Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To Our Veterans

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I have been derelict

Dear readers, please forgive me. I have been derelict in my attentions to this blog. I can only plead that I have been up to my eyeballs in manuscripts. For a writer, this is a good thing, yes? Since the summer started I have collaborated with Darrell Bain on the third book in the Cresperia Series, called The Cresperian Alliance; it is now under contract. It is the sequel to Human By Choice and The Y Factor, which latter will be coming out in print in December, just in time for the holidays.

The Cresperian Alliance should come out in e-book in January, and in print next summer.

I have also collaborated with Travis "Doc" Taylor, my mentor, on a book called Extraction Point! which we are hoping to be the first in a series. I completed Book 6 in an as-yet-unsold series of science fiction mysteries. I edited yet another book for submission to a publisher. And now I've started on the sequel to Burnout, tentatively called Escape Velocity.

In addition to this, I have been doing booksignings and guest appearances at conventions and interviews and goodness knows what else. I hadn't a day off from Labor Day through the first weekend of October. Just over a week ago I did a day trip (!) from Huntsville, AL to Jackson, MS for a booksigning. I will be appearing this Wednesday night at 9pm EDT on the blogtalkradio show Premium Views, and I will be in Corinth, MS the first Saturday in October for another talk and booksigning.

I've been a busy little rocket scientist. I hope that helps make up for the lack of updates here. I'll try to do better in future.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Updates on The Cresperian Series

The Cresperian Series, consisting of Human By Choice (Darrell Bain and Travis S. Taylor), and The Y Factor (Darrell Bain and Stephanie Osborn) now has a third book.

The Cresperian Alliance (Stephanie Osborn and Darrell Bain) is the next in the saga of the gentle "Crispies" and their interactions with the human race. The Cresperian Alliance sees the return of Earth's first starships from Cresperia. An alliance has been formed between the advanced, but peace-loving, Cresperians, and the more volatile humans. But now there's another race involved, allied with neither. And the Snappers, while advanced, aren't so friendly or peace-loving. Will the Snappers decide to expand their interplanetary empire? If so, in what direction...? What should Cresperia do? What should Earth do? And will the Cresperian alliance hold, should the worst happen?

Contract for The Cresperian Alliance is IN HAND! Tentative ebook publication is scheduled for Jan 15, 2010. Tentative trade paperback print publication is slated for Jul 15, 2010.

Human By Choice was released in trade paper last month, and simultaneously garnered the Dream Realm Award!

And my husband, Darrell Osborn, who created the cover art for Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281, has been asked by Twilight Times Books to create art concepts for the cover of The Y Factor!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Burnout Products Now Available!

I have some Burnout products available at CafePress at "The Doctor's Lab." This is the ORIGINAL version of the cover art, created by my husband, Darrell "Doc" Osborn, especially for my book, available nowhere else!

AAAAND, Burnout is now back in stock at stores!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My first PopSyndicate article is up!

It's called It Ain't Rocket Science - Oh Wait, It Is! This month's article is on the World Science Fiction Convention which is this weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Burnout Reviewed in the Dallas Examiner

Ethan Nahte has given Burnout a WONDERFUL review in the Dallas Examiner! Check it out!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Burnout has a new book trailer!

Thanks to the good (and talented!) folk at Book Candy Studios, I have a truly wonderful trailer to promote Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281! You can find it on my website, as well as my MySpace and Facebook pages. And now you can view it here!

To purchase your copy of Burnout, go here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Burnout Availability

I am aware that Burnout is currently showing up as "out of stock" at the major online print bookstores. Please be patient; it is not out of print. There has been a database error (I'm not sure where, but suspect with the distributors) that is causing it to show up this way. We are actively troubleshooting the problem. Meanwhile, copies may still be purchased directly from the publisher, at Twilight Times Books. To my knowledge, e-book availability has not been affected.

Monday, July 13, 2009

LibertyCon in Chattanooga

Just got back yesterday from a weekend in Chattanooga, speaking at LibertyCon.

