THE CALLING IS OUT!! In celebration of author Branwen OShea’s book release, enjoy this article introducing just who OShea is. If you’ve met her, you’re lucky. If you haven’t, you’re going to wish you had a long time ago. I trust you’ll come to love this authentic, crafty, and intelligent author.
Living in Connecticut with family and pets, one of Branwen OShea’s first aspirations was to become an alien ambassador. Now, she writes about them. Long before she was immersed
in the field of creative writing, OShea had earned a Bachelors in Biology from Colgate University, a Bachelors of Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work. Her days are divided between being a therapist in the morning and a writer in the evenings. The careers, OShea notes, both “explore human motivations, behaviours, and choices, but my role is vastly different for each. During therapy sessions, I help clients solve problems, and at night I create conflict and tension between my characters.”
OShea was always the new girl. Constantly moving, OShea says the experience gave her a “deep appreciation for finding friends. Deep friendships and found families are some of my favourite things to write, especially unusual friendships.” Drawing from her childhood in her writing, OShea adds that “as a child I often found myself surrounded by violence, and had to figure out ways to survive… I love writing about heroes forced to figure out the twisted logic of their enemies, and villains reacting to kindness… I just love learning from people who think differently or come from vastly different life experiences.”
Branwen is not only accomplished in her education but as an author. She has previously been published in nonfiction yoga books, wellness magazines, and now in her works of science fiction such as ‘The Calling’ and ‘Silence of the Song trees.’ The world of fantasy and the adoration for all it entails has extended to OShea’s children, and together, they are often found reading portal fantasy novels. “My children have been my first beta readers, toughest critics, and greatest supports. Both my teens write their own speculative novels, and mealtimes often become great discussions on world-building and character development… I don’t know what I’d do without their support. We have lived with these characters’ stories for over a decade and the icy world of The Calling has become our family’s own personal Narnia.”
During her childhood, the desire to write was a constant factor amid changing environments. OShea was never taught creative writing in school, and so the idea of writing a book was like “pulling magic from thin air.” While perusing biology in post-secondary studies, the theoretical aspects were one of OShea’s favourite parts of the program. However, while school again to become a mental health therapist, OShea went home one night after consistently hearing stories of hopelessness for the future and realized something—there needed to be new stories of possible futures. “Of course, I had no ideas and no creative writing skills, but that night I told the universe that if it would give me an idea, I’d write it. When I finally fell asleep, I had multiple dreams where a humanoid alien, Rana, told me an epic story of humanity’s future. Every time I woke up and went back to sleep, Rana picked up the story where she’d left off.”
“The next day I realized I had been gifted a story, so I bought a cheap notebook and started writing. Over the next few weeks, eight other characters introduced themselves, all players in this same story of interlocking adventures. It’s taken me ten years to gain the skills to write my multiple points of view sci-fi adventure novel, The Calling, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. And yes, Rana has a starring role… Not only did I achieve becoming an author, but I’ve learned so much from my characters, and have a whole new, brighter outlook on humanity’s possibilities and future. My fervent wish is that it brings the same lightness and hope to the teens that read it.”
Authors who OShea draws her inspiration from include Laini Taylor, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, Hafsah Faizal, Leigh Bardugo, and Octavia Butler. Between a constantly changing environment, always being the new girl, and more, Branwen OShea is exactly the type of author you want to know more and more about. The Calling, in my opinion, will be one of the best bo