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“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.”
The Case of the Displaced Detective series by Stephanie Osborn...
NEW October release!
The Case of the Displaced Detective: Book VI
Fear in the French Quarter
Fear in the French Quarter involves a jaunt by Sherlock Holmes and his wife, the world-class hyperspatial physicist Dr. Skye Chadwick- Holmes, to New Orleans. There, they investigate ghostly apparitions, strange disappearances, and challenge threats to the very universe they call home.
The Case of the Displaced Detective: Book I
The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival, a SF mystery, finds hyperspatial physicist Dr. Skye Chadwick discovering alternate realities. In one, she finds a Sherlock Holmes destined to die at Reichenbach, and rescues him. Can Holmes thrive in our modern world? Is Chadwick Holmes' new "Watson"?
Discounted to 99 cents for October
The Case of the Displaced Detective: Book II
Having foiled sabotage of Project: Tesseract, Sherlock Holmes and Skye Chadwick try to find the spies responsible. But they don’t even know what the spies want! Their relationship complicates matters; both feel strong attraction, but Holmes especially refuses to admit it. Can they work out their relationship? Can they determine why the spies are after the tesseract? And can they stop it?
Discounted for October
The Case of the Cosmological Killer: Book III
The Rendlesham Incident
In 1980, RAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge were plagued by UFO sightings that were never solved. Now a resident of Suffolk has died of fright during a new UFO encounter. On holiday in London, Sherlock Holmes and Skye Chadwick-Holmes are called upon by Her Majesty's Secret Service to investigate the death.
Discounted for October
The Case of the Cosmological Killer: Book IV
Endings and Beginnings
Having ascertained that the purported UFO is actually another tesseract desperate to reach Skye for help, Holmes must determine the true cause of McFarlane's death. While he does this, Skye works frantically to save another version of themselves from death, as their tesseract malfunctions, threatening to destroy not only the other continuum, but Holmes' and Skye's, as well as untold others.
Discounted for October
The Case of the Displaced Detective: Omnibus
...collects the first four books of the series into one electronic book!
The Case of the Displaced Detective: Book V
A Case of Spontaneous Combustion
When an entire English village is wiped out in apparent mass spontaneous combustion, London contacts The Holmes Agency to investigate. Holmes goes undercover to find a terror ring. In Colorado, Skye battles raging wildfires and mustangs, believing Holmes has abandoned her. What caused the horror in Stonegrange? Can Holmes stop the terrorists before they unleash their outré weapon again?
October 1, 2016 ...
Illustration © 2016 A.M. Scott
October 1, 2016 ... Author Stephanie Osborn
Fear in the French Quarter by Stephanie Osborn
Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
Almost none of my stories are written in sequence. I don’t start at the beginning and write until I get to the end. I start wherever inspiration strikes and write a scene or a sequence, then I write another piece that comes to me, and another, and another, and then I play connect the dots.
What made you want to become a writer?
I’ve always loved to read. I’ve actually been writing since elementary school. I wrote poetry and short stories, and even a play that, in retrospect, was horribly derivative, but was evidently decent enough that the teacher let me cast, rehearse, and produce it for the class. So I don’t know that it was ever about BECOMING a writer, as much as it was simply taking the steps to get what I was already writing published.
Million dollar question, are you working on another book?
Always! At this point, if I’m NOT writing something, I get bored and frustrated. In fact, I’m writing an entire series, the Division One series. It’s a SF mystery action adventure, where I drop back and tell the story of the people who are the basis of the urban legend about the mysterious people who show up at UFO sightings, confiscate the evidence, then vanish. Sure, there have been attempts to do it on the small and large screen, but I thought I’d drop back to the original urban legends and put my own spin on it.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have books that are waiting to be published, but the only things that are not going to be published, or not able to be published, are the things I wrote to practice my skills before I sold my first book.
What do you think about the ebook revolution?
I find it interesting. It doesn’t really surprise me; this sort of thing has been predicted by science fiction writers for decades.
What is your advice to Indie Authors? On writing? Marketing?
Read. Read read read read. Then read some more. And read the good stuff. Because when you do, you absorb it into your subconscious and it becomes a part of you. Then, when you sit down to write your own works, you will find that your subconscious distils that “good stuff” back out, and into your own work.
I’m afraid I can’t help much with marketing. I’m still learning that one myself. I have degrees in several sciences, and I’m a writer, but I’m not a businesswoman. I’m having to learn all this stuff.
Do you still write? If so, what does your typical day look like?
Of course I still write! The day I stop will be the day they plant me in a six-foot-deep hole in the ground.
