Writing with Grace
One of the greatest pleasures of writing is the people you meet and share your work with. Obviously there are the readers, but it is fellow authors, poets and creatives that can bring vibrancy, energy, and much valued support along the way.
Writing is hard work. Of course, it’s great fun — but it is a stupendous commitment, and especially when working as a self-published writer, facing a massive market of books out in the world. Patricia M Osborne is a creative writer, penning novels, poetry and much more. We met some time ago online, but also had the pleasure of sharing a stall at the Southern Book show back in March this year.
I wanted to interview her for my blog because although I have many contacts who share in my Crime Writing addiction, she has interests in other genres and her style of poetry differs from mine. I find that refreshing and engaging, just like her work.
So, enough waffle from me…
Patricia M Osborne is married with grown-up children and grandchildren. She was born in Liverpool and spent time in Bolton as a child and now lives in West Sussex. Patricia is a novelist, she also writes poetry and short fiction. Many of her poems and short stories have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. She is studying for an MA in Creative Writing with University of Brighton. Her debut novel, House of Grace, A Family Saga, set in the 1950s/60s was released in March 2017.
Tell us about you, your writing…
“I love writing in any shape or form. I’ve been writing since a child but it was only in my later years that I decided to study it. At first it was difficult because as I learned the technical details my creativity became stifled. Luckily that didn’t last for too long.
I pride myself on being a novelist and poet but I do sometimes write short stories and flash fiction. I’ve written screenplays as part of my advanced creative writing course with the Open University and last year I wrote a play for the stage and I’d like to attempt a radio play at some point.”
Your novel “House of Grace” is now just over a year old — congrats for that. Tell us a bit about the book, what it’s about and so on.
“House of Grace is a family saga that opens in 1950 with my protagonist, Grace Granville, as a sixteen-year-old. She dreams of being a successful fashion designer but her father, Lord Granville, has other ideas. The reader travels through two decades with Grace as she struggles with family conflict, poverty and tragedy.”
Where did the book come from? What was the inspiration behind it?
“House of Grace was born as a screenplay for my OU Advanced Creative Writing dissertation. Inspiration was derived from George Orwell’s Road to Wigan Pier, Mr Selfridge and House of Elliott.”
Your readers have been loving it, loads of great reviews. Congrats for that. Which reviews have stood out for you the most? Have there been any surprises in what people enjoy the most?
“One review states, ‘it’s the kind of book to curl up with, in an armchair,’ and it is. It’s an easy read with small chapters that you can stop and start with ease. I was very flattered by another that includes, ‘Patricia Osborne’s debut novel is a delightful read, with elements reminiscent of early Barbara Bradford Taylor.’ I love Barbara Bradford Taylor’s early writing.”
What’s next in the Grace story line?
“The Coal Miner’s Son follows on from House of Grace and is a work in progress. It can also be read as a stand-alone. The reader learns more about George and Elizabeth, Grace’s sister, and it is told by dual narrators, George and Elizabeth.”
You’re also a keen poet, and I understand you have a couple of collections in the pipeline. What can you tell us about those?
“Yes, I have two collections that I hope to release shortly. The first is told mostly in the narrative style and is based on research from my recent role as Poet in Residence at the local park. I’ve taken available historic facts and written a fictional anthology titled, In a Delightful Country.
The Second is an anthology which includes nature, a lost identity theme, and some darker poems. This collection will be titled White Wings Fall.”
I’d love to share a taste of your poetry to my readers here — can we have a sneaky snippet?
“Here’s my Seagull Sequence which is written in three separate poems. I was inspired to write this after watching the birds on my local lake over three consecutive weeks.”
in snow coats
above the jewelled lake,
a wrong turn
away from the sea.
High amongst clouds,
flip up and down,
stop, turn around, split,
aim for invasion.
White wings fall
like tissue paper
on rippled waves.
Invasion from Brighton
Gallant geese evacuate,
driven out by snowy invaders,
seagulls squawk to claim their victory.
Mottled mallard and widgeon
scatter to sheltered bays,
concealed from flocks of snow-white birds
that hover above the storm-kissed lake.
Red-beaked moorhens veiled from view,
bide their time for militant gulls to rocket away
and evacuees return.
return to fold,
Yellow croci spring
up in green,
pink camellias cluster
the circle of sun-washed water.
Coots and moorhens
boasting red and white beaks
Mallard and widgeon
emerge from hiding,
a pure white
feathered duck in tow.
I know you’re very like me for having plenty of ideas and plans. What else can we look forward to over the next year or so?
“Well definitely The Coal Miner’s Son and the two poetry collections, but I’m also working on another poetry collection for my MA dissertation. This consists of fairy and folklore study to complete an anthology of that theme. I’m also looking at maybe publishing a short story collection and of course I hope to have started work on Book 3 in The House of Grace series too.”