Welcome Osman Proper's Blog

This blog is meant to answer questions, keep readers up to date on new and upcoming stories, as well as allow me the opportunity to interact with my readers.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to post them or email me directly at osproper@gmail.com.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Competitive Edge Release

So Competitive Edge went live 3/3/15.  Very happy about this.  For those who aren't aware, I've moved the majority of content to the new site:  osmanproper.com

I still swing by and check this area but not quite as religiously as I probably should.  I will try and be better about that.  Ridiculously excited.  Have other projects taking the Edge's place, one is perhaps a spin off for the Spires story, but I make no promises.

Spring Break is rapidly approaching, I know what I will be doing....writing...
Have a safe break if I don't catch up with you before then, have fun but not too much fun.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Competitive Edge Cover in Progress

So the amazing Chelsea and I have drummed up the cover idea, now we just have to make it happen.  Competitive Edge is almost ready for release.  I'm so excited I can't see straight anymore...or maybe it's lack or sleep-or worse a caffeine overdose...do those actually happen?

On a side note....

William Hopp, a fellow author and friend, who drew me into his complicated Zombie fiction years ago, recently sent me a script for his new found footage movie project Abductee.  Please click the links for additional info on the author and the project.

Often times, found footage films are hit or miss.  What I think Hopp is going to bring to the table with Abductee, outside of his usual brand of awesome, is a unique spin on the complicated and often misunderstood concepts surrounding alien abduction and influence.  Heavy emphasis on the psychological aspect, which of course, I love.  Thrillers and horror flicks are my flick addictions, with that being said, I'm waiting to see this.  And if you are a fan of sci-fi and the big what-if, then this is a movie project you're going to want to help make happen.
See the above links, add Will on Facebook or take a minute to like the Abductee page.  I know he's been doing a lot of marketing to get this project off the ground and will appreciate you stopping by.  I can't imagine the nausea that comes with writing a script...don't think I want to.

And just in case he pops by and sees this:  Dude...I'm proud of you.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Competitive Edge --Sample Chapter One....

With the manuscript for Competitive Edge in the hands of editors and the photography being handled, I figured I'd go ahead and a sample chapter up here.  A tease for those out there waiting and a preview for those who don't know it's coming.

Please keep in mind that this comes from the original rough draft version.  No doubt there will likely be errors.  Try not to judge me to harshly on that.  They don't call me the tense shifting comma splice queen for nothing around here.  I've earned it.

Anyway, hope you enjoy!



“Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love.”-Andrew Davidson, The Gargoyle

