Last Word of the Week: Today I am very pleased to welcome Patricia M Osborne, an English author/poet whose novel House of Grace: A Family Saga does for the 1950s-1970s what Poldark does for the late 18th century: presents us an immersive historical world with great characters, love, trials, conflict, tragedy, romance, and the promise of more story to come. (You know, part of me flinches when describing this period as ‘historical’!)
Patricia: Thank you, Clare for inviting me over to chat.
LWOTW: When did you write your first story, Patricia?
I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember but I was around twenty when I sent my first story into a competition. I’d typed it up on my portable typewriter. To be honest, after studying Creative Writing since 2011, I can now see that it wasn’t very good. It had far too much telling and not enough showing.
LWOTW: I think we learn a lot about our craft as we go along, the ‘telling vs showing’ thing especially. What do you think of dreams, imagination, and planning?
I’m all for dreams and see them as a gift: whether it’s a nice dream or a nightmare, it can be used for story purposes. I have a vivid imagination, which is a great tool for a writer. Re planning, I plan to a certain extent but also run with it so see where it takes me.
LWOTW: Interesting. I think I need to do more planning! What’s the highlight of your writing career so far?
The publication of my debut novel, House of Grace, A Family Saga, in March 2017 just before my birthday but also winning first place in a poetry competition, student category at Brighton and Hove Poetry Festival earlier this year. The icing on the cake was having my prize presented to me by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. The presentation was worth more to me than the £100 prize.
LWOTW: How amazing! What are you most busy with at the moment?
I’m just finishing off my thesis and a poetry collection for my MA dissertation in creative writing. The research has been fabulous fun as I explore the myth, folklore and legend around trees and express these stories in poetry. I am also working on the sequel to House of Grace, called The Coal Miner’s Son, which can also be read as a stand-alone. I’m hoping to release it later this year in time for Christmas. So watch this space.
LWOTW: We certainly will! If you could say one thing to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Believe in yourself. Get involved with other writers and offer and receive critique/feedback. Critique helps to make a better writer. And never give up. Sorry, that’s three things.
Three very valuable tips! And the Last Word of The Week: What’s your favourite colour?
Purple is my favourite colour. As a child it was always blue. I love purple and plum and wear these colours a lot as I find they suit me. I had purple as my theme on my wedding day.
Thank you for having me, Clare. It’s been fun answering your questions.
It’s been an absolute pleasure! We must chat again 🙂
Facebook: Patricia M Osborne, Writer
Where can you buy Patricia’s book, House of Grace, A Family Saga?