Helen Osterman is a rare breed of novelist—never learned to type. In this interview, the author of eight books talks about her background as a nurse of 45 years and how she finds herself including “some kind of medical issue or moral issue in my books.” Osterman added, “Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it.”
As many authors do, Osterman has her protagonist dealing with issues she might have faced when working. She said, “I worked in rehabilitation for many years at a Veteran’s Hospital. I was familiar with stroke patients and how they respond to treatment. My main character, Emma Winberry is an extra for the opera. She has a sixth sense and talks to her Guardian Angel. A member of the chorus has a stroke leaving her paralyzed on the right side and unable to speak intelligibly. In my research, I was surprised to find out that the area for singing is in a different part of the brain than that for speaking. So, even though my character cannot speak, she can still sing. I like to teach my readers something they may not know.”
“Locked Within,” Osterman’s latest release, pits Emma Winberry against a dangerous opponent. When a new friend suffers a stroke, Emma puts herself in danger to save her new friend from an evil woman.
Osterman says that she writes, not because she wants to, but because she has to. “The ideas come and I must get them down on paper. I usually have an idea about the plot but many times, I don’t know how it will end. The characters tell me. That’s what makes the journey from beginning to end so challenging.”
As for the typing issue, Osterman who received a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree from Mercy Hospital-St. Xavier College and later earned a Master’s Degree from Northern Illinois University, has resorted to technology. She said, “When I was in school I always took science courses and never thought I would need typing. Recently I purchased Dragon, the naturally speaking software. It takes a little getting used to, but saves me a lot of time. I still write my first draft by hand because I can’t compose on a machine.”
Other books in Osterman’s Emma Winberry series include “The Accidental Sleuth,” “The Stranger in the Opera House,” “The Elusive Relation,” “Emma Winberry and the Evil Eye,” which was published in 2012.” She has also written in the paranormal/historical and romance genres. Learn more about Helen Osterman on her website at www.helenosterman.com.