Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Four Days with Jack – What Will People Think?

Hi everyone,

As promised, here’s a bit of background about my Amber Allure contemporary romance, Four Days with Jack. When I got the idea for the book I knew the basic plot and premise, but I wasn’t exactly sure what the conflict would be within the story. As I started writing, David’s character quickly showed me the conflict – inner turmoil.

Up until now, David has kept his true desires a secret from himself and everyone else. He is afraid of what people will think about him if they know (or even suspect) that he’s gay. How will they react? Will they judge him?

I picked up on this theme of “what will people think?” and ran with it. In the book, David points out that Jack’s family (and some friends) disowned him when he came out, and David doesn’t want to go through the same type of heartache. Jack’s reply is pretty much: “So? They’ll get over it.”

As I was writing this story, I considered “what people would think” about this book. How can a woman write a gay romance? What will people think about the m/m love scenes? Then I reminded myself that I’m a writer and I create the characters, scenes, and plots that make up the book as a whole. The story needs to be told, and I’m the one telling it. I’ve made up all sorts of things: an erotic Bigfoot story, detailed ménage scenes, a vampire romance. It’s not about me explaining myself on paper and waiting to be judged; it’s about the characters and what happens to them. It’s called fiction.

Writers have to turn off their internal editors and forge ahead with the story as it should be (and needs to be) told. If we constantly worried about what grandma would think about our writing, or if we were afraid to open up and let the characters and story take us into the bedroom, we’d never write anything except G-rated bedtime fables. And if a friend/relative/whoever has a problem with the subject matter, Jack’s right: they’ll get over it.

One reader commented that she didn’t like the antagonist (Frank) in the story. As a writer, I’m glad to hear that! Frank is a blatant homophobe and he says some pretty awful things to David and Jack, and his own wife. So why is he in the story? For two reasons: 1. to show how even in this day and age, not everyone accepts openly gay couples, and 2. to add a level of confrontation and intolerance that helped band David and Jack together during a crisis moment.

But despite Frank’s interference, Jack and David have a happy-ever-after ending. And I’m pleased to say that Four Days with Jack has received two great reviews. Here are snippets from each:

“I thought that (Kelli) Wilkins did a very good job portraying the confused David and the wary, but hopeful, Jack. David’s inner turmoil and fears about outing himself were so heartbreaking. I definitely felt for him. Overall, I believe that FOUR DAYS WITH JACK is a strong romance with very likeable characters. I’m quite glad that I went ahead and read this story. I learned that as a romance fan I can definitely appreciate and enjoy those that feature two male heroes. FOUR DAYS WITH JACK is an emotional, yet sexy coming-out story about two men finally opening themselves up to the possibility of a great love. It was an excellent introduction into the world of m/m romance.” – Jennifer, Reviewer, Romance Novel News

“Four Days With Jack was exactly as promised. Hesitation, longings, risks, fears, and in the end, taking love the way it comes. The sex is hot, the characters likeable and the writing was easy to read. The peaks and valleys of the story come from David and Jack coming to terms with their relationship. Their secrets are exposed but those secrets and actions come with consequences. Their journey is a pleasant read and one I’m sure you’ll enjoy as well.” – Seriously Reviewed

Four Days with Jack makes a great summer read. It’s got a bit of everything: a tropical resort, humor, sadness, true love and some pretty steamy love scenes. The book link is: http://amberquill.com/AmberAllure/FourDaysWithJack.html

Check it out, and let me know what you think about it via this blog, Twitter or via the “Contact the Author” page on my site www.KelliWilkins.com. Have a topic you'd like to see me address on the blog? Drop me a line!

Until next time!

Kelli

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kelli's Quill - The Newsletter - HOT May/June Issue




KELLI’S QUILL
The Official Newsletter of Author Kelli A. Wilkins
Hot May/June Issue (Vol. 4 Number 3)

Hi everyone! The weather is heating up – and so are my romances! This issue is filled with news about my romances, links to interviews, reviews, guest blogs, and more! Enjoy!

FOR READERS:

INTERVIEWS:
On June 6, Kelli’s interview appeared in the Central NJ newspaper, The Home News Tribune. The link is: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011306050023

In April, Seriously Reviewed interviewed Kelli about her books. The link is:
http://seriouslyinterviewed.blogspot.com/2011/04/interview-with-kelli-wilkins-amber.htmlFallen Angel Reviews posted a new interview with Kelli. You can read the full interview here:http://www.fallenangelreviews.com/Interviews/2011/April-Tammy-KelliAWilkins.htm



Q&A with KELLI:
What readers want to know! Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview with Kelli:
Q: Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?A: I’m always multi-tasking. Although I can only write one book at a time, I constantly find myself adding something extra to my ‘to do’ list. I might be writing a book, promoting another book, blogging, Tweeting, and writing my newsletter all in the same week! I also write short horror fiction, so I’m toying with those storylines while thinking about other romances to write.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a romance writer?A: My favorite thing about being a romance writer is that I get to create different characters, worlds, settings, relationships and romances, and then share them with readers. I enjoy writing the story – meeting the characters and following along on their adventures. It’s a very creative part of the writing process, and it’s a lot of fun.

I write in several romance genres (fantasy, historical, paranormal and contemporary), so I get to dream up very different characters, plots, and settings for my books. My fantasy romance, A Most Unusual Princess
is a lighthearted novella that introduces readers to a headstrong princess.

On the other hand, my paranormal, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover is written in first person from the hero’s point of view.

FOR WRITERS:
What’s the purpose of your writing?
Writers are often asked if their work has a theme or a message. Remember back in high school when you were asked, “What’s the purpose of this story?” Well, now that you’re a writer, you get to decide what the purpose (message, or theme) is of your stories!

A good story doesn’t stop the flow of the narrative so characters can preach to readers, but your writing should have a purpose, a point, a theme. There should be something that the reader takes away from the story. Someone once said that before you start writing, you should figure out what – if anything – you want to say. Ask yourself, why are you writing this story? What’s the point? Will readers learn anything?

When I wrote my three non-fiction cat care guides (Cats, Quick & Easy Guide to Cat &Kitten Care, The Simple Guide to Cats), the two themes I kept focusing on were: responsible pet ownership for the life of the cat, and adopting from a shelter or rescue organization.

I also incorporated these themes into my romance, Trust with Hearts. I gave the heroine (Sherrie) a subplot of adopting out cats from a local shelter. This helped build her character (and gave her a sense of purpose) while delivering a message to the reader. (And while I’m on the subject, I’d like to remind everyone that June is “Adopt a Shelter Cat” month! See? Even this bit of writing has a theme!)

When you’re writing to convey a message, you need to get inside the characters and voice opposing viewpoints, show conflicting actions, etc. to flesh out the theme and make the characters believable. These may not be things you’re comfortable thinking, writing, or showing, but they will help your story. Remember, the antagonist who is trying to cut down a 500-year-old tree will act in ways that oppose (and offend) your tree-loving heroine!

The next time you read a story, ask yourself, “What is the writer saying?” You might just learn something!
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I hope you enjoyed this issue of Kelli’s Quill. Feel free to pass it along to other readers and writers and share it with your friends.
Until next time!

Kelli