Monday, October 15, 2012

Even More Spooky Stories for the Halloween Season!







Hello everyone!
Welcome to part three of my horror fiction blog! This week, I’m sharing an inside look at two more stories, “The Ape” and “Not Your Ordinary Little Green Men”.


The Ape” appeared in TheFour Horsemen: An Anthology of Conquest, War, Famine & Death, published by Pill Hill Press. This anthology of twenty-five short stories is based on The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In “The Ape” a young boy in South Carolina uses an unusual “toy” as a tool for revenge.

An Excerpt from The Ape

Billy wrinkled his nose as he entered the dimly lit shop. The air smelled funny, like a mix of spices and smoke. He closed the door behind him, cutting himself off from the outside world. His mind fired a jumble of warnings. Nobody knew where he was… he wasn’t supposed to be here… who knew what might happen to him?

He fought the urge to yank open the door and run, but he couldn’t. He had work to do. It had taken every bit of courage he had to get this far, and he wasn’t going to give up now. Everyone in town knew where the voodoo-lady practiced her magic—but no kid in fourth grade had ever been brave enough to come inside before.

The red curtain behind the high wooden counter whipped open. An ancient black woman wearing a bright yellow dress stood in the doorway, looking him up and down. She frowned. “Little boy, what you doin’ here? Don’ you know better?”

“I need a spell,” he whispered.


My humorous sci-fi short, "Not Your Ordinary Little Green Men" is one of 14 sci-fi tales appearing in What if…. Each story is unique and is based around the concept of “what if…” In “Not Your Ordinary Little Green Men”, a young couple moves into an old Victorian house and discovers they’re not alone.

An Excerpt from Not Your Ordinary Little Green Men

Sam grabbed a handful of yellowed "Not of This World" newsletters and dumped them into a trashbag. Everywhere he looked, he found books and pulp magazines about UFOs, aliens, and mystical creatures.

"No wonder everyone thought the old lady was a wacko," he muttered. He glanced at the cover of a sci fi magazine. The poorly drawn illustration showed three little green men standing next to a rocket. He frowned. Maybe these magazines had given Margie the idea about the pixies, or maybe she'd been hearing the strange noises at night, too.


***

Next week I’ll be back with a look at paranormal romances. Until then, you can check out more of my writings on my site: www.KelliWilkins.com

Happy Haunting!
Kelli


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Two More Spooky Stories for the Halloween Season!






Hi everyone! 

Hope you’re enjoying the autumn weather!

Today I’m sharing an inside look at two more of my horror stories, “Kropsy’s Curse” (an individual flash fiction read available from Fictionwise), and “Just an Innocent Little Cat” (which appears in the Dark Things II: Cat Crimes anthology).

As almost everyone knows, Halloween is my favorite holiday, and before I started writing erotic romances, I wrote lots of horror stories. When I was growing up, I always wanted one of my horror stories to get published in an anthology so people could read it. Well, I'm happy to say that my horror fiction has appeared in several print and online anthologies.

And even though I’m writing romances, my horror stories have a special place in my heart! Don’t worry, I haven’t stopped writing horror - new stories will be out in the next few months. Until then, here's a little bit of backstory about each of these tales of terror:


My Halloween-themed short, Kropsy'sCurse was published in the October 2003 issue of The Far Sector SFFH and is available in electronic format from Fictionwise. (Isn’t that a great cover?!) I actually had the ending to this little gem in my head before I knew the rest of the story. In this tale, I combine the best of Halloween/horror themes into a quick and spooky read. Remember folks, if you go exploring a graveyard on Halloween, leave the ouija board home!

Here’s an Excerpt from Kropsy's Curse

Kyle’s sneakers slipped on the dewy grass as he followed Jerry down the last hill in the cemetery. The moon appeared as a slit in the night sky. Dark clouds occasionally floated out of its way, and a sliver of pale yellow mixed with the blue-black night.

A field of headstones stretched before them. The white marble markers, old and worn, were sunk into the ground and leaning in different directions. Kyle knew they had to be in this section, the neglected part of the cemetery, for tonight's purpose.
***
 Just an InnocentLittle Cat” was published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes:Tales of Feline Mayhem and Murder. The character of Chester is based on a real-life orange cat with an attitude. Cats are loyal and devoted creatures – and they’re damn smart, too. This “tail” is a good example of what could happen if you don’t stay on a cat’s good side. All proceeds from sales of this anthology go to several cat sanctuaries across the USA.

An Excerpt from Just an Innocent Little Cat


Chester sat on the bathroom floor with his tail wrapped around his body. He arched his neck and lifted his nose high in the air. Eggs and bacon. Betty was making food downstairs. That left him alone with Danny.

He leapt onto the side of the blue bathtub and sat on the rim, just outside the shower curtain. The hot water was running inside the tub, and he twitched his nose at the harsh-scented detergents filling the room. He studied the shadow of the fat man as he moved around behind the thin curtain.

