Blogoversary Day 16: Ursula Whistler

Jen: Our guest today is Ursula Whistler, who is stopping by to help us celebrate our blogoversary. Ursula, will you please share a short bio with us?

Ursula: I’m a resident of New Orleans, one of the most interesting cities in the U.S. I’ve lived all over the country, but this place is the best. I’m happy to live here with my husband, two dogs, and three children. We won’t count the chickens.

Jen: Tell us about Party Favors and where it can be purchased.

Ursula: Party Favors is my debut short story about two former classmates who run into each other at a summertime music festival. You have to be a hardy New Orleanian to endure one of those. Dani likes Guy but not the sex. Guy brings the heat when he realizes what she wants. It’s for sale at Cobblestone Press.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.
Ursula: Like many writers, I’ve written since I was young, but I turned it back on in 2003 after a career in science took back seat to child raising. For the next eight years I relearned how to write fiction through classes, conferences, and one really long, winding novel that’s in computer file purgatory. Living in New Orleans was the one thing that shoved me over the edge and got me published. I joined the local RWA chapter (SOLA) and a critique group. I found inspiration from those members and a muse from the saints and sinners in the Crescent City.

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.

Ursula: Three words? Ack! Um, can I change that to sentences? No, you say. Then the three words I choose are conflict-driven, contemporary, and sexual.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

Ursula: I plot, but my process isn’t always the same. Sometimes the black moment comes to my mind first, and I fill in the characters and the resolution. Other times, the character jumps out at me, and I put him or her in a situation. I always start with a rough synopsis first so that I know my characters paths. Otherwise, I end up with stories that go into that computer file purgatory. I try to not let that happen.

Jen: What are your biggest motivations to write? What keeps you going?

Ursula: It’s so cliché to say that I have to get the stories out of my head, but I do. Plenty of people think about hypothetical situations; I think them and then type them on my virtual paper.

Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from? Why?

Ursula: I write contemporary, and I’d love to write historical stories. However, I’m not sure I have the voice or the discipline to stay in within the societal rules that used to exist. Maybe steampunk is more my style if I were to venture into another genre. I’ll stay away from paranormal, not because I don’t like it or read it. I do. My personal philosophy doesn’t gel with demons, monsters, etc. I keep trying to find a reason for them not to be magical or otherworldly. Blame the scientist in me.

Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?

Ursula: I have been that person who coerced my family and unwilling friends into the 95 degree heat to listen to the acts playing for Satchmo Fest. The whining of Dani’s friend in the story is based on reality. As for the later part? Does walking into the sex toy and lingerie shops on Bourbon Street count as research?

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?

Ursula: Submitting your work to a critique partner or to an agent/publisher. That’s when you say, “Here. Please like me.” in a tiny, pleading, pitiful voice. For me, the easiest is coming up with characters. Talk to anyone in this city and you have some part of them to use in a character. I don’t, however, use real people as characters. Mine are always amalgams. The most rewarding? Writing THE END.

Jen: If Party Favors was made into a movie, which actors would you cast as the main characters?

Ursula: This is where I admit I watch so little video entertainment that I can’t give a name of someone contemporary. She’d have to be curvy and slightly overweight. He’d have a body like Lance Armstrong.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?

Ursula: Walk dogs, exercise, play with kids, read, play in the city, and go to the beach.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Ursula: I have a novella with The Wild Rose Press coming out later this year and a short story in the works. My sensual romance alter ego may soon have a novel out there.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Ursula: Friend me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ursula.whistler or visit my webpage at http://ursulawhistler.com. I blog there about my oversized Bichon Frise and just a tiny bit about writing.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Ursula: I get this question from my friends who don’t read romances, especially erotic romance: Isn’t it just porn for women? Do you think that erotic romance is that or would you defend it as a racier love story?

Contest details:

  • The prize is a download of Party Favors.
  • The contest is open to everyone over the age of 18.
  • You must leave a comment for entry.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Friday, July 22.

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