Karen Osman is British mum of toddlers Zane, and Ryan. She’s from the Lake District originally but now lives in JBR. We spoke to Karen to find out how she juggles her busy life being a mum and award-winning Author in Dubai.
Karen admits she doesn’t have a huge amount of downtime, but writing for a living means she can be very flexible and manage her time accordingly. “Living near the beach is fantastic and I love taking the children swimming in the sea or to collect shells. We just love spending time outdoors, and often spend weekends going to the parks and visiting Ripe Market.”
Karen has been living as an expat across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East for almost twenty years now saying that “Dubai very much feels like home and I really enjoy it here – there’s a lot of opportunity and I like the active lifestyle.”
Like many mums, Karen says it’s a continuous balancing act juggling work and motherhood – especially having two little ones, but she feels lucky she has a lot of support here. “My husband is very hands-on and we share the load between us to keep our three year old and one year old entertained! We also have our nanny Rosalie who is simply incredible.”
So what does Karen miss most about back home? “Family and friends for sure! I would also include high-street shopping, the changing of seasons (especially Autumn), and country walks. When I go back home I tend to stock up on things for the boys such as clothes and toys. I also buy a stack of greeting cards and skin and hair care items and I always buy a massive stack of magazines!”
One of Karens’ hugest achievements has been winning the coveted first place at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Montegrappa Writing Prize in 2016 for her debut novel called The Good Mother. She decided to enter the competition rather spontaneously when she was doing some research for her content writing business.
Bravely, having never written a novel before, she decided to give it a go and enter, and the rest was history; “It was quite a shock when I heard my name being called out as the winner with my novel The Good Mother. A renowned publishing agent, Luigi Bonomi, judged the competition so it was amazing to have the endorsement of my work from such an industry professional. This year Luigi has also secured me a three-book deal so the impact of winning the competition has been life changing.” Karen adds that she would advise any budding novelists to apply.
So what’s Karen’s novel The Good Mother about? It’s a psychological thriller and is about three women, one of whom has volunteered to write to a prisoner convicted of murder. As his release date draws closer, all three women are affected in some way. Karen doesn’t give away too much but there’s a LOT of suspense and a real twist at the end!
As an Author, Karen’s clearly in a good place to share her recommendations of thrilling books and TV series. She says “The last TV series I watched was The Ozarks, which was gripping. It’s tough trying to find something my husband will watch with me, so this was a good find. I read a lot – and the last book I read was Gillian McAllister’s Everything But The Truth.”
And as for any great little finds in Dubai? Karen admits “I’m probably a little late to the table on this one but I have recently discovered The Old Library in DUCTAC Mall of the Emirates. We were buying so many books for our sons so this has been a great find.”
She adds “For eating out with the family, we’re big fans of Bateel and I also love how child-friendly EggSpectation in JBR is – the staff are warm and welcoming and always make my children laugh, the service is quick too and that always helps as the boys are normally starving!” If it’s a posh meal out with her hubby, Karen loves spending special occasions at PierChic in Madinat Jumeirah.
And as for the future? Karen says she already has a busy year ahead but she didn’t always know she’d end up being an Author. In fact, she says she knew that her career would be in the area of communication and writing somehow. “My parents were always very encouraging of my love of the English language and I had some great teachers at school who really supported me. It’s cliché but in terms of career advice, finding your passion is what really helped me.”
So much so, Karen’s already writing her second novel that will be released in 2018.
Karen Osman’s official bio here
The Good Mother was launched on 1st October 2017
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