Last night, he’d decided that Danny had to go. Before Danny came, Betty used to have her lady friends over to visit. They played something called “Scrabble.” Sometimes, the little brown pieces of tile landed on the floor and he swatted them under the couch. It was a fun game. But now, the nice ladies didn’t visit anymore. Danny wouldn’t allow them to come here. This made Betty sad.

After a few minutes, Danny turned off the water and opened the shower curtain. He yelped and stepped back.

“Damn thing! Get the hell out of here!”

Chester riveted his gaze on Danny, then hissed.

“Ma, hey, ma!” Danny screamed and covered himself with his hands. “Get this cat outta here!”

***

I hope you’ll check out the stories! They really were a lot of fun to write. Check out the new horror pages I made on the blog. Next week, I’ll offer up two more tales….

Until next time, Happy Haunting!
Kelli


Monday, October 1, 2012

Two Spooky Stories for the Halloween Holiday Season






Happy October!

As most everyone knows by now, I not only write sizzling erotic romances, I also write short horror fiction. I’m kicking off my month of horror blogs with a look at two of my short stories that have appeared in horror anthologies.

If you’re looking for a gift for someone who likes to read horror stories - or if you’re a horror fan who wants to get in the spirit of the holiday season, Frightmares and Haunted are just for you!

Haunted is a collection of 42 stories about haunted places! Set in a haunted house, “Whispers from the Past” blends the paranormal with a startling bit of reality. The anthology is available in paperback and electronic formats

Here’s an excerpt:
Paul rolled over in the narrow twin bed and tried to ignore the faint whispers. No matter what he did, they invaded his mind like silvery moonbeams.

He closed his eyes and counted to fifty, hoping to focus on anything but those quiet sounds on the edge of his sanity. Ghosts did not exist, yet he was hearing eerie noises in the dead of night.

The whispers grew louder, more insistent. Now and then, he could make out a word or two in the hushed voice he recognized from long ago. It can't really be him. It's just my over-stimulated imagination, or maybe the contest people are playing tricks on me.
"Stop it!"

He snapped back the bedclothes and stood up. The whispery voice fell silent. He let out a deep breath and ran his fingers through his hair.

My flash fiction story, “Death is Just a Tick Away” appeared in Dark Moon Digest’s e-magazine (Issue #1), and it also appears in the Frightmares:A Fistful of Flash Fiction Horror paperback anthology published by Dark Moon Books. The story is based on a real superstition!

The book is a compilation of dozens of flash fiction horror stories. Each tale is under 500 words and is a quick read. The authors weren’t limited to a central theme (vampires, zombies, or haunted places), so each story is completely unique.

Here’s an excerpt:

Dave couldn’t sleep. The ticking echoed through the house. Even at 35 years old, the damn thing still spooked him. Lots of families passed down stories to scare kids, but most of them didn’t involve cursed objects that could kill.

He was seven when Dad had told him about the clock. His great, great grandfather had severely beaten a servant who had forgotten to wind the clock, and the old lady had cast the curse on them. If ever the clock was allowed to wind down to a stop, one of his family members would die.

Three days ago, Dave’s father had been found lying at the base of the black walnut clock, one arm stretched toward the ten-foot high carved demon. Paramedics said he had suffered a heart attack. But Dave thought he knew better. Dad had been trying to wind the clock.

***

Next week on the blog I’ll share two more horror stories! And I've also added links to my horror stories on the blog’s upper right corner. 

Until next time!
Happy Haunting,
Kelli



Monday, July 2, 2012

Trust with Hearts - After the Story Ended


Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing an “After the Story Ended” inside look at my contemporary romance, Trust with Hearts.

Here’s the synopsis:

TRUST WITH HEARTS

After a bitter breakup, Sherrie Parker seeks refuge at her cousin Dave’s house in rural West Virginia. Early one morning, she runs into Dave’s other houseguest, a singer named Curtis Taylor. The last thing Sherrie wants is to share living quarters with a country music crooner – even if he is sexy, in a cowboy sort of way.


Thrown together by circumstances, Sherrie and Curtis get off to a rocky start, but soon discover they have more in common than they ever imagined. Unable to fight their growing attraction, they give in to their desires and start a sizzling summer romance.


Everything is perfect between them until Sherrie discovers that Curtis is keeping secrets from her – and his biggest secret of all will change everything. Can their newfound love survive, or will destiny keep them apart forever?


Most people don’t know that the book had a much longer and different ending. Here’s an exclusive snippet:

Curtis leaned back in the red vinyl booth as he toyed with his granddad’s pocketknife. He had found it in the back of a kitchen drawer this morning when they’d closed up Gram’s house. It wasn’t very sharp, but it made a nice memento.

