Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wrestling Romance Recap - A Perfect Match





Hi everyone!

To celebrate Kevin Nash’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, today I’m sharing an inside look at the making of my sizzling wrestling romance, A Perfect Match.

A Perfect Match is a contemporary romance set in the world of professional wrestling As anyone who knows me will attest, wrestling has always been a part of my life, so it was only natural that one day I’d write a book with wrestling as the backdrop. But this book is different from all of my other books because the entire story came to me in a rather unusual way—in a dream.

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. At this point, 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 wrestling romance 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.

However, 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!

People who have read the book and know about my love of wrestling always ask me the same questions: Which wrestlers are the characters based on? How do you know all this stuff? How much of it is real?

It’s easier to answer the second question first. Wrestling has always been a staple in my family. (I like to say it’s our family tradition.) Years ago, I was fortunate enough to be on friendly terms with a bunch of wrestlers. My husband and I would go to matches and hang out with the guys after the shows. (No, I wasn’t a ring rat.) I picked up a lot of terms and got a real feel for what they did and how they experienced life on the road.

At the time, the thought of being a writer never even crossed my mind, so I had no idea that one day I’d use what I learned in a book. When I got the idea for A Perfect Match, I was able to incorporate much of what I knew into the plot through Danni’s point of view.

The male characters in my book (Vinnie, Ev, Thorn, and Nick) aren’t based on any one wrestler or real person. Like characters in any story, they’re a combination of real and invented personalities and have their own individual traits. I specifically made sure that Vinnie and the others aren’t linked to real wrestlers, because it would take away from the story. Also, since I’m writing fiction, I was able to invent whatever character flaws and backstory info that I wanted!

As for how much of it is real? Well, anyone who knows anything about wrestling can tell you that it’s technically termed “sports entertainment” for a reason. But that doesn’t discredit all the training, hard work and other sacrifices the wrestlers go through every day. A Perfect Match touches on the subject of what’s “real” and what goes on behind the scenes that most fans are unaware of. 

Last year I published a follow-up book (of sorts) titled A Secret Match. That book is all about Vinnie’s best friend (and former tag team partner) Everett. Although the books are connected, they each stand alone as individual reads. 

Here’s a short summary & a tame excerpt from:


Falling for the wrestler she had been assigned to interview wasn’t part of Danni’s plan, until Vinnie Valentine pinned her heart in a flash.

Disgruntled with her job as the office gopher for a national sports magazine, Danni Stone impersonates a reporter to prove herself to her boss. Her assignment? Spend thirty days on the road with Vinnie Valentine, a sexy professional wrestler. 

Life isn’t going well for the Heavyweight Champ. Vinnie is struggling with a manipulative boss, prepping for the most important match of his career, and feuding with his arch-enemy, Thorn. The last thing he needs is a nosy reporter following him around—even if she is hot.

Thrown together in close quarters, Danni can’t help falling for Vinnie. Their mutual attraction grows, and Danni gives in to the lustful feelings she’s repressed for years. As their relationship deepens, she finds herself drawn into Vinnie’s world and becomes a key player in his title bout. But before Danni can tell Vinnie that she isn’t the reporter she claims to be, he discovers her deception. Her lie threatens to destroy everything between them. Is their fragile love destined to fail, or are they a perfect match?

***
Danni hurried down the hall to the locker room. She hadn’t meant to be late picking up Vin tonight, but the moron lot attendant wouldn’t let her back into the parking area. She pushed open the locker room door and rushed inside. “Vin, I’m sorry I—”

Her tote bag slipped through her fingers and dropped to the floor. Vin stood less than three feet away, soaking wet. A white towel barely covered his waist.

“Oh, my God!” Her entire body flushed as a tingling sensation built deep in her belly. Vin was practically naked and dripping wet from the shower.

“I…um…you’re…I…oh God,” she muttered and whirled around. Why wasn’t he saying anything?
Vin’s warm hand settled on her shoulder. He gently turned her to face him. Beads of water dripped down his chest, and she longed to lick them away. “Um…you…you’re wet.” She glanced at the towel and prayed it would fall off his waist.

“And you’re not?”

She squealed as Vin drew her to his chest. His mouth covered hers, and she lost all sense of reason.
A wet heat built between her legs as Vin’s tongue entered her mouth. Her body surged beneath his touch. She clutched him tight and dug her fingers into the solid flesh of his back and ribs. He smelled like soap and water and yet there was a hint of something manly, musky about him.

Vin moaned and cupped her buttocks through her sundress, melding her body against his. A high-pitched mewing sound escaped her throat as a long-denied lust flared within her. Was this really happening? She’d had this fantasy for so many nights, would she wake up and discover it was only another dirty dream?

***
I hope romance fans and wrestling fans alike will check out A Perfect Match and A Secret Match. Both books got excellent reviews and were a lot of fun to write.

Congrats again to Big Kev and the other Hall of Fame Inductees!

Until next time,
Kelli

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 and Wilderness Bride. 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

Thursday, March 12, 2015

You Can Write—Really! An Inside Look





Hi everyone,

Today I'm sharing an "inside look" at the making of my fun non-fiction guide to writing. As most of you may know, I’m an eclectic writer. That means I write everything—short horror fiction, steamy full-length romance novels, science fiction, and even non-fiction. People are always asking me, “How can you write in so many different genres and styles?”
It’s really not that difficult. Why? Because the basic mechanics of good storytelling are universal, no matter what genre you write. Every fiction story contains the same ingredients: an interesting and engaging plot, characters the reader cares about and roots for, supporting details, and background that draw the reader into the story.
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? 

I’ve answered these questions many times in interviews and addressed them in guest blogs, but I always wanted to say more. 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 fun writing exercises:

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.
Here’s the official book summary:

You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction
If you’ve always dreamed of writing and getting published, but have no idea where or how to start—THIS is the book for you!

You Can Write—Really! is an easy guide designed for beginner writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started

Award-winning author Kelli A. Wilkins takes you step-by-step through the writing process, covering the basics of plotting, editing, revising, and submitting. In addition, she explores ways to get your creativity flowing, explains where authors get ideas, and shows you how to create interesting characters for your story.

Helpful tips and fun writing exercises throughout the book get you started!

If you’re ready to write, order your copy here:
 
Happy Reading (and Writing!)
Kelli

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. 

Her newest book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction was released in February 2015. This fun and informative non-fiction guide is based on her 15 years of experience as a writer, and is available exclusively on Amazon. 

Kelli published three romances in 2014: Dangerous Indenture (a spicy historical/mystery), Wilderness Bride (a tender historical/Western/adventure), and A Secret Match (a gay contemporary set in the world of professional wrestling). Her romances span many genres and heat levels and yet she’s also been known to scare readers with a horror story. In 2014, her horror fiction appeared in Moon Shadows, Wrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/. Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.


CATCH UP WITH KELLI
Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web:
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb