Monday, November 16, 2020

FAQ with Author Kelli A. Wilkins (Part 1)

 


Hi everyone!

Today I'm answering a few fun FAQ and sharing a look at my historical/western romance, Love, Lies & Redemption.

When did you realize you wanted to write novels?

I’ve always known I was a writer, and I began writing short stories in high school and college. After college, I took a writing class for fun and I learned a lot about the art of creating interesting characters and telling a great story. After being encouraged to submit my work, I decided to pursue writing seriously. Currently, I divide my time between writing novels, novellas, and short stories.

Where do you write?

I write anywhere I can. When the weather is nice, I like to write outside in my back yard. In the winter, I generally write in a comfy chair in the living room.

Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?

When I’m writing and proofreading I play quiet New Age or instrumental music in the background. (I find silence is too oppressive.) When I’m typing up a manuscript and/or making edits, I listen to all kinds of music: rock, pop, or whatever I’m in the mood for. My musical tastes are very diverse.

How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?

Bits and pieces of my characters come from people I know or people I observe. However, no one character is 100% anyone from real life. I was asked about this a lot when I wrote my wrestling romance, A Deceptive Match. Everyone wanted to know which wrestler the hero, Vinnie, was based on. He’s a composite of a lot of different wrestlers (and other people) all rolled into one.

As far as plots go, 99% of them are just things I make up. I have a vivid imagination and my day-to-day life is not as exciting as the worlds I create for my characters.

Describe your process for naming your characters.

Sometimes this is a hard process for me. When characters “introduce” themselves to me (aka “show up” in my head), I usually learn about them and their problem/situation before I’ll get a name. Usually, I’ll get a first initial or a first name only, and then have to discover more about the character before I get his or her whole name and backstory.

Love, Lies & Redemption is one example. Before I wrote a word, I had the whole opening sequence in my head. I knew Sam and Cassie’s first names, and a bit about their backgrounds, but that was it. Sometimes my characters are a mystery to me until I get to know them better—even though I’m the one creating them!

Real settings or fictional towns?

I set my stories in fictional towns that are loosely based on real places. When I’m writing, I change up the details to make them my own. I can add buildings or rearrange the layout of a town to suit the story. The town of Holloway in Love, Lies & Redemption was my invention, but it was typical of a small prairie town of that time period.

 

Want more? Read the rest of this post here: 

https://www.kelliwilkins.com/post/fun-faq-with-author-kelli-a-wilkins-part-1



Monday, November 2, 2020

New Release - Madame Gray's Creep Show

 



Hi everyone!

Halloween may be over for another year, but horror isn’t just for Halloween!

My short story “What the Peeper Saw” is included in…

Madame Gray's Creep Show

A veritable smorgasbord of twenty-three deliciously terrifying treats, each one simmered to blood-curdling perfection and seasoned with just the perfect amount of gallows humor. From murder and madness to monsters and the downright macabre, the stories awaiting you within in this superlative anthology push the boundaries of horror to the next level... and way, way beyond!

Order your ebook or paperback copy here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08LZQZ495

Stay tuned to this blog for some changes!

Kelli


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Kelli’s Quill Newsletter - Happy Halloween 2020


Hi everyone,

As you all know by now, Halloween is my favorite holiday, and this year there’s a Full Moon on the 31st. Not only that, but it’s a “blue” moon! Very rare! I hope everyone gets to celebrate the holiday in one way or another.

In this issue of the Quill, I’m sharing news about a new Halloween-themed anthology, highlighting my horror novellas, sci-fi anthology, paranormal romances, and more…

New Release!

Halloween Horror Vol. 2

My short story, “The Uninvited” appears in this collection of spooky Halloween tales. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, so let’s just say it’s about a children’s Halloween party that goes horribly wrong…

Here’s the official book blurb and buy link:

Halloween Horror Vol. 2

The season's best and darkest tales of Halloween.

Stories of adventure, mishap, magic, and macabre happenings on All Hallows' Eve.

The night when spirits walk among the living and dead things crawl from their dark hiding places to unleash Halloween Horror.

Available as an ebook or paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Horror-2-DBND-Publishing-ebook/dp/B08K4QPV2B/

And if you want to really get creeped out, check out my other horror ebooks:

Dead Til Dawn is a Civil War themed ghost story,

Kropsy’s Curse takes place in a cemetery on Halloween,


and Nightmare in the North is a cautionary tale about travelling alone…

Read summaries, reviews, and get links here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/horror

Here’s a pre-Halloween treat! Read my flash fiction story “Unpleasant Dreams” for free here:

https://www.fabledcollective.com/journal/unpleasant-dreams

 

Stay tuned… more horrors await! Another of my horror stories will be included in Madame Gray’s Creep Show anthology.