For the last three days, Sherrie and Ginny had gone through the house, sorting and shipping important items to the ranch in California. Now they were headed back to Dave’s house. It was late, but they would be home by one o’clock in the morning. He was looking forward to telling Dave the good news about their engagement in person.

That pocketknife comes in handy later in the book when Curtis and Sherrie get into a terrible car accident. (Sherrie has to cut through the seat belt and pull Curtis out of the car before it burns.)

After they’re released from the hospital, they go back to Dave’s house to recover. Curtis’s cousin Jen and her son Rowan were coming to stay with them for a while. In the alternate ending I hint that Jen and Dave might hook up:

“Ginny and Rowan should be here soon,” Curtis said.

“Good. It’ll be nice to see them. I’m glad they’re gonna stay for a while. Has she ever met Dave?”

He shook his head. “Nope. Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if they hooked up and got married? Then we’d all be related in some weird hillbilly cousin kinda way.”

Sherrie laughed. “I just hope they get off to a better start than we did.” She batted his shoulder. “And I don’t think Dave’s going to settle down with anyone, anytime soon.”

Curtis shrugged. “You never know. Strange things happen. I got you to like country music,” he said with a wink.


So what happened after the story really ended?

When Curtis and Sherrie got back to California, Curtis started recording his latest CD titled “Yankee Girl” and was besieged by reporters. They wanted to know all about CJ’s “secret” life and find out every detail about him and Sherrie. At first he resented the media’s intrusion into his very private world, but after his brother threatened to blackmail him about his background, Sherrie convinced him to give a candid interview and open up about his past.

Sherrie volunteered at a local animal rescue shelter and helped them adopt out homeless cats.

Three months later, Curtis and Sherrie got married and honeymooned in Hawaii. Jen and Dave and most of Curtis’s band members were in attendance. After the honeymoon, Curtis went on tour with Sherrie at his side.

A Trust with Hearts sequel?

I had an idea for a follow up story focused on Jen and Dave. The basic plot went something like this:

One afternoon Jen finds out that her ex-boyfriend, Tony, has been released from prison. Jen fears that Tony will come after her and calls Dave for help. Dave tells her that she can stay at his guest cottage as long as she needs to. Jen arrives with her five-year-old son, Rowan, and Dave can see that she’s barely holding everything together.

Over two weeks, Dave and Jen bond and fight their growing attraction to each other. Dave helps Jen relax and see herself as not just a mother, but a sensual woman with needs. Dave and Jen have been hurt in the past and have trust issues, but eventually they give in to their desires.

When Jen goes to town she sees a man that looks like Tony and is afraid that he’s found her. Dave reassures her that everything is okay and she reluctantly lets Dave take care of Rowan for the rest of the day. When Rowan accidently gets injured, all of Jen’s fears resurface and she falls back into her old pattern of not being able to trust anyone. Dave and Jen argue and she decides to leave. That night as she packs, she finds Tony waiting for her in the cabin. Eager for revenge, Tony wastes no time terrorizing her.

The idea for the follow-up book is a romantic suspense – with plenty of intense love scenes between Dave and Jen.

Readers – I’d love to hear from you! What do you think about the alternate ending to Trust with Hearts? Should there be a spicy sequel featuring Dave and Jen? Or should we just leave the characters where they are?

I welcome your feedback, ideas, suggestions, and questions! Feel free to email me (or post a comment) and let me know what you think.
Order your copy here:

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/mgrK7R

Kelli

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cats and Writing - A Purrfect Combination!




Hi everyone!

June is Adopt-A-Cat month and as always, I’m advocating adopting pets (of all kinds) from shelters and giving them a real home. (Would you want to live out the rest of your life in a wire cage?)

This year, adopting cats has become even more personal. After deciding we wanted cats and visiting several humane societies and rescue places, we adopted two adult cats from a local no-kill shelter. The volunteer was happy to hear that we weren’t looking for kittens and were interested in a pair of adult cats. (Most everyone wants cuddly kittens because they’re cute now – but they do grow up. Sadly, adult cats have a bad rep of being hard to place – not true!)

Over the course of three days we visited three shelters and saw more than 300 homeless cats waiting for loving homes. With hundreds of cats available, it was hard to choose the “right” ones – but I’m happy to say that our cats chose us and now they’ve found a forever home with lots of windows, places to lounge, and people who love them.

As a writer, my love of cats has naturally extended into my writing. In December 2011 my short story “Just an Innocent Little Cat” was included in the Dark Things II: Cat Crimes anthology.

This collection of 21 tales (tails?) features feline mayhem, murder, and other things you always suspected cats were doing when you weren’t looking. Cats you don't want in your worst nightmares and cats you might want on your side against evil. (My story falls into the latter CATegory.)

All proceeds from sales go to several cat sanctuaries across the USA. If you like mystery/suspense/horror or just like to read cat stories, order a copy and help give a needy cat a new leash on life.


