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Monday, June 11, 2018

Get to know #Romance Author Kelli A. Wilkins today on the #RB4U Blog @KWilkinsauthor

Welcome to Romance Books 4 Us, a place for all romance and all genres. We’re very happy to have author Kelli A. Wilkins here with us today. First, tell us a little bit about yourself…

What or who initially inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always been an avid reader, and I started writing short stories when I was in high school. I always give credit to Rod Serling and Stephen King for being two of my main inspirations, because I learned the mechanics of great storytelling from watching The Twilight Zone and reading King’s fiction. I started out writing horror stories and eventually tried my hand at romances. Now I write in a variety of genres.

What kind of research do you do for a novel and how extensive do you get?
That depends on the type of book or short story I’m writing. When I write a historical romance I have to do a lot of research and learn everything that was going on in the world during that time period. I read about historical events, what life was like, what people ate, what types of jobs they had, what they wore, etc.

I don’t use all of it in the story, and I don’t dump a lot of historical facts on readers, but I use the details as background for the plot, setting, or I have the characters comment on something from the time period. When I write contemporary romances I don’t need to do a lot of research, unless I’m writing about something I’m not familiar with. However, I did a lot of research for my paranormal comedy, Beauty & the Bigfoot. My main character is an expert on Bigfoot, so I had to become one, too! It was fun to incorporate my research into that book.

Do you plot out your story or go with the flow of your muse?
I’m definitely a plotter! Before I start writing a word, I make an outline for each scene; decide which character’s point-of-view the scene will be in, high points of the scene, and any snippets of dialog I want to include. When I sit down to write the book I have a map of where the story is going. I find that it’s easier (and faster) for me to write this way, and I don’t get lost in the middle.

But 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. The plot for A Deceptive Match came to me in a dream, so I wrote the outline based on the dream, and then wrote the book from there. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, but it’s nice when it does!

Do you find yourself going back to the same inspiration for each story or is it always something different?
Every story (whether a romance novel or a horror story) comes to me in a different way. Sometimes I’ll have an entire story “jump” into my head, and I’ll know everything that happens to the characters. (That happened with A Deceptive Match, A Most Unusual Princess, Trust with Hearts, and The Viking’s Witch.)

Other times, I’ll get bits and pieces of the story and parts of the characters. Once in a while, I’ll have a character come first, and once I get to “know” and develop the character, I’ll find out the story. Then the other pieces fall into place, like a puzzle. (That happened with Four Days with Jack, Beauty & the Bigfoot, Killer in Wolf’s Clothing, Redemption from a Dark Past, and Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.)

Before I start a book, I think about the story. I need to know who the characters are and what’s going to happen to them. After that, I outline the scenes and start writing. As I write, I allow myself some leeway to explore things I hadn’t considered in my outline. Writing a new book is always an adventure for me and I never know where the characters or stories will take me.

When do you write? Early morning? During the day sometime or all day?
I write anywhere, anytime the mood strikes. If I’m in the middle of writing a new book, I’ll probably start writing early in the morning, then take a break for a while and then write for a few more hours in the late afternoon or evening. I don’t force myself to stick to a specific writing schedule; I just go with the flow.

Do you ever see yourself as the heroine/hero or find yourself relating to them when you write a story?
I relate to all of my characters as I write my stories. Male or female, gay or straight, romance or horror character, hero or villain, I connect with all of them! I think authors have to identify with each character in a story in order to get in their heads and see the story through each character’s point-of-view, otherwise, you run the risk of all the characters sounding alike.

Do you have a special place you like to do your writing? Such as an office, a spare room, the dining room table, your couch?
I write the first draft of everything (short stories and novels) in longhand with pen and paper, so I can (and do) write anywhere. I like to write outside whenever possible, so I do a lot of my actual writing and editing during the warmer months, then during winter I type my new manuscripts.

When you need a break or some time off from the trials of being a writer, what can you be found doing?
When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading, gardening, traveling, going to flea markets, or hanging out with my husband and friends. I try to balance my writing life with my “regular” life, so I’m not being anti-social and slaving away writing or posting on social media when I could be out enjoying the world. I like going places and seeing new things, because you never know when something will spark an idea for a story or a character.

Is there anything about yourself nobody knows that you would like to share with our readers?
Even though I write horror stories, nobody ever asks me about the paranormal. One thing you probably wouldn’t think to ask is: “Do you believe in ghosts and the supernatural?” The answer is definitely yes!
Share your favorites:
Favorite color – green
Favorite dessert/snack – mint chocolate ice cream
Favorite Season – autumn
Favorite way to relax – reading a book I didn’t write!

Where can our readers find you online?
Here’s a list of where readers can find me and my books:
Newsletter sign-up:
Is there an upcoming or current release you would like to share with us today and where can we find it?

Yes! My new historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past was just released. This full-length Gothic romance novel is set in an isolated mountain castle in 1700s Hungary and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.

Here’s the book blurb:

Redemption from a Dark Past

Lord Sebestyen Adrik has an unsavory reputation as a madman, murderer… and worse. Lonely and searching for love, he seeks the companionship of local young women, hoping one of them will ease his torment and bring him the happiness he longs for. Katarina is his last chance—but will she fear him like all the others? Or is she the one who can lift his curse?

Desperate to avoid a forced marriage, Katarina agrees to become Lord Adrik’s latest companion, despite the rumors she has heard about him. She discovers the “Dark Lord’s” secret past and realizes he’s not the monster everyone thinks he is.

As their love blossoms, she renews his passion for life—yet they cannot escape the ghosts of the past.

When a meeting of the nobility goes horribly wrong, Sebestyen’s world unravels, and his enemies plot to destroy him. As all seems lost, a mysterious stranger arrives at the castle. Sebestyen must decide if he is a friend or a foe…and if he can find redemption in his love for Katarina, or lose her and everything else that he holds dear.

Book links:

The book was a lot of fun to write and I hope that romance readers will check it out! Summaries, excerpts, and reviews for all of my romances are on my site. I also post “the making of…” blogs for each book on my blog.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with readers. I invite everyone to follow me online. I welcome questions and comments from readers and other authors.

Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins

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, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.
Kelli’s 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.
Her Gothic historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past was released in June, 2018.

Visit her website and blog to learn more about all of her writings.


Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful to meet you! All the best with your releases!

Kelli Wilkins said...

Thanks! The books were a lot of fun to write! They have interesting characters and unusual storylines.

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