LC is a smaller con, but run every bit as well as one of the bigger cons, and at least as much fun. This is partly because "Uncle Timmy" Bolgeo and clan, he of the "Hump Day" newsletter, are in charge of the con. They are bright as new pennies and possessed of a sense of humor that my husband is one of the few I know can match. They're also incredibly flexible and have loyal attendees and loyal regular guest panelists. So when 3 of their important panelists had to cancel at the last minute (one quite literally), it didn't faze them. They jumped right in and rearranged topics and panelist combos (and several of us volunteered to fill in the gaps) and I don't think fans knew the difference.

Some of my more memorable panels included: a discussion on "So you want to be an astronaut?" which garnered a good many questions, as you might expect. "Small and Electronic Publishing," with Sara Harvey, whom I met several cons ago, lol. We were able to adequately explain to many would-be authors how the publishing business works, what distinguishes the print process from the electronic process, and what delineates a large and a small publisher.

Later on, Sara and I were re-teamed for "The Harvey and Osborn Hour." Sara and I get along well although we're two very different people, and we both have similar senses of humor, along with the adventures to go with it. (This often proves useful as a writer, as we have experiences we can draw from in our work!) Topics ranged from how my now-husband almost didn't survive to marry me, having nearly expired at my own hand ("Miss Stephanie, in the Green Room, with the lead pipe!" as Sara put it!) to Sara's intense dislike of geese, especially Andalusian geese. (Think four feet tall, with big bumped bills that bite hard, smart, easily irritated, and very determined.)

THEN they teamed Sara and me with NASA scientist (and former grad school pal) Les Johnson for "Sex In Space." Now that sounds like a recipe for ribald hilarity, and it had its moments, because we all have wacky senses of humor. (Les blushes really well too. And of course we made him sit between us.) But in all seriousness, we had a very good scientific discussion. After all, for long duration space flights (to other planets) or even generation starships, we really need to understand how the genders interact and how pregnancy might progress. It does a generation ship no good to arrive at its destination filled with humans who can no longer survive in a gravitational environment.

So we discussed not only some of the early animal experiments on embryonic development in microgravity (of which I was familiar from my days as a payload flight controller for Shuttle), but also the psychological studies from Mir, which Les had dug up. Sara contributed some cool notions (as well as humor) from her background as a romance and horror/romance writer. A very...interesting...time was had by all.

Saturday night Les moderated a group session (meaning some of us were experts, but the whole room participated) called "Mad Scientists." We got down and dirty with some controversial topics like whether or not Project Constellation (back to the moon, on to Mars) should be cut from NASA's budget, science and education, etc. It started at 11pm and ran until 2am! Then us "experts" wound up breaking into moderators of our own smaller groups. I finally got into bed about 3am.

Burnout book sales went well, about which I am pleased. I also wound up acquiring a literary agent who is helping me hawk a new ms I have. I got some interest on it from a publisher at the con as well. I was interviewed for a podcast which will air in a few weeks (see my website for information as it becomes available). I met Ben Bova (WAY COOL!) and got to talk to him some. And I finally found a hardcover compendium of the entire (long out of print) Lensman series by E.E. "Doc" Smith, that I could afford!

I came home absolutely exhausted but deliriously happy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Listen to My Latest Podcast!

We were considerably delayed in the live broadcast by severe thunderstorms in the host's location, but we went on with the interview when E.W. got his power back, and BTR recorded a fun interview, which can be heard in it's entirety here:

Interview With The Mortal Vampire, Part II - Stephanie Osborn RETURNS!

We had a great time, chatting not only about my latest news (The Y Factor going best-seller, syndicated reviews appearing in the New York Times, upcoming appearances), but also the slate of books I have under way. We also discussed book writing styles and techniques, how to overcome writer's block, and whether or not you want to be around me during a tornado warning!

Stop by and listen!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Steph's 411

So, what's been happening with me lately? I've been staying REALLY busy.

1) I've been working with Travis "Doc" Taylor on a new book called Extraction Point! Hopefully it will become the first of a series, if all goes well. Got my half of the rough draft finished and sent to him about a week ago.