I even found a way to weave cat adoption into my contemporary romance, Trust with Hearts. The subplot of the book – Sherrie’s devotion to save Kitty Corner – was crucial because I wanted to give her a purpose, something to build her self-esteem. Sherrie’s cat adoption project lets her help unfortunate cats who need rescuing and good homes. It parallels how Dave takes Sherrie in (aka “rescues” her) and gives her a second chance at a new life.

I’ve also written three non-fiction cat care books that explain how to choose a cat and keep it happy and healthy. You can find them all on my author page at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.-Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Please consider adopting a cat (or two, or even a dog – they need loving homes too!) and saving a life. Not sure where to start? www.Petfinder.org is an excellent source for locating pets looking for good homes. And if you don’t want to own a pet, you can always click on http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=3 to help feed homeless animals and support shelters.

Until next time,
Kelli

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kelli's Sharing an Interview - Peek Inside a Writer's Mind.......



Hi Everyone!

Today I'm sharing an excerpt from my interview with Romance Reviews Today. It offers an inside look at my writing process. Enjoy!


On Valentine's Day I'll be posting hot excerpts on the Amber Quill Press Yahoo Group and giving away a PDF of my wrestling romance, A Perfect Match. More details are on the loop here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/amberheatreaders

And on Feb. 16th, I'll be a guest blogger on Shannon Leigh's blog: http://authorshannonleigh.blogspot.com/

I hope you'll check them out! And now, for the interview!

Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
A. I’ve always been writing stories. When I was in high school I wrote short stories and plays for fun and I took a lot of creative writing classes. After college I took a series of Commercial Writing courses and learned a lot. The classes were great experiences because I received a lot of helpful advice and feedback.

Q: Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?
A: I’m always thinking of new ideas for stories. I have entire folders of ideas just waiting to be developed. (I have more ideas for stories than I have time to write them!) I find ideas everywhere – while driving, watching people at the store, from overheard conversations… usually something catches my attention and I let my mind wander, to see where the ideas take me.
For example, my 2008 release, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, came about because I wanted to write a story about a vampire who falls in love – at the beach!
Q:  What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
A: I have two quirks. One is that I write in several genres, including romance and horror. Some people can’t quite understand how I’m able to write romances one minute, then create spooky horror stories the next. (I like to think that one half of my brain writes the horror and the other half writes the romance.) I’ve also written dozens of sci fi stories and four non-fiction books, so I pretty much write everything.
My other quirk is that I write everything in longhand. Every short story and novel all start out on paper, then I revise and edit them as I type them up.
Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
A: I thought I knew all about my characters before I started writing ThePauper Prince and A Midsummer Night’sDelights – but I was wrong! One thing I learned while writing those stories was that characters can surprise you and take the story in a different direction. I outline my books and stories before I start writing them, so I was surprised to discover a different (bisexual) side to both Prince Allan in The Pauper Prince and Julian in A Midsummer Night’s Delights. Another thing I learned was that I had to turn off my “internal editor” when it came to writing some of the more detailed same-gender love scenes in each book.
Q: What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
A: I’ve been reading since I was very young, so I’d have to say that every book I’ve read has influenced me in some way. Some authors are great examples of voice, mood, or tone, while others are excellent with details, plot, or characters. I think the more you read (in any genre) the more you learn what works in a story and what doesn’t.
Q:  What does your family think about your career as a published author?
A: My family is very supportive. My husband loves reading my romances and I have a few close friends who give me feedback and suggestions on rough drafts.
Q: Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you, writing-wise?
I’m working on a few new romances (a paranormal and a historical romance/mystery) plus revising a few horror stories. In August, I have a full-length historical The Witch & the Warrior set for release from Medallion Press.
Until Next Time,
Kelli


Friday, January 27, 2012

5 More Writing Tips Any Writer Can Use

Hi everyone!

Last week I promised more writing tips, well here they are! Whether you’re a beginning writer, an established author, or somewhere in between, keep these suggestions in mind as you work on your next project.

Reading Aloud is Fundamental: Before you send out your story, novel, query, or anything, make sure you read it aloud. When you read something aloud you’ll hear the words/narrative/dialog that don’t “work” or sound awkward. (And you’ll catch missing words.) If you find yourself stumbling over a sentence or phrase, it might need to be edited. Go slow and read every word. You won’t finish reading your novel aloud in a day, but the results are worth the time you invest in the process.


Give Me A Description: Use the 5 senses to enhance descriptions in your writing. Colors, smells, taste, the weather, food, (or anything) can be used to make a character or a setting stand out.

The living room smelled like a combination of wet dog and old lady perfume.

Claudia looked like she’d just eaten a lemon.

Only Aunt Patty would wear a hot-pink polka-dot dress with lime green shoes.

Color can help set the mood or tone of a story or