Thank you Florence for the pleasure of an interview and congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. Please tell me about your story, "The Coach House."
“The Coach House” story begins in 1945 Chicago. Newlyweds Marie Marchetti and her husband, Richard, have the perfect life together. Or at least it seems until Marie discovers cryptic receipts hidden in their basement and a gun in Richard's desk drawer. When she learns he secretly attends a mobster’s funeral, her suspicions are heightened, and when she inadvertently interrupts a meeting between him and his so-called business associates in their home, he causes her to fall down the basement steps, compelling Marie to run for her life.
Ending up in Atchison, Kansas, Marie rents a coach house apartment tucked behind a three-story Victorian home and quietly sets up a new life for herself. Richard soon learns her whereabouts and lets her know he is not out of the picture yet, but ironically, it is the discovery of the identity of Marie’s real father and his ethnicity that unexpectedly affect her life more than Richard ever could.
This looks like an intense read, what inspired you to write this story?
Inspiration for this story culminated over a period of several years. Each time I had a thought about what would make a good story, regardless of where I was, I wrote it down. The idea may have come to me while waiting on a street corner for the light to change, or in a business meeting, or even in my sleep. 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 a story emerged. I saved the leftovers for future books.
Chicago 1945 is an interesting period of time in the US. Did you have to do any research for that period? If, so please explain.
It’s surprising how much research I had to do for this book. The colloquialism had to be appropriate for the time period as did current events, clothing, cars, movies, and popular songs. Sometimes I had to look up the most mundane things, like whether there were phone booths in 1945 or phones in hotel rooms. There were hundreds of little details I had to research in order to make the story convincing.
The difficult scenes for me were ones that involved racism. The discrimination that occurred in the 1940s was unconscionable, and it troubled me to write narrative that fed into it.
Is there a message in your story you would like readers to grasp?
I hope my story confirms for the readers that outward appearances do not and should not matter, and regardless of how insurmountable something appears to be in your life when you’re in the midst of it, there is always a solution.
What is your next book project?
“Daughters” is the sequel to “The Coach House” and is expected to be released later this month. In “Daughters,” Marie gets to know her biological father and his family and faces her ethnicity head on while trying to figure out exactly where she belongs in society and relationships.
My third book, “Mystic Coins” is in the works. The male protagonist in this novel, Lee Winekoop, comes from extremely wealthy parents who give him everything anyone would ever need to be successful in life. That seems to work for his two older brothers, but unfortunately, Lee can't seem to do anything right. "Mystic Coins" is the story of how a young man deals with weaknesses, frustrations and feelings of inadequacy, but more importantly, it is the story of differing views on what defines success.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished a wonderful book titled, “Searching For Lincoln’s Ghost” that was written by another first-time novelist, Barbara Dzikowski, who does an exemplary job channeling a young girl’s journey into finding answers about what happens after you die.
How did you discover indieBRAG?
Actually indieBRAG discovered me. I received an e-mail from president, Geraldine Clouston, telling me she had been perusing my website and thought I might be interested in her organization. And she was so right!
What is your favorite quote?
I post my favorite quotes related to authors and writing on my Wednesday blogs, and one of my very favorites was initially said by Douglas Adams. “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
Florence Osmund grew up in an old Victorian home in Libertyville, 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 working in corporate America. Osmund currently resides in Chicago where she is working on the sequel to this novel.
A message from BRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Florence Osmund who is the author of, The Coach House, one of our medallion honorees at www.bragmedallion.com. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, 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 The Coach House merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.