2) I've been working with Darrell Bain on the 3rd book in the Cresperian series. We have the outline and character names pretty much down. He's started on the first part of it and will send it to me soon. We'll go back and forth on it.

3) I'm editing on a manuscript of my own, trying to tighten it up and get it ready to submit to a publisher. :) I love science fiction mysteries.

4) I'm getting ready to start on the sequel to Burnout.

5) I did a podcast this past Wednesday, which can be heard at Red River Writers Live.

6) The Florence AL Public Library invited me to participate in their celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. So yesterday I gave a talk about my career in the space program and did a book signing, which went quite well.

7) My publisher and I also managed to convince Barnes-Noble to make a couple of edits to their store book database. This will, hopefully, result in my books being carried on bookshelves very very soon.

Upcoming events:

1) I'll be appearing on The Mortal Vampire podcast at 7pmCDT on Tuesday, July 7th, for Part II of my interview! You can listen in, and even participate, here.

2) I'll be at LibertyCon science fiction convention in Chattanooga TN the weekend of 10-12 July! That looks like being GREAT fun.

3) On Saturday, 18 July at 7pmCDT the North Alabama Science Fiction Association will host me at the Renasant Bank off Airport Road in Huntsville AL for a talk and booksigning.

4) At noonCDT on Wednesday, July 29, I'll be participating in another Red River Writers Live podcast (link TBD; keep an eye on my website for details) introducing the authors of Red River Writers Live.

5) At the kind invitation of H. David Blalock, I've joined a booksigning tour group called Imagicopter. I won't be at the inaugural booksigning due to a conflict, but plan to attend as many of the tour stops as possible!

6) The Huntsville Public Library - Main Branch has invited me for a talk and booksigning on Saturday, the 22nd of August at 2pmCDT.

And that's only through the summer, guys! I'm staying pretty busy and I'm happier than the proverbial clam about it (although why clams should be happier than other critters, I don't know...)! Keep an eye open; I may be coming through your area sometime soon!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hypericon/DeepSouthCon Update

I guess the first thing to say is that it was not quite as large a con as I'd expected, especially for a DSC. It was maybe a third to half the size of MidSouthCon or Chattacon, and that being a DSC. Nashville fandom has evidently shrunk since I was last involved in it. Having said that, they are enthusiastic in their fandom, and they put on a good con.

I stayed offsite this year, and I think next year if they want me back, I may get a room in the hotel. There was a TON of road construction occurring all around the area on the interstates and that was just a pain in the nether regions. Especially at 12:30am on a Saturday morning when the interstate suddenly turns into a one-lane parking lot and you've had one drink 3 hours before, followed by several bottles of water, and didn't make a restroom break before hitting the road. NOT fun. My half-hour commute to the folks' house turned into an hour and fifteen minutes. O_o

I made some good connections:

I met H. David Blalock, who is organizing a southeastern writers' booksigning tour, and wants me involved. He even bought me a drink, which was very nice of him. I spent some time explaining the world of e-books to him, and he was excited to discover that as a writer much of the process of creating an e-book is transparent to him.

I am not sure what city the bid was from because they went by their organization's acronym name (note, guys, let us KNOW where you're FROM!), but I got the attention of a WorldCon bid group, and they had me sign their banner right alongside people like David Weber, Timothy Zahn, and Mike Resnick. I think they were interested in having me if they win the bid.

Dallas got the DSC 2011 bid, and they seemed interested in a rocket scientist/writer as a guest, too.

I talked to people in charge of programming for DragonCon in Atlanta, and with the NASFiC 2010 Raleigh bid. Both of them talked to me straight about getting in there and getting attention. I was told I'm a "triple threat": 1) a writer, 2) a rocket scientist, 3) a woman. And intelligent, literate, and well-spoken, to boot. So I am a potential guest at both cons.

I talked with several media arts types about the possibility of creating what appears to be the next big thing in book promos: book trailers. Just like movie trailers, but for books. Gonna see what hubby Darrell can do first, then I have a friend who's dying to get into the business and is a pretty good short filmmaker.

