Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Perfect Match – from Dream to Reality

Hi everyone,

A non-writer recently asked me about my new book A Perfect Match. She was wondering how I come up with the characters and the story and...basically how I wrote the book. I told her that this book was different from all of my other books because the entire story came to me in a dream.

Today I decided to share the ‘inside look’ at the history of this book and explain how it all came about. One morning I woke up and said “uh-oh!” and grabbed the pen and paper next to the bed. (I keep it there in case of inspiration.) I knew that if I didn’t immediately start writing down everything in my head, it would be lost forever. So I sat there, furiously scribbling the outline of the book. It was just the bare bones of the plot and the characters, but I knew I was onto something.

Over the course of the day, more bits and pieces came through. Now I had a subplot, secondary characters, and knew more about what was happening in this book that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I was fortunate enough to actually ‘see’ the book in my head like a movie – some scenes were missing, but I had a clear picture to work from.

At the time I got the idea for A Perfect Match, I was deep into working on a very different contemporary, Trust with Hearts. I set that book aside and started writing about wrestlers!

After the book was finished and polished I submitted it to a bunch of writing contests and “big-name traditional” publishers. Results were mixed – the contest people loved it! They said it had great characters, interesting (and different) kind of plot, and lots of sexual tension. A Perfect Match was a top 10 finalist in the first “American Title” contest and won awards in a few other contests.

The editors were not so thrilled. I remember getting two very different (and painful) rejections on the same day. Editor 1 basically said that Vinnie was a caveman and too much of an alpha male, a bully, and not a good hero at all. Danni was a spoiled child who shouldn’t wear suits and should be completely rewritten to be more of ‘chick lit’ kind of character. And by the way, nobody will buy (or want to read) a book about wrestlers.

Editor 2 loved the characters, their relationship, the drama….but women readers wouldn’t be interested in reading about sports, especially wrestling. Try something else.

Everyone’s been rejected – but some rejections hurt more than others. So, after the allotted time to lick my wounds, I did what any good writer does – I sat down, gave the book another edit and kept sending it out. I’m pleased to say that the book was born into the world on March 27. (Yey!)

So what’s the point to this story? I think it just shows how writers have to stick with it and believe in themselves (and their book). I know a lot of people who say, “I want to write a book.” But never put a word on the page. They tell me that they don’t want to go to all the trouble to work on something if it’s just going to be rejected.

Most people don’t realize how much work goes into writing a book and are amazed that writers can do it. They see the finished end product and think it’s easy and doesn’t take a lot of time. But the rest of us know the truth – even when we have a great idea come to us in a dream, we have to write the book and do the hard work to make the dream a reality.

Here’s a link to A Perfect Match: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/PerfectMatch.html

I hope you’ll check it out – and tell me what you think!

And, in other news: my new interview was just posted on the Seriously Interviewed site. Here’s the link:

http://seriouslyinterviewed.blogspot.com/2011/04/interview-with-kelli-wilkins-amber.html

Until next time,

Kelli

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