About the Author:
Kerriann Ostlund (formerly Macdonald) is a Massachusetts-based author who writes stories from the heart. In May of 2018, Kerriann published “Good Enough,” a story largely based on true events of an abusive relationship Kerriann was in from the age of seventeen until she was twenty-three years old.
A story that Kerriann felt needed to be told, she has gone on to have a number of speaking engagements as a result of her novel’s release. She has spoken at local hospitals, community agencies, middle schools, and high schools about her story and the prevalence of dating violence in young teens. Kerriann has been selected to speak at the National Association of Social Workers-Massachusetts Chapter’s Annual Symposium further about this prevalent topic and to bring more awareness to this rising issue. Kerriann’s goal in sharing her story? To demonstrate to others that they are not alone, and that there is hope.
How long did it take you to write Good Enough?
Writing “Good Enough” took about five months, at first. Originally, it started as a book that was just meant for myself and my own healing. In talking to many different friends about Good Enough and the journey it was taking me on, more than one of them told me that they felt my story should be shared with everyone. After a lot of soul-searching, I came to the realization that they were right. It then took over a year to edit and re-write Good Enough with a professional editor. From start to finish, the entire project took about eighteen months to complete.
What scene was the most difficult to write?
One of the most difficult scenes for me to write was the scene in which I’ve decided I’m better off ending my life if I can’t be loved by Tiegan. That was a hard reality for me to face while retelling my story. I had to face the hard truth that I had been so manipulated by my ex at that point that I was willing to end my own life if I was perceived as a failure and a “not good enough” partner for him. My entire self-worth was based solely on his approval of me alone.
Where do you think Tiegan is now?
I think Tiegan is continuing to work dead-end service jobs trying to work his way up through management because the only way he feels any sort of gratification or fulfillment in his life is at the cost of tearing others down. What better way to achieve that than to also be in a position of authority?
What advice would you give your younger self based on what you know now?
I think the advice that I would give to my younger self based on what I know now is to follow my gut instincts and pay attention to when your friends start to each give you the same advice. That should have been a sign to me at the time that my relationship with my ex wasn’t just one person’s opinion that you could argue may have been one bias; it was coming from several. This should have been evidence that how my ex was treating me was really my reality and not something that was being misconstrued.
Do you plan to write other books based on similar situations? Do you plan to write other books in general?
A lot of my books nowadays are mainly based on my own life situations. Therefore, while I can’t say that I’d never write a book solely on a similar situation like this one again, I can say that I think I will always have some element of a healthy vs. unhealthy relationship featured in my future books to continue to raise awareness. I definitely do plan to write other books in general, and I am actually in the process of editing my most recent work right now! My latest novel, Signed with Love, is a work of fiction that is largely based on my experiences of being adopted and learning about my biological family. It’s a beautiful story that brings awareness to the complicated feelings that arise from adoption while shining a spotlight on other prevalent issues such as substance abuse, mental health problems, and domestic violence. It’s told from the perspective of the adoptee (me), my biological mother, and my biological half-sister and how each of our lives has been impacted in profoundly different ways by the adoption.