My old friend (and husband Darrell's older friend) Bob Embler, who runs the famous (or infamous, as the case may be! ;-) OutsideCon invited me to come this year (September) and be their Author GoH. It involves camping of one sort or another though, and while I have camped (in the Oregon Cascade Range near Bend - no bugs) Darrell isn't into it at all. So I'm not sure yet what's gonna happen there.

I had fans tracking me down at the con. There was also a writeup in one of the Nashville papers, in which the writer indicated that my panels were among the ones he was most looking forward to. My panels (2, plus a booksigning, but no book reading though I'd requested one) were well attended, with the one I helmed alone filling the room. One guy actually swiped one of my book posters at the end of the con and requested I sign it, which I did. It was only going to get thrown away anyway.

In general it was a successful con, I'd say. I'm happy with it, anyway. :-)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Burnout Reviewed by Yvonne Mason, Author of Silent Scream

Yvonne Mason, acclaimed author of Silent Scream, Brilliant Insanity, and many more, read Burnout and LOVED it!

"Stephanie Osborn’s Burnout is out of this world. She takes Sci-Fi and the real space program to an entirely new level.

"A shuttle has burnout during re-entry; all aboard are lost. But are they really? The autopsies don't match the burnt bodies, people are disappearing who have had anything to do with the shuttle, the body count keeps getting higher by the hour.

"Crash Murphy is running against the clock to find out why – every road he travels comes to a dead end or a dead body. Even those he loves seem to disappear. The question is, why is this happening and who is behind it and will he find the answers before he also becomes worm dirt?

"Stephanie Osborn uses her background and her skills to make this the most believable Sci-Fi I have ever read. She is right up there with Jules Verne with her Sci-Fi and Fiction.

"Definitely a five star read."

~Yvonne Mason, author of Silent Scream and Brilliant Insanity

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My latest reader review

Burnout has been getting a lot of good response from readers. Here is one of the latest.

Generally speaking I am a poet… I love to read but because of my lack of time with work, family and other obligations reading books is rare… However, Stephanie Osborn’s Burnout had me hanging on the edge of my seat. It became more of a task to put it down then to pick it up. I found myself immersed in the story line as if I myself were on the mission. Stephanie provided not only an entertaining story but a real thrill ride for the senses… I recommend you buy a copy and partake in this adventure… So worth the few bucks I spent…

~Shannon Morrow

Friday, May 29, 2009

These are some plants that were brought to my attention by a fellow fan of the online comic, Vexxarr. They remind her of a particular character in the comic, one Sploorfix. She says:

These plants are seedlings I had about given up on when suddenly they popped up. Really fast growers when they do come up, developing so quickly that the seed casing is still clinging to the first leaf set--that's why they so remind me of Sploorfix, they look like waving eyestalks!

They're *possibly* datura, or angel trumpet (though around here they're usually referred to as locoweed). They make the most incredible enormous flowers, usually in the second year they're growing. I've got one full sized plant in its 3rd year; I expect great things from it this season! :) By the way, the seeds were harvested from my former residence, so they are now *nine years old* yet are still viable. That's kind of the way with desert plants.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Contented day

School is out. No more frantic students prepping for finals, no more crazy hours and Algebra 2 then Chemistry then Trigonometry then AP Chem then Physics, then... shifting mental gears faster than any race car driver. I like doing it, but I need the break. I can kick back now. Nowhere I have to be today. Just where I want to be.

It's quiet for a change. Rainshowers move by occasionally, with the enchanting sound of rain pattering on the roof. I'm researching some science for Extraction Point!, the first in a series I'm co-authoring with my mentor, Travis "Doc" Taylor. My 3 year old cat, Elrond Half-Siamese, cuddles against my side, rests his chin on the corner of the laptop, and watches me type.

Book sales are doing reasonably well, and I have several appearances of various sorts lined up next week.

I am content. Life is good.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm reviewed in the New York Times!

