What Inspired Helen Macie Osterman to Become a Writer

What inspired me to become a writer? It was certainly not an epiphany. I was a storyteller from childhood. On beautiful autumn days, I walked through the park, leaves crunching under my feet and adventures running through my mind: an African safari, a trip to outer space, being chased by a monster.
When I grew up and became a nurse, I wrote for nursing and medical journals. But technical writing is a far cry from fiction.
The years passed and I took a couple of courses in creative writing. That did it. My character, Emma Winberry, appeared in my mind. I visualized her: shaped like Olive Oyl, hair spiking every which way. But that wasn’t enough to make her different from other protagonists I read about.
Emma is in her 60s, has luminous gray eyes, and has a sixth sense. She converses with her Guardian Angel. I know this woman, her hopes and dreams. She loves the opera, but is not a singer. So I gave her the role of supernumerary, an extra in the opera.

Being an opera lover myself, I always wanted to be a supernumerary but life intervened: divorce, five dependent children, arthritic hips and knees. So I settled for achieving my goal vicariously through my character.
Emma lives in a posh condo on Chicago’s Lakeshore Drive with her wealthy significant other, Nate Sandler. When I give a presentation, women ask me, where they can find a man like Nate. I tell them he lives in my brain and belongs only to me and Emma.
I am now working on book number six in the series, and have a new character floating around in my head. More about her later.




Helen Osterman lives in Homer Glen, a suburb of Chicago. She has five children and nine grandchildren.
She received a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree from Mercy Hospital-St. Xavier College and later earned a Master’s Degree from Northern Illinois University. Throughout her forty-five year nursing career, she wrote articles for both nursing and medical journals.
She is the author of the Emma Winberry Mystery Series:

The Accidental Sleuth, 2007, The Stranger in the Opera House,2009, The Elusive Relation,2011 Emma Winberry and the Evil Eye, 2012. Locked Within, 1213

Notes in a Mirror, a paranormal/historical, 2009.

Song of the Rails, a love story, 2011.

Maker’s Mark, a cozy mystery. 2012

 She is a member of American Association of University Women, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime and The Authors’ Guild.

Blurb from Michael Palmer, MD

Praise for Locked Within

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

 Visit my website to learn more about me www.helenosterman.com
Thanks for visiting today, Helen.


Nice article. It's good to hear the story behind the character.

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