Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Interview & Review: The Holdout by Laurel Osterkamp

Hello my lovely followers. I hope your week is off too a good start. To my school age friends- I hope that you had a great break and that school isn't starting out too rough for you! Today I get to present to you an interview with Laurel Osterkamp, author of The Holdout. She was nice enough to answer a few of my questions, so be sure to give her a kind thank you! Now, on with the post!


The Holdout's main story involves a Survivor-like reality show. Do you watch reality shows on television? Which one is your favorite?

I love Survivor! I started watching it in its first season and was hooked. However, after several years of watching it I did start to lose interest, but I got back into it when my eight-year-old son and I realized we enjoy watching it together.

The season of The Holdout featured in this novel is set in the Philippines. Did you have to do any research on the food (for the eating challenge) and location?

My research consisted of watching the food challenge from last spring’s Survivor several times. I took notes and tried to imagine what it would be like to eat that stuff. It was definitely one of the scenes that I most enjoyed writing.

Once Robin is back stateside, she has to go to jury duty. Luckily for me, I've gotten out of both of my summons thanks to going to school far away. Have you ever had to sit through this, and were you as happy as Robin was to be there?

I confess – I am a huge a geek who actually WANTED jury duty. I love lawyer shows, like The Good Wife, and I thought it would be fun to be a part of the legal process. And once I was actually put on the jury my head was swimming with ideas for things to write about. I finally settled on what later became The Holdout, so being put on that jury was a great thing for me.

If you were going to a mystery location for this game show, what would be the ONE thing that you would NEED to pack?

A water bottle. I drink more water than anyone I know. It would probably become an issue with the other contestants, like they’d start resenting me for how much of the water I drink.

Everyone has their price (as Robin knows). What would be the one reward challenge prize that would make you try and win at all costs?

That’s tough. But I can’t imagine being without good food for so long. So I expect I’d be a sucker for anything that involves sugar or pizza.

If movie executives knocked on your door right now, who would you cast in the film version of The Holdout?

It’s sort of embarrassing how much thought I’ve already put into this! Okay…
Robin – Anna Torv (from the TV show Fringe)
Nick – Max Greenfield (I saw him on Veronica Mars and I guess he’s now on New Girl.)
Grant – Josh Bowman (from Revenge)
Jack – John Krasinski (from The Office)
Henry – Seth Green
Klemi – Hayden Panettiere (but she’d have to dye her hair)

I've heard of some writers that need to have a favorite pen or to be drinking a certain kind of pop while they write to channel creativity. Are there any methods or quirks that you have while you're writing?

All I need is my iTunes and for my children to be napping or playing by themselves on a Saturday afternoon.

You're really angry or are having a really rough day: what's the one thing that can always cheer you up?

A good book! Right now I’m reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and while it’s certainly not a peppy type of story, the writing is so amazing that it can bring me out of any bad mood.

In the book, Robin has a talent for making and repurposing clothing. Is this a talent that you also share?

No, but I certainly wish it was. However, like Robin I majored in theater when I was in college, so I know enough about sewing from working in the costume shop that I felt I could competently write about it. Plus, I love clothes, so I just thought it would be a fun subject to throw in.

Do you currently have any writing projects in the works? (If so) Can we hear a little about it?

Thanks for asking! I am always working on monthly posts for Lucy’s blog (Lucy, who was also in The Holdout, has a couple of her own books as well,) which is

I also am working on a couple of things that I hope to publish soon. One, American Angst, is a group of short stories that will feature both Lucy and Robin and continue their story. The other is a full-length novel called The Fallout, and it will pick up several months after The Holdout ends. This time the focus will be on secrets, lies, and community theater.

I'm really excited to know there's a follow-up book coming. Thanks so much for talking with me. Now, for my review.


Title: The Holdout
Author: Laurel Osterkamp
Format: Ebook
Pub. Date: September 12th 2013
Source: Laurel Osterkamp


Four stars.

The Holdout is a book that follows leading lady Robin as she gets cast on a Survivor-like game show- The Holdout. The prize is a million dollars, and she has a decent shot at winning.... Until she falls for a guy named Grant in the tribe who lied, charmed, and schmoozed his way through the game, and she fell for it. In front of millions of viewers. She discovers during the after math, with the help of her dysfunctional family and her jury duty summons, who exactly she is, how strong she is, and how to love and trust after what she's been through.

Being a fan of the game show Survivor (and other reality/game shows that I'm less likely to admit to) as well as romance books, when Laurel Osterkamp reached out to me for a review, I couldn't say no. And, I'm very glad I didn't.

Robin is a really refreshing character. Rare these days are the "strong female" in my opinion, but I loved the way that Robin learned and eventually grew into her strengths. I liked that even though she was played like a fool on television, she never came off as whiny or helpless. She stood her own, and it intrigued me to see where she would end up.

The time lapse of this book was well timed. It's set on the game show, which is about 40 days long, and also jumps to Robin's life after the game. I didn't feel that it dragged out, and the transitions were smooth. Once in a while I'd get lost for a second, but it wasn't enough to cause any issues while I was reading it.

I also felt really attached to the characters in this book. I loved some, hated some, and questioned a couple too. As for Grant? I don't blame her for acting the way she did, I'm just saying. Both on and off the show, there is a bright, diverse cast of characters that make for an interesting read.

If you're a fan of reality television, romance, or girls who can stand on their own two feet, then I definitely recommend The Holdout. Thanks to author Laurel Osterkamp for my chance to read this!