Oh my gosh, I am so thrilled. Darrell Bain and I ran across an article referring to Human By Choice a week or so ago, by a writer who checked out electronic gadgets, e-books and the like. He loved Human By Choice, so I emailed him to tell him the sequel, The Y Factor, was out, and would he like a free review copy? He was also a big fan of my mentor, Travis "Doc" Taylor, so I told him I had a book out that Trav had mentored me through, and was currently co-authoring a book with him.

Well, that got him really interested. In the end, he BOUGHT not only The Y Factor, but Burnout, as e-books, because as a writer himself, he felt writers should get paid for their work and not give it away. And the results came out today.

The Article

The Pertinent Excerpt (by kind permission of the author):

This Week at Mobile Tech Manor
E-books of the week

This week I read "The Y Factor" by Darrell Bain and Stephanie Osborn, the second in the "Cresperian" series I told you about last week. This book was very enjoyable and I can't wait to read the next book in the series. I was thrilled to hear from both Darrell and Stephanie that they are beginning work on the next book in the series so guys, please get to work, OK? It turns out that Darrell is only about 50 miles from me so maybe we can have some coffee sometime. That would be cool.

Stephanie told me about her own novel, "Burnout: the Mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281" and I am in the middle of it right now. It is a good story abouta shuttle landing tragedy that is not quite what it seems, and it is a real page-turner. Stephanie is a good writer and she is able to draw from her experience working on the shuttle program in her past life. It is a great read and recommended. I am always excited to discover a new author and I will be following her writing career for sure.

~jkOnTheRun/ New York Times

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jean Henry Mead Interviews Stephanie Osborn on "Mysterious People"

Mystery author and interviewer Jean Henry Mead interviews Stephanie Osborn, best-selling author of The Y Factor and Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281, on her blog forum, "Mysterious People." Discussing Osborn's childhood, career, and the Challenger and Columbia disasters, as well as their relationships to her books Burnout and The Y Factor, a portrait of the author begins to emerge.

"A Conversation with Stephanie Osborn" can be found at:
Mysterious People

Be sure to leave a comment for discussion!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Where is she now??

Steph is busy busy right now!

1) It's the week before finals at the schools, and kids are going crazy doing last minute cramming. If they'd studied throughout the year, they wouldn't need me trying to stuff knowledge into their heads at the last minute, but oh well...

2) I'm deep into writing Extraction Point! with Travis S. Taylor. It's a fascinating science fiction story with more than a touch of mystery thrown in, and the first in a series. I'm about to finish chapter 5 and move on to chapter 6.

3) I've been editing a book of my own, again the first in a series, involving alternate universes and the ability to pop from one to another. Imagine the chagrin when a person from an alternate universe is inadvertently brought to ours and can't be sent back...

4) Darrell Bain and I are about to start talking plot on the third book in the Cresperia Series! #1 was Human By Choice, written by Bain and Taylor. #2 is The Y Factor, written by Bain and myself and currently near the top of Fictionwise's best-seller list. (It stayed at #1 on the SF list for some time, and I think it's still at #2! Last I saw it was #16 on the overall fiction list at Fictionwise!)

5) Once school is out I'm also going to start on the much-demanded sequel to Burnout! It's already outlined; hopefully I'll get a good start on the rough draft, at least, through the summer.

Writing, writing, and more writing! I'm lovin' it!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Book update

I have been so busy keeping up with things I haven't had a chance to blog here. The latest book news is as follows:

Burnout has moved up to #24 on the Fictionwise SF Best-seller list. (That's still out of nearly 5000 books!)

The Y Factor has been a Fictionwise Featured Selection.

The Y Factor is now at NUMBER ONE on the Fictionwise SF Best-seller list!


The Y Factor is at #17 on Fictionwise's OVERALL Fiction Best-seller list!

I've been about to blow a gasket. :-) I'm really happy.

In other matters, several schools have been shut down due to probable cases of H1N1, so tutoring has been a little dicey. But I've managed. Lip balm with tea tree oil, lysol, and hand sanitizers are the rule.

