Five Questions With: Laurel Osterkamp

I love reading, I love writing and I LOVE discovering new authors, don’t you?

Meet Laurel Osterkamp, an award-winning author who speaks to my heart…Her novels have been hailed as funny, intelligent, snarky and poignant. She is the author of four novels and two novellas, including the November Surprise series, which, like The Holdout (her newest release), features the Bricker family. Laurel was recently on a federal jury, and she loves watching Survivor.

I gave Laurel five questions to answer, so we could get to know her a little better – from her biggest obstacles to how she got started, here’s a little sneak-peek into the life of author Laurel Osterkamp…And make sure to check out the excerpt we’ve attached at the end of the post!

the holdout button

Anne: Every author’s story of how they began their first book or started writing is unique – How did you get started writing?

Laurel: Back when I was young and single I used to perform with comedy groups in the Twin Cities. But I realized that I enjoyed writing the scripts for our comedy sketches more than I enjoyed actually being on stage. Then I read this article about how to write your first novel. The author said that if you can commit to writing 500 words a day, you’d have a novel in a few months. Suddenly it seemed doable, and I decided to just take the plunge!

Anne: From carving out time for yourself to write to organizing your characters or the story: What is your biggest obstacle when writing?

Laurel: If I have an hour or two to myself then I want to be writing. It’s not always easy to find the time, because I teach full-time and I also have two young children. But writing has become almost an obsession with me – I’ve been accused of being very single minded! Once I sit down I struggle with all the normal stuff I suppose, but they’re all just symptoms of the same disease – self-doubt! And you just have to push past it.

Anne: When you aren’t writing, what can your friends and family find you doing?

Laurel: You mean, if I’m not working or spending time with my kids? They’d find me exercising, eating Mexican food and chocolate, reading, watching Scandal and/or Downton Abby, and hopefully, sleeping.

Anne: What’s the best piece of advice you can give to any budding authors out there?

Laurel: Don’t give up. I think the hardest part of writing a novel is finishing it. Starting it is easy, but there are a million reasons not to keep going. Don’t listen to yourself when you try to convince yourself to stop.

Anne: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Laurel: Probably about where I am now, which is still publishing my books and hoping that readers will notice them. The publishing world is changing so quickly, and some very smart/lucky people have figured out how to stay ahead of the curve and get their books in front of readers. I’ve had some ups and downs, but I figure I’ll just hang in there and hopefully be one step ahead of the game!

Connect with Laurel:



Goodreads author page:

Twitter: @laurelosterkamp

Buy the Book!


Robin wanted to win The Holdout, a cutthroat reality TV show, so she gave it her all, challenge after challenge. Then she fell for Grant, with his irresistible eyes and heartbreaking life story.

But Grant was only using Robin as they competed for a million dollars. Once home, Robin wants to hide from the humiliation as episodes of The Holdout are aired, and she worries her family was right all along; she’s not a survivor.

Yet she could surprise everyone, and have the last laugh.

Besides, Robin now has jury duty. And as she forges ahead, confronting her demons about bravery, justice, and romance, Robin will come to decide which is more important: the courage to stand alone, or the strength to love again.