Ask the Artist – Author C.H. OsbornePosted: Updated:
I asked three questions of Jefferson County Author C.H. Osborne recently. She is the author of Mirrored.
CT: Can you discuss Mirrored briefly? What genre would you classify it? Can you talk about it in the context of the trilogy or series as planned?
C.H.O: 15 year old Drake Patterson knows nothing about his family when an innocent brush with the law gets him banished to his grandmother's house for the summer. Life in the country with Grandma proves pretty dull, but not for long. Drake quickly learns not only his father but also his grandfather disappeared shortly after his third birthday. Why did the two men leave? Where did they go? Will they ever return? His quest to fill in the blanks from his past leads to the discovery of a secret room behind Grandma's bookshelves. When Drake and his best friend Gwen step inside, the room spins them into Mirrored: a world locked in the iron fist of Commander Ketch where Drake learns the secret of his family’s connection to this strange land.
Mirrored is both an adventure/fantasy and an introduction to The Last Prime trilogy. Book two, just completed and in editing, chronicles the two teen’s reluctant return to Mirrored. For book three, they will be on a rescue mission, and book four is an unexpected call for help from the people of Mirrored.
CT: Can you talk about your writing and writing career?
I graduated with a degree in communications (emphasis writing) many moons ago and did some freelancing before children came along. I got a few minor magazine articles accepted and was a finalist in a short-story competition for a national magazine, but nothing big time.
Mirrored began over fifteen years ago during after-school snacks. Reading a chapter or two of Tom Sawyer, Kidnapped, The Princess and the Goblin, etc., out loud while my children munched cookies served a double purpose. They got familiar with some classic kid’s literature and I got to reread some great books. One day, I decided to throw a middle chapter from an incomplete story of my own at them: the chapter where Drake and Gwen find the door to the mirror room. They liked it!
Life intervened and I got busy directing puppet teams, and writing puppet skits. Mirrored sat on the shelf until my daughter started asking for the rest of the story. When her husband expressed his interest as well, I pulled out the manuscript, blew the dust off and got writing.
In “real life” my husband and I own and operate DOCO Quick Print.
: CT: Can you discuss what it means to be a local author? How local stories and local geography affect your inspiration and stories? Or perhaps it has nothing to do with your writing? Does identification as a local author mean a certain responsibility?
I think an author’s home infuses itself into stories whether they are written about local events or in a fantasy land with no relation to where they live. So far, I’ve not purposely drawn from my North Country experience. That will change as I start book three. It occurs in winter, and up here we know winter! There’s a responsibility with any writing to point out underlying truths honestly; it holds for fiction as well as non-fiction. Every writer is a local writer somewhere. Northern New York has nurtured me my entire adult life. I think recognition of that nurture should result in a respectful use of the locale in any stories.
You can find Mirrored and other books by local authors at Watertown’s own bookstore "The Reading Room" at the Salmon Run Mall.