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*

Monday, March 30, 2009

Report on ImagiCon

Pardon if there are very many typos in this. I'm still very tired and my fingers don't seem to be listening to my brain too well.

We were in the Birmingham/Jefferson (Co.) Convention Center for the con itself, with the huge and VERY nice Sheraton Convention Center attached. The facilities were very good, but rather spread out - BJCC on one block, Sheraton on adjacent block, parking garage in still a 3rd city block. I covered a lot of territory walking. Thank heavens for elevators and escalators.

By and large the con was excellent. Good topics, good people, very amenable to their guests. There were a few glitches: the schedule was a little confused; I didn't know that, as an author, I had a signing table until Saturday afternoon; and the equivalent of the con suite ran out of food by suppertime Saturday and didn't get any more until Sunday morning. They also had a tendency to schedule panels too early on all 3 days. But they were also very welcoming to friendly advice.

I'm not sure how many people were there; Darrell and I were agreed that the venue was more spread out which made it hard to estimate the crowds. But I'm thinking around 1000.

What was REALLY cool was that I had FANS there - fans that recognized me BY FACE, who knew my website, knew what I did and about Burnout and were delighted to see and hear me. It was strange being a bona fide celebrity. Several people came up to me and told me that I made the weekend for them.

My schedule was booked solid - but then, I told them to use me. I had 1 panel scheduled Friday night and was invited to a second, so I went from 8pm until past 11:00. Saturday I had panels straight from 10am until 3pm. I discovered my autograph table and did that from 3-6pm, then had panels from 6-11pm. I was supposed to have a break from 8-9, but the 7pm panel went 2 hours. Then I had a (I thought it was) 9am writing workshop Sunday morning, that I thought I was early for at 8:50 only to find they'd rescheduled it for 8am, so I was late. But nobody minded. We left a little before 11am because we had to be back in HSV for a gig at 2pm.

I'm dead tired, but feeling good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

MidSouthCon Report

MidSouthCon is one of the best SF cons at which it's ever been my privilege to guest. They know what they're doing, they run things smoothly and they treat their guests - even the non GOHs - like royalty. Attendance, hubby and I estimate, was 1500-2000. We had 3-4 hotels completely booked up.

I told 'em to use me, and they did. I had 3-5 panels every day, including a couple of different opportunities for book readings, and an hour on "Professional's Row" to hawk my books.

I also ran into an old friend from school, which was wonderful. He came looking especially for me, as he'd heard from my mom to a friend to his mom to him that I was an SF author now.

In addition I met Stanton Friedman, the UFO researcher. He and I turned out to be like-minded. He's not the "true believer" crackpot some would have you think. He's a nuclear physicist by training and experience, and a skeptic as well. Altogether a delightful, intelligent gentleman. We clicked, and he wound up getting a copy of Burnout while I got a copy of one of his books - autographed to each other, of course. :-) By Sunday morning breakfast, he'd already gotten well into it and was singing its praises to the other people at the table. We're going to stay in touch and I might even be able to get a promo blurb out of him.

I networked with a few other cons' peeps, and other writers and small publishers, got some advice and such like. My friend that put Burnout on his display invited me to submit a themed short story for an anthology though, and I think I might do that. Just for fun. It's a comedy SF thing, looks to be.

My panels ranged from science stuff to literary stuff to SF applications in science. Very interesting stuff, all of it. And the con ended with an author's game which was incredibly well attended for a 2-4pm Sunday event, called "It Was A Dark And Stormy Night." The gist of this is that throughout the con, people write down odd quotations they overhear and stick 'em in a box, then each author gets a handful of these pieces of paper with quotes and, beginning with the game title, a character and location called out by the audience, we have to take the quotes one at a time and string together a story, round robin. Allen Gilbreath told me, after that, I was officially a writer that nobody could fluster! (And after wordcrafting a quote like, "She rolled out of bed, jumped on her menstrual cycle, and ran my ass over" into the story, I agree with him...)

Monday, March 23, 2009

MSC has gone; ImagiCon approaches!

