Monday, March 16, 2015

Welcome Kelli Wilkins

Please welcome author Kelli A. Wilkins today as we chat about her books and anything else I can think of.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure! My name is Kelli Wilkins and I’m a writer. I pretty much write anything and everything. If I get a good idea for a story, I go with it!

I mainly write spicy romances and spooky horror stories. My romances vary in heat level from tender to sizzling-hot and cover nearly every genre: historical, fantasy, contemporary, paranormal, and gay.

To date, I’ve published 19 romances, more than 95 short stories, and 5 non-fiction books. I’m always writing something, outlining a new story, or gathering ideas.


What started your interest in writing?
I never actually decided to be a writer—it was just something that seemed natural to me. I’ve always been an avid reader and I think that sparked my interest in wanting to write my own stories. From a young age, I read everything I could get my hands on, regardless of genre: horror, non-fiction, contemporary, plays, and short stories.

I started writing when I was in elementary school, but I never tried to get any of my writings published until I enrolled in a commercial writer’s program as an adult. People liked reading my short stories, and I liked writing them, so I decided to submit them for publication. From there, my “official” writing career was born. I’ve been blessed with a lot of ideas, and I keep writing story after story as they come to me.


What has been the defining moment in your career that made you think “Yes, I am now a writer!”?
The first time I saw my name in print, I was thrilled! I guess that rush of excitement is a joy every published author can relate to. In a way, it “validated” the fact that my writing was good enough to be published, which in turn motivated me to keep going. Whenever I see a book or a short story with my name on it, I still get the same feeling of “Yey! There’s something I wrote for the whole world to see.”


What is your book(s) about?
In February 2015 I published a fun non-fiction guide to writing, titled: You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction. It’s 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 included helpful tips and motivational writing exercises.

In 2014, I set a new record for myself. I had three romances published, and they’re all very different. A Secret Match is a contemporary gay romance set in the world of professional wrestling. My two other romances of 2014 are straight (M/F) historicals. Wilderness Bride is a traditional romance blended with adventure set in the Michigan Territory in 1823. Dangerous Indenture is a spicy historical with mystery elements that takes place in Pennsylvania Colony.


What are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m between projects. I just finished You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction, and I’m outlining several new romances, including a full-length historical, a paranormal, and another gay contemporary. I have lots of ideas for different types of non-fiction ebooks and an erotic romance series. All I need is time to develop them!

In the horror department, I’m working on a few short stories. My latest, “Home for Halloween” was published in the Moon Shadows horror anthology. Read more about it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N232UEG


Do you keep a notebook near you for when new ideas pop into your head?
Absolutely! I never know when I’ll get a story idea, a name for a character, a snippet of dialogue, or an outline for a scene. I keep paper and pen handy at all times and have been known to scribble ideas on the backs of envelopes and even paper towels!

I keep all of these ideas, etc. in a folder, and when I’m ready to start a new project, I pull it out and see what’s in there that I can use. Ideas are fleeting, so you have to write them down as soon as they come to you.


For readers who haven't tried your books yet, how do you think your editor or loyal readers would describe your books?
Reviewers and readers have fallen in love with my unique characters and far-from-typical storylines. My romances aren’t just about two people falling in love—I include interesting plots and blend in mystery, danger, adventure, or comedy to make them stand out.

I strive to give readers a happy-ever-after romance. I hope that they would think the book was a fun and sexy read, that they loved the characters and rooted for them to be together. (I’d also hope readers would recommend it to friends!)


Do you prefer to extensively plot your stories, or do you write them as they come to you?
I’m often asked if I’m a plotter or a pantser. For a while, I considered myself to be a plotter. And then one day, my characters took me hostage and I was abducted into the pantser world. When I started my first few novels, I had elaborate outlines that looked like I was writing a term paper. Section I, Scene A, then Scenes B, C, and so on. It took me a week or longer to write the outline, then I would start writing.

Over the years, my plotter side has met up with my pantser side, and I consider myself to be both. I still make an outline for my novels (mostly because they’re so much longer than my short stories), but it’s not as regimented.
I write down a scene number and general notes, snippets of dialogue, and anything else I want to include in the scene. I do this when I’m in the “gathering ideas” stage because I don’t want to forget anything. When I’m writing a short story, I jot down basic scene lists, so I have a logical flow of what’s coming next.
I find it’s easier and faster for me to write this type of outline. This way, I don’t get stuck on a section of the story where I don’t know what’s going to happen next. It’s like a road map of where I’m going. Even though I plot out my books, I always give the characters (and myself) permission to add new scenes as needed, veer off course, or take scenes in an unexpected direction.

