I’m interviewing Laurel Osterkamp today, author of women’s fiction “Just Like the Brontë Sisters”. Welcome, and thanks for answering my questions.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always loved writing, but deciding to be an author, to me, means committing to writing an entire book. Around fifteen years ago, after reading Bridget Jone’s Diary (and all the subsequent chick lit books that came out) I thought, “I could write something like that.” So, I came up with an idea for what later became my first novel, Following My Toes. I decided I’d write at least 500 words a day until I had a first draft. But then came all the self-doubt and my inner critic, who told me I was silly to write a book, that I was incapable, that I’d just make a fool of myself. One night I was walking to my car after taking a writing workshop in downtown Minneapolis, and that critical voice was super-loud and super-mean, saying I was stupid to think I could be an author. I literally stopped in my tracks and told myself, “Laurel, you can give yourself a million reasons for why you shouldn’t write a book. But you’ll write one anyway and you’ll worry about how good it is later. For now, you’re just going to write.”
I listened to myself that time. That was the moment I knew for sure that I wanted to be an author.
What inspired you to write this trilogy?
Just Like the Brontë Sisters is a stand-alone novel. For the last several years, I’ve written many books/novellas/stories/blog posts about the same two characters, Lucy and Robin Bricker, who are cousins through marriage. I loved writing about Lucy and Robin, but after a while, it became difficult to come up with new ideas without making their lives sound crazy-unrealistic. So, I knew I was ready to start something new. I wanted to write about sisters, skiing, and literature. I wanted to make the story unique and sort of thrilling. In my jumbled-up mind, Just Like the Brontë Sisters was born.
What is your editing process like?
I wait until my first draft is done before I do any serious editing. Then, it’s just combing through, finding mistakes and revising for readability. I love revising; editing though, is tedious. I always have a few trusted friends/family members help me. Extra sets of eyes are invaluable.
Is this your first book?
Nope! Just Like the Brontë Sisters is my seventh full length novel.
Did you set any writing goals for 2017?
I love writing enough that I don’t really need to set goals. No matter what, I’ll always want to write. But I do try to write 300 words every morning first thing, when I get up at 5 AM. That way, I know I’ll fit writing into my very busy day.
Are you working on something now?
Definitely! I’m a political junkie, and during the 2016 campaign, I was very intrigued by Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump’s friendship. I’m writing about fictional versions of them, along with a fictional Jared Kushner, and a totally made-up main character who becomes close to all three.
About the Book
Title: Just Like The Bronte Sisters
Author: Laurel Osterkamp
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Sisters Skylar and Jo Beth adore skiing and they virtually share the same soul. After an accident, Jo Beth flees to Brazil, leaving Skylar behind in Colorado to obsessively read the Brontë sisters. While abroad, Jo Beth meets Mitch and her life takes some unexpected turns, until tragedy leads free-spirited Mitch right into Skylar’s empty arms. With their Heathcliff/Catherine romance in full swing, Skylar wants to trust Mitch, but did he harm her sister? Loving Mitch could make Skylar lose everything. Just Like the Brontë Sisters is an unconventional romantic page-turner inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel, full of magical realism, literary references, a ghost, and some healthy doses of suspense.
Laurel Osterkamp is a Kindle Scout/award-winning author of women’s fiction and suspense. Her “day job” is as at Columbia Heights High School, where she teaches creative writing, college writing, and AP Lit. She resides in Minneapolis with her husband, two chatty children, an overweight cat, a gecko, and a hissing cockroach (don’t ask). Her other loves include chocolate, jogging, and boots.