Monday, October 29, 2012

Guest Post: Laurel Osterkamp

Welcome to a stop on the November Surprise CLP Blog Tour! Since I have oodles of things happening right now, I didn't quite have the time to read the novel by Laurel Osterkamp but I wanted to spread some awareness of this book so today I have a guest post from Laurel for you all to read. Most of you reading this will know that I'm Canadian so since the upcoming election will not directly affect me I haven't been immersed in political thoughts or conversations at all. Confession: I'm also not really into politics anyway. I've voted but I don't really have a super strong feeling for any of our parties. All of these thoughts kind of made me curious about what made Laurel want to write a book that has a side story that's all about politics. Thank you to Laurel for writing this great post! And make sure you check out the main page for this tour to read some reviews so you can see if you'd want to read this novel yourself.

November Surprise – a Political Romance

I've gotten some wonderful and much appreciated feedback on my latest novel, November Surprise. However, the premise seems to confuse a lot of readers. It’s political, and a romance? A political romance? What is that?

I think of it as a romance first, and as political second. My goal in writing it was not to influence anyone, or to put forth some sort of agenda. The main characters in all my novels always resemble me in some way, and Lucy resembles me in that she’s a political junkie. It’s how she relates to the world. It would be unrealistic to have someone so obsessed with politics to not have firm opinions and ideologies, so I gave her mine. However, I specifically stayed away from some of the more subversive issues (abortion, for example) and I made sure to create at least one likeable Republican character.

What I wanted to do was to revisit the last six presidential elections, and use them as a symbol of the times. The goal was to chart Lucy’s growth through these times, and to illustrate her progress as she discovers things about herself, and the world. At the base of it all, there’s a love story. Two people connect and feel a mutual attraction, but time and circumstance keep them apart. Can they wade through the hubbub and find each other? Can they find themselves? These are the questions I aimed to answer in November Surprise. The politics were more about setting and character development than anything.

I'm really glad I wrote it, because I had a lot of fun, and I learned things through my research that I didn't already know. Plus, it was a challenge, and I love challenges. Still, I'm worried that the politics may scare off potential readers, even though I've had positive reviews from both conservatives and apolitical people. But in the end, I feel the only books I can finish are the ones that are bursting to come out. November Surprise is what was bursting at the time.

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