Has there been any characters that started off as supporting characters, but then developed into a more prominent character?
Oh yes! This has happened several times. It first began with my historical/fantasy novella A Most Unusual Princess. I liked Dalton and Elara so much that I wrote a full-length sequel about them, Dalton’s Temptation. Then, while writing Dalton’s Temptation, I absolutely fell in love with Prince Allan (Elara’s brother), and knew he had to have his own book—so I wrote The Pauper Prince.

A similar situation happened when I wrote A Midsummer Night’s Delights. It was supposed to be one story, but turned into a trilogy and was followed by A Midwinter Night’s Delights and Ultimate Nights Delights.

I’m proud of all the books in these trilogies. Each one was a lot of fun to write, and I enjoyed following the characters through their adventures. Because I wrote each book without intending on making a trilogy, each book stands alone as an individual read.

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 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.

I also have an idea for a follow-up book to Trust with Hearts that is devoted to the heroine’s cousin, Dave. I’m not sure when (or if) I’ll give Dave his own story, but you never know!


Is there anything you would tell aspiring writers?
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. (These are some of the points I covered in my writing book—it’s filled with all the practical advice I’ve received over the years.) 

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with readers. I invite everyone to visit my website (www.KelliWilkins.com) to read excerpts, reviews, and summaries of my writings. You can also catch up on my blogs here: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ .

You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction: non-fiction creative writing, writing fiction; Amazon Kindle

You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction
If you’ve always dreamed of writing and getting published, but have no idea where or how to start—THIS is the book for you!

You Can Write—Really! is an easy guide designed for beginner writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started.

Award-winning author Kelli A. Wilkins takes you step-by-step through the writing process, covering the basics of plotting, editing, revising, and submitting.

In addition, she explores ways to get your creativity flowing, explains where authors get ideas, and shows you how to create interesting characters for your story.

Helpful tips and fun writing exercises throughout the book get you started!
Buy links:

A Secret Match: contemporary gay romance; Amber Quill Press

Everett Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and the sexy heartthrob of millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with anyone. He’s gay.

After years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out is the last thing Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.

One night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems – both personally and professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing down a tag team out to destroy him.

Torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything… can he find a balance between his career and his heart?
 Excerpt from A Secret Match:

“Maybe we’ll take a swim later,” Ev said as he closed the bedroom door and picked the box off the nightstand. “This is for you.”

“A present? For me?” Josh smiled as he took the box.

“Well, technically it’s for both of us.” Ev bowed his head. “I thought…we might…you know. Oh, just open it,” he finished in a rush.

Josh unwrapped the box. It held a bottle of lube, condoms, and a sample pack of flavored lotions. “This is sweet.”

“I didn’t get anything kinky. I wasn’t sure if you’re into that or what…”

“I like to play around, but that can wait for another time.” He pulled Ev close for a kiss and felt him quiver. “Are you okay?”

Everett glanced into his eyes. “Yeah, I want to do this, but…it’s been a long time.”

Josh kissed Ev and slid his hands down his wide back, caressing him through his shirt. The scent of Ev’s citrus and sage cologne made his heart beat faster. “Don’t worry about a thing. Relax. You’re safe with me. I’ll take care of everything.”

He kissed Ev again, and a quiver ran up his spine as Everett slipped his tongue into his mouth. Josh cupped Ev’s tight buttocks through his jeans, pressing their lower bodies together. They lost themselves in the embrace, touching and stroking each other.

“Let me make love to you the way you deserve. Now strip for me, Muscles,” Josh teased. “Everything but the pants.”

Everett took off his shirt and kicked off his shoes and socks.

Josh grinned at the sight of Ev’s wide, tan chest and his flat belly. He stepped closer, trailing his hand down Ev’s six-pack abs. “Nice.”

Josh gathered Ev in his arms and nuzzled his neck, planting tiny kisses from his neck to his chest muscles. He kissed Everett’s pecs, then swirled his tongue around his left nipple. He spent the next few minutes licking and kissing Ev everywhere, slowly making his way down his stomach.

He kissed Ev a few more times, then unfastened his jeans. He unzipped them slowly, exposing Everett’s dark blue briefs. His erection was obvious. The pink head of his cock peeked out over his underwear. “These look tight.”

“Yeah.”

“Don’t be shy. Talk to me. Don’t be afraid to make some noise. I like to hear encouragement,” Josh said, toying with the edge of Ev’s briefs.



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 Shadows, Wrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/.

Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.



CATCH UP WITH KELLI
Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

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