A typical day starts around noon. (I’m a night owl.) I get up, sit for a bit to wake up, eat a protein bar, watch the noon news, boot the computer. Then I check email and some housekeeping things like that, look to see what I have on tap for the day (appointments, interviews, etc.) and fire off any coordinating emails needed for that. I check my webcomics last, then boot MSWord and open up the current WIP. I hit the little flag to take me to where I left off, then back up to a little before where I started writing the day before. I read through it, editing as I go, then pick up where I left off and keep writing as long as I can.
It isn’t unusual for me to keep writing until the wee sma’s. Last night, for instance, I was still writing at 4am. I finally made myself stop, and climbed into bed around 4:30am. Then I get up around normal people’s lunchtime the next day and start all over again.
Most Sundays are a little bit different, in that that’s most often the day that my husband Darrell and I try to keep free, so we can get out and about. If I’m let, I will not stick my nose out of the house for weeks on end, which isn’t good or healthy. So we try to reserve at least one day a week for general excursions, even if it’s only grabbing brunch and getting groceries. Sometimes we venture farther afield, say to Nashville or Birmingham or Chattanooga, all of which are day trips from Huntsville. It gets me out and about, sunshine and fresh air and something other than the four walls and computer screen, and I’m usually the better for it.
What is your writing style?
You mean plotter or pantser? I am naturally a pantser, but because I write SF mysteries, I have to plot at least a little bit. Otherwise the investigation gets all messed up.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer preferred, but if I have an idea while I’m out and about I’ll write it down in the notebook I keep with me at all times, to be transferred to computer later.
Do you write alone or in public?
I prefer to write alone, but if I’m in the flow and comfortable, it really doesn’t matter. I can just concentrate better in the quiet, which usually requires being alone.
Music or silence?
Either one works. But if there’s music playing, it MUST be instrumental, and it must NEVER have had lyrics...otherwise I stop writing and start singing along, or googling the lyrics ‘cause I can’t remember the words!
Goals of certain # of words a week or when inspiration strikes?
When inspiration strikes. I like to try to get at least 500 words in, even if I’m sick, unless I’m only editing, when the word count is often smaller. But I find that if I am too hard-and-fast about it, I end up blocked and can’t write diddly. So I let the inspiration flow as much as I can. But I still sit down and try to write almost every day. A good word-count day runs around 3000-4000 words. A really good day tops 5000. A GREAT day will top 10,000. And yes, I have had great days.
What tactics do you have when writing? (For example: outline or just write)
Oh, I just write. If the elements are there, and I’m seeing the scene unfold in my head, I gotta sit down and start writing it. It will often get modified as the story develops, so that the whole thing flows, but I gotta get that scene down from the invisible film that’s playing in my head.
What have you put most of your effort into regarding writing?
Well, I spend A LOT of time researching. Between the cutting-edge science needed to develop the extrapolations to science fiction, AND the need to develop a good mystery, determine clues, ascertain how said clues would be processed, PLUS the locations, I estimate I spend at least as much time researching for any given book as I do writing it.
What is/are your book(s) about?
Fear in the French Quarter is the sixth book in the Displaced Detective series. In that series, Dr. Skye Chadwick develops Project Tesseract to study alternate realities, and inadvertently ends up yanking a version of Sherlock Holmes from an alternate Victorian era to the modern day. Since, in his history, he and Moriarty were both to have died at Reichenbach, he has to stay there and learn to be a modern male...complete with his knowledge base, talents, and skill set.
Fear in the French Quarter finds him and Chadwick — who has proven to be his parallel, and a suitable mate — visiting New Orleans for business and pleasure, along with Skye’s universe’s version of Watson, who served in the modern Afghan conflict and is now an elderly, retired widower. There, they investigate ghostly apparitions, strange disappearances, and challenge threats to the very universe they call home.
It was supposed to be a working holiday for Skye and Sherlock, along with their friend, the modern day version of Doctor Watson — some federal training that also gave them the chance to explore New Orleans, as the ghosts of the French Quarter become exponentially more active. When the couple uncovers an imminently catastrophic cause, whose epicenter lies squarely in the middle of Le Vieux Carré, they must race against time to stop it before the whole thing breaks wide open — and more than one universe is destroyed.
What is your favorite part of the book?
The climax, where they are racing through the French Quarter against the clock, to stop a cosmological catastrophe, even as the hauntings go mad and the 1800s New Orleans begins to take over.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
HA! Not infrequently I have very little control over where the story goes. Oh, I can present the characters with a given situation, and if I have written several books with them, I pretty much know how they will react. But every now and then, one of ‘em will put a foot down and refuse to do anything other than what s/he insists is what s/he would do. And sometimes that means rewriting a whole subplot, or if I’m not that far along, reworking my planned subplot.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Sherlock Holmes, of course! I’d want to tag along with him as he was investigating a crime scene, but I’d ask him up front to teach me as he went, and I’d try to learn and get better. I’ve already learned a lot about being observant and pulling information from what I observe, just from writing the man! How much more, if I could be taught by him on the job? Admittedly, depending on the nature of the crime, I might have to barf at some point, but hopefully he’d remember when he was learning, too...
