Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and sixtieth, is of non-fiction author Linda Osmundson.
Linda Osmundson has worn many hats – teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, volunteer, professional speaker, art docent, crafter, and writer. At the age of fifty, she told her husband she wanted to take a writing course. He asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
She grew up to publish many articles for art, children, parent, Senior, teacher, religious, and travel magazines as well as newspapers, Chicken Soup for the Soul and Family Circle. Her two books in the How the West Was Drawn series came out in 2011 and 2012. She awaits news of a third acceptance in the series.
Although her books are about western artists and she grew up and attended college in Texas, she was never a real cowgirl. After moving to Colorado to teach, she met and married her husband. His job transfers took them from Denver to Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Denver again, Seattle, San Ramon, California, and, finally, retirement in Fort Collins, Colorado. In each location, she substitute taught, volunteered in art museums, taught docents (tour guides) and classroom volunteers to give interactive tours, and led hundreds of children and adults through museums.
Osmundson belongs to Colorado Author’s League, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and Northern Colorado Writers. She teaches writing classes and presents art appreciation programs to organizations and schools. For more information check her website, www.LindaOsmundson.com.
In her “spare” time, Osmundson loves to visit her seven grandchildren, read, golf, craft, cruise / travel, or dance to Dixieland Jazz and 50s music.
And now from the author herself:
Why I Write Books About Art Appreciation
Since my passion and goal is to help children and adults look, see, interact, and remember fine art, I asked myself why the concept of interactive museum tours couldn’t work in book format. The concept of questions followed by stories or information achieved my goal in my How the West was Drawn series.
When I look back, I realize my book idea stemmed from a 1990 experience. I served as a docent for the Moscow Treasures and Traditions exhibit during the Seattle World Games. One day, rather than a docent leading a tour through the whole show, we each were assigned to one gallery. Tours went from gallery to gallery and docent to docent.
The group of high school students raced through the show, hardly glancing from side to side. I approached a teacher and asked why he didn’t insist students interact with docents. “Oh, it’s okay,” he said, “they just want to look.”
I grabbed my chance to get someone to “see” rather than “look” when I noticed a girl linger over a Faberge silver box.
“There’s a story on the lid,” I told her. As I asked questions and related the story, she pointed out whatever I mentioned – the girl, forest, trees, cold snow. When my story concluded, she discovered the large ghost-like face of Father Frost disquised among the snow and trees. She thanked me and left. A few minutes later she returned with a friend. “Do that with her.”
My books “do that” with children from ages 7-107; questions which require the reader to look and see each of the thirteen art works in each book are followed by tidbits of information or stories. When How the West Was Drawn: Cowboy Charlie’s Art arrived and the UPS truck left, I opened a box, grabbed a book with my name on the cover, and, at the age of 72, broke into tears.
Cowboy Charlie’s Art received a finalist Spur award from Western Writer’s of America. It was chosen as an Accelerated Reader (AR) book for schools. Hopefully Remington’s Art will also be honored.
I write about art appreciation to fulfill my goal. My books offer tools to help children and adults look, see, interact, and remember fine art.
You can find more about Linda and her writing via her website www.LindaOsmundson.com.
Thank you, Linda. Good luck with book number three… your covers are simply stunning!
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with memoirist / non-fiction author, antique dealer and dog whisperer Barbara Barth – the six hundred and twenty-fourth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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