“I know they say not to wear white after Labor Day but when I saw it, I just couldn’t help myself.”  I say as I run my hands over the smooth lines of my new Prada skirt set.  The sleeveless ivory blouse has a faint opalescent shimmer to it, even under the harsh glare of florescent lights in our office.  The skirt is made out of the same svelte material that ran to a perfect stop above the knee.  Classy, sophisticated, with just a hint of toned down sexy.
It is exactly what I needed.
I give Louie another practice spin, adjusting to the height of my newest stilettos, enjoying the way the cuffs secure my ankles so I won’t just slide out of them.  Usually I stick to shorter thicker heels, especially in the office, by comparison these are stilts.  It isn’t wise to wear new shoes in public before breaking them in.  Usually, it’s just a painful experience but every now and then you might end up with a broken heel.  I’d thrown caution out the window with this outfit.  Today is a big day.  I need to shine like freshly minted money.
“Girl!”  Louie’s exclamation is my seal of approval.
I sigh and because I can’t help myself.  On autopilot my hands retrace the fabric.  Italian wool, it’s a beautiful thing.  The price tags however, were not.  I’d bit the bullet anyway.  A woman in my line of work couldn’t get away with rotating the same two suits for long before people start noticing.  Men could get away with it to a degree but not women, just another layer to the glass ceiling dividing the sexes.  In advertising you rub elbows with big and expensive fish that have wives that have nothing better to do than find reasons to dislike you.  Fashion is one of the fastest ways for one woman to spot a social climber, or worse, a fake.  You want to play in the Big Leagues you need to be ready to dress the part.  Bring the A line, be careful with namedrops, make sure you are keeping up with E’s fashion reports on what’s in and what’s out, but don’t be afraid to bring your own personal style to the table.
“You know that isn’t really a cardinal rule of fashion.”  Until I met Louie, who introduced me to things like Cosmo, Fashion Week, and the many different brushes you were actually supposed to use to apply eye shadow, I didn’t know anything about makeup or clothes.  I lived in yoga pants and ponytails, which was great for the dorm but not so great for the boardroom.  Everything I knew about fashion, I learned from Louie.  He isn’t just a fashion and makeup guru, he is also my administrative assistant, but more importantly he's my friend.
Every girl should have someone like Louie in their life.  And it’s not just because he will save you from going on your next date looking like a washed out bag lady.  No, people like Louie are rare and wonderful finds.  Capable of looking beyond the fa├žades you throw over yourself like armor.  They see who you are and accept you for it without question.  When you have a bad day they can commiserate; with advice, or ice cream or maybe a good dose of man bashing, and sometimes all three.  And if you ask for the truth don’t be angry that they give it to you without blunting the edges.  If the outfit makes you look like a Christmas sausage, you’ll know.  They aren’t afraid to call you out for being a recalcitrant hoo-hoo.  But when your world falls down, they’ll be first in line to wrap you in a hug that salves the soul.
“You want me to call a cab?”  I shook my head, enjoying the weightlessness that came with the new layering I’d had the stylist put in yesterday.  When I was younger, I hated my hair because it was thick and had too much body for me to do anything with.  Thirty minutes with Louie and a flat-iron, and I had a new love for my locks.  My greatest adolescent bane had become one of my most feminine assets because women didn’t wear their hair this long anymore.  Shiny black tendrils ran over my shoulders landing just beneath my middle back.  The contrast of my hair, my skin, and the ivory fabric made me pop.
“It’s just seven blocks Louie.”  He gives my new stems a pointed look before cocking a golden brow in question.
“Yes, I’ll pay for it later but I need the time to get my thoughts in order before I get there.”  His dirty blond faux hawk shakes.  I know he doesn’t approve but Louie’s smart enough to know he won’t be able to talk me out of it.
“I’ll have the ice ready.”  A long time ago I discovered that the key to getting over a day spent in ruthless heels was a frozen bottle of water.  You simply put your foot over it and let the bottle glide from the tips of your toes to the back of your heels.  Make sure to give it a little extra pressure on the instep.  It’s cheaper and easier than trying to find someone willing to rub your feet in the middle of the day.
“You’re an angel,” I say as I grab the dark red purse/messenger bag that contained my entire life.  Emergency cosmetic touch-ups, feminine products for that unwelcome surprise, and the tablet I use to keep my chaotic schedule in order.  Be Prepared isn’t just a Boy Scout mantra.
“Not really but it is sweet you think so.”  I get one playful wink before Louie’s pushing me toward the door.
Before I step out of the office I put on the city-stare.  It’s an unfortunate necessity for battling the thick current of sidewalk traffic without having a panic attack.  Unlike Louie I had grown up in a small town, a place that made Mayberry seem bustling by comparison.  Affecting a city-stare is how I kept my mind on business and out of the crush of the crowd.  I have been walking these sidewalks for three years.  Every crack, grate, and pothole committed to memory so I could navigate blind, dodging every danger with relative ease, even in new stilts.
Heading north, I merge with other business suits, all heading in the same general direction:  the Mecca of downtown.  It is the heart of this city.  Anything and everything happens downtown.
After securing my place in the crowd, complacency and memory take over while my mind wanders to more important matters.  I run through a thousand different scenarios that might play out and how to deal with all of them.  This is the meeting that would make or break my career.  Everything I have been working for these last three years.  If I succeed, making partner by thirty wouldn’t be a dream anymore but reality.
Titan is a world-wide name synonymous with sports.  From pee-wee to the majors, everyone wears their apparel and uses their equipment because it is always the best, cutting edge.  They were one of the first athletic companies to invest in lighter football padding that reduced concussions.  It is a multi-billion dollar success story.  Their swimsuits in last year’s Summer Olympic games had pushed four swimmers to break new records.  I’d spent the last few days memorizing the details.  Every athlete Titan sponsored and even the ones they’d turned down.  I knew all the charities they chaired and championed.  And because I knew all these things, I also knew why Titan wants this meeting.
