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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Meet Densie Webb, Runner Up in the WOW! 2019 Winter Flash Fiction Contest

Densie Webb (not Denise) has spent a long career as a freelance nonfiction writer and editor, specializing in health and nutrition, and has published several books on the topic. She grew up in Louisiana, spent 13 years in New York City, and settled in Austin, TX, where it’s summer nine months out of the year. She is an avid walker (not of the dead variety, though she adores zombies, vampires and apocalyptic stories), drinks too much coffee, and has a small “devil dog” that keeps her on her toes. She has arrested development in musical tastes and her two grown children provide her with musical recommendations on a regular basis.

The fiction bug bit her several years ago and she now has two novels, You’ll Be Thinking of Me, published by Soul Mate Publishing, and Le Rem├ęde, published by Wild Rose Press. She is currently in the final revision stages of a work of women’s fiction, tentatively titled, The Opposite of Amnesia. She also recently had her essay: “Boob Job Regrets: In Appreciation of Your Previously Small Chest,” included in an anthology compiled by Randy Susan Meyers, titled Women Under Scrutiny: An Anthology of Truths, Essays, Poems, Stories & Art. All proceeds from the anthology go to Rosie’s Place in Boston, a sanctuary for poor and homeless women.

Facebook: Densie L. Webb
Twitter: @dlwebb
Email: densiewebb[at]gmail[dot]com

Read Densie's story, sure to leave you on the edge of your seat, here, and then return for a fun interview with the author!

----------Interview by Renee Roberson

WOW: Congratulations, Densie, and welcome! Let's get down to business. Your bio is a great example of what one should strive for. What tips would you give a writer struggling to write a bio for their blog, website, fiction competition, agent query, etc.?

Densie: I appreciate the positive feedback! I’m not sure I have any tips or steps. I just tried to put professional as well as personal information in there. I think being conversational and throwing in a bit of yourself helps it stand out. One example, my name is Densie, not Denise, so I like point that out. On my website, it says “Yes, you read that right; my name is Densie, not Denise, though, after years of practice, I answer to Denise just the same. And no, it’s not a nickname. Close friends call me Dense, but I won’t delve into the significance of that.

WOW: One of the guest blog posts you’ve written for another blog is called “Romance Writer, You’ve Got to Own It!” Could you explain how (and why) you got the idea to write that post?

Densie: There are some amazing romance writers out there, but the good, the bad, and the ugly are all lumped together as if it’s a homogenous group and they are often viewed as equally unworthy of being read. There’s romantic suspense, paranormal romance, historical romance, contemporary romance, and stories where a romantic relationship happens, but it’s only one element of the story. As I said in the post, the romance genre doesn’t get any respect and actually gets quite a bit of disdain. My novels don’t fit the fairly narrow definition of “romance,” but romance is definitely a major factor in the stories—much more so in my second novel. My first novel, “You’ll Be Thinking of Me” is romantic suspense. The relationship is at the core, but there’s a lot else that’s going on with a stalker. While some people turn up their nose at the very mention of romance, there are many literary writers (even some male writers), who write stories where a romantic relationship is at the core, but because the characters suffer for love and don’t live happily ever after, they’re not considered “romance.” Even though those stories wouldn’t exist without the romantic relationship, they get far more literary props. Two that pop into my head are “The Marriage Plot” by Jeffrey Eugenides and “Post Birthday World” by Lionel Shriver (that’s a woman)—two books that I love, by the way. Both are about love and relationships, but neither is considered a “romance” novel.

WOW: That's so true and an interesting thing to point out. I remember reading once that Nicholas Sparks doesn't like to have his novels categorized as "romance," but there's no denying that's what they are! You’ve written professionally all of your life as a nonfiction writer, but mention you were “bitten by the fiction bug” a few years ago when you wrote and published two novels. What do you think inspired that “bite?”

Densie: It was about 6 or 7 years ago that I started thinking about it. A dear friend of mine convinced me to go for it and I remember saying to her, “I don’t have a clue how to write dialogue.” Now, it seems I get the most positive feedback regarding my dialogue. Go figure. I think I’m getting better with each book, each essay, each flash fiction piece that I write. To write fiction you have to have a bottomless well of patience, be willing to discern good advice from bad, and be willing to accept rejection repeatedly. I’ve said before that to be a writer, you need the skin of an armadillo and the ability to curl up in a ball when it gets to be too much. Even nonfiction writing involves rejection, so that was something I was prepared for.

WOW: Skin like an armadillo--I love it! (My extended family lives in Texas so I know those creatures well). “The Prank” had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. Did you know when you first starting writing the story where it would take you (and the reader)?

Densie: That’s awesome to hear! Actually, that story idea came from my son. He’s grown now and occasionally regales me with all the irresponsible and crazy stuff he did as a teenager, unbeknownst to me. So, this is based on something he and a group of friends actually did. Yes, the police and an ambulance were involved. Thank goodness, no one was hurt. They didn’t get caught, but as he was telling me this, my writer mind when to “what if.” I knew I wanted the accident to happen, but the specifics came to me as I wrote and rewrote. I live in Austin and there are tons of tattoo parlors, so that sort of entered the story simply by virtue of everyday exposure. And I actually went to college with a boy named Steve Collier, who had a crush on me. For some reason, the name popped into my head and the tattoo twist came later.

WOW: Describe a perfect day of writing for you.

Densie: I’m a really sloooow writer. I tend to edit heavily as I go. I can’t “vomit it out” as I’ve been counseled so many times. I hear from other writers who can whip out 2,000 words or far more at a sitting. A good day for me is to get 500 “keeper” words on the page. If a book is about 85,000 words, well, you do the math. I work at home, but I find it hard to write fiction at home, so I typically go to a coffee shop and listen to music. There’s something about getting outside of my usual environment that frees me up to write.

WOW: Densie, this has been such a treat! We look forward to checking out more of your work.


  1. Renee--Thanks for doing this interview and for providing a link to Densie's story.

    Densie--First, congratulations on earning a runner's up place. Your story, "The Prank" is wonderful. What an (imagined) ending. I love that you took a story of your son's and used some "what if's" to create a piece of fiction. (Mothers are full of what if's, arent' they?)

    Good luck on your novel sales and your WIP.

    I have a friend who comes from a large family. Her mother--a bit laid-back--told her kids, "Don't tell me about your antics until 7 years have passed." She figured, if they hadn't landed in the hospital or in jail or had died, she didn't have to hear about their shenanigans then... she could wait. Some of them wrote notes to themselves, such as, "On June 15, 2021 tell Mom about the time Tim and I landed my car on the golf course."

    By the way, I left a comment on your website, since you enjoy vampire stories. George R. R. Martin's "Fevre Dream" is a fabulous read. If you haven't read it already, you might check it out. (It is a normal-length book--not a doorstop like his other books. ;)

  2. Dear Densie Webb,

    Congratulations on your contest win! Your story is excellent! It's a sad outcome that reminds me of my children's friend, Stephen. Although Stephen didn't help pull a prank, he too lost his life from an accident, but it was from a gun shot accident. I might write about it and make it a flash fiction. It might bring some healing for the loss of our sweet Stephen. Congratulations, again.


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