MidSouthCon has been and gone. It was delightful. They kept me busy talking about wonderful, fascinating topics, reading from Burnout, talking about how I came to write it, and feeding me well. :-) I also ran into an old friend, David Jones. He and I went from 1st grade through the first year of college together! We'd lost touch over the years, but he'd heard about my book through the grapevine, and was there looking for me. It was a fantastic reunion!

My name and that of my book is now well out there in SF fandom, especially in the Memphis area. :-)

This weekend is ImagiCon, at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center. Again, I'm looking forward to that! They're kindly putting us into the convention hotel - "us" being myself and my husband, Darrell "Doc" Osborn, Mad Scientist Extraordinaire! It should be loads of fun! If you're in the area, come on by!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

MidSouthCon is Coming!

And I am coming to MidSouthCon! This weekend in Memphis, and most (but not all) of The Write Pack will be there! It's looking like I'll have some limited edition pre-release copies of Burnout available for purchase and signing, too! (That's if UPS delivers the shipment on time!) I'll also have some handouts and posters for The Y Factor, which is still in the editing mode.

I'm busily getting together all the things I need to bring: posters, handouts, sharpies, clothes, etc. I'm looking forward to it!

For further info on my upcoming appearances, go here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Key to Midnight interview went great!

I must say I had a blast being interviewed by M.J. on The Key to Midnight BlogTalkRadio! We talked about all sorts of things and laughed and joked, and I did a couple of excerpt readings from Burnout, and it was generally cool! We had a chat room full of people and it was just FUN!

If you missed it, you can find it on my website under Interviews, or on The Key to Midnight BlogTalkRadio page, or on M.J.'s MySpace page!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

BlogTalkRadio Interview tonight!

Tonight I'm being interviewed on The Key to Midnight BlogTalkRadio by host M.J.! I'm really excited about it - I even have a bit of stage fright! But that's normal for me. I've done all kinds of theatre and public speaking, and as soon as the event starts, all that stage fright gets converted into energy and excitement. It should be fun! Be there!

Thursday, March 12, 2009 sponsors worldwide online SF con, Friday 13 Mar!

It's all day Friday the 13th of March - tomorrow! Starts at 8am EDT!

Schedule here:


There are links to the various events from there.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Twilight Times Books Offers Free E-Books During Read An E-Book Week!

Twilight Times Books is offering Darrell Bain's autobiography, Darrell Bain's World of Books, as a free download during Read an E-Book Week March 8 - 14, 2009. We will be offering an additional free ebook each day. Among the selections will be Behold the Eyes of Light by Geoff Geauterre, Jerome and the Seraph by Robina Williams, No Place for Gods by Gerry Mills, Striking Back from Down Under by Dr. Bob Rich, The Last to Fall by Anne K. Edwards and Who is Margaret? by Celia A. Leaman.

Also offered is a sampler of Darrell Bain's books, consisting of sample chapters of his science fiction and fantasy works. These include excerpts of Human By Choice, written with Travis "Doc" Taylor, and The Y Factor, co-authored with Taylor's protege, Stephanie Osborn. Human By Choice and The Y Factor are the first two novels in The Cresperia Series.

For more information, or to download free books, go to:

Monday, March 2, 2009

More updates

Darrell Bain is under the weather right now, so he asked me if I could go ahead and finish reviewing and acting on the editor's comments for The Y Factor. Finished that tonight and shipped it off to him.

The latest galley of Burnout arrived today. I checked it against my comments, and everything looks fixed, and the updated cover looks wonderful! I emailed my publisher and told her it looked good and to run with that puppy!

Honestly, it's like being on a roller coaster headed down a HUUUGE hill, and nearing the bottom! I'm only picking up speed!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Y Factor & Burnout updates

The first edits came in today for The Y Factor, the sequel to Human By Choice that Darrell Bain asked me to co-author. As he's a bit under the weather, he asked me to go ahead and take a look at it.

I was really pleased; for the most part, all it consisted of was spelling and grammatical boo-boos, quick and easy to fix. There are a couple of things that I want Darrell to look at and give his yea/nay on, but the bulk of it was done in a couple of hours.

