Author Stephanie Osborn is a bona fide rocket scientist, as well as an amazing author. She works so hard, I don’t know how she has time to write, but she does. When we first started batting around the idea of Cereal Authors, she was one of the first people I thought of.
Award-winning author Stephanie Osborn, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery, is a veteran of more than 20 years in civilian/military space programs, with graduate and undergraduate degrees in four sciences: astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, and she is “fluent” in several more, including geology and anatomy. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to some 35 books, including the celebrated science-fiction mystery, Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281. She is the co-author of the Cresperian Saga book series, and has written the critically acclaimed Displaced Detective Series, described as “Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files,” and the award-winning, exciting Sherlock Holmes: Gentleman Aegis series. Her newest venture: Division One, her take on the urban legend of the mysterious people who make things…disappear. In addition to her writing, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery now happily “pays it forward,” teaching math and science through numerous media including radio, podcasting and public speaking, as well as working with SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank.
Have you ever, over the years, lost your self in a certain piece (novel) to such a degree your family, friends, and even YOU, didn’t recognize yourself, and if so was it worth it?
I’m afraid I don’t really understand this question. Do you mean was I so absorbed in it that I lost track of the outside world? Sure; my husband learned early on to make plenty of noise coming into a room, else he was apt to have to peel me off the ceiling fan as soon as he said anything.
Or do you mean that I put myself into a novel? Because I put myself into ALL the characters I’ve ever written. I use a theatre technique called “becoming.” I find a facet of my personality, however small, that is appropriate to the character I’m writing (good guy, bad guy, it doesn’t matter), and that becomes the foundation for the character’s personality. Then I build on it, adding layers, until I have as nearly a fully-rounded character as I need for the situation.
Describe your Muse and the working relationship you share.
I don’t know that I really have a muse as such. Or if I do, it tends to be one or two of the main characters of whatever book I’m writing.
Or, What is the longest it has taken you to write a book?
It’s taken me as long as ten years to write a book. My first book, Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281, is about a Space Shuttle disaster, and I was working the Space Shuttle program when I started writing it, and the same scenario (minus sabotage) actually wound up happening to shuttle Columbia (WITH a friend of mine aboard) before I could get it polished and published. All of that has a tendency to mess with your head, and I had to periodically stop and put the manuscript away while I got some emotional distance on things, before picking it up and resuming writing.
On the other hand, it took me two months to turn out the first two books in the Displaced Detective series.
If you had to start your writing career over would you do anything differently?
Oh, my. That’s the classic, “If I only knew then what I know now…” but I didn’t, and I wouldn’t. There’s probably a few things I might have done differently, but I just don’t know. I did the best I could with what I had. I seldom “do” regrets like that. That way just lies discontent with what I have now.
What are your publishing goals? Meaning: Would you like to become a bestseller or just make a comfortable living at it?
Oh, I think, if we’re honest, we’d all love to become a bestseller. That said, I would be very happy making a comfortable living at it. I’m still working on that.
What does your favorite book say to you? What do you feel it might say to someone else? (could be either your own work or that of someone else)
Well, the first trick, for me, is picking A favorite book. I can’t even pick a favorite writer! But I think the books I tend to like, to read again and again, speak to me about potential: both of myself and of humanity as a whole. About where we are, and where we could go. About intellect, its power, and how it must be used for good. And how misusing it can result in some subtly horrifying results.
So the works of Arthur Conan Doyle (notably his Sherlock Holmes works), Ray Bradbury, Asimov, and Heinlein tend to make me sit up and take notice.
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