One of their biggest athletes was about to be brought down.  He is an American icon, a hero to many, and a household name.  And he wore Titan’s sponsorship patch on his jersey.  That he tested positive for steroids was going to be a major slap in the face of not only his fans but the contract he made with Titan.  Main-stream media hadn’t gotten their hands on the story yet but it was only a matter of time, hours.  While Titan had already pulled their sponsorship, there is going to be a backlash.  An All American Hero is going to be publicly stripped of his medals and titles in the upcoming weeks and Titan needs spin control, a fresh campaign to revamp their image.
Titan didn’t have exclusive contracts with any agent or agency.  It is how they kept their advertising clean and fresh over the years.  So why were they asking me for a meeting?  I might have been a new kid in the business but I already turned three multi-million dollar companies around with my campaigns.  Now I had a well-earned reputation for making the best out of the worst.  Lemons and lemonade, my Grams would say.
I’ve made it two blocks when the rain starts.  I’m prepared for the sudden mercurial shifts in Southern weather, always carrying an umbrella in my bag.  Rain causes my straight glossy hair riot in curly frizz.  So I stop to fish out my new umbrella.  I’d seen its elegant cherry stained J crooked handle and fell in love.
What I don’t see, outside my limited periphery, is the bike messenger that is forced to jump the curb nearest me to avoid being clipped by a car.  Everything would have been fine if I hadn’t been at a complete stop.  The courier catches the elegant J curve and in seconds I’m snatched out of my perfectly structured and scheduled world.  Physics takes over before I’ve even had a chance to realize exactly what’s happening.  The umbrella snaps.  I teeter off balance.  Then gravity did what it does best and down I went, ass over elbows into a cesspool of city runoff.
After the initial shock wears off, I’m briefly grateful the only thing broken in the collision is the umbrella.  That gratitude evaporates when I realize my suit is ruined beyond any and all salvation.  This is why you don’t wear white after Labor Day!
Seven blocks and didn’t make it three.  This has to be a new personal record.  My thigh highs are running in places, torn in others.  Too fast the culvert fills with trash, a second wave of filth washing over me.  Thank goodness I’ve had my tetanus booster.  The delicate Italian wool doesn’t appreciate the new accessories any more than I do.  Instead of giving into my sudden need to curl up in the fetal position and cry my eyes out, I get angry, using it to fuel my attempts to get out of the gutter.
People pass by.  They have on their own blinders on making it easy to ignore my plight.  They don’t even look in my direction.  It’s as if by leaving the sidewalk I ceased to exist.  Anonymity is one of the reasons I’d traded the small town of Ashland for the hustle and bustle of the city.  Ironic I’m suddenly cursing one of the very things I’d appreciated when I moved here.  The nameless facelessness blending that came with big city life.
Worse, I know my schedule doesn’t have time for this sort of disaster.  I can’t miss my meeting but I sure as hell can’t show up looking like the inside of a sex shop dumpster.  Two attempts end in failure.  The amazing stilts were more hindrance than help in my struggle to gain upward momentum.  I fall backward again, murky water splashing in all directions as I land square on my ass.
Grams warned me about the perils of style over substance.  And I ignored her every time.  If she could see me struggling like a half drowned sewer rat, she’d be laughing her curlers loose.  Had this travesty occurred any other day, I’d have laughed too.  I can’t laugh.  Nope.  And there is no time for the breakdown I need.  No, right now I have to pull myself back together and sally forth.  Just as I rally, the rain turns from aggravating chilly drizzle to full-scale Armageddon flash flood downpour.
I’ve never been a negative person or prone to wallowing.  Life is all about adapting, perseverance, and all that jazz.  All it takes to prove who you are is a little dose of adversity.  So I channel all my frustrations into another attempt to free myself and get my life back on track.  Hope isn’t lost, a little wayward maybe but not lost.  There is a spare suit in my office.  It will be close but I can make it happen.
My heels gain enough purchase to push me toward the uneven concrete curb, my freshly manicured nails slid across the rain slick surface, two get broken in the process.  Tears sting the corners of my eyes.  Could this possibly get any worse? I regret the thought the minute it slips across my brain.  Someone once told me not to provoke fate by asking stupid questions.  Another one of those times I wasn’t really listening.  My life could have been so much easier if I’d ever just stopped and listened to Grams.  All those lessons I’d been too smart and too busy to ever hear.
I don’t know why I looked up.  Instinct maybe, as if deep down a primal part of me knew something truly dreadful is heading my direction.  If I had to put money on it though, I probably looked up hoping I’d meet the eyes of some stranger who’d prove once and for all kindness and chivalry hadn’t in fact died out with the dodo bird.  Whatever the reason, there is no changing what’s barreling my direction.  Through the hazy fog brought on by the cool rain hitting the hot asphalt there is a distinct flash of familiar yellow, a cab with one broken headlight.  Geometry and its vile siblings weren’t my best subjects but my mind did the math on Einstein autopilot as I projected the trajectory of the rogue cab.  And wouldn’t you just know-it is on a crash course with me.
It figures!
Fear paints my insides an unflattering shade of canary bird yellow, almost the same color of the cab.  I don’t freeze up though.  I try harder to extricate myself from the gutters.  And I get nowhere-fast.  Worse, the cab is still barreling in my direction.  It doesn’t even look like the driver is slowing down.  He probably doesn’t even see me.  Doesn’t even realize what’s about to happen.  Water hits the pavement in this city and every last driver loses their minds.  I’m convinced IQ’s drop the minute precipitation hits the asphalt.
I have seconds left, and one of those gets spent to discover the reason I haven’t moved free of my soon-to-be-watery-grave.  My left heel is wedged, most inconveniently, in the same cast iron grate I’d been using to try and leverage my way out of the gutter.  Because I’m not religious, I have nowhere to direct my last minute Hail Mary request for a miracle and I’m not hypocrite enough to start asking for favors now.
Nope, I am going to spend my last few seconds on Earth cursing sexy impractical designer shoes…..

