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Monday, 19 November 2007
Meet Nina M. Osier
Topic: Author Interview

Nina M. Osier the person:

1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Introspective, principled, creative.

2. How do you think others would describe you?

Pretty much the same way, I'm told.

3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

My other career (the day job, so-called), my family, and the larger family that's my church.  One thing I'm learning over and over, as the years pass, is how important are the ties that bind me to those I love.

4. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.

Meet Tabitha June of Tabitha June Is a Shoulder Cat, 15-year-old kitty who is at the moment sitting in my lap trying to stop me from typing.  She has a sister, Belle, a tortoiseshell who's nicknamed "Mum-Cat" despite being spayed because Belle looks after everyone else.  Meet George, who came home with me when I couldn't leave him alone in a cage after taking away his sister; and meet Kate, the sister who "found her brother a home" 7 years ago when they were tiny kittens.  Meet Lucie, who somehow got stuck in a shelter for months despite being a gorgeous Maine coon cat ("Miss Cat America" is her nickname); and meet Mariah, a merry-hearted 5-year-old calico who's going to be my last adoption for a good long while.  They keep me broke and busy, since two are on prescription food for the same veterinary medical problem!

5. What is your most precious memory?

Every time I've held a new baby in my arms, starting with my oldest niece when she was three days old.

6. What is your most embarrassing memory?

I don't think you could put it on your blog....

7. If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

Pretty much what I'm doing with the rest of it right now, I expect.  I would probably get a lot more sleep, though!

8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

 Nina M. Osier (pronounced "9-UH") was born with a sun tan in Camden, Maine, toward the end of the post-World War II baby boom. Her parents, a commercial fisherman and a reading teacher, taught her to love books, the English language, and the Maine coast.

After graduating from New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University) and working for several years as a high school teacher, accountant, theology student, and business manager, Nina found her niche preserving future history as Director of Records Management Services at the Maine State Archives. She worked there for three decades before retiring to write science fiction and Maine nonfiction full time. Her collected works are used by the University of Maine in several courses, including the a ground-breaking seminar on how the popularization of the Internet changed publishing more profoundly than any other development since the invention of the printing press.  She's survived by her many nieces and nephews, and by their children and grandchildren.

Nina M. Osier the writer:

9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

When a floppy disk arrived in the mail, and it contained my first professionally published book.  That was ROUGH RIDER, a sci-fi novel published in 1997 by industry pioneer Electra-Light Books.  I had a lot of naysayers try to tell me that because of the format (not a "real printed book") and because of the lack of an advance, this was not being published in truth.  But I knew better.  Ten years later, I've got plenty of "real printed books" out there; but my sales still come primarily from ePublishing.

10. What is going on with your writing these days?

My FARTHINGHOME sci-fi trilogy was released from late 2006 through early 2007 by eBooksOnThe.Net, with the first volume coming out in paperback from Cambridge Books not long ago.  The whole trilogy has been doing very well at Fictionwise.  I've got a couple of new books in my head, and I hope to get one of them written during 2008.

11. What are your future goals for your writing?

My market's a niche market, reached mostly by Fictionwise and other eBook sellers, and as far as science fiction goes I want nothing more than to continue writing for that market.  I would like to write additional family biographies, though, one day when I have sufficient time and freedom to do the necessary research.  Love, Jimmy: A Maine Veteran's Longest Battle - my dad's biography - means more to me than anything else I've written, and that came with relative ease because I had the materials for it close at hand.

12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

When I write around the day job, I begin as soon as I've taken care of my home e-mail.  That means putting in an hour or two, seldom more, somewhere between 7 and 10 p.m.  When I'm lucky enough to have an entire day without other obligations, I may write for an hour in the morning and another hour in the evening; or I may work from 8 a.m. until after midnight, with just enough breaks to keep myself and the pets fed.  So much depends on where I am in a project, and on how that project's going.  I've learned not to push when the story isn't yet ready to let me write it.  Whenever I've given in to that temptation, I've wound up doing nothing but frustrating myself and wasting time that I could have spent doing other things.

13. Why do you write?

Because I came out of the womb with stories to tell, and I can't help telling them.

14. What writer most inspires you? Why?

Edna St. Vincent Millay.  I can't remember a time when I didn't have her poetry in my memory, and it's always had meaning for me.  I think I have a sense of kinship with this woman, who grew up in the town where I was born and who wrote her first and best-known published work as a 19-year-old girl looking out over the sea from a mountain I often climbed with my parents.

15. How do you define your writing?

I don't.  I simply tell the stories that come into my head, and they used to be considered unpublishable (pre-Internet) because they've never fit neatly into one genre.

16.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

Nina M. Osier said important things with deceptive simplicity.

Nina M. the details:

16. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?

My home on the Web is at  My blog, which is more personal than professional these days, is at

17. Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Just send e-mail to

18. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

Science fictions titles are Matusha, Regs, Exile's End, Exiles Among the Stars, The Mad Fisherman's Daughter, Silent Service, Interphase, Rough Rider, Unfamiliar Territory, Starship Castaways, The Way to Freedom, Mistworld, Conduct Unbecoming, Escape to Themyscira, Sagarmatha, Farthinghome: Invasion, Farthinghome: Exodus, and Farthinghome: Atonement.  Mainstream fiction includes Granite Island and Second Chances.  Nonfiction titles are Love, Jimmy: A Maine Veteran's Longest Battle; Tabitha June Is a Shoulder Cat; and The Songs of a Kitten Are Deadly.

19.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

If my books have one theme, no matter what genre I'm writing in, it's this:  Truth makes us free.  You can expect characters who find that out for themselves, always, no matter what else a book may include.

In conclusion:

20.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

Please don't mistake my work for ME.  I'm always amazed, often amused, and occasionally saddened when some of my readers and reviewers draw the most amazing (and false) conclusions about me from reading my books.  Do I have things to say, and does my work say them?  Yes, I suppose so.  Yet I've always stood with Louis B. Mayer, who said of his work in the golden age of Hollywood filmmaking:  "If you want to send a message, call Western Union."  I tell stories, and the characters in those stories are not fictionalized versions of Nina.  They are individual people who come to me with their own beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and agendas.  I don't create them; I just tell give them voices.  Nor do I build their worlds, contrary to all I'm told by some "experts" a sci-fi writer should be doing, because I depend on the characters to tell me about their worlds.  Then I help them tell you.  Writing, for me, is magic pure and simple.  That's why I can't help doing it.

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 19 November 2007 5:27 PM EST
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