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Most of you probably remember or at least have heard of the Osmond, the famous musical family that produced Donny and Marie and a whole slew of popular albums during the 1970s. Merrill Osmond, one of the talented brothers, has recently written a novel for teens and joins us for an interview today. He is also giving away a copy of one of his previous books. Details on how to enter are at the end of this post.
1. Please give us a brief summary of your book.
The main character is twelve-year-old Liam Kane who suffers from troubling dreams without knowing what they mean. His Hawaiian mother protects him and he doesn’t see a lot of his father, Ross, an Englishman who works as an airline pilot.
Liam is terrorized by two local teenagers, Dirk and Tomoya. You will find it interesting how these two end up changing his life.
After graduating from a homeschooling curriculum, Liam’s father arranges for him to go to England to help with his uncle’s farm harvest, and Liam reluctantly agrees to go.
On a stopover in Las Vegas, Liam envisions some things that come to pass. There he meets an elderly Native American, Manny White Elk, who is a visionary who teaches Liam about the ripple effect of people’s actions.
Liam has recurring dreams not only of a closed red door, but of the visionaries he meets through his travels.
Liam ends up in many circumstances and misuses his gifts. A mysterious woman on the beach gives him a card that reads, Faith is being sure of what is hoped for and certain of what we do not see. She assures Liam that faith will be his most loyal friend to help guide his thinking.
From there he ends up going into hiding from the world that seeks him out for fame and fortune and to squander his gifts.
The ending… well, you’ll have to read the book to see how and if Liam comes to terms with his life.
2. What inspired you to write it?It was a dream I’ve always had of writing a novel. I had written two previous books. “Let the Reason be Love” which was titled after a hit we had in the 70’s and was a sort of autobiography of my life. Then I wrote “The Plan Revisited” which was my experiences with my brothers in writing our statement album called, “The Plan” which was a story within itself.
I have had the story of “Faith, Hope & Gravity” in my head for many years and it just seemed like the right time to finally go forward and get it all done. It took over a year to get published because I kept changing things. I probably drove my co-writer Shirley crazy as my mind never stops, so I kept throwing ideas at her to add, but I finally said, “This is it. This is what I want to say."
3. What were some of the books you read as a child and how have they influenced you?
I used to read Robin Hood over and over. I couldn't quite understand how someone could steal and be praised for it. I didn't understand who the good guy was in the end. I observed a lot of lies, a lot of deceit and justification to try to get the poor the goods they needed. I also saw how those who sat around and did nothing always seemed to get fed and taken care of, too. But the most interesting thread that wrapped everything into my head was the guy at the top, the king, the so called God that ruled and reigned over all the good and the bad. That individual became my life’s study. With the power to do as he pleased, why did any of this good/bad stuff have to happen at all? Was there not enough of everything to go around? Couldn't he have talked to the people and asked what the needs were, then tried to do something about it?
My childhood stories were not just read in books, but watching many people as a child I would make up the funniest books anyone could have written.
4. What is one memory you have of your earliest experiences with music?
I can remember way back when we started. I was only four and my father would drive us around to fairs and different gatherings that we would sing at. But I would have to say my most vivid memories are when we started on the Andy Williams show. We were supposed to do one show with Andy and it turned in to six years. It was a live show and that’s where we got the nickname of “One Take Osmonds.” Each week we would have to come up with a new routine to stay fresh and so we would learn to play an instrument one week, ice skate, tap dance, you name it, we had to do it. But we had the best production behind us and we learned to get it right. You don’t want to mess up live on TV. It also put a lot of pressure on us as young children if you think about our age and the pressure we were under to be perfect each time. But it made us who were are today and still performing together over 50 years.
5. Do you have a favorite song?
There, of course, have been so many great songs in my life it would be hard to pick just one. My favorite song would probably change each time you asked me because the music I sing and love is continuously evolving in my life. I love the classics of the 40’s that’s what my mother listened to when I was young which was why I did the Swing Time album. I love Classic Rock & Roll, the songs of Broadway, Elvis, so you can see where this is going. I just love music in general.
6. Growing up in a famous musical family, do you have any regrets?
Not one. You know the education that was given to me traveling the world and meeting Kings and Queens and friends of all generations and walks of life I could have not had the privilege of knowing otherwise. Do I regret missing out on regular childhood things? Yes, I think so, but I’ve been entertaining since the age of 4 and it’s the only life I know.
7. Can you share a little about writing Faith, Hope and Gravity and your road to publication?
Well…”Faith, Hope and Gravity” has been in my head for a long time, more years than I care to say. It’s so much a part of me that many people have a hard time understanding sometimes about my deep thoughts and the way I look at the world. I thought that maybe this book would use the stories in a way that people would get to know who I am and ask, “Is this really fiction, or is this Merrill Osmond?” As you read the book, you will see pieces of my thought process and how I viewed the world.
8. What can we expect from you in the future?
You can expect me to keep on writing and singing the music I love. I want to do more songwriting, that’s one of my favorite things to do. In fact, I wrote a song that is dedicated to the people that read this book. I would like to do more writing, maybe a children’s book series and more books that challenge people to understand who I truly am.
Merrill has graciously provided an audio version of his book LET THE REASON BE LOVE to one lucky reader. All you need to do enter the giveaway is fill out the rafflecopter below.
This giveaway will end on September 14th.