Want more?? Read the rest of Kelli’s October newsletter here:

https://www.kelliwilkins.com/post/kelli-s-quill-newsletter-happy-halloween-2020


Enjoy the holiday!

Kelli


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Just Released! Halloween Horror Volume 2

 


Hi everyone,

Halloween will be here before we know it, and to celebrate my favorite holiday, I’m sharing a look at a new Halloween-themed anthology, Halloween Horror Vol. 2.

My short story, “The Uninvited” appears in this collection of spooky Halloween tales. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, so let’s just say it’s about a children’s Halloween party that goes horribly wrong…

Here’s the official book blurb and buy link:

Halloween Horror Vol. 2

The season's best and darkest tales of Halloween.

Stories of adventure, mishap, magic, and macabre happenings on All Hallows' Eve.

The night when spirits walk among the living and dead things crawl from their dark hiding places to unleash Halloween Horror.

Available as an ebook or paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Horror-2-DBND-Publishing-ebook/dp/B08K4QPV2B/


And if you want to really get creeped out, check out my other horror ebooks:


Dead Til Dawn
is a Civil War themed ghost story,

Kropsy’s Curse takes place in a cemetery on Halloween,

and Nightmare in the North is a cautionary tale about travelling alone…

Read summaries, reviews, and get links here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/horror 


Here’s a pre-Halloween treat! Read my flash fiction story “Unpleasant Dreams” for free here:

https://www.fabledcollective.com/journal/unpleasant-dreams


Stay tuned… more horrors await! Later this month, another of my horror stories will be included in Madam Gray’s Creep Show anthology.

Happy Haunting!

Kelli


Friday, October 2, 2020

Taste of Halloween Pumpkin Bread Recipe

 

Hi everyone,

To celebrate the start of October (and Halloween season) I’m sharing my recipe for pumpkin bread.

Next week, I’ll be showcasing a new Halloween-themed anthology, Halloween Horror Vol. 2. Stay tuned for links and more!

Taste of Halloween Pumpkin Bread

1 ½ cup flour

½ tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup pumpkin puree

½ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs, beaten

¼ cup water

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. cloves

¼ tsp. allspice

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift together flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, and spices. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until it’s all just combined (don’t over stir!) Add chopped walnuts if you’re using them.

Pour into well-buttered 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until done in the middle. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

Options: If you like your pumpkin bread extra spicy, feel add a little bit more of the allspice and nutmeg. (I do!) Or add a ¼ tsp. of pumpkin pie spice to give it an extra boost.

Serving suggestions: I like this bread plain, but you can eat it with butter, or transform it into a dessert by adding whipped cream, or serving it with ice cream. However you eat it, it makes a yummy snack!


And if you’re looking for something spooky to read, why not check out my horror novella, Nightmare in the North? Read all about it here:

https://www.kelliwilkins.com/nightmare-in-the-north

Happy Haunting!

Kelli


Sunday, September 6, 2020

Author Kelli A. Wilkins Talks About "The Viking’s Witch"

 


Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing an interview about my historical/paranormal romance, The Viking’s Witch.

Enjoy!

 

What was your inspiration in writing The Viking’s Witch? Had you always been a fan of that period in history?

I can’t recall one thing that inspired The Viking’s Witch. Like many of my books, an idea just came to me. One day, the entire opening sequences popped into my head and I knew I had an idea for a new book. At the time, I had the basic plot (Viking warrior falls in love with Celtic witch), but I wasn’t sure about most of the details, like the character names, their backstories, and the subplot. For readers who don’t know, The Viking’s Witch is set in 803 A.D. on a remote island off the coast of Scotland. I like history and I love the U.K., so the plot and setting were a natural fit for me.

Did you do a great deal of research before writing the novel? Was the magic drawn on anything in particular you had seen or read?

I had to do research on where to set the story before I started plotting. I knew the book would take place in Scotland, where the Vikings traveled, but I didn’t want it to be a populated location. The isolation of the Orkney Islands adds to the tension in the story. The action is condensed into a few days on a very small island.

Odaria and Rothgar come from different backgrounds (and technically would have been speaking different languages), so I had to blend their two cultures together in a way that flowed with the book. I researched what life would have been like for each of them and weaved the details into the story. For example, Rothgar’s Norse culture intrigues Odaria and she is curious about their clothes, customs, their food, how they travel, etc.

The “magic” elements were a lot of fun to write! I’ve always been interested in psychic phenomena and other “New Age” subjects, so it was easy for me to incorporate what I know into Odaria’s character. I enjoyed letting readers (and Rothgar) see Odaria’s clairvoyance, telekinesis, and psychometry in action.