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Veil Series Q&A

The Ever Expanding.....

Where did the idea come from?
Simply put:  Madness.
If you’ve found anything about me via the vast spectrum of interwebs and social media, it’s that I’m 101% certifiable.  Reclusive and bipolar writing has always allowed me to connect to the world in ways I can’t in reality.  Prin started out no different from the rest of my characters, a voice inside my head that wouldn’t shut up until I started writing.  No, I’m not a complete nutter, though there are days I’m sure those around me truly wonder.
So, there I was thinking about this great city that would later become known through two different stories as Antigone.  (I took my favorite parts of my favorite cities and threw them together.)  While I sketched out Antigone, Prin started talking.  And she just didn’t stop.  Prin’s journey was loosely similar to my own.  She is by far one of the most emotionally stunted characters I’ve ever encountered.
It is through her madness I better understood my own.

Why has it taken you so long to put this story out?
The original manuscript was lost with the great hard drive crash that took several other manuscripts with it; Perception, Silverside, Abby, and Patient 49.  For a writer, this is akin to losing an entire family.  For a bipolar writer, it was a disaster of the apocalyptic variety.
One intervention and a heavy dose of medication later, I redrafted Prin the best I could from memory on my best friend’s parent’s back porch in Arizona.  In less than two months, the rough draft was finished.
Should have published then right?  Wrong!  I’m a perfectionist.  So I have a rather nasty history of picking things to pieces.  I’d like to think this means you end up with a better product but that’s just an attempt to rationalize my own neurosis.
Editing is Hell.  Just saying.  And as a self-publishing author, it’s worse.  I’ve little structure or support so I’m left to my own devices.  While I enjoy the creative and personal freedom of self-publication, I despise editing.  I’m certain Dante omitted that circle of Hell from his journey….
So there it is:  Computer meltdown, human meltdown, attack of vicious neurosis, and a pit-stop through the unforgiving monotony of editing.

