Creating a Rough Road to a HEA
By Romance Author Kelli A. Wilkins
My name is Kelli Wilkins and I’m a romance writer who loves torturing my characters. Why? So I can get them back together for a happily-ever-after (HEA) ending!
Let’s face it, romance readers know they are going to get a HEA before they pick up a book. The hero or heroine isn’t going to die (unless you’re reading a paranormal and someone turns into a vampire, and even then, it just makes the story more interesting!).
People read romances for different reasons: for great storylines, to live vicariously through the characters they care about, and to know that whatever obstacles these lovers face, they’ll overcome them together.
I write stories based around characters who find each other, fall deeply in love, and live happily ever after—but not without going through some emotional ups and downs. Although my characters love each other, everything isn’t always roses and sunshine. As they work through their challenges, they have to learn a few lessons about themselves, trust, honesty, or whatever their personal internal struggles are.
For example, Sherrie and Curtis, in my contemporary romance, Trust with Hearts, have to work through painful issues in their pasts before they can open up and learn to trust again. In my historical fantasy, A Most Intriguing Temptation, Elara and Dalton learn important lessons about temptation and fidelity. And in my gay romance, A Secret Match, Everett struggles to come to terms with his sexuality and be open about who he really is. These trials and emotional hardships are realistic challenges that people face in their lives. Once the characters have learned what they need to, they can live HEA.
But sometimes love can be a surprise. In some of my books, the characters aren’t looking for love—it’s the furthest thing from their minds—but there it is. One morning, Cassie, from Lies, Love & Redemption had a handsome stranger collapse in her arms and nearly die in her store. Sam turned out to be her strongest advocate—and soul mate. Brian was taking in the waves when he found his true love on a deserted beach in Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover. Although these types of relationships are uncommon, the characters focus on commitment and “being there” for the other person for the long haul, no matter what.
Many of my characters find true love when they are willing to open their hearts and risk sharing their deepest emotions, darkest secrets, and intimate desires—and then discover that the other person loves them even more for it. David and Jack from Four Days with Jack are an excellent example of how opening up and risking rejection can lead to true love. Claudette, from A Most Unfortunate Prince, has a checkered past and is hesitant to confess her secret to Allan, but when she does, she finds true acceptance.
One of the things I like about writing romances is that I can make life miserable for the main characters and keep readers wondering: How are they going to live happily-ever-after? How will they get past this? For me, the how is the fun part.
In my books, I make sure the characters get on each other’s nerves, and I add lots of conflict (external and internal) to pull them apart. The conflict can be anything that will destroy their happy world: maybe he won’t compromise; his parents don’t approve because she’s from a different ethnic background; the hero finds out the heroine has a secret; the man he loves cheated on him (or so he thinks); his beloved princess was kidnapped; or a blackmailer wants her dead.
In The Viking’s Witch, Odaria is nearly burned at the stake and is rescued by Rothgar, a brutish Norseman she can’t stand. Over the course of the book they fall in love, but at the same time they bicker, keep secrets from each other, people are trying to kill them, and it seems that Rothgar has betrayed her to her sworn enemy. Yet, under all that conflict and heartache, their love is a constant, and they learn important lessons as they fight for their HEA.
Whether you read historicals, fantasy, gay, paranormal, or contemporary romances (or a combination) you’re always guaranteed a great story, troubled characters you can’t help but root for, some steamy love scenes, and a happy-ever-after ending. Because in the end, love conquers all, and that’s how it should be.
Kelli A. Wilkins
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.
Look for her paranormal-comedy, Beauty & the Bigfoot, coming in autumn of 2017.
Kelli released Trust with Hearts, a contemporary romance, in July 2017. Her third gay romance, Four Days with Jack, was released in June 2017. Kelli’s trilogy of erotic romance novellas, Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights was published in spring 2017.
Loving a Wild Stranger was published in January 2017. This historical/pioneer romance is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory and blends tender romance with adventure.
Kelli's third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released in September 2016. This spicy historical western is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.
Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative guide filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.
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 book excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.
Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Facebook Contemporary Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/
Facebook Gay Romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/
Facebook Historical Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/
Medallion Press Author Page: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?authorid=61801