29 July, 2015

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with #Author Kelli A.Wilkins

*** Special Feature - July 2015 ***

Recap of this month's Posts

Interview with the Author Kelli A. Wilkins

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer/storyteller?
I’ve always been a writer. Writing down the stories in my head was something that just seemed natural to me, even at a young age. But I didn’t pursue writing seriously for many years.
After college, I took writing classes and completed a Commercial Writer’s Certificate program. Everyone in class liked my stories, so I started submitting them for publication. From there, my “official” writing career was born. I just kept writing and submitting, and here I am today!

What inspires you to write?
I get inspired from a multitude of ideas, and I basically go wherever the story takes me. My first romance, A Most Unusual Princess, came about because I knew I wanted to write about a headstrong princess forced to find a husband. That book inspired two sequels (Dalton’s Temptation and The Pauper Prince).
My romances cover nearly every genre: contemporary, historical, gay, fantasy, and paranormal, and the heat level varies from book to book. Writing across many genres in different styles keeps me inspired and lets me flex my creative writing muscles because each book is unique.
I’m self-motivated when it comes to writing, and I always have a book or two “waiting” to be written. I keep a folder of ideas handy, and if I’m ever at a loss for my next project, I go through the folder and see what story/plot/idea appeals to me to write next.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
I had three romances published in 2014: Dangerous Indenture, Wilderness Bride, and A Secret Match. The idea for Dangerous Indenture came to me when I heard the name Shawna Farrell but thought I’d heard Shauna Farrow – the next thing I knew, the book popped into my head. I knew Shauna was an Irish indentured servant who came to the colonies and was going to investigate the murder of a previous servant. Dangerous Indenture is a spicy romance with elements of mystery. It is available exclusively as an ebook HERE.

With Wilderness Bride, I got an idea to write a story about a woman on the run who impersonates a stranger’s mail order bride. She comes from a wealthy family and is forced to leave everything behind to live in an isolated mountain cabin with a stranger. Wilderness Bride is a tender romance with a blend of adventure and danger. It’s available in paperback and ebook formats HERE.
A Secret Match is a follow-up (of sorts) to my other wrestling romance, A Perfect Match. That book was all about a straight couple (Vin and Danni) and Everett (the gay main character from A Secret Match) was a secondary character. I loved writing for Ev and always thought one day I’d give him a book of his own, but I didn’t have a clue as to what the story would be.
I put thoughts of him aside and then one morning he popped into my head with a four-line book summary. Within an hour, I had the whole story in my head and I started writing. A Secret Match is all about Ev coming to terms with his sexuality and learning about acceptance. It’s available in paperback and ebook formats HERE.

What is your favorite scene in A Secret Match? Why?
One of my favorite scenes is when Ev is coming out in public for the first time. His announcement comes as a big shock to Danni, the wrestling fans, and himself. He says that he never intended to out himself on live TV, it just sort of happened. I also enjoyed writing the flashback scenes showing how Ev met his boyfriend; they were very tender and sweet and showed a vulnerable side to Ev. Ev is a great character – he’s got a wry sense of humor and likes to push peoples’ buttons. I had a lot of fun writing for him!

Are there stories tucked away in a drawer that were written before and never saw the light of day?
Yes, I have a few short stories that were started and then abandoned for one reason or another: maybe I lost interest in the idea, the plot wasn’t flowing, or I ran out of time and started working on something else. I have lots of outlines and ideas for romances that are in my “someday” pile waiting to be written. I also have ideas for different types of non-fiction ebooks and an erotic romance series. All I need is time to develop them!

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I write everything in longhand. When I get an idea for a story, I write my outline, let the ideas for the characters and the plot marinate in my head for a while, and then go back and start writing on paper. After the first draft is complete, I type up the book. I add details and edit out parts I’m not crazy about as I go, so by the time I have a typed version it’s almost like a second draft.

What is your usual writing routine?
I don’t have a set time or place devoted to writing. Basically, I write anytime, anywhere. I like to write outside, so if I’m working on a book and the weather’s nice, I’ll sit in my yard and write or edit, or outline a new book. Otherwise, I find a quiet spot in the house and write.

Do you read? Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
My general rule is: when I’m writing, I don’t read, and when I’m reading, I don’t write. But I’ve always been an avid reader and started reading everything I could find at a young age.
The books on my shelves are very diverse and cover almost every category: horror, romance, contemporary fiction, thrillers/suspense, self-help, new age, historical non-fiction, and of course, my books! I’m always collecting books at garage sales and flea markets.
I think every book I’ve read has influenced me in some way, whether it’s the author’s choice of language, style, tone, voice, or just the ability to draw you into the book and make you care about the characters.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to get into writing?
I have a lot of advice to offer anyone who wants to write! As an author of 95 short stories and 19 romance novels, I’m often asked: How do I get published? How do you write a book? What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out? Do you have any writing tips? 
I’ve answered these questions many times in interviews and addressed them in guest blogs, but I always wanted to say more. One day, I started thinking about everything I’ve learned over the years, and inspiration hit me: Why not write a book on how to write? The result? You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction.
This fun and practical book walks you through the story-creating process step-by-step: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work.
Each easy-to-read chapter is based on my 15 years of experience as a writer, advice I’ve received over the years, and the technical “know-how” I’ve gained in writing classes and workshops. I also included helpful tips all writers can use, plus fun writing exercises to get you motivated. Here's the Book Link.

Aside from following the advice and hints in my book, the best advice I can give to any writer (regardless of what genre he or she likes to write) is to keep writing. It takes a lot of dedication and determination to sit down every day and write something. But the more you write, the easier it gets.
Writing classes are a great way to learn the basics and meet other writers. If possible, join a writer’s group or a critique group to get feedback on your stories. When you’ve written the best story you can, submit it! You can’t get published if you never submit, and you never know when your first acceptance will arrive.

If you were stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
Aside from my husband and access to email, I’d want paper and pens, books, and my CDs.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
When I take a break from writing I usually hang out with friends and family, go for walks, or read. Other than that, I like to travel, go to flea markets, and garden.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
I don’t have an official bucket list, but I do have a list of places I’d like to visit! One of them is Easter Island.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I’m currently revising a full-length historical romance set in Nebraska. The book doesn’t have a title yet, but I’m hoping to have it finished by September.
In the horror department, I’m working on a few short stories. My latest Halloween tale, “Home for Halloween” was published in the Moon Shadows horror anthology. Read more about it HERE

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I invite readers to visit my Author Page on Amazon  and catch up on any titles (romance or horror) you may have missed. And be sure to check out my Weekly Blog  – I’m always posting writing advice, inside looks at my books, and lots of other stuff! Readers can also sign up for my writing newsletter via links on my site and social media pages.
I enjoy hearing from readers and welcome their questions and comments. Links to my social media pages are below, and I hope readers will follow along and drop me a note to say hi!

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with everyone!
Happy Reading,

About the Author

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books.
Her newest book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction was released in February 2015. This fun and informative non-fiction guide is based on her 15 years of experience as a writer, and is available exclusively on Amazon.
Kelli published three romances in 2014: Dangerous Indenture (a spicy historical/mystery), Wilderness Bride (a tender historical/Western/adventure), and A Secret Match (a gay contemporary set in the world of professional wrestling). Her romances span many genres and heat levels and yet she’s also been known to scare readers with a horror story. In 2014, her horror fiction appeared in Moon ShadowsWrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

Connect with the Author

Books by the Author:
(Click on the Cover to know More)


PDF copy of either A Secret Match or Dangerous Indenture - Winner's Choice. Open Internationally.

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