Texas Writers Month Author Interview Series: Carolyn Osborn

author interviewCelebrating Texas Writers Month with us today is Carolyn Osborn (Austin).

To win a signed copy of Uncertain Ground, leave a comment by May 20 stating the year the novel was released. To increase your chance of winning, subscribe to this blog through Feedburner. Giveaway for U.S. residents only.

Carolyn Osborn graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.J. degree in 1955, and an M.A. in 1959. She has won awards from P.E.N., the Lon Tinkle Award by the Texas Institute of Letters, and a Distinguished Prose Award from The Antioch Review (2003). Her stories have been included in The O. Henry Awards (Doubleday, 1991) and Lone Star Literature (Norton, 2003), among numerous other anthologies. She is the author of several collections of short stories, including: A Horse of Another Color (University of Illinois Press, 1977), The Fields of Memory (Shearer Publishing, 1984), and Warriors & Maidens (Texas Christian University Press, 1991). author interview
The Book Club of Texas published an illustrated, specially bound edition of her story, The Grands. (1990). Uncertain Ground is her first novel.

Q. Are you a native Texan or did you get here as soon as you could?

A. I was born in Nashville, TN., which explains the southern accent. In 1946, when I was twelve, my father married a wonderful woman from Gatesville, a small town in central Texas. In effect he married himself, my brother, and me into Texas.

Q. How did you end up writing historical fiction?

A. I had a degree in journalism and worked on newspapers long enough to discover I was more interested in people’s interior lives, especially their motivations, than I was in the everyday news. Most of the things I was curious about couldn’t be printed in a daily newspaper, so I went back to the University of Texas at Austin and got an M.A. in Creative Writing. Since then I’ve had over sixty short stories and personal essays published.

Q. What book marketing activities made you a bestselling author?

A. I’m not a bestselling author, however I have no shame about inviting people to signings, (if you want 100 to show up, send 300 invitations) or paying for a web page. I’m happy to do readings, to appear at book clubs, to answer emails, and to write thank you notes to appreciative readers. My publisher, Bryce Milligan at Wings Press, asked me to do a reading for the Huffington Post when his press was being featured. Lacking the essential equipment, I got my computer guru to film me and make a recording. This worked out well.

Q. Tell us about your latest release. Is it set in Texas?

A. Uncertain Ground is set in Galveston in 1953 during the good old-bad old days which serve as a background for the lead characters who at age 20 are trying to begin their adult lives, to decide for instance, what work to do, who they can love, where they need to go, how to deal with uncertainty. As Galveston itself is built on uncertain ground, it’s the perfect background for these kinds of questions.

Q. Where can we pay you a virtual visit?

Author Website: www.carolynosborn.com
Publisher’s Bookpage: http://www.wingspress.com/book.cfm/114/Uncertain-Ground/Carolyn-Osborn
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001255545278&sk=info
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7374687-uncertain-ground

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  1. 1. This book was first released in 2003.
    2. Email subscriber

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  2. This 2010 release sounds like an interesting read especially for those, like me, who lived in the Galveston area during this time.

  3. I’m going to love Uncertain Ground (2010). My dad had some wild, wild tales about hanging out in the casinos about then. I’m blogging about him at “touchthepast.” He also had some tales about the Boys State School at Gatesville. I’d love to spend an afternoon with Carolyn!

  4. This was published in 2010. I’d love to read this novel. I’ve never been to Texas! Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. This book was published in 2010. I love the cover art. Thanks for the chance to win.


  6. It was published in 2010. Would love to read this!!

  7. I notice that Ms. Osborn was about the same age as her characters at the time Uncertain Ground is set. Did she mean this to be an autobiographical novel or is it based on people she knew then? By the way, the book was published in 2010.

  8. This looks like an intriguing book. The book was released in paperback on Mar 26, 2010 by Wings Press. (I’m not sure when the original hardcover was released)

  9. March 26, 2010

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  10. 2010
    I subscribe via email (feedburner)
    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  11. Louis Burklow, I think that most first novels are, to a degree, autobiographical. Uncertain Ground is a combination of autobiography and invention. I did have a real aunt and uncle—actually step relatives—living in Galveston in the ’50s. And I was fascinated with the island. In this book, I wanted to capture that particular time, one which fit my theme exactly. Galveston remains a grand place with the weight of history, perilous weather, and enormous resilience combined. In the groups I talk to, most of the readers have a connection to the island, no matter where they live now. It’s amazing. And, in Texas I think it’s a symbol of all those questing people looking west for a new life. I refer here, of course, to the immigrants that came through Galveston. Some of them stayed; some moved on. The uncle in the book is the child of a ship’s captain from Glasgow who used his ship’s timber to partially to construct a new house, so out of the old, something new begins. My protagonist, Celia Henderson, by knowing some of the old, and by her own desire to find direction realizes the value of the historic past while forging her way to her own new life. In this way, she achieves a balance.

  12. This sounds like an interesting read. It was released in May of 2010.

    I’m subscribed through Feedburner.


  13. this book was published by wingspress in 2010…thanks for the opportunity to read this wonderful novel…i’m a follower, too

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