Stephanie: Florence Osmund grew up in an old Victorian home in Illinois, complete with a coach house, the same house she used as inspiration for her first two books. She earned her master’s degree from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and has obtained more than three decades of experience in corporate America. Her notable website is dedicated primarily to helping new authors—offering advice she wishes she had received before starting her first novel. Osmund currently resides in Chicago where she is working on her next novel.
Florence, thank you for chatting with me again and congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your story, Daughters. Please tell me about your book.
Florence: The year is 1949, and twenty-four-year-old Marie Marchetti has just discovered the identity of her father, Jonathan Brooks, the father she never knew. She hopes the invitation from him to spend two weeks with her newfound family over Thanksgiving will help uncover vital truths about herself. Discovering who her father is also means discovering her own ethnicity, and her strong need to understand who she really is and where she belongs drives her to seek peace and truth in her life. A lot happens as a result of Marieʾs Thanksgiving visit. But the most life-altering consequence of it unexpectedly grows out of an encounter with a twelve-year-old girl named Rachael.
Why did you chose 1949 to write your story, and what interests you about writing period pieces?
Florence: The reason I may be drawn to that era is because I like developing a story without regard to modern technology. Cell phones, the Internet, iPads, iPods, and the like add a dimension in life’s situations I don’t care to consider. I would rather develop characters who use their raw talents to approach what life throws at them, without the advantage (or encumbrance, depending on the situation) of technology. But I also like the romanticism of that era— the music, the movies, the way people dressed up for the theater, and the way men courted women.
How long did it take you to write your story, and were there any challenges?
Florence: Oh, there were challenges, alright. The first book I wrote (which was later cut in two, resulting in “The Coach House” and “Daughters”) was written without any training whatsoever. I made just about every mistake an author can make. After taking a few classes, reading every article and book I could find on how to write a novel, and scrutinizing other authors’ works, I spent so much time fixing the mistakes, I think it may have been easier to start over. As a result, it took three and a half years to publish my first two books.
Please tell me a little about Marie Marchetti. What are some of her strengths and weaknesses?
Florence: I created Marie to be a woman before her time. Marie worked her way up to manager of Marshall Fields’ flagship store in downtown Chicago, when back then, only men held the higher level management positions. I created her to be strong, intelligent, and perseverant, yet vulnerable and sensitive.
What inspired you to write this story?
Florence: Long before I started writing, I had a myriad of thoughts about what could make a good novel. My inspirations came from everyday life —in business meetings, observing strangers out and about doing their business, listening to friends talk about their lives, etc. Every time I had an idea, I wrote it down. Then when I retired and was ready to start writing my first book, I gathered all these scraps of paper I had accumulated, sorted them into piles, and before long Marie Marchetti’s story emerged.
What genre does it fall under, and who designed your book cover?
Florence: I have been categorizing this book under literary fiction. I believe it could also be classified as mainstream fiction, women’s fiction, and in some cases, historical fiction. The cover was designed by Rachael Mahaffey. http://www.jacketflap.com/work.asp?member=RMahaffey
Where can readers buy your book?
Florence: There are four ways to purchase this book.
- Directly from me on my website (paperback only): http://florenceosmund.com/buy_the_authors_books
- On Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/Florence-Osmund/e/B007ZQJC6U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
- Directly from the publisher (paperback only): www.createspace.com/3725529
- Or order in paperback from any bookstore (tell them wholesale distributor Ingram as well as Baker & Taylor have it available).
What is your next book project?
Florence: I am currently writing a novel titled “Red Clover.” Lee Oliver Winekoop is born into exceptional wealth, but despite having been given extraordinary opportunities, he struggles with even the smallest undertakings. The increasing feeling of inadequacy he endures as a result eventually affects everything in his life. What Lee does on his journey into manhood is surprising; the variety of roadblocks he confronts is unnerving; and the implausible cast of characters he befriends along the way is amusing. This book is about Lee’s life journey to success—as he has exclusively and creatively defined it.
How often do you write, and where in your home is your favorite spot to do so?
Florence: I write just about every day at my desk that’s nestled into a bay window of my bedroom overlooking Lake Michigan. I find the water and the activity on the lake both thought-provoking and calming.
What do you like most about writing?
Florence: In addition to stimulating the creative side of my brain, writing gives me the opportunity to make sense of things that trouble me and then share my views with others—vicariously through my characters.
Thank you, Florence!
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/florenceosmundbooks
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Florence-Osmund/e/B007ZQJC6U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
A message from BRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Florence Osmund, who is the author of, Daughters, one of our medallion honorees at www.bragmedallion.com . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Daughter merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.