Saturday, March 21, 2015

Kelli’s Quill Newsletter - Welcome Spring Issue!



Kelli’s Quill Newsletter

March 2015

Welcome Spring Issue!

Happy Spring everyone! I hope the warmer weather is thawing out the winter blues and you’re ready to embrace the new season.

This month, I’m announcing news about my historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, sharing reviews and excerpts from my new non-fiction writing book, You Can Write-Really!, and more. Let’s get started!

Czech This Out!

In February, I learned that my Gold IPPY Award winning historical romance, The Viking's Witch, was published in the Czech Republic. Here’s the link: http://www.alpress.cz/hledani/?q=Wilkins

And for those of you interested in the English language version, here’s the book’s summary and links:



The Viking's Witch

About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her. But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. 

After Rothgar witnesses Odaria's powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other . . . before time is up.


 

New Release - You Can Write-Really!


Last month, I released You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction. As an author of 95 short stories and 19 romance novels, I’m often asked: Where do you get your ideas? How do I get published? How do you write a book? What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out? Do you have any writing tips? 

One day, I started thinking about everything I’ve learned over the years, and inspiration hit me: Why not write a book on how to write? The result? You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction.

This fun and practical book walks you through the story-creating process step-by-step: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work.
Each easy-to-read chapter is based on my 15 years of experience as a writer, advice I’ve received over the years, and the technical “know-how” I’ve gained in writing classes and workshops. I also included helpful tips all writers can use, plus easy writing exercises to get you motivated.

Once you have the basics down, you can write—really! Here are two quick tips and two fun writing exercises:

TIP: Set aside an hour a day to write. Not sure you have an hour? Consider writing on your lunch break or during a commute. Get up an hour earlier or schedule time after dinner. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. You can also write in two blocks of 30 minute sessions.
TIP: Keep a pen and paper (or a voice recorder) with you at all times to note bits of dialogue you overhear, something strange, funny, or creepy you see, or anything else that captures your attention and could be used for a story.
EXERCISE 1: Write three to five dialogue exchanges where two characters meet for the first time. What do they talk about? What is happening in the scene or around them?
EXERCISE 2: All characters want something, whether it’s a cup of coffee, a new car, to escape from jail, to eat lunch, or to finish a big project. Brainstorm five things your character wants, large or small. Here are some examples: woman wants to escape her abusive husband; man wants to bury a body; private investigator wants to find a blackmailer; fifth grade kid wants to get away with cheating on a math test.
If you’re ready to write, order your copy here:


5-star Amazon review for You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction.
This book isn't just for beginning writers, it has something for writers at every stage. With sections such as Meet the muse, Excuses, Ideas, Characters, Marketing, etc, whatever you're looking for, there's something here to learn from. No matter where you are on your journey as a writer, you'll get something out of this book. I highly recommend it as a reference and as a way to inspire and encourage you to move past writing blocks, and tap into your creativity.


Q & A with Kelli
Here are a few questions I’ve been asked recently! Have a question or a topic you’d like to see me address in the Quill? Send me an email or a message on my blog or social media sites!

Q: What three words best describe your main characters?
A: Over the years, I’ve created dozens of interesting and unique characters. The main characters in my three recent books could be described as: determined, flawed, and hopeful.

Q: Do you have a method for creating your characters and their names?
A: I don’t necessarily “create” my characters. For me, it’s more like I’m meeting them, or discovering them and their stories. Sometimes my characters will “show up” and tell me about themselves. Other times, something I hear or see will get me thinking and before I know it, a new character has emerged. 

I like to take bits and pieces of traits, likes, and dislikes I see in strangers, friends, or whoever and mix and match them into a character. I did a lot with character traits in Dangerous Indenture. It’s fun to create their unique quirks. 

Finding the right name for a character is sometimes the hardest part of writing a story. Some characters will tell me their names right away (like Odaria from The Viking’s Witch, Sherrie from Trust with Hearts, and Elara from A Most Unusual Princess), but many times I have to think about the name and try out a few different ones before I get the right one. Once in a while, I’ll write a few scenes referring to the character as “Ralph” just to get the words on paper. After a while, the character’s real name will come to me.

Q: What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
A:
Right now, I’m working on the second draft of a historical romance set in Nebraska. I have a few ideas for more romances, including another historical, a paranormal, and a gay contemporary. 

In the horror department, I’m submitting short stories and gathering ideas for new ones. My latest Halloween tale, “Home for Halloween” was published in the Moon Shadows horror anthology. Read more about it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N232UEG

I also have ideas for different types of non-fiction ebooks and an erotic romance series. All I need is time to develop them! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this issue of the Quill. Next month look for links to guest blogs, a book contest, and more!

Happy Spring!
Kelli

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