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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Ursula: Walk dogs, exercise, play with kids, read, play in the city, and go to the beach.
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.
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.
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?
- The prize is a download of Party Favors.
- The contest is open to everyone over the age of 18.
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- The contest ends on Friday, July 22.