10. What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
No matter what genre they write, I’d advise new writers to take writing classes (either online or in person) and learn all you can about crafting a story. Telling a story is the main focus of being a writer. You have to be able to think of an idea and write/revise a good story before you can do anything else.
11. Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?
Fortunately I don’t get writer’s block. I have millions of ideas for stories; I just don’t have time to write them all. Sometimes after I finish a book, I’ll take a break from writing for a while and let my mind relax and catch up on my reading. Then, when I’m ready to write something new, I’ll read through my ideas folder and see what inspires me.
12. Who is your favorite author and why? What books have most influenced your life?
This may sound strange coming from a romance author, but Stephen King is my favorite author. I started out reading his short stories (at a young age) and they showed me how to craft a story, use details and descriptions, and give a story a voice. I think his On Writing book is a great way for anyone to get inside the mind of a writer and see how the process unfolds.
13. How did you deal with rejection letters?
In the past, I used to get upset by them – especially if they were nasty or scathing. (I had my share!) Since then, I’ve learned to shrug them off or laugh at them. I’ve gotten rejection letters with typos, ones calling me the wrong name, and the ever popular photocopied form letter rejection. Most of the stories that were rejected over the years have been bought by someone else, so I can look back and say, “Ha! You missed your chance. Someone wanted that story after all.”
14. What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Writers need to have a good imagination, excellent observation skills, and the determination and patience to keep writing, even when they get rejected. It’s not easy to finish a novel and get it published, and many would-be writers give up before they even start because “it’s too hard.” I know a lot of people who tell me they want to write a story (or a book) but say that don’t have the time or it takes too long (or it’s too much work). Writers need to have an internal drive to write. They also need to have the self-discipline to sit in a chair and edit a story when they would rather be outside or doing something else.
15. Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?
I let the story and the characters dictate how much detail is enough. My erotic romances all vary in genre and heat level. Some romances (A Midsummer Night’s Delights) are scorching hot and there are a lot of explicit erotic details. Other romances (A Most Unusual Princess, The Dark Lord) are tamer and hint at what’s happening without being too obvious. The heat level and sexual activities in the stories all depend on the characters and the plot. My horror fiction tends to be more psychological/spooky than gory. But if the story calls for some blood or a violent death, I’ll run with it.
16. Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas? What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?
My ideas come from everything and everywhere. Most of the time I don’t even try to search out ideas, they find me. The only time I deliberately researched a legend was when I wrote Beauty & the Bigfoot. I needed all sorts of details for the story. I went to the library and took out every Bigfoot book they had. The librarian gave me a strange look and probably was wondering what I was doing!
17. Which is your favorite of the books you have written?
I love all of my books and all of my characters; they’re like my children. Since I write in different genres, I have favorites in each. In the fantasy genre, I’m particularly fond of my trilogy A Most Unusual Princess,
18. Where can we find you on the net?
I’m pretty much everywhere! My website: www.KelliWilkins.com contains all sorts of information about me, my romances, and my horror and non-fiction writing. Excerpts and reviews are also posted for each romance. Readers can sign up for my newsletter, Kelli’s Quill, on the News page.
Amber Quill Press has a page listing all of my romances, the link is:
Readers can also find me on:
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share some of my writing insights. It was a lot of fun! I enjoy getting feedback from readers and would love to know what some of their favorite books are. Readers can contact me via a form on the News page of my website.
Happy Summer Everyone!