How many books are in the Veil Series?
Veil is a five book set.  I’d like to think that is a firm number and success won’t change that number.  No amount of begging will either so don’t bother….I’m not one of those authors prone to dragging a story out to pad their pockets.  If anything, I’ll shorten it to four books if I feel that I can tie everything up nicely by the end of the fourth.  But for the time being, it’s five, and not a single book more.
Touch the Veil; Through the Veil; Rend the Veil; 4&5 remain untitled at this time.
How does it end?
I’m not going to tell you how many people have asked this question.  It’s enough to have earned this little bullet point in the Q&A so that should give you an idea.
You’ll find out in the last book but I’ve known from the moment I started writing Touch the Veil exactly how Prin’s story will end.  Whether it’s happy or otherwise, well, you’ll just have to stay tuned.
Is anything sacred?
Because of the overall outrage with GoT I feel I should put this out here as early as possible.
Nothing is sacred.
Love the characters but realize everyone is expendable at any moment, including the main character.  This is true for the Veil Series and anything else I write.  Good endings aren’t always happy.  Sometimes the good guy has to die.  Softening the blow?  Nope.  Reality doesn’t hold punches and neither will I, especially where my hardcore female leads are concerned.  The day of watery and weak women has passed.
Prin’s background is a little rough?
For some, the opening of Touch the Veil, with Prin’s torture scene might be too much to handle.  I won’t apologize for telling her story in the order it needs to be told.  Prin has a lot of residual damage from that attack and it has shaped everything about her.  Insight into her past, ugly as it is, helps you better understand her.  FYI:  If you thought her past was bad, wait ‘til you get a glimpse of what’s coming.  Get out now if you can’t handle that, cause it’s weak sauce by comparison.
It is only through adversity we discover not only who we truly are, but of what we are fully capable of, Prin is no different.  Everything I put her through is preparing her for what’s ahead.  How can characters grow if they remain untested and unchallenged?
When’s the next book coming out?
See here.  I’ll do my best to keep it updated.
Where do you get your mythical beasties?
Some I pull from loosely related folklore, though I’ve taken a lot of liberties playing with their overall concepts and natures.  No one source gave me anything substantially formative.
Cruellers, Deragons, Pussal larvae, and a few other critters are my own.  You’ll see more of them as the series progresses.  Maybe I’ll even draw up a few for you (though I’ll admit my art classes stopped with finger paints in kindergarten).
Vampires are overdone….
Vampires in this story are side note villains.  And none of the vampires in this series sparkle (no offense meant to Twilighters out there but for my sanity I have to point this out.  I don’t want anyone thinking they’ve been misled.)  Vampires in the Veil Series are brutal and carry little regard for human existence.  We don’t cuddle our Big Mac, they don’t cuddle us either.  We are food and fun, that’s it.  Plus, they give Prin something else to kill...wouldn't want the girl to get bored.
So what all can Prin do?
For now, she just reads memory, though her abilities will change throughout the course of the series based on different pre-plotted events.
Wee People?
Yep, faery, Fae, wee people, fairies….all names used in this book to describe the several of the Veil’s most influential secondary characters.
I’ve taken a lot of liberties with the lore, intentionally.  Spare me the riot act on sticking strictly to legend.  It’s been done.  I want to stretch the limits of our imaginations.  What’s the point of fantasy if we can’t get carried away?
Preternatural Catalogue?
I’ve every intention of putting one up, it’s just going to take time to pull everything together (keep in mind I’ve still got four novels of the Veil waiting to be finished).  Though I’d like to see a mini catalogue of the Veil universe up as soon as possible.  This would be a strictly for the fans addition.

Cover Art?
This will get updated with information regarding Chelsea Patricia's pages once we get everything squared away.  (She's awesome, just saying.)

I’m sure I’ll find more to put in here as the first book goes to press.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Never Ending Squee

So, Chelsea Patricia has signed on to do the cover art for Competitive Edge and The Veil Series.  We talked last night about the overall imagery for both covers as well as the themes for the rest of the Veil books.  Chelsea is a phenomenal photographer.  You should stop and check in on her work.  Her Facebook page is linked to her name.  She's based in the ATL area, so if you are looking for someone with a keen eye and attention to detail she's the woman for the job.  Her hubbin isn't too bad either.

As soon as I can I'll post more on it, but for now it's still in the middle planning stages.  Yes, having someone this awesome work on my covers....dream come true.  So excited.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge, my rom-com, has finally wrapped at 132 pgs.  Handing it off to editor tomorrow.  Hopefully be ready by the end of the month.  Still have to find cover art and fix that up, but I am looking forward to the headaches that come with it.  Nothing more satisfying than wrapping your novel.

Other projects are in the hands of editors:  Touch the Veil and Perception.  Still looking like early fall releases for those.  If the dates change, I'll keep the blog updated.

What's on deck?
  Honestly, I need to work on Through the Veil, but also, Silverside has been brought up a lot lately.  I'm torn.  Guess I'll sleep on it, tomorrow's another day and all that.  Perhaps I'll have a bright spot of inspiration.

Oh, I've sketched out the outline for a Dystopian early Industrial Revolution fiction.  Think Game of Thrones, only Industrial Revolution style.  I hate comparing anything I write to someone like Martin, he's pretty damned epic, but that's the closest comparison I can come up with at the moment.  Not committed too heavily to it, just setting it up, finding head-shots for the main players.  It's not a fly by the seat of my pants project, so it will likely be years before I have enough for a rough draft.  Still, it's a great concept, here's hoping it doesn't fizzle out.

So, many things to write....so little time.  Okay, back to work.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The top pic is Perception and Touch the Veil side by side.  The middle image is Touch the Veil and the bottom is Perception.   Seeing the manuscripts like this makes everything seem so much closer to reality.

Thought I would share these.
Gotta get back to the edits so they'll be ready for epub soon.