Hello Hello welcome to Author Spotlight the newest feature on Wordwednesday so to open this is Kelli Wilkins.
I’m very lucky to have interviewed Kelli Wilkins author of Lies,Love and Redemption.
Hi Kelli ,thank you for aggreing to do this interview .
Please tell my readers about yourself and the books you have written.
Hi everyone ,
My name is Kelli A Wilkins and I write Romances in almost every genre( Contemporary, Gay, Paranormal, Historical, Western and fantasy ) that range from mild to super- sizzling hot.I’m having a busy 2016! This year ,I started re-releasing my romance previously published by Amber Quill Press.
I was with Amber Quill Press for ten years and I published 16 Romances ( in all genres) with them. These are great stories that I don’t want to see varnish forever, so over the course of 2016-2017 I’m revising them and releasing them on Amazon and other platforms.
This spring I re-released my spicy historical/fantasy Royal Desires Series that’s made up of A most Unusual Princess,A Most Intruiging Temptation And A Most Unfortunate Prince
Although the books are connected ,each one stands alone as an individual read.
In May I released two contemporary romances set in the world of wrestling; A Deceptive Match and A Secret Match.
My gay paranormal Killer in Wolf’s Clothing was released in Early June and m/f paranormal, Confession of A Vampire’s Lover was published in July
My third Medallion Press Historical Romance Lies,Love and Redemption will be published on September 19th. This western is set in a small Nebraska town in 1877 and blends romance and danger.It was a lot of fun to write and I think readers will enjoy it. Bookmark this page to read more here
It is also available for pre- order from amazon here
In addition to my romances ,I’ve published dozens of horror short stories and a nonfiction guide to writing You can Write – Really! A Beginners Guide to Writing Fiction
2. When did you write your first book?
I’ve always been interested in writing, but my professional writing career began in 2000. Growing up, I read every book I could get my hands on, and eventually I started writing my own stories. I took creative writing classes in high school and college, but I didn’t try to get anything published until I took a commercial writing course. I got a lot of great feedback from the instructors and other students and began submitting my stories.
At first, I wrote short horror fiction and had several stories published in magazines and anthologies. Then I branched out into “10-Minute” romances and finally into full-fledged romance novels. Amber Quill Press published three of my romance novellas and from there I focused most of my writing on romance (and an occasional horror story).
3. How long did it take to write your first book?
Each book is different, and the length of time it takes to write depends on the plot and the story. Some of my romances are shorter novellas (A Most Unusual Princess, Killer in Wolf’s Clothing) and others are longer, full-length novels (The Viking’s Witch, Dangerous Indenture, A Deceptive Match). Obviously, the longer the story, the longer it takes to write, revise, edit, etc.
I write everything (outlines, character descriptions, and the first draft of the manuscript) in longhand with paper and pen. Writing this way makes me feel more connected to the characters and story and I can write anywhere at any time.
Generally my first draft takes about a month or two to write (sometimes less, sometimes more). When I have the rough draft, I type up the story and edit/revise it as I go. By the time it’s all typed, it’s more like a second draft.
4. What was your motivation to write your first book? I started writing because characters, plots, settings, and story ideas kept popping into my head. One way for me to deal with them was to write the story (or idea) down. I’m still inspired by ideas that come to me from out of nowhere, the Universe, muses, or by something I see or hear at random. Writers can be inspired by anything!
5. What writing issues did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
Thankfully I don’t have too many writing issues, but occasionally I’ll run into a dead end with the plot. I’ll have everything for the book except for a scene or two, and then I have to figure out what comes next. If I’m on a roll and writing up a storm, I’ll write “something happens here” and skip over the missing part and come back to it later. Sometimes I’ll set the story aside for a day or two and mull it over while I’m doing something else. Soon, an idea for the missing piece will come to me.
6. Are you a plotter or do you just write/see what happens?
I’m both. When an idea comes to me, I make an outline with basic scenes, snippets of dialogue, character descriptions, notes on point-of-view and plot, then I sit down and start writing. I follow the outline but I keep myself open to scenes going in different directions. Sometimes characters reveal things about themselves or an unexpected detail is revealed while I’m writing. I go with it and see where the story takes me. Each book is a new adventure for me as I’m writing it.
7. What is the best thing about being a writer?
Being a writer is a lot of work, but one of the things I like best about it is the fact that I’ve created all of these characters and stories. These books and short stories came through me from out of nowhere and now readers can enjoy them. It’s strange to think about, but before I came along, none of these fictional people existed!
8. Have you ever considered quitting writing, and if so how have you worked through this?
Yes, lots of times! Every so often, when I’m really burned out from writing, revising, and promoting, I wonder why I bother. When that happens I know I need a break. I take a month off from writing and catch up on my reading, or just do nothing for a while and recharge. Before long, I have the urge to write something new or start working on an existing project again.
9. What does a typical writing day look like for you?
I don’t have a typical day. Each day varies depending on what I’m doing. If I’m writing a new book, I’ll devote most of my writing time to that, and maybe do a little social media promotions. Sometimes I’ll spend my writing time working on revisions or editing/proofreading a book, and other times I send out review requests, answer interview questions, post to social media, or write blogs. In addition to all this, I also have a full-time job, so I’m always wishing I had more time to do more things.
