Laurel Osterkamp’s first novel, Following My Toes, won a 2008 National Indie Book Award for Excellence. She drew on her experiences as a high school film studies and creative writing teacher as she wrote Starring in the Movie of my Life.
Six presidential elections
One consuming love affair
For Lucy Jones, the distinction between love and politics is hazy at best. Both can be all-consuming, and either can lead to a heart-breaking loss or an exhilarating win. Whatever the case, if you're seen as a loser, you probably are one. Lucy first learns this lesson in 1988, when she's a shy girl, battling a high school bully and rooting for Dukakis. Through the years Lucy will experience stunning victories and agonizing defeats as she makes the choices that define her. Meanwhile, she also struggles to define her relationship with Monty, who comes in and out of her life like the changes in public opinion. Is Monty simply a one-night stand, a kindred spirit, or the love of her life? And by 2008, can he offer her a change to believe in?
Over the course of twenty years and six presidential elections, Lucy grows and adjusts with the times. Filled with snarky political and pop-culture references, November Surprise is about the journey we take to believe in a candidate, in love, and in ourselves.
Comedy writer and award-winning novelist Laurel Osterkamp has written a funny and moving novella about life, love, and politics as seen through the unique lens of Lucy Jones, a quintessential girl-next-door who is obsessed with political campaigns. Liberal, idealistic, and struggling to find her way, Lucy has an easier time believing in causes than she does in herself. But in the midst of analyzing the mistakes made by past political candidates, Lucy attempts to figure out her own choices when it comes to both her private and public life. There's her high school sweetheart Jack, Monty, Jack's magnetic older brother, and her politician boyfriend, Drew. Can any of these men offer Lucy a campaign promise to believe in?
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 twenty-five-year-old Nathan, he becomes increasingly confused and torn between them. Nathan is Melody's English teacher, and after he saves her from being raped, she becomes attached. Melody longs for the affection she's never felt, so she involves people in her self-invented drama, making sure she is at once the star and the director. Meanwhile, Samantha is newly married to Nathan. But Samantha has hang-ups about motherhood and lingering feelings for her ex. To make sense of the world, Sam relates her life to the themes of her favorite movies, while she independently makes a documentary to jump-start her non-existent film career.
Stylistically influenced by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner, 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.
What if your love disappeared and your loyalties changed? Would you change your life, or would it change you? In Looking For Ward a bride-to-be confronts these questions as she faces the ultimate threat to her wedding plans.
Meet Chloe Langley, a wannabe jewelry designer and spoiled Daddy’s girl. Chloe is used to getting what she wants, and for months she’s been planning the dream wedding for herself and her finance, Ward. Then, thirty days before their wedding day, Ward disappears, leaving only an e-mail, instructing her not to look for him.
In the month leading up to her wedding, Chloe must decide if and how she should find Ward, whom to trust, when to let go, and what to do about their wedding plans.
The story is told through a series of e-mails between Chloe, her best-friend Bethany, and Ward’s best man Owen. As the month goes on and the wedding date gets closer, secrets come out that change the lives of everyone involved. In the process Chloe discovers the true meaning of love and loyalty, and finds that she’s capable of more than she ever thought possible.
Looking For Ward is a wonderful story about what it means to believe in love, and to believe in yourself.
Minnesota author Laurel Osterkamp originally wrote this 22,000-word novella for fans of her chick-lit novel, Following My Toes. Those readers received a new installment of the story by e-mail each day during the month of March 2007. Now this 2008 Kindle edition offers Looking For Ward to the general public.
Laurel Osterkamp has been a comedy writer for Minneapolis performance groups over the last seven years. She currently teaches creative writing to high school students, and lives in Minneapolis with her husband and son.
Even if nobody believes her, Faith Emerson knows she’s psychic. After all, she totally saw it coming when Peter, her boyfriend of two years, dumped her for her best friend.
Heartbroken, Faith needs a fresh start. So when her good friend Carolyn suggests she move from Duluth to Minneapolis, Faith takes the plunge and embarks on a new adventure. However, Faith soon learns things don’t always go as planned when she’s forced to deal with a coffee shop customer from hell, a bruised tailbone, a phone-sex operator roommate, a freeloading little sister, her parents’ taxidermy convention, and a new love interest who may be stalking her. Yet every time Faith tries to rely on her perceptive abilities, friends or family accuse her of being self-involved.
Faith believes in love, but knows she must solve the stalker mystery before she can trust any of the new men in her life. In the process she discovers that she has more to learn about following her heart and following her instincts than she ever imagined.
Following My Toes is a tale of love and forgiveness, told with humor and a fresh, innovative voice!
Following My Toes was chosen as "best chick lit" in the 2008 National Indie Excellence Book Award contest.