October 2011


Hazel Osmond’s debut novel Who’s Afraid of Mr Wolfe? is centred around an advertising copywriter who gets a new boss. Based in Northumberland, England, Osmond also writes short stories and works as an advertising copywriter.

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  1. 1. Where did the inspiration for Jack Wolfe come from?

    I’ve always been interested in lone wolves – fierce but vaguely sad – and how they came to be like that. It might have stayed as just an interest if I hadn’t seen the actor Richard Armitage play John Thornton in the BBC’s adaptation of North and South and Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood. Both these characters were wounded in some way, and of course, gorgeous. Jack grew from that.

  2. 2. Why will Ellie appeal to readers?

    She’s neither a ball-breaker nor a doormat; she’s kind and loyal, and she messes up sometimes. Most of all though, I hope they’ll like her sense of humour. Ellie can see the ridiculous side of most things, even herself.

  3. 3. How did you get into writing?

    I feel as if I’ve always written – on school and university newspapers and then as an advertising copywriter, but it wasn’t until I tried writing some fan fiction based on Guy of Gisborne that I discovered my writing voice - romantic and funny.

  4. 4. Why is the advertising industry such a ripe environment for stories?

    I suppose it’s because it’s glamorous and fun, right at the centre of things and full of people who are either fiercely ambitious or slightly off-the-wall. And you know what, only some of that is a mirage!!

  5. 5. What’s been the most memorable advertising campaign you’ve been involved in?

    I wish I could say it was a splendid car or beer commercial, but it was for a museum in the north east and it was memorable because my creative partner and I got our ideas through without many changes. I won a few industry awards for the copy too.

  6. 6. Tell us about your next novel The Genuine Article.

    Mack is a failed journalist in Bath and Jen is a farmer’s daughter in Northumberland and they would probably never have met if Jen’s cousin hadn’t been a famous British actress currently taking America by storm. Every tabloid is desperate to get the dirt on her love life which is where Mack comes in. Forced to do one last job, he’s sent undercover to Northumberland with orders to befriend Jen and get the inside story. But from day one nothing is as he expected and as things unravel, neither his nor Jen’s life will be the same again. It’s a story that’s got plenty of twists and turns and humour, but you’ll also be reaching for the tissues.

  7. 7. What other projects are you working on?

    I write short stories as well as novels, so I’ve always got one of those ‘under construction’. I’m also working on a children’s book with a friend who is an illustrator.

  8. 8. Has being an author taught you anything about yourself?

    Yes, that if I don’t write regularly I get moody and a bit sad. I used to think that was due to my hormones.

  9. 9. What is more nerve-racking – appearing on stage or releasing a book?

    Blimey, you ask good questions. I think, unless you’re completely naked on stage (aha that made you sit up and pay attention) it takes more nerve to release a book. When I’m on stage I’m usually being someone else and conveying their words, whereas a book is all my own work. It’s me there on the page and there’s nothing to hide behind.

  10. 10. If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?

    I’ve always had a bit of a yearning for Jem Merlyn from Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn – dark, mysterious, a stealer of horses but a hell of a kisser… what’s not to love? Failing that, send along Jack Wolfe.

  11. 11. Which books have had the biggest impact on your life?

    I’d say Great Expectations by Dickens because it’s a cracking good story, with unforgettable characters and scenes (I used to have nightmares about Miss Haversham catching fire); any of the Just William books because I read them when I was little and they made me realise ‘ladies can write funny’; and Ian McEwan’s Atonement… I’m not sure I can tell you why without bursting into tears.

  12. 12. What does chick lit mean to you?

    A whole range of different stories from romps to weightier tales … but in all of them love, and that moment when your life changes because of another person (for good or bad), drives the plot and the characters.

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