Author Interview with Karen E. Osborne

Welcome Readers to another installment of our author interview series. Today we have the pleasure of chatting with the lovely and talented Karen E. Osborne, a multi-genre author with an amazing podcast. (More about that later!)

JMR-Welcome to the Books Delight, Karen. Tell our readers where you live, what you do for fun and what does the perfect day look like?

KO- Thanks so much for having me. I’m a native New Yorker living in south Florida – a cliché. New Yorkers often call Florida the sixth borough. My husband Bob and I date once a week. Breakfast or lunch out, bowling, movie, or theater. We love going to parties with lots of dancing. I play cards with friends. My perfect day starts with my gratitude list and is a mix of writing, reading, movement, volunteering, and chatting with our adult children and grandchildren. But I never get to do all these things in any one day.

JMR-What’s your favorite historical time period? Why?

KO- The roaring twenties is number one. In the 1920s women fought for, and won, the right to vote, threw away their girdles, lifted the hemlines, sought more freedom and independence. It was also the time of the Harlem Renaissance. Jazz, art, literature, and poetry by Black artists came to the fore. Zora Neal Hurston and Langston Huges, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, artist Romare Bearden, to a name a few. Madam Walker started a successful business and taught other Black women how to do the same. Yet, the period was also marred by crime, corruption, prohibition, and suppression. Women and Black folks still had to deal with misogyny and racism. It was a rich era of change, contradictions, and possibilities.

JMR-Who is your favorite historical figure? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

KO- I’m a Shakespeare nut. I’ve read, studied, and watched every one of his plays numerous times. They’re timeless, entertaining, and instructive. “May I sit with you and ask questions all day?” One question wouldn’t be enough.

JMR- You’ve written several contemporary fiction books. Why switch genres to historical fiction?

KO- I read a LOT of historical fiction and I try to write what I enjoy reading. But I shied away from it because of all the research required and because I like making things up. But I found, as I wrote True Grace, a family drama set in 1924, that I enjoyed discovering details and understanding the era. Surprised myself. Plus, I wanted to write my grandmother’s story. The time had come.

JMR- Did you visit any of the places in your book? Where did you feel closest to your characters?

KO- Yes. The book is set in the Congo, England, Jamaica, Harlem, The Bronx, and Pelham, NY. I’ve visited all but the Congo. As a young girl, I visited my grandmother often when she lived on Sugar Hill, in Harlem--a famous area of the city. That was where I felt closest to her. Visiting her father’s home in Cornwall, UK, and the school she attended in Kent, England brought me closer.

JMR- Karen, tell us about your new book, True Grace.

KO- As I mentioned, it is historical fiction, set in 1924, and inspired by my grandmother. When the story opens, Grace, a mixed-race immigrant woman and mother of five, comes home to a harrowing event. Over the course of seven months, she must make wrenching decisions, fight misogynistic and racists courts, banks, the child welfare system, and bad actors to save her family. One reviewer wrote she found herself praying for Grace, forgetting she was reading fiction. It’s a suspenseful, page-turner rich with historical details. My source material included books written about my great grandfather, three hundred pages of Grace’s handwritten letters, journals, stories she told me, plus research via the web, libraries, and other books about the era.

JMR- You write about a lot of social issues. From where does that spring?  

KO- Personal experience. #Metoo, sexual assault, and PTSD are all part of my background and for far too many people. Every 68 seconds another American is sexually assaulted. Bob and I adopted our daughter when she was two and part of the foster care system. So that shows up in my writing as well. On any given day in America, 400,000 children are in the system. Sixty-two thousand a year age out, never finding a forever home, and their subsequent statistics are heart breaking. I like exploring what it means to be family. All my novels are multi-racial. 

JMR- Is there a thread that’s goes through all your novels? 

KO- All four of my published novels, and my work in progress (WIP), feature strong, flawed women who must overcome great odds. Some of their struggles they brought on themselves, and others come from the outside or from within their families. The women must dig deep and tap into strengths that surprise them and allows each to accomplish more than she ever dreamed with grit, grace, and resilience. We live in such intolerant times, so I also write about the coercive nature of secrets and lies, the power of forgiveness, and the possibility of redemption.



JMR- Your weekly video podcast is three years old without missing a week. What drives you or inspires you to keep at it? 


KO- Thank you for asking. It started with the pandemic. Places for writers to connect with readers shrunk as we all stayed home. In response, I started a video podcast – What Are You Reading? What Are You Writing? A place to feature authors and connect with readers. You graciously became my 16th guest. And now I’m passed 174 creatives who joined me. Through the podcast I’ve met so many outstanding writers and, as a result, read books I might have passed up in a bookstore. The writing community is generous and inspiring, supporting and helping each other. Like you do. And readers are among my favorite people.


JMR-What projects do you have in the pipeline?

KO- I love trying new things -- pushing myself in different directions. My current WIP is both historical and present day, a mystery about two murders that happened 50+ years apart. It also has some romance. All but one of my protagonists, in all five books, find or renew love.

JMR- Tell our readers how to find you on social media and the web.

KO- My website is There you will find info about my books, episodes of the podcast, and listings of upcoming events. Plus, book clubs can find discussion questions for each novel. My other links are:

Karen E. Osborne (@kareneosborne) / Twitter

(20+) Karen E Osborne, Author | Facebook

Karen E. Osborne - YouTube


JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?

KO- Your questions were spot on.

JMR- Thank you, Karen, for stopping by. Your books look really great! Readers, I’ve included a link to Karen’s books below. Please be sure to check them out.



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