Interview with Terri Osburn, Author of In Over Her Head

23 Feb 2021

What can you tell us about your new release, In Over Her Head?

In Over Her Head is the story of two people who have both sworn off relationships but for opposite reasons. She believes that if you let people in, they’ll always let you down. He believes that he’s guaranteed to let people down so he won’t let anyone get close enough to really care about him. That makes a friends-with-benefits agreement idea, until one of them changes the rules. Things get bumpy from there. Readers will also get to visit with lots of familiar characters from the previous books in the series, and there’s a fun twist at the end that ties the heroine to the island even more.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I fell in love with books at a very young age, and romance around my middle school years. I’m not sure it was any one person, but I remember wanting to make other feel the way the books made me feel. That feeling of satisfaction and happiness and escape. Those books were my friends and my key to a world I had no other means to experience. We didn’t even take vacations when I was growing up so romances were the way I could leave small town Ohio behind or English ballrooms and the untamed Wild West.

About fourteen years ago, with the support and help of an amazing group of friends (many of whom are bestselling and award winning authors today) I started creating my own worlds and stories and it’s by far been the most rewarding endeavor of my life.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Narrowing this down to five is so hard! But if I must. First would be Welcome To Temptation by Jennifer Cruise, with her Bet Me a close second. Then I’d have to go with After The Parade by Dorothy Garlock. The book is actually the 2nd about the same lead couple and it absolutely rips your heart out before tucking it back in. Brutal but beautiful. The fifth would have to be from LaVyrle Spencer, but I’m not sure I can choose between Morning Glory an Years so I’ll just call it a tie.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

I had to think about this but then I went right back to my last answer. I would love to chat with LaVyrle Spencer. First, she’s my favorite writer ever, but she also navigated her career in such a unique way. While many authors are locked in by genre or time period, she wasn’t. Ms. Spencer wrote everything from contemporaries to historicals, and if she was a brand new writer right now I have no doubt she’d be told over and over again that she couldn’t do many of the things she did. From writing about infidelity, both in the past and on the page, to love and religious vows and the worthiness of those who have been incarcerated.  She simply saw no boundaries in the stories she wanted to tell. Add that she walked away from writing at the height of her success and I can only imagine what a fascinating conversation that would be.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love the freedom that writing has given me. Both in that I work for myself on my own schedule, and in the opportunities I’ve been granted because of this career. I’ve traveled much farther than I ever dreamed I’d be able to do, and I’ve met more amazing people than I can count. There are the readers who never fail to make me feel like a rock star while I continuously assure them that I am quite plain and boring, and the fellow writers who support and boost and defend each other at every turn. Who wouldn’t love to get paid to write happily ever afters? It’s the greatest job ever.

What is a typical day like for you?

A typical day for me is night time. I know that sounds odd, but I’m a complete night owl and I basically sleep while everyone else is awake, and work while everyone else is asleep. There are times of the year I flipped this back around, but I always fall right back into the same pattern eventually. For instance, I’m typing this out just after eleven at night while wondering what I should have for dinner. The routine isn’t very exciting, at least not in the last year. In the past, I went to concerts and professional hockey games and traveled a lot. Now I start my day be catching up on email and social media, then I write my words before streaming some shows or videos in the early morning hours. I’m looking forward to the day when we can all once again take in a live show and hop on a plane for a fun trip to just about anywhere.

What scene from In Over Her Head was your favorite to write?

I’ve been writing in the Anchor Island series off and on since 2013 and the scenes that include all of my heroines interacting together are the most fun to write. Now that many of them have small children, that’s made those scenes even better. But there is one scene in In Over Her Head that is my favorite for a different reason. To give too many details would mean spoiling something important in the story, but I can say that the scene is near the end and that I cried like a baby while writing it. There were elements that hit very close to home for me, as the mother of a daughter about to graduate college and ventured out on her own, so that made this particular scene a bit more meaningful.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

My main philosophy is all about being positive to the point that a friend actually calls me Pollyanna. I made a choice about fifteen years ago that I was going to find the positive whenever possible, and that one decision changed my life. It’s absolutely true that what you put out to the world is what you get back. If you expect bad things to happen, then bad things happen. This isn’t to say that I’ve never had a difficult time or that staying positive is easy, but it does get easier the more you practice. I know many people who seem to go through life being miserable (some to whom I’m related even) but I just don’t want to live like that. So I choose happiness. I choose positivity. And my life has been all the better for that choice.

Terri Osburn is the author of the new book In Over Her Head

Connect with Terri Osburn

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