Message From The Author

Maggie Osborne

Book Title: THE BEST MAN
Genre: Historical Romance

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Author's Message

The Best Man

Although readers have for years loved and devoured the novels of Maggie Osborne, the industry has just begun to open its eyes to her stellar quality. So much so that her mail-order bride novel, Brides of Prairie Gold, has been bought by Turner Entertainment and will begin production this spring. The film is sure to bring Osborne some of the credit she has long deserved as Callie Calley, author of the "Thelma and Louise" screenplay, has been commissioned to write and direct!

So after nearly twenty years as a published romance writer, Osborne has been around the romantic block more than once. Now she's venturing into new territory within the romance genre. Her latest novel, The Best Man, is not your average cowboy love story. Instead it weaves the characters of three sisters and their complicated lives into a narrative that draws its meaning from the simple yet powerful whole, greater than the sum of its parts. For once it is not the individual plot lines that rule.

"I like to write about women who are taken out of their normal circumstances to a place they'd rather not be, wouldn't normally be, and what happens to them in the process," she explains. "I like testing heroines...when push comes to shove and they find they can be more than they thought they could. I believe in that strength in women. We will rise to the occasion and succeed," she proclaims. And indeed her three heroines do succeed, despite the individual character flaws, and even physical handicaps, that they suffer. Les, Freddy and Alex face the challenge of their lives as they embark on a cattle drive meant to prove their worth to their deceased father and win them their inheritances. Among realistic elements-like con artistry, alcoholism, greed and lust-full, well-deserved love manages to grow and thrive for each of the sisters, as well as between them.

"Romance plays into it-it always does in my stories. But at this point, I'm interested in relationships between women, not just the male-female, romantic [one]," she clarified. Osborne's days are partly consumed with taking care of her 88-year-old parents-in-law that live with her and her husband outside of Breckenridge, Colorado-smack dab in the middle of the Rockies. Thus it may be due to a combination of experience, maturity and her new role as caretaker of her loved ones that there has been this slight shift of focus in the author, after years of writing tried and true romance.

She's artfully developed a keen interest in and appreciation of those other relationships: the familial and the peripheral and those other people. Those "on the fringe have romances that are life-changing as well," she says. "We've all felt those fringe feelings before; we're not all beautiful and perfect and flawless. But love is still possible for us. That's why I put Alex, [one of the sisters in THE BEST MAN] in a wheelchair."

Though this book required "tremendous research" on longhorn steer and cowboying in post-Civil War days, Maggie feels that "you can write anything from any viewpoint.

"I think that it's easy to write about things you don't know about if you break it down to the basic emotions," she says. "I remember when I first figured this out. It was when I read James Michener's book Hawaii and in the book he describes a woman giving birth. I thought: 'How can a man write about this? He can't possibly relate.' But the way he did it taught me he must have had some experience of fear of inevitable pain-the kind of thing you'd do anything to be able to avoid, but can't-mixed with the feeling of anticipated joy. So he called on that knowledge of that emotional experience and he could do

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