Robin wanted to win The Holdout, a cutthroat reality TV show, so she gave it her all, challenge after challenge. Then she fell for Grant, with his irresistible eyes and heartbreaking life story.
But Grant was only using Robin as they competed for a million dollars. Once home, Robin wants to hide from the humiliation as episodes of The Holdout are aired, and she worries her family was right all along; she’s not a survivor.
Yet she could surprise everyone, and have the last laugh.
Besides, Robin now has jury duty. And as she forges ahead, confronting her demons about bravery, justice, and romance, Robin will come to decide which is more important: the courage to stand alone, or the strength to love again.
It’s happened to everyone. You’re in the middle of a breakup, you’re listening to the radio, you hear a certain song and you think, “Oh my God! That fits EXACTLY with what I’m going through. It’s like it was written for me!”
Well, I realized there is an author version of this phenomenon. While I was writing The Holdout there were several songs that would remind me of my characters and the situations in my book. I wound up downloading these songs onto my iPod, and pretty soon I had the perfect playlist to listen to while writing, one that would “get me in the mood.” Now I can’t hear any of these songs without thinking about Robin, Nick, and my other characters, as if they’re real people…Okay, to me, they sort of are real people. That’s normal, right?
Anyway, I wrote The Holdout months ago, and most of these songs weren’t huge hits at the time, although some of them certainly are now! Hit or not, I love any song that reminds me of my book.
- Somewhere on the Other Side by Augustana: I hear this song a lot on Pandora, although it’s not typically played on regular radio stations. So I downloaded it because it’s just so pretty. It’s all about love and confusion, and it reminds me of Robin and Nick, because they both have had tough childhoods, and there’s a certain inevitability to their finding each other and relinquishing control. ”I don’t know where the ocean meets the sky/I don’t know why the world keeps spinning by/Don’t know why the hours move so slow/Babe, when I’m with you, I don’t wanna know…”
It’s so romantic!
- Brave by Sara Bareilles : This will probably sound cheesy, but I imagined Robin’s dead mother singing her this song. I know; it’s definitely cheesy. But Robin needs someone advocating for her so she can find her own strength. This song is awesome and I love its spirit. It’s the same spirit that I tried to infuse into the final chapters of The Holdout.
- Roar by Katy Perry: For the last few months, you can’t turn on the radio without hearing “Roar.” But I was finishing up the final draft of The Holdout when I first heard this song, and I thought, “Wow. This really fits.” The way Robin rises above how she’s treated not just by Grant, but by her family too, is totally captured in the lyrics. I’m sure Katy Perry wrote it just for me, right? I wish! But (in my wildest dreams) if The Holdout is ever made into a movie, I want “Roar” in the soundtrack, for sure.
Other songs – these don’t fit quite as well, but they still deserve mention:
- Both Sides Now by Judy Collins: This one is a classic! It probably fits any story of self-discovery (think the final moment of last season’s Mad Men) but by the end of The Holdout I think Robin has earned this song.
- Bad Romance by Lady Gaga: Because Robin is definitely “caught in a bad romance” and like Lady Gaga, she’s in the public eye.
- Recover by Chvrches: I really love this song – it’s played a lot on the alternative station here in Minneapolis. It’s about taking responsibility for your actions, forgiving those who have hurt you, and finding a way to “recover.” These are all themes in The Holdout.
I had a lot of fun writing The Holdout, and finding music I could connect with only increased my enjoyment. I believe that the best part of any sort of creative expression is when other people can relate it to their own, personal experience. That’ s a big part of what makes life interesting!
Laurel Osterkamp’s award winning novels have been hailed as funny, intelligent, snarky and poignant. She is the author of four novels and two novellas, including the November Surprise series, which, like The Holdout, features the Bricker family. Laurel was recently on a federal jury, and she loves watching Survivor.
Connect with Laurel:
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/970925.Laurel_Osterkamp?from_search=true
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