Monday, June 13, 2011

Laurel Osterkamp

Minnesota author, Laurel Osterkamp, is my guest today. Good morning, Laurel. Thanks for coming over.

Thanks for having me over, Susan.
How many books have you written?
I’ve written two full length novels, Following My Toes, and Starring in the movie of My Life. I’ve also written a semi-short e-book called Looking For Ward. All of them qualify as women’s fiction because they were written with a female audience in mind, but I like to think they don’t follow a specific formula.

Tell us about your latest book. Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?

Starring in the Movie of My Life is available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Smashwords. It’s in print and in any e-book formula you could possibly want, including Kindle and Nook.

There are two main characters. Thirty-five-year-old Samantha acts without thinking. Her heart is huge while her sense of purpose is small; she's willing to fight for those she loves, but she's never learned to fight for herself. Eighteen-year-old Melody is cold and calculating, and she's driven by the desire to better herself. As these compelling yet deeply flawed women battle for the affections of 25-year-old Nathan, he becomes increasingly confused and torn between them. Starring in the Movie of my Life is told alternately from both Samantha's and Melody's points-of-view and relates two complete yet combined stories about love, acceptance, and redemption. It speaks to our universal desire to be saved by the ones we love, and the monumental effort required to save ourselves

How do you develop characters? Setting?

I started by assigning both Melody and Samantha with a heroic quality, something that would inform the choices that they make throughout the story. After that the rest just fell into place. As for setting, I imagined a town not unlike Duluth, Minnesota, where I went to college. But my story takes place in Shannon, Wisconsin, which a fictional town.

What are your protagonist’s strengths? Flaws?

Samantha is tremendously loyal and brave when it comes to protecting the people she loves. Melody is, above all else, a survivor. Each one represents the flip side of the other. They are both very flawed. Samantha drifts from thing to thing, and has trouble with follow-through. Melody is driven, and ruthless to the point that she’ll hurt other people in order to get what she wants.

Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?

I just revise a lot, and I make sure never go too long without writing so I don’t lose track of the story. I also meet with a writing group, so I get a lot of feedback during my writing process. They let me know when I something’s inconsistent or unrealistic.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Well, I teach high school Film Studies and TV Production. So much of the story takes place in a high school, and there are countless references to movies and film making.

Can you tell us about current or future projects?

I’ve been focusing on developing my blog, "Laurel’s Open Page", where I post book reviews. I also write posts about reading and pop culture, and there’s usually some reference to teaching high school.

We'll have to check out your blog. Where can folks learn more about your books and events?                                     

Thank you for the interview, Susan.

My pleasure, Laurel. Continued success!

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