The cover flat for The Y Factor came in, too, and looks great!

A tweak to the Burnout cover flat came in, lightening the text, and if it looked great before, it looks fantastic now! I'm starting to get really REALLY excited!


My husband and I have had cats for years. In fact, we've both had cats since we were children. Our last 2 cats have been adoptions from stray litters. The cat that currently owns us is Elrond Half-Siamese, and he's a real thing on wheels. He's 3 years old. Makes me wonder if Elrond Half-Elven was such a mischievous young elfling sometimes.

This morning he's been frantically pinging around the house for reasons totally unknown to us humans, yowling mournfully at the top of his lungs about something. When he wasn't doing that, he was commandeering my tote bags and crawling into them.

Now that latter bit isn't unusual for a cat, but what he wants you to DO, once he's INSIDE, is. He wants you to pick him up - or rather, pick up the bag - and swing him back and forth. While you're doing that, he is either staring up at you from the bottom of the bag, or else, and more likely, he has his head and front paws sticking out the top, looking around. For all the world like a kid on an amusement park ride. And purring fit to be heard across the room.

This morning it snowed in Alabama, a couple of inches' worth, for the first time in almost a decade. Needless to say, Elrond had never seen snow before. So I picked him up, opened the blinds, and held him to the window in the position in which we two often gaze out upon the world.

He did a double-take. Those crossed little blue eyes got bigger than milk saucers, and he stared at the white world outside. Then he started scrambling to get down. I guess he didn't like it and thought something strange had happened to his world. At any rate, he went into the bedroom and crawled under the covers with my husband.

Speaking of hubby, when he finally couldn't take the cat's racing around at Warp Factor 47 and yowling Red Alert any longer, he picked the critter up. Now, my husband is the only person who can turn Elrond on his back without getting turned into hamburger. So he turned him over and began rubbing his tummy, which elicits the sound of warp engines purring in perfect tune.

But as he did so, my husband commented, "Flop!" To which, of course, the cat responded by turning into jello.

My mind being what it is, however, I queried, "Does that make it a petaflop?"

My husband just stared at me.

The cat purred.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Write Pack!

Look out for us! No, not The Rat Pack, Vegas heyday group of megastars who frequented the clubs there. We're The Write Pack, a group of science fiction and fantasy authors from various publishing houses who promote our books at many of the same SF conventions around the Southeast. We've come to be friends, advisors, mentors, helpers, and co-networkers, and we enjoy each others' company so we hang out together.

It's nothing formal, just a loose-knit group of good friends who share a common passion/profession and run into each other fairly often. I fully expect the roster to change over time, but for now, The Write Pack includes:

Allan Gilbreath
Les Johnson
J.F. Lewis
myself, Stephanie Osborn
Bill Snodgrass
Travis "Doc" Taylor

Coming soon to a science fiction convention near you!

Time to get excited!

It's getting closer and closer to time for Burnout: The Mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281 to be released (April 15), and I'm excited! More and more PR appearances, galley proofs, seeing the final book cover for the first time! It's all good! I can't wait!

I have several BlogTalkRadio interviews scheduled over the next few weeks, and several more science fiction convention appearances scheduled! (For more details, check out the Upcoming Appearances page at my website!)

They say write what you know, so I did. I was a Shuttle and Station payload flight controller, as well as a military space expert, for a 20+ year career, before I lost a friend in the Columbia disaster. That was the beginning of the end for me, and after a few more years, I got out of the program - but the program didn't get out of me. The result is Burnout, which actually was completed in rough draft BEFORE the Columbia disaster.

Burnout is a science fiction mystery about a Space Shuttle disaster that turns out NOT to have been an accident. Investigators Emmett "Crash" Murphy and Dr. Michael C. Anders end up on the run, as friends, lovers, and colleagues die around them. What happened to STS-281? Why? Who did it? Why do parts of the government want it covered up? And who is willing to kill to keep it quiet?

Burnout: The Mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281 is a techno-thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat, not wanting to put it down!