What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
I always find that there is a difference between a criticism and a critique. Critiques enable me to see how to make my writing better, and while they may be painful at the time, I can see the critiquer’s point; I may not always agree, but often I can find something in there that helps improve my skills.
Criticisms invariably derive from someone who comes to my work with preconceived notions, and often they don’t read the book(s) carefully, or may not even bother to finish, before delivering their scathing — and almost always wholly inaccurate — remarks, which in the end are only their opinions based upon said preconceived notions.
What has been the best compliment?
The recent bestowal of a Silver Falchion AwardTM to the first book in the Displaced Detective prequel series. The Sherlock Holmes: Gentleman Aegis series tells of the adventures of “my” Holmes in his original universe as a young man, beginning with Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy’s Curse, which won the award in August of this year.
What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?
One fan told me that I had brought Holmes back to life for her. He was no longer a two-dimensional character on a page, but a living, breathing person with thoughts and feelings and opinions. She said, "It's like you took Holmes out from under a dusty glass dome in a shadowy Victorian parlor crammed with momentos [sic] and knick-knacks and gave him a new lease on life. Skye is cool too and their relationship helps make the multiverse a less lonely place."
I also got an interesting inquiry shortly after the movie theatre mass shooting in Boulder, CO. The shooter’s name was John Holmes, if memory serves. Because one of the bases for the Displaced Detective series is in Colorado Springs (Project Tesseract was set in Schriever AFB), one fan emailed me to ask if the shooter had been a relative of Holmes’, and was he upset about it? Only toward the end of the email did the fan catch herself and remark that she had forgotten he was a literary character.
What book that you have read has most influenced your life?
I suppose the Bible, given I tend to have a very deep faith.
Who is your favorite author?
Oh geez, too many to count. Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, James Joyce, Ray Bradbury, Travis Taylor, Lois McMaster Bujold, just to name a few. And yes, across multiple eras, there.
Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I appreciate you and I thank you very much for your continued support. I probably don’t say it nearly often enough.
What gives you inspiration for your book(s)?
Hon, if I knew that, I'd bottle it and sell it! I have been called prolific numerous times. I think I have a slight advantage in that I have also been called a polymath, so I have a lot of background material to draw on, and am not afraid of mixing "one from column A, one from column B, and one from column C." In all seriousness, I do think that my background and my broad education, coupled with a tendency to go through life exploring and trying out new things, has led me to a place where I can come up with all these ideas, then chase 'em to their logical conclusion, and write it all down in an interesting fashion.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Originally I tended to “cast” my books — find an actor or actress who looked like how I envisioned the character. It was a way of helping me capture the character. As I developed as a writer, I found I preferred to create something entirely from my own head. These days, I have been getting requests to “Tuckerize”
Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?
About three years ago, my husband and I were invited to attend CONtraflow, a science fiction convention in New Orleans. While we were there, our friends took us on a whirlwind tour of the Quarter. We were walking down Pirates' Alley hard by the cathedral...when I suddenly "became aware" that the Holmeses were ALSO walking along the Alley in THEIR universe, and having a bit of an adventure with a would-be fortune teller. As we progressed down to Bourbon Street and thence to our restaurant for dinner, so did they...and I was "aware" of their experiences along the way!
I'd had in mind prior to that to do some sort of modern ghost story, a la Hound of the Baskervilles, but was originally planning to set it in some European castle. But I suddenly realized, "the most haunted city in the USA" was right in front of me — why did I need to set the ghost story in a European castle?
The next day, I sat down at my book table at the convention, pulled out some note paper and a pen, and started scribbling down what I'd "seen" as we walked. That's all I had at that point -- just the realization that they were visiting New Orleans. A quick discussion with some fellow authors, and I had the book's title -- Fear in the French Quarter. And I knew that I was going to take that modern haunting idea and transfer it to America, to New Orleans...and while there was more that had to be thrashed out, that was it — the book had its shape.
That said, I realized there was still a lot I didn't know about New Orleans -- a lot of the culture, the various blends of cultures — Cajun, Creole, Redstick Creek, Spanish, French, English, so many cultures elbow to elbow in one place! The history of the place, a knowledge of the hauntings, an understanding of the Cajun dialect (one of my characters is a hard core Cajun youth), and more. I emailed right and left, studied up all I could online, but in the end, I still went back to New Orleans, to CONtraflow last year, partly so I could do more research. They kindly scheduled my panels in blocks at my request, and put their guest liaison — who happened to be a tour guide in her day job! — at my use. I have so very many notes from that weekend! It was a delight.
