Please make welcome Patricia M Osborne, to my blog. Hello Tricia, shall we have a cup of tea and get started? Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.
Hi everyone, I’m Patricia M Osborne, Tricia to my friends and family. I’m a novelist, short story writer and a poet. Although born in Liverpool, I now live in West Sussex (UK) with my family.
Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?
Writing has always been my love but I was drawn to poetry more than prose. It was only after studying my creative writing modules as part of my BA degree that I turned to fiction and after writing a screenplay as part of my BA, realised House of Grace had the potential to become a novel.
How difficult was it writing your first book?
Difficult of course, but because I already knew the outline of my story from writing the screenplay, I was able to follow the movie reel in my mind’s eye.
Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
My mum died just before I’d finished the first draft of House of Grace and at this time, I did feel like giving up. It was good friends believing in me that kept me going.
Sorry for your loss. Writing can help with pain.
Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
I am lucky to have some very supportive friends and can’t single out just one person.
What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?
Be persistent and don’t be phased by rejection. It’s the persistent writer who’ll make it. I’m afraid I can’t remember where the advice came from.
What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
Mainly female, sixteen upwards, although I’ve had numerous men enjoy the House of Grace trilogy too. The younger female likes discovering what things were like in past times whereas women born in the fifties and sixties are able to relate to the retro.
Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
The first attempt at the cover was a flop. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted and hired a local artist. Her interpretation wasn’t what I was looking for at all but it was only after seeing her sketch that I knew what I did want. I wanted vibrant – something to stand out –Grace needed a red dress. I managed to find a cover designer who after a couple of attempts produced exactly the cover I desired.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I’m also a poet and have had three poetry pamphlets published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press with another to follow later this year and one to be published in 2022.
What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
I’m working on an historical fiction novel set late Victorian/early Edwardian. It is about a young French mademoiselle who discovers on her seventeenth birthday she must come to England and marry an English baronet to fulfill a one-hundred-year-old oath. Not quite the birthday gift she was expecting.
Here is an excerpt from the opening chapter – subject to edit.
Patricia M Osborne
23rd March 1895
I looked out of the shuttered window. Four o’clock and the sun was still shining. It had been a lovely spring day. Geneviève and Céleste stepped into their Phaeton pulled by two beautiful iron-grey ponies. My friends waved. I waved back. Geneviève flicked the reins and the horses trotted down the drive. Geneviève and I had known each other since kindergarten and were more like sisters. More so than her actual sister, Céleste. Céleste was two years younger but liked to tag along whenever she got the chance.
‘Joyeaux anniversaire, mon ange.’ Papa hobbled across the room and sank down in the armchair by the inglenook fireplace. He coughed into his handkerchief. ‘I trust tea with your friends was enjoyable?’
‘Oui, Papa. I have had a wonderful afternoon, merci.’
Maman followed Papa into the parlour, her once dark hair now the colour of Geneviève’s ponies. She pressed the middle of her back as she eased down on the tan Chesterfield. ‘Have you spoken to Françoise?’ she asked.
‘Not yet. I was waiting for you and Michel. Where is he?’ Papa spluttered.
‘I am here.’ Michel’s bright blue eyes twinkled. ‘First I shall stoke the fire as it is starting to turn cold.’ He poked the embers and added a few pieces of coal before sinking into the sofa next to Maman. Michel was twenty-four last month but he still had a youthful look and trim physique.
‘What is going on?’ I joined Maman and Michel on the sofa, unable to remove my grin, expecting another birthday surprise.
‘Françoise, we must discuss your future.’ Papa struck a match and lit up his pipe, coughing and spluttering. ‘Remember how when you were little, I would tell you the story of a prince who lived far away who would one day send for his princess?’
‘Yes, Papa, but that was just a game. Mais oui?’
‘Non, ange, not a game.’ He coughed. ‘One hundred years ago there were two brothers, Henri and Willeme Dubois, our ancestors. Henri emigrated to England but before leaving he drew up a contract with his twin brother, Willeme. Henri vowed to support Willeme and his descendants forever more. We are Willeme’s descendants.’
I frowned. ‘Contract?’
‘Oui. The contract was written in our family bible.’ Papa held up a tattered leather embossed book held together with a clasp. ‘In here.’ He patted the hardcover. ‘Willeme also swore an oath to his brother that if ever a male descendant of Henri’s, during any time era, required a bride to provide an heir, they could call on Willeme’s line for the pledge to be fulfilled.’
My heart beat faster. ‘What has that got to do with me?’
‘Because my dear, you are the princess and your prince has sent for his bride.’ Father puffed on his pipe, blowing out smoke.
…continued (ah… sounds interesting!)
Any last words before we wrap things up?
I run a successful blog over on Patricia’s Pen where I feature other authors and poets. Thank you, Mary, for inviting me over to your website and asking such fabulous questions. (You’re welcome, Tricia.)
Links and Bio
About Patricia M Osborne
Patricia is a novelist, poet and short fiction writer. She has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. The final book in House of Grace family saga trilogy was published March 2021. Her poetry pamphlets are published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press.
She has a successful blog at Whitewingsbooks.com featuring other writers. When Patricia isn’t working on her own writing, she enjoys sharing her knowledge, acting as a mentor to fellow writers.