This week on the blog, I’m sharing part two of my interview with Dark Moon Books. My horror short, “Sometimes Monsters are Real” appears in their horror anthology, Mistresses of the Macabre.
More than 500 people submitted horror stories - but only 18 were chosen - and I am thrilled to be part of this collection of great stories written by women. To quote the editor of the anthology, “Kelli A. Wilkins is the author of “Sometimes Monsters are Real,” a story about a deal with the devil that didn’t turn out as expected. Not to mention, it is the only story to make the editor cry.”
I’m usually asked about my romances, so it was a nice change of pace to share my thoughts about writing horror. Enjoy!
DM: What comes first to you, the plot, the characters, or the ending?
KW: That depends. Sometimes I’ll have a character in my head and I follow him or her around for a bit and see what the story is. More often though, the story starts with a scene or an opening line and then the rest of the plot filters through. Every so often I’ll get an entire story (or book) in my head all at once and have to start writing it down immediately before it gets lost.
DM: Do you imagine colors or music as you write?
KW: I do see colors and vivid details as I write. I also listen to music when I’m writing, so I have a lot of senses activated all at once.
DM: How much research do you typically do before beginning to write?
KW: That depends on what I’m writing. For my historical romances I did a lot of research about time periods, history, what life was like back then, etc. Before I wrote my paranormal romance Beauty & the Bigfoot I did hours of research on Bigfoot. For my horror stories, I might research something that the character needs to know that I don’t—or research a fact or some piece of history—but for the most part, my horror stories don’t require too much research.
DM: Do you illustrate the story in your mind as you write it?
KW: Yes. When I’m writing the first draft, I see the story happening in front of me, like I’m watching a play or a movie. Then I write down what happens. I’m not sure if this is something all authors do, but it’s the process that works for me. Basically, I spy on the characters and write down what they do. When I revise, I go into the character’s head for dialog and details from his or her perspective.
DM: Is writing a male character harder?
KW: Even though my protagonist is female, I’d like to answer this. Many of my other horror stories have male protagonists and my romances are full of male characters. (For example. my paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover is written entirely in a first-person male point of view.)
For me, it’s not hard to write a story from a male POV, (I just put myself into that character’s head) but I make a conscious effort to go back in the revision/editing stage and check the male character’s voice and mannerisms: Is his dialog something a guy would say? Is that how a guy would react in this situation?
A writing teacher once told me that men usually use less words than women when they speak and they notice different things (and ignore different things) than women do. If I’m stuck on something, I ask male friends for their opinion on how/what a guy would do or say in a situation. One example came up when I was writing a romance: what word do guys use when referring to their penis? Do they call it dick, cock, or what? (I got very detailed answers!)
DM: What else do you do besides write?
KW: When I’m not writing I like to read, garden, travel, go to concerts, visit flea markets, and explore haunted/creepy places. I also watch TV. Supernatural, Grimm, The Dead Files, and Ghost Adventures are my main shows.
DM: Favorite dessert?
KW: This is a hard question! Pomegranate margaritas. Mint chip ice cream. Banana cream pie. Chocolate pudding.
DM: Favorite time of year
KW: Fall, absolutely. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I was raised in rural upstate New York surrounded by mountains and trees. A lot of my horror stories take place in small towns in the fall, and sometimes around Halloween.
DM: Pimp yourself, include links
I invite readers to visit my website to catch up on all of my writings (horror and otherwise). The horror section of the site has excerpts and links to the anthologies and e-mags containing my stories. The News & Links page has links to my interviews and guest blogs, along with contact info. (I like hearing from readers, so drop me a line.)
I’m also on:
Twitter: @KWilkinsauthorand have author pages on Shelfari, Goodreads, Author’s Den, and Manic Readers.
It was great sharing my thoughts with everyone. I enjoy hearing from readers and would like to know what they think of my horror (or romance) stories.
(or, as Elvira says . . . “Unpleasant Dreams!”)
You can read the full interview online at: http://www.lastwritesdmd.com/killer-kelli-a-wilkins/
Link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0988556952/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0988556952&linkCode=as2&tag=shadara-20
Next week, I’ll be posting my newsletter - filled with links, news, interviews, and more!