I couldn’t help but picture Chris Hemsworth, a.k.a. Thor, as Rothgar while reading. Did you have any actors or imagery in mind when writing Odaria and Rothgar?

When I wrote the book (about 10 years ago) I didn’t have any particular actor or actress in mind for the characters. But when I saw the movie, Thor, I was blown away by how much Chris Hemsworth was Rothgar! Mr. Hemsworth can definitely play Rothgar whenever there’s a movie version of the book!

The character of Nordskog is pretty interesting. Why do you think he evolves so smoothly from enraged beserker to ally of Rothgar?

I loved creating the character of Nordskog. Readers aren’t sure if he’s a good guy or not. Nordskog has a history with Rothgar from Rothgar’s old fighting days. Nordskog’s hatred of Karnik draws him closer to Rothgar’s side as the story develops. Nordskog’s not stupid. He knows Rothgar is wealthy and will reward him for his services. But he’s by no means reformed – he’s more of a berserkr for hire. For the right price, anyone can buy his loyalty. He walks the line between unpredictable violent warrior and a crafty opportunist. His actions help bring the main plot and the subplot to an exciting conclusion.

I like introducing unique secondary characters and subplots in my books to flesh out the story. Even though Rothgar’s and Odaria’s relationship is central to the book, The Viking’s Witch has a lot of adventure blended into the love story.

Brennan is a perfectly evil villain. How did he evolve in your mind?

I’m glad you “like” Brennan. I wanted to portray him as an arrogant, self-righteous villain – but not have his character be too over the top. Brennan is a lying, religious zealot and that makes him dangerous to Odaria and the other villagers. Most of the terrible things he’s done happen off page and we learn about them through Odaria. Each time I wrote a scene for, or about, Brennan, I made him a little more unstable and vicious, so by the end of the book readers see that he needs to learn his lesson and pay for what he’s done.

The love scenes are pretty steamy! What is it about writing erotic and romantic scenes that appeals to you?

Each time I write a romance I let the characters determine what happens (and what doesn’t) in the love scenes and how intense and detailed they are.

I make sure the scenes are keeping with the characters’ thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I base the book on the premise of two people falling in love and learning about themselves and each other. The story shows how the characters change and grow during the course of the book – and every so often they express their love and feelings for each other.

There is just as much violence as there is romance in the book, which is fitting for the time and place the novel is set. Do you find yourself cringing when writing those scenes? Do you worry about scaring off readers?

No, I don’t worry about scaring off readers – if anything, a little realism enhances the story. Back in 803 life was completely different from how we live now – especially on a emote island. Life was dangerous. People got hurt, sick, and died. The Viking’s Witch is about a violent man (Brennan) and a group of Norsemen with violent reputations, so the violence in the story is necessary to move the plot along while also helping the reader get deeper into the minds and lives of the characters.

I didn’t cringe when I wrote the “gritty” scenes; I was happy to include them. I like history and it drives me crazy when people in 1500 or 1870 are perfectly clean and neat and look like they stepped out of a beauty salon. I loved the TV show Deadwood because it was a realistic, historically accurate look at an Old West town. Everything was dirty and gritty – there was mud and horse manure in the streets like it would have been back in the day.

In The Viking’s Witch I included enough details to bring the story alive, yet showed how some degree of violence was necessary for Rothgar’s and Odaria’s survival.

Do you want to write any more about Odaria and Rothgar, or do you plan on moving on to something new with your next book?

Rothgar and Odaria are in a good place, so I won’t be writing a sequel. Most of my romances are stand-alone single titles. I did write two historical/fantasy series: The Naughty Nobles trilogy (which is super-hot) and the Royal Desires series (which is tamer).

Here are the book summary and links to The Viking’s Witch.

 

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. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence and be used for his ambitions?

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. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village?

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 runs out.

 

Order your copy here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/%20ebook/dp/B07T15MHSW

All other platforms:  https://books2read.com/u/4EQe0o

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/the-viking-s-witch

I invite readers to visit my site (www.kelliwilkins.com) to find out more about all of my romances, to read reviews, and catch up on my blogs.

Happy Reading!

Kelli

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Wishing You "Unpleasant Dreams"

 


Hi everyone!

My latest flash fiction horror story "Unpleasant Dreams" appeared in Fabled Journal last week. 

Read it here: https://www.fabledcollective.com/journal/unpleasant-dreams

Part of the story is based on an actual dream (or would you call it a nightmare?) that my mother had ages ago. The visual stuck with me all these years, and when I wrote the story I incorporated part of her dream into the plot.

If you like to be scared, visit the horror section of my site (https://www.kelliwilkins.com/horror) and read about my horror ebooks. 

They're more psychologically creepy than gory - although Nightmare in the North was called "disturbing" - among other things!

Happy Reading!

Kelli