10. Do you suffer from procrastination, and if so, how do you handle it?
Yes! I’m the queen of procrastination. I try to juggle too many things at once, and my to-do list is about two pages long every day. (Not realistic!) To combat my procrastination I force myself to “just start” something. I tell myself I’ll do whatever (writing, revising, promoting, etc.) for just a half hour. After I get started and I’m in the groove, I’ll keep at it for an hour or two and not even notice that the time has flown by.
11. Which is more important—plot or characters and why?
This is a hard question. Both are incredibly important to any story, but an interesting character (provided the reader loves him/her) can carry a not-so-great plot. I’ve read books where the plot was so-so but I loved the characters, so I kept reading.
I strive to make all of my characters well-rounded with realistic goals, life experiences, and challenges. Readers want to root for the characters – whether they’re in a romance, a mystery, or a sci-fi story. When readers are invested in the lives of the characters they will follow them anywhere.
Plot is also very important, however. A confusing plot that’s hard to follow will turn readers off. Likewise, a plot that’s too simple or not engaging may have readers giving up before they read very far. I’ve started reading books that had interesting plots (or so it seemed) but after 100 pages nothing happened, so I gave up.
I like to include minor subplots in my stories to keep the action moving and the reader guessing at what might happen next. A talented writer will know how to create a perfect balance between plot and character.
12. What have been your biggest lessons you learned during your writing career?
I’ve learned a lot over the years. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is: revise, revise, revise. Just because you put something down on paper, it doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. As I’m re-releasing my romances published with Amber Quill Press, I’m re-reading and revising each one of them. I haven’t read them since they were published, and I’m finding all kinds of things to change: scenes are added or deleted, details enhanced, characters are being fleshed out better… social media as a writer?
Ah, social media! It’s the yin/yang of every writer. I hear the same comments over and over: “How can I find the time to write anything new if I’m ‘supposed’ to be on social media all the time posting links and Tweeting and…”
Well, you’re not! As a writer, writing should come first. After that, do what you feel you need to do to promote yourself/your books on social media. Want to spend half an hour on Facebook? Great. Go ahead! But if that’s all you do for four hours every day nothing else will get done… and we all know that social media can eat away at precious time.
Time management is a skill that each writer has to figure out for him or herself. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and I have an Amazon author page, blog, and a website. I use social media as a tool to share links, news about my books, spotlights, my newsletter, guest blogs, excerpts, etc. I try to post three to five times a week (not a day), or maybe once a day, depending on how my schedule is and if I have a new book releasing.
14. Do you suffer from writer’s block, and if so, how do you overcome it?
No, I don’t. Occasionally I suffer from writer’s procrastination, though! Basically that’s when my brain says “enough!” and goes on strike when I’m supposed to be editing or revising a book. Usually this happens when I’m overloaded and trying to do too much. To counteract it, I take a break and let my mind recharge and rest. I go for walks, exercise, read something I didn’t write, or watch TV. After a day or so, I’m ready to get back to work.
15. Do you ever think of the next book while writing?
Yes. I’ve been known to have three books in my head at the same time. I’ve been in the middle of writing a new book, revising a draft, and then an entire new book came to me. When that happens, I stop what I’m doing, outline the new book (so I won’t forget anything about it) then continue on with what I was doing.
I may go a few months without actually writing something new (whether it’s a romance or a horror story) but during that time, I’m thinking about/plotting a story, developing a character, or working out different ideas/scenarios. I don’t have to wait for inspiration to strike, because it’s already there.
16. Do you have any tips or advice for budding aspiring authors?
I strongly recommend that anyone who wants to pursue writing as a career or a hobby (in any genre), take classes. You need to learn the mechanics of good storytelling and understand the elements that go into creating characters, settings, conveying details, writing dialogue, etc.
Writers also have to commit to writing—every day for at least an hour—until you get the hang of it. 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. A lot of people I’ve talked to say they want to write and go into long descriptions of their story idea, but never sit down and actually write it (for various reasons).
You need to put the hours in to write a draft, rewrite, edit, revise, and learn how to take criticism if something isn’t working. It’s not easy, and it’s not always fun, but you have to do the work required to make a great book. It would be wonderful if magic elves came and did it for you, but I haven’t found any yet!
I’m always asked to answer writing-related questions (how to get published, where ideas come from, how to create characters, etc.) so one day, I decided to write a book about it. My non-fiction writing guide, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction covers everything about writing (regardless of genre) from A to Z. It’s perfect for beginning writers who need motivation or simple advice on how to get started. The book is filled with fun writing exercises and handy tips all writers can use. It’s available on Amazon and other platforms. (Read more about it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00THWLFQU)
17. If readers want to get in touch how do they contact you?
I welcome comments and questions from readers. They can email me via the address on the News page of my website. I’m also on social media and can be contacted here:
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Medallion Press author page: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts. It’s fun to touch base with readers. Feel free to write with questions, follow me on social media, and share my posts with your friends!
Kelli A. Wilkins
So that’s all for now on Author Spotlight, stay tuned for more amazing author’s.
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