Another interview with a team-mate from Aria fiction – psychological thriller author Karen Osman!
It’s all about you – what’s your name and what’s your story?
My name is Karen Osman and I’m an author, writing psychological thriller books. I have always written in some form or another from a very young age. I loved it and it was, and continues to be, a daily part of my life – even on holidays! I started writing novels in 2016, when I won the Montegrappa Writing Prize for The Good Mother, which then led to a three-book deal. Prior to that, I set up my own business, Travel Ink, offering content writing services to the travel and tourism industry which still runs today.
Tell us more about your latest book, The Home.
My second novel, The Home, is a psychological thriller, set between the 1970s and 1980s, about successful career woman Angela whose memories of an abusive children’s home affect her adult life. The book delves into the darkness of living in a children’s home, casting a shadow over family ties and what it means to belong. Abandoned as a baby, Angela is desperate to escape her supposed refuge, yet despite being adopted and taken into the hearts of a wealthy couple, the scars of her childhood remain. When Angela discovers the identity of her birth mother Evelyn, their reunion is no fairy tale and as sinister events start to unfold, Evelyn fears she may not survive her daughter’s return.
It was motherhood that inspired the plot; As a mother of two young sons (aged 2 and 4) myself, I still remember that double-edged maelstrom of emotion of those new-born days – a mix of joy and worry – and it’s been a powerful influence in my writing for my new book, The Home. At the same time, I was researching about the horrors of children’s homes in the ‘60s and ‘70s, much of which only came to light many years later.
It’s incredibly disturbing that such events could have happened in places which are supposed to protect children. From here, I started to develop the outline of a plot and the character of Angela was born.
What do you love about your chosen genre?
I love everything about psychological thrillers including the pace, the plot, and the whole premise that even the best of people can be driven to carry out chilling deeds. I also like the fact that this genre makes the reader think and try and work out the twists.
What are you reading at the moment?
Cecilia Ahern’s Roar – a fabulous book. I run an online show called Karen’s Bookshelf and it’s actually the book of the month for that.
Movie Magic – what actors would you cast in the big-screen version of your book?
Angela, one of the main protagonists, is 27 years old, ambitious and career driven and the 1980s, when the book was set, was an interesting time for women. On the one hand, Margaret Thatcher was a powerful example of what could be achieved by women, but on the other hand, sexism was very much present. I could imagine someone like Margot Robbie playing the role. The hardworking personality of Angela is the polar opposite of her birth mother Evelyn, the other main character, who is content to rely on government support and often plays the role of the victim, abstaining from as much responsibility as she can get away with. Maybe Jessica Lange?
What are you working on next?
My third novel, The Perfect Lie, is about a lawyer who is representing a young woman who has been raped. As the case develops, the lawyer is reminded of a past she would rather forget and her perfect life starts to unravel. It’s out in September 2019.
For more info, visit www.karenosman.com