1. Please tell me the three most important things people should know about you.
The three most important things people should know about me are:
a. I’m the mother of five, grandmother of nine and great-grandmother of one.
b. I’ve been a nurse for forty-five years and am currently retired.
c. I have fulfilled a life-long dream of being a writer. I have eight published books, another coming out this fall, and have written a number of short stories.
2. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I love dogs. Do not have one now because arthritis prevents me from giving it adequate care.
3. Tea or coffee?
Most definitely coffee. I begin my day with two cups of freshly ground Rain Forest Rescue coffee.
4. Question omitted.
5. What was the first thing you ever wrote?
The first thing I ever wrote was a very short story when I was in the primary grades. It was terrible, but, I persisted. In my mind I was always doing something adventurous.
6. When did you finally decide to call yourself a writer?
All through my nursing career I wrote articles for nursing and medical journals. I perceived myself a writer then, but only when I held my first published book in my hand, did I feel like a real author.
7. Which of your works are you most proud to have written?
Song of the Rails, a Love Story, is dearest to my heart because it is partly autobiographical. I shed many tears writing it and readers tell me the same, both men and women.
8. What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?
The scariest thing that ever happened to me was hearing that my thirty-five year old mountain climbing son had fallen fifty feet. He was climbing in Mexico and I couldn’t get to him. He was severely injured and rushed back to Chicago where, a surgeon with whom I worked, had to remove his right foot. I nursed him back to health knowing just what to do because, ironically, I was working with amputee rehabilitation at the time.
9. How did you end up getting published?
I was at the Love is Murder Conference in Chicago where publishers and agents were taking pitches. A representative of Thompson/Gale listened to my ten minute pitch and loved the plot. I had the foresight to bring a CD with the manuscript on it. Five weeks later, I had a contract.
10. Would you be food or fighter if the zombie apocalypse were to happen?
If the zombie apocalypse happened, I would die of fright. So I guess that makes me food.
11. What is the most daring thing you have ever done?
The most daring thing I’ve ever done is having my picture taken clinging to the forty foot mast of my son’s forty-nine foot sailboat. Same son who was mountain climbing.
12. Would you rather be rich or famous--and you could only have one-- and why? The fame would be based on something good, not something like being the best serial killer or anything like that.
I would rather be famous for my writing. I try to teach something in every book I write. My medical knowledge always sneaks in, whether I realize it or not. When readers tell me how much they enjoyed a certain book and why, that’s all the riches I need.
FROM THE AUTHOR:
I received the following blurb for my novel, Locked Within, and Emma Winberry Mystery, #5 in the series from the late Michael Palmer, MD, author of medical thrillers. I will always treasure it.
Locked Within is a simply wonderful story written by an author who clearly knows our craft. I had a great time with this book and recommend it to any reader who enjoys clever plotting and vivid characters.
Osterman is a nurse who understands what it means to care and be cared for. Her writing is scalpel sharp and much more intelligent than some of the cozies I have read.
Locked Within is fun and fascinating. Fans of my books will have a great time with it.
Bravo, Helen Osterman!
Michael Palmer, MD
New York Times Winning Author: Political Suicide
My books are available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com. Also from Oak Tree Press.