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