Plus meeting with several different ghost hunters and picking their brains. I knew I was unlikely to manage to go on an actual ghost hunt — I have anxiety disorder and a natural tendency to insomnia anyway! I wouldn't have been able to sleep for a good six months if I'd done that, especially if anything showed up! So instead I met with several and just fired as many questions at them as I could, and they told stories...oy, they told stories! And there was lots of stuff in there that I could use.
And then, of course, there was the cutting-edge science — I have degrees in several sciences myself, but I also have a beta reader who is a PhD particle physicist — we went to graduate school together — and he brainstorms with me. Plus an old high school chum is currently the head of our hometown PD's CSI team, as well as being in charge of the Evidence department, so I had a ready-made expert on police investigative procedure!
The end result is a fast, exciting read, a dangerous romp through New Orleans' French Quarter, led by none other than Sherlock Holmes.
What do you love most about the writing process?
Seeing a world develop under my fingers, in my mind, populated by characters who never existed until I dreamed them up.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
I don’t have a favorite. Asking an author who is his/her favorite character is like asking parents which is their favorite child!
Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?
Not any more. I used to be a rocket scientist — no, really, I did. I worked at the Marshall Space Flight Center here in Huntsville AL as a payload flight controller for the Space Shuttle, then later for ISS. After Columbia’s fatal voyage, in which I lost a friend, I started thinking about getting out of the business. Eventually it all led to where I am now, a full-time writer with — by the end of this year — thirty titles which I’ve authored, co-authored, or to which I’ve contributed.
Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?
I want to build my readership and start making a serious living at this writing business! My husband has done a wonderful job allowing me to develop my craft, but he’s a heart patient and I need to start taking some of the load off him.
Have you thought about joining with another author to write a book?
I’ve co-authored four books already. I’m working on another co-authored book, and I’ve contributed to 8 anthologies and such. So...yeah!
Do you consider yourself to be a successful writer? If so, why? If not, what would make you successful?
Yes and no. I’m successful in that I have a large body of work out there, that people like, and I’ve got characters that people think of as real people. So in that regard, I’m very successful. However, like many authors these days, financially, not so much. With the opening of indie, the market is becoming more difficult for authors to find and reach their fan bases, more splintered. The stereotype of the well-to-do, or even rich, author (like Jessica Fletcher or Richard Castle) isn’t realistic. Oh sure, there are a few authors out there who are quite comfortably off, even rich, and those are usually the ones you can use one name to identify — Rowling, King, etc. But there’s a prevailing, and highly incorrect, view out there that ALL authors are well off and raking it in... and it’s simply not true. And yes, I’ve run into that.
What genre do you consider your books? Have you considered writing in another genre?
I blend genres. I write science fiction mysteries, hence why I’m known as The Interstellar Woman of Mystery. But yes, I have tried my hand at other types, such as fantasy, horror, and romance. But I’m best known for my science fiction mysteries.
What do your friends and family think of your writing?
I think they’re generally pleased by it. I hope so, anyway.
What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?
The one I am most like, according to friends — Holmes — is the one I’m most likely and least likely to get along with, simultaneously!
What would the main character in your book have to say about you?
Nobody’s ever asked me this, but I’ve still thought about it. I think he would say that, while I am an opinionated scribe, I am a straight shooter and someone he could depend on. I’d like to hope he’d think that of me, at any rate. It’s what I try to be to my friends.
Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
Depends on the field. But the one probably most of your readers would know is this actor guy, name of Tommy Lee Jones. For some few years I played polo, and so do he and his wife, so occasionally I would run into them at one match or another. We were on a first-name basis by the time my knees went and I had to leave the sport, but the first time I met him, I DID get his autograph.
If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction who would you write about?
I’m probably already doing it with Sherlock Holmes, at least in terms of fiction. In terms of nonfiction, I have in mind to one day try to write a biographical novel of Jesus from a certain perspective. But it would take a LOT of research, of a sort that will be very hard to do, to get it right. And I’m not sure my health would permit hiking over Israel to get the imagery correct, not any more.
How did you get to be so witty, funny, and good looking?
The looks, you can attribute to my parents — it’s their genetics! The wit and humor is a combination of my own grey matter combined with years of pairing with my husband, a theatre & art double major! He is the sort of person who understands me and can put a smile on my face even when I’m crying over something disastrous. Over the years I’ve learned from him; I even cribbed some of his jokes and one-liners. Practice makes perfect, they say. So I’m practicing!
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Osborn/e/B0026DM46M/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1429811278&sr=8-1