have always loved writing, particularly poetry, I had never considered writing professionally. It was only after embarking on my Open University BA degree to further music theory that I studied creative writing modules as part of the course. This is when my life changed and I began to live in a writers’ world, where I soon discovered if I didn’t write I was unable to function. With my new focus on creative writing, although I still loved music, I followed my BA degree with an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Brighton.
Patricia M Osborne is married with grown-up children and grandchildren. She was born in Liverpool but now lives in West Sussex. In 2019 she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing (University of Brighton).
Patricia writes novels, poetry and short fiction, and has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. She has two published novels, House of Grace and The Coal Miner’s Son and her debut poetry pamphlet is to be released on 24th July 2020 by Hedgehog Poetry Press.
She has a successful blog at Whitewings.com where she features other writers and poets. When Patricia isn’t working on her own writing, she enjoys sharing her knowledge, acting as a mentor to fellow writers and as an online poetry tutor with Writers’ Bureau.
You can contact Patricia via the following medias:-
Links to Books on Amazon
- Posted in: Articles
- Tagged: family sagas, House of Grace, Patricia M Osborne, Swanwick Writers' Summer School, Taxus Baccata
Thank you for inviting me, Val. It was great to chat to you about my writing.