Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Update on Blown Mind

I hadn't checked book status in a couple of days, so I decided to do that this afternoon before I had to leave to meet my first tutoring student.

Imagine my shock when I discovered that Burnout was at number 30 (out of about 5000!) on Fictionwise's best-seller list!

And then I discovered that The Y Factor had climbed again -- TO NUMBER THREE!!!

I think they heard the scream in the next county. Maybe the next state.

I honestly don't know what to DO - I never EVER expected this to happen!

I'm so excited I have been shaking, and it was all I could do to keep it under the speed limit on the way to tutor, my adrenaline levels were so high. The thing to understand about me is that, inside, I'm sort of a six-year-old with about 4 decades of experience. And that 6-year-old has just been presented with the ultimate Christmas present. I'm not a braggart. I'm just dancing around the Christmas tree, screaming and singing and laughing and spinning, wanting to share my happiness with everybody around me.

I'm so happy I can't keep it inside.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My mind is blown...

...I am a best-selling author.

On Tuesday the 21st of April, The Y Factor, coauthored by Eppie Award winner Darrell Bain and myself, was released as an e-book. By Wednesday evening, it was #13 on Fictionwise's best-seller list. And it's had legs.

It was a fun book to write, the second in a series about first contact with an alien race, and the politics involved, etc. And Darrell is fun to work with, too. I had high hopes for it.

But my gosh, I never expected this.

I'm still so stunned I can't believe it's real. I don't know how to act, or what to say, or anything. I've tweaked my website a bit, but past that I'm not sure what to DO.

I'd turn cartwheels (if I could), or scream at the top of my lungs (except the neighbors would probably object), or run around in circles (but my bad knees would give out). I GOTTA find a way to vent this and make it real to me! Suggestions, anybody?

If you're interested, you can purchase The Y Factor e-book here and here. (It'll be out in trade paperback this fall.) But you might want to pick up the first book in the series by Bain and my mentor, Travis Taylor, Human By Choice. You can find the ebook here. The paperback will be released soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Burnout Launch Party

I had a small launch party for Burnout today, with close family and friends in attendance.

It went wonderfully, with "space" decorations, dry ice in the punch bowl, and a good friend (who happens to be a gourmet cook) "catering." Delicious spinach dip, hot artichoke-parmesan dip, chicken puffs, teriyaki meatballs, quiche, shrimp cocktail, marinated bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, fruit bowls, meat, cheese and vegetable trays... And champagne toasts!

Some of my friends showed up with books in hand (already! It only hit the market Wednesday!) to be signed and I did so gladly.

I don't think it had quite hit me that my book was out...until today.

I am an author.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The DAY Has Arrived

Well, the day that I've awaited for years has finally arrived. Burnout is officially released.

What is Burnout? Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281 is a science fiction mystery thriller. It is the story of a fictional Space Shuttle disaster which turns out not to be an accident. As the principal investigators dig deeper, they discover the signs of something unusual - and as they do, friends, lovers, and colleagues involved in the investigation begin to die in mysterious “accidents.” They find themselves on the run, searching for answers, wondering who they can - and can’t - trust, in a game of cat and mouse that spans more than one continent, and may span more than one planet.

Who am I? I am a rocket scientist. I hold graduate and undergraduate degrees in four sciences: Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. I am a former payload flight controller, a veteran of over twenty years of working in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defense programs. I have worked on numerous Space Shuttle flights and the International Space Station, and I count the training of astronauts on my resumé. Of those astronauts I trained, one was Kalpana Chawla, a member of the crew lost in the Columbia disaster. Burnout is dedicated to her and her crewmates.

So far, Burnout is generating very good response from advance readers. Comments like:

“Burnout is a compelling, impossible to put down, first novel in the class of Skylark of Space or “Lifeline.” ... It may perhaps be the most realistic view ever published in fiction about what happens behind the scenes at NASA.”
~ Dr. Jim Woosley, Ph.D. physicist and Heinlein essayist.

“Hard-edged SF that wraps a compelling mystery around ‘this is the real thing’ space science. Burnout is tight, tense, and gripping — Osborn tells a damn good story, and tells it well.”
~ Holly Lisle, author of The Ruby Key: Moon & Sun I.

“I just finished reading it [Burnout]. Really well done! Probably my favorite space themed thriller since Shadows of Medusa and Ben Bova's 'Mars' trilogy. I look forward to reading your subsequent novels. You deserve all the credit for a remarkably detailed piece of conspiracy (my favorite subject!).”
~ David Nora, SF short story anthologist.

If the general public likes it as well, I will be happy. I hope they do.

If it sounds interesting to you, Burnout is available at Amazon and Barnes-Noble, as well as directly from my publisher, Twilight Times Books.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I love Spring...

I love everything about Spring. My blue iris are showing off, fairly exploding in blossoms. The hackberry tree has panicles of blooms hanging down, and the Bradford pears are showering white petals like snow. The dogwoods are popping. Even the little tiny purple chickweed blossoms in the grass along the roadside are pretty.

There's just one thing I don't like.

The weather.

You know what I mean: the roller coaster ride of hot/cold/hot/cold, sunny/tornados/sunny/tornados.

Today was a hot tornado day. We had two circulations go by WAY closer to my house than I would have liked, not to mention a couple more come through other parts of the county. And my parents only got power back a couple hours ago. At least we only got quarter-sized hail and below here, instead of the baseball stuff that fell a few miles to the east.

The odd thing is, the hackberry (around which base the iris are clustered) and the iris appear to have survived the bombardment.

Spring is...interesting.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Feedback on Burnout

I'm starting to get feedback from people who've read advance copies of Burnout. Here is one I'm very proud of from a Mensa member:

"I just finished reading it [Burnout]. Really well done! Probably my
favorite space themed thriller since "Shadows of Medusa" and Ben Bova's "Mars"
trilogy. I am glad I got to meet you at the MidSouth Con... Anyway,
I look forward to reading your subsequent novels. You deserve all the
credit for a remarkably detailed piece of conspiracy (my favorite subject!)."

~ David Nora

It doesn't get much better than that!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Well, tonight was interesting. One tornadic circulation went to our north, and a second to our south. I'm trying to keep an eye to the skies as a stormspotter, while simultaneously tutoring a student in physics. The nearby creek is well out of its banks, and even the major roads are close to flooding.


Round two comes about 1-2am tonight.

I love tornado season. *sigh*