Tuesday, November 25, 2014

CBB Promotions Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: The Next Breath (Laurel Osterkamp)


Welcome to my tour stop for The Next Breath by Laurel Osterkamp. This is an adult contemporary and the tour runs November 17-28th with reviews, interviews & guest posts. Check out the tour schedule for all the posts.

nextbreath-osterkamp-ebookThe Next Breath, 313 pages

I kiss him, choosing love over honesty, which is a choice nobody should ever have to make…"
Robin loves sweet, responsible Nick, with his penchant for Beethoven and Ben Folds Five. But she also still loves her college boyfriend Jed, an irreverent playwright plagued with cystic fibrosis. Now Robin is struggling to reveal her secrets and confront her past, as she finally performs in the play that Jed wrote for her, eleven years ago. Will Robin have the strength to keep her promise and stay true to her heart?
Alternating between present-day scenes, college flashbacks, and segments from Jed’s play, this tear-jerking yet uplifting tale illustrates how life is finite but love is infinite, and the road to recovery begins with the next breath.  

Goodreads | Amazon

Laurel Osterkamp becomes very attached to her characters, and it’s hard for her to stop writing about them.  The Holdout, November Surprise, Blue State, Campaign Promises, American Angst and The Next Breath all feature the Bricker family, as their stories continue. (But you can read any of these books in any order.) You can find Laurel on Twitter but she needs to work on sending clever Tweets. A better idea is to follow her blog at www.laurelosterkamp.blogspot.com. Laurel teaches in Minneapolis, MN, where she tries to stay warm, spend time with her two nearly perfect children and husband, and find the time to write.  Her other novels are Following My Toes and Starring in the Movie of My Life. Visit her at www.laurelosterkamp.com.


What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

The Next Breath stars Robin, the same main character as in my 2013 release, The Holdout. I had the best time writing about Robin and I knew I wanted to continue her story. But when I started writing a second book I felt that sophomore slump. How do I write something unique and dynamic? I decided I need to play around with flashbacks, and put Robin in a life or death situation. I wanted to capture the raw feeling of being young and in love, when the stakes are super-high.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

Robin is my favorite. I wish I could be more like her! She’s good at so many things, and she’s genuine and loyal. 

Which came first, the title or the novel?

Definitely the novel! I was originally going to call it The Fallout, keeping it similar to The Holdout. Then one night I was on Goodreads, and saw a new release called Fallout, which, like my book, was a novel about theater. I didn’t want there to be confusion, so I gave up trying to having a themed title, and called it The Next Breath, which fits the story way better anyway.

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

Towards the end of the novel, Robin performs in a play that her college boyfriend, Jed, wrote for her. The play becomes super important, and I knew I had to include it. But I sort of kicked myself in the foot with it, setting Jed up as a “brilliant” playwright. I found writing “Jed’s” play to be really intimidating: writing in a different genre, and from the voice of 21-year-old male with cystic fibrosis. It was a challenge! But I’m really happy with how it turned out.

 Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

I read and learned a lot about cystic fibrosis, and that was incredibly valuable to me. I also feel really good about confronting issues of life, love, and loss. Sometimes I’m scared to put my characters in truly painful situations. It’s like they’re my children, and I don’t want to see them suffer. But I got past that while writing The Next Breath.

What do you like most about the cover of the book?

Christa Holland, at PaperandSage.com designed the cover, and I think she did an amazing job! I found the photo and she added the lighting effects, composed it, and put in this cool font. I smile every time I look at it.

What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?

You know, I don’t pay that much attention to what’s being released, but there are a lot of things on my kindle that I’m looking forward to reading, like Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little, and The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller. Also, I’ve already books one and two in the Grisha trilogy, by Leigh Bardugo, and I’m excited to read the third.

 What was your favorite book in 2014?

I loved Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, and Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes. I don’t know which one I’d pick as my favorite; they were all so good!

 What’s up next for you?

I plan to write one more book about Robin. Right now my ideas for this next book include a reality show like Project Runway, a ballet dancer-turned model who is in trouble, a love triangle (but not for Robin), scaling large buildings, and life or death situations. Sounds crazy, right? But I’d love to make it all work.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

Thanks so much for having me, and for giving my book a chance!

$25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Ends December 3rd, 2014


  1. Wonderful interview! Thank you so much for hosting a tour stop!

  2. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for adding a character with Cystic Fibrosis. My niece has CF, my sister adopted her when she was 5. Can't wait to read this

    1. Collenga,
      It was an invaluable experience, researching and writing about CF, and I learned so much. I have a whole new respect for people who struggle with the illness, and also for the people who care for them. I hope your niece is doing okay!

  3. I always like to know what inspires a story.

  4. Thanks for featuring the Next Breath during my blog tour. I really appreciate it!