Interview – Ursula Ringham, author of Privileged Corruption
Self-Publisher’s Showcase: Today we are joined by Ursula Ringham, author of the thriller: Privileged Corruption. Welcome to the Showcase Lounge, Ursula.
Ursula Ringham: Thank you! Glad to be here.
SPS: For any of our readers that haven’t come across your work previously, can you take a moment to tell us all a little about yourself?
UR: Sure. I’m a California girl, born and raised in Palo Alto—the epicentre of Silicon Valley. I grew up with a family immersed in real estate development and local politics. I was kind of a hell-raiser at a young age. I questioned everything and lived through experiences. I attended an all-girls high school that really shaped the person I am today. And I had the good fortune to land in high tech at the age of 20 and work for some of the Valley’s giants like Apple and Adobe.
SPS: What are your perfect writing conditions, and how often do you write?
UR: Ha! Perfect writing conditions? What’s that? I have such a busy life. As long as I have my laptop with me, I’ll write whenever I have a free moment. But I do most of my writing in the car on our frequent drives up to Tahoe—especially during winter.
SPS: Can you put your finger on the moment where you decided that you wanted to publish your work?
UR: I always knew I would publish Privileged Corruption—even from the first words I typed. I just didn’t know how long it would take to actually get it done.
SPS: Why do you think it is that you have decided to write the first novel that you did, and do you see yourself ever writing in other genres?
UR: Storytelling is in my blood. I inherited it from my dad who always told us bedtime stories when I was growing up. But I have always been drawn to adventures and mysteries. The local AM radio station used to broadcast old-time radio programs on Sunday nights and I’d fall asleep listening to such shows as Suspense. Combine all of that with a love for writing, it was inevitable that I would write this first novel as a thriller. As for other genres, I could definitely write romance but it’s not as fun as killing people.
SPS: So, tell us about Privileged Corruption?
UR: Ah…yes, Privileged Corruption. The story takes place in the high tech world of Silicon Valley but the tech part is just the backdrop. My lead character, Kate Crawford, works for a hot start-up about to launch an IPO. She stumbles upon an intellectual property issue with one of her accounts that could derail the IPO, ruin her career, and make her lose those valuable stock options. But the heart of the story revolves around Kate and her estranged older brother Eric as they try to get to the bottom of the situation. Of course, there is a murder, some bad guys, and a family secret that if revealed could ruin people’s lives. Regular Silicon Valley stuff—right?
SPS: What sort of person is Kate Crawford, when we first meet her?
UR: Kate is a complex character. She is your typical young Silicon Valley go-getter trying to make inroads with her career in high tech. Yet she is struggling to make sense of a past she does not remember nor understand. Kate was just a child when a family tragedy took an older sibling. And this tragedy rears its ugly head as it directly relates to her current situation at work. I don’t want to reveal too much but let’s just say, Kate can’t move forward in life unless she understands her past.
SPS: What’s her reaction when she first discovers the near identical product about to be launch?
UR: Disbelief. Why wouldn’t her CEO, Sander Walker, say something? He assigned the new account to Kate and knows about the other product.
SPS: There is some serious history with Logan Sinclair. Is he completely bad, or does he have any redeeming qualities?
UR: Deep down, Logan is a lost child seeking approval from an overbearing father who has shut him out. But in reality, Logan is a manipulative, self-centered asshole who takes whatever he wants in life and at whatever cost.
SPS: How is Kate’s life put in jeopardy?
UR: Let’s just say that unknowingly, Kate possesses something that if made public could destroy many lives and possibly ruin her companies IPO.
SPS: Are there any other characters that we should be on the lookout for?
UR: Courtney. She is a very unique character with her own back-story.
SPS: Have you written the novel to be a standalone work or can we expect to meet any of the characters again?
UR: It can be considered a standalone novel. But what I’m working on now picks up with Kate a couple years later. At the end of Privileged Corruption, I pretty much layout Kate’s next steps. It’s a new story but still set in Silicon Valley. Some of the same characters are back but I’ve created some amazing new ones—especially the bad guys.
SPS: Can you take a moment to tell us how you came up with the cover for Privileged Corruption?
UR: The cover is a pivotal scene in the book. And that’s the image I always had in my head. I found a stock image then worked with a designer to bring it to life. I love how it turned out, as it looks really creepy.
SPS: It’s probably a good time to ask what we can expect next from the pen or keyboard of Ursula Ringham?
UR: As I mentioned earlier, I’m almost half way through my next novel. But I have a ton of ideas for other stories. One is directly based on my days at Apple. I just need to find the time to write.
SPS: Was the Self-Published/Indie-Published route always your preferred route for your work?
UR: I always thought I had to use an established publisher to get my novel out there and gain an audience. But then I realized publishers are like fashion designers. They try to predict trends a year in advance. If your story does not fit into that narrow trend, no matter how well written, they won’t publish your book. Today, technology is levelling the playing field. You can publish your book all on your own. And social media makes it much easier for authors to connect with an audience. BUT regardless of whatever route you take, a writer needs a good editor to provide honest feedback on the story and to review all those words. And I don’t mean your best friend who likes to read books. Hire a pro.
SPS: Has the experience so far been all that you thought it would be?
UR: It’s been everything and nothing that I expected. I learn something new every day. I’m not going to lie and say self-publishing is easy. It’s not. In fact, it was sometimes a very frustrating process. But I took the time, did my research and ended up doing most of the work myself. And now I understand the process. My advice is to be patient and take the time to learn how to do it right. You’ll be happy with the outcome.
SPS: If you could give one piece of advice for someone looking to get into writing, what would it be?
UR: Just write. No one can do it for you. You just have to make time and get the story down.
SPS: Before we bring this interview to a close, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
UR: I recently read Guy Kawasaki’s Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur (APE) book. I wish I had that before I self-published. He pretty much outlines everything I painstakingly discovered on my own. He does a great job of outlining the steps you need to take to self-publish.
As for other authors, there are too many to mention just a few. I read in spurts. I recently read several books by Greg Hurwitz and I highly recommend any of them.
SPS: Thank you for joining us today Ursula, and all the best for the future.
UR: Thank you! I’ll be back!
SPS: For more information on Ursula and her novel, please do visit her Author page here.