‘The Home’ by Karen Osman – The Blog Tour
Plus: The Guest Post
“Writing Tips From My Favourite Authors”
This is the second time I have been lucky enough to secure a place on a Karen Osman Blog Tour, only this time I am starting things off and with the added bonus of a Guest Post from Karen, to get the ball rolling.
The tour itself, is scheduled to last well into September, so there are sure to be many other excellent daily features and reviews you might want to check out.
The home’s manager Ray takes the girls off to his ‘den’ in the garden and the littlies come back crying, and Ray’s wife Kath has special wooden spoons which she saves for beating any of the children who dare to misbehave.
So, when wealthy couple James and Rosemary come to choose a child to adopt, Angela is desperate to escape.
But the scars of her childhood remain, and when Angela’s search for her birth mother Evelyn is successful, their reunion is no fairy tale.
Soon strange and sinister events start to unfold, and Evelyn fears she may not survive her daughter’s return…
As an award-winning author, entrepreneur, luxury travel journalist and editor, I have lived the expat life for almost twenty years across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Originally from the United Kingdom, I have built an impressive enterprise combining my two passions: luxury travel and the English language.
Securing a three-book deal with UK-based Head of Zeus publishing house, following my win at the ‘Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Montegrappa Novel Writing Award 2016’, with my crime-thriller novel, The Good Mother, was the icing on the cake.
I was also included in 2017’s edition of ‘Ahlan’s Hot 100 People’, an accolade recognising the pioneers and game-changers shaping the UAE’s social and cultural landscape.
I founded niche communications company, ‘Travel Ink’ in 2011, providing content writing and strategy, public relations, social media, training, and translation services to hotels, airlines, and tourism establishments. In my role as Managing Director, I oversee a team of writers, editors, PR and social media consultants, to deliver quality content for exceptional results. As a testament to its success, ‘Travel Ink’ was shortlisted as a finalist for the ‘SME Advisor Stars of Business Awards’ in two categories (Hospitality & Tourism and Communications), just one year after the company’s inception.
I have been recognised for my achievements in the areas of entrepreneurship, luxury travel, and the written word and have featured in various regional and international publications including: Hello!, Stylist, Forbes, The National, Ahlan!, and Gulf News, to name a few.
I also hold a number of note-worthy positions including: Travel and Tourism Chair Person for the British Business Group, writer and moderator for Arabian Travel Market, and Vice-President of the Kaizen chapter of Business Network International.
I live in Dubai with my husband and two young sons.
Keep up with all the latest news at my website
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WRITING TIPS FROM MY FAVOURITE AUTHORS
It’s been said that the second book is so much harder to write than the first and I would certainly agree with that. My second book, The Home, which is publishing September 4th 2018, was definitely more difficult to write than The Good Mother.
There were two reasons for this; firstly, there was more pressure to meet a deadline and secondly, I included some dark themes in The Home which weren’t always easy to write about. However, since my author career began, I’ve been interacting with some amazing writers, either participating in their master classes, reading their books, or simply contacting them and asking for advice. Their input has been invaluable during the writing of The Home, so I thought I would share some of their tips which helped me the most.
I bought tickets to participate in Peter James’ master class titled ‘How To Write A Page Turner’, several months ago and it didn’t disappoint. I came away with so many ideas, I couldn’t wait to get writing. One piece of his advice that really stuck with me is to continually ask yourself: does it drive the narrative forward? Apply this to every sentence you write to make sure that the story is well-paced – a critical consideration in the competitive arena of thriller writing.
A wonderful orator, as well as writer, Kate Mosse is a pleasure to listen to. I attended several of her sessions at the ‘Emirates Airline Festival of Literature’, in March 2018 and her dedication to research is inspirational. The Home is set in the 1970s and 1980s and as I was just a young child in the ‘80s, I needed to research to understand the nuances of these decades. While I didn’t quite spend as much time as Mosse (she invested three to four years analysing the 300-year time period for her latest book series!), I did spend several weeks identifying and interviewing women and came across some fascinating stories during the process.
How do you write the perfect crime? This was the question award-winning author Mark Billingham answered during his lecture on the ‘rules of crime writing – and everything you need to know about ignoring them!’ Fabulously entertaining (he used to be a stand-up comedian and actor), if there’s one thing I learnt from Mark it’s this: “There’s so much more to a book than whodunnit – it’s about WHYdunnit.”
Talking to fellow Aria Fiction author Adele O’Neill, who wrote Brothers & Sisters and Behind A Closed Door, she told me that one of the most important things to remember when writing is to know your characters. Her reasoning is that these are the people entrusted to the telling of the story and readers need to be compelled by them. The characters need their own set of complexities, their own opinions, and their own back-stories, then drip-feed readers just enough information to whet their appetite and kick start their imaginations.
When anyone asks me for advice on becoming an author, I tell them two things: write every day and read Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. It is part biography, part collection of tips for the aspiring writer and is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s hard to pick out just one piece of advice so I’ll end this post with my own writing tip – read this book!