April 24th, 2020
I asked Ursula where she would like to talk:
Smoke drifts into the darkness, only briefly lit up by daylight as a door closes quickly. A soft cough, feet nervously on the floor. A soft whispered ‘good morning’.
“Ah, I see you have found the shed,” I say with an apologetic smile. “I would have come to greet you, but…” I gesture at the cages, stacked in rows onto the wall. “They need to be fed.”
The visitor pulls her skirt in, in an effort to keep it from touching anything. The stench of dung and things she doesn’t want to imagine hangs in the thick air.
“Be careful not to touch the dragons,” I say to Laura. The shoots me a glace, as if she ever would, it tells me.
“Is there anywhere I can sit?” Laura asks.
I look around, knowing there isn’t anything she would like to sit on. “Come,” I grab Laura’s hand. “Let’s go outside, to the younglings. We can sit in the garden, watching them practice for the Dragonder, while you ask me your questions.”
Laura Mae: What inspired you to enter the world of writing?
Ursula Visser: Actually, I started writing at a young age. Then life happened and it kind of slipped to the background. But once I started a blog during our sabbatical year in Australia, the writing bug caught on again. It took me until 2016 to start publishing my fiction books, once I sorted out how to self-publish.
L: How long have you been writing for?
U: I self-published my first non-fiction book in 2006, ten years later my first fantasy book was launched.
L: What are you currently working on?
U: I am working on book 4 of the Dragon Queen Series. When I started this series, I thought I needed three novella’s to tell the story. After publishing Blood Magic (book 3), I just couldn’t say farewell. Neither could the characters, they haunted me in my sleep, questioned during the daytime why I had abandoned them, when they had so much more to tell me. So once I began to write Alysa’s story, she is one of the dragons from the series, it grew, and grew… After book 4, titled Dragon’s Tale, there will be one more: Shadow Dragon.
L: Are there any books or authors who inspire your work?
U: I like Jennifer Ridge’s series about the fairy realm, I also love Ben Alderson and Tamara Geraeds’ books, and Charlaine Harris, they are on my favorite list. I like the way they build the story, and make you want to read the next book, and the next… it never gets old, they keep it fresh.
L: What has been the most challenging for you so far?
U: The fact that English isn’t my first language. At first I doubted whether my English was good enough. But then I thought if I didn’t try, I would never know. So, I leaped into this adventure, and I am so happy that I did!
L: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?
U: I like drawing! It relaxes me, I cannot draw humans, and I don’t know why. LOL. I have some on my website to download. I also read.
L: What would you say is your favorite book or series of all time? Why?
U: This is a tough one! There are several. Okay, if I have to pick one, I would say The Dragori Series by Ben Alderson. I was going through a difficult time, and his books took me away to a wonderful and exciting world. I love his writing style, the characters and… well everything!
L: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?
U: No. I think learning to write, and publishing books was a nice learning curve. I made mistakes, a lot. But that does not matter. Mistakes and failure have a purpose, they learned me to do better.
L: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?
U: I am a self-published author, and I am proud of it. I love to have control over every stage of publishing.
L: What are you currently reading?
U: The Town by Shaun Prescott.
L: What genre do you typically read?
U: Fantasy, scifi, and when I’m in the mood thrillers or romance.
L: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?
U: Actually, I do not listen to music when writing. I get distracted.
L: What’s a word or phrase that people say that always irritates you?
U: You’re not good enough…. it triggers something in me that needs to prove them wrong.
L: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?
U: Nature, colours or movements, scents, voices (not words).
L: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?
U: Your first book might not be your best, but it is the first step on your journey to find your writing voice, your own style, and the process gives you many good lessons. Remember, first steps are the hardest…
Pleased to meet you, and welcome! My name is Ursula Visser. I was born in spring of 1968, in the most eastern part of The Netherlands, and I still live there with my partner. I adore dragons, mystic creatures and the magic realms of fantasy books. Sci-fi books give me an interesting look in the future, and sometimes I wish I could time-travel, just to see what will happen. Writing is my passion. My books are available in Dutch and English.
The Origins of Yana Paisley – When successful nano-scientist Yana Paisley is mortally wounded, only one thing can save her life; she becomes the product of her own invention.With her new abilities she is able to push her work to another level, until a devastating event changes everything; the government orders a total ban on her kind, and the hunt is on.Meanwhile, her partner on the project Gordon Valez worms his way out of the trouble he’s in – or so he hopes. Every solution creates new problems and eventually his world collapses, taking Yana along with him. Being the best used to be enough – but can the best survive?
Releases May 1st; Pre-order it here!