Hey y'all! Today I'm interviewing Ursula Grey, author of Second Chances. Stop by, leave a comment, and help me give her a big ol' Texas welcome! <33
MM: Howdy! Please introduce yourself, tell us an interesting fact about you, and if you were an animal, what would it be?
UG: Hi Mindy! Good to be here. I’m Ursula Grey. I write mainstream women’s fiction, romance, and erotic romance. Thus far, I’ve been published by eXcessica, and Siren-Bookstrand. I’m also a genre-crossing writer ~ I love historical fiction, science fiction, erotic romance, and literary fiction. I hope to one day publish something in each of these genres! I would consider Second Chances, the work I’d like to discuss today, a work of romantic suspense, but it’s a little bit of everything.
An interesting fact about me? Gosh, I didn’t know I was so boring! Let me see...I practice yoga, how about that? It’s good for the body and the soul. I’ve never once become bored with it. It’s very rewarding to master a posture you never thought you’d be able to get your body into!
If I were an animal, what would I be? Hmm, tough question. Although I prefer my current human form;-), I suppose maybe a dolphin. They are playful, intelligent creatures, and inhabit warmer waters...I’d definitely have to live somewhere warm!
MM: Tell us a bit about your book -- something you wouldn’t find in the blurb.
UG: Second Chances is definitely about overcoming obstacles, your past, your fears, and living up to your full potential. The three main characters are quite dear to me, especially Jeanne, who was very similar to an old friend of mine. Despite the fact that quite a few decades separated us, once we spoke, our respective ages disappeared and we became good friends. She taught me that it was never too late to live your dreams.
MM: What was your inspiration for this story?
UG:The portrayal of women in the media, specifically the elusive and unrealistic quest to be perfect; the desire to be more than your environmental circumstances allow; and falling in love with Paris and all of France! The three main female characters came to me requesting their stories be told ~ and they wanted a happy ending. I obliged!
MM: Do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser?
UG: Definitely a pantser, which I sometimes pay for later during the editing process. I’ve tried to outline, but invariably, I end up going off in a direction I hadn’t planned, ie., I go where my characters lead me. In general, most of my work starts with a scene, and the story builds from there.
MM:When diving into a new work, how much research do you do and how do you go about doing it?
UG:I write the story and when I’m not directly involved in doing that, I refer to my research library or the internet to fill in the gaps. There’s definitely more research involved when I’m writing an historical work. Accuracy is very important to me, but I also enjoy the research. It’s intriguing. It usually leads to another story that’s waiting to be told. I’m very interested in ancient civilizations, mythology and folklore, along with France and England during the Middle Ages. I’ve amassed some knowledge of these periods, but refer to reference sources for in-depth information.
MM: If you could be one character from your book, who would it be and why?
UG:I’d have to choose Delia, the teen in Second Chances. Although she’s had some hard knocks, she’s beautiful and talented, living in France, and has her entire life before her! That was easy!
MM: And if you had to be stuck in an elevator for 42 hours with one of your characters...?
UG: Another easy one! I’d choose the handsome and mysterious artist, Karl. He’s good looking, intelligent, and talented. We’d discuss much art during that period...
MM: What was the hardest part of writing this book?
UG:Editing. I think it behooves any writer to set your book aside for a month or two after completion and look at it later with fresh eyes. You’ll wonder how you missed such glaringly obvious errors!
MM:Why romantic suspense? Do you write any other subgenres of romance?
UG:I think there’s a little suspense in every story. It’s what keeps us turning the pages. I also write erotic romance. A Day in April 1944, published by eXcessica, takes place during WWII. It features a day and night in the life of a French woman working for the Resistance ~ and what happens when she shelters an American pilot for the night. It received recommended read status at Dark Diva, Fallen Angel, and the Literary Nymphs review sites. I’m also published in a recently released anthology by eXcessica entitled, Divine Matches. If you enjoy reading about mythological beings, check it out. My story, Heph’s Revenge, features Hephaestus and what happens when he discovers his wife Aphrodite may have a thing for Apollo. It has a humorous edge and was fun to write. I’m also waiting to hear on a submittal, (an erotic romance that takes place in the Old West), and am working on a few other projects. Along with the publishers sites, all my work is available on Amazon.
MM: What books have most influenced your writing or your outlook on life in general?
UG:I’m an avid fiction reader with many favorite authors including: Rose Tremain, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood...I could go on! Visit my website for more recommendations.
As far as nonfiction, I have to say that Clarissa Pinkola Estes book, Women Who Run With the Wolves, had a great impact on me. I loved the short story in the book entitled, The Wolf’s Eyelash. After reading it, I “went out in the woods” and never looked back;-). If you haven’t already, definitely read it.
MM:Quick! The Departed, Shutter Island, or Inception?
UG:Call me crazy, but I haven’t seen any of them! (I assumed they were movies and looked them up to confirm that, yes indeed, they were.) Not much of a movie buff...however, one of my favorites is a French (of course) film entitled, Ridicule.
MM: Anything I didn’t ask you about that you want to shout out to the world?
UG:All great questions Mindy. Just want to say, Read Me Please! and let me hear from you! Thanks for having me. Also, looking forward to your visit:-). Readers, do stop by my blog to say hello! ~ Ursula
Blurb for Second Chances:
Chance encounters bring together three women from very different walks of life and with little in common except for the desire to obtain a second chance at life and perhaps even love.
A mysterious birthday gift, a husband's devastating deception, and a secret past during World War II send the women on an unforgettable journey to France that will change their lives forever. Will Delia, the young runaway, find the father she never knew, a father who knows nothing of her existence? Will one impulsive night change Gwen, a soon-to-be-divorcee's, life forever? Can Jeanne, a French war bride, face her past and rekindle a romance with a lost love? When Delia disappears, the answers to these questions must wait.
"Are second chances really possible? Can dreams come true? I'm here to tell you the answer is yes if you're willing to take a chance and take that first step. The inspiration for Second Chances was born of the knowledge that anything is possible, if you're open to the possibilities. Go ahead, it's your turn. Take that first step today." ~ Ursula ~
Buy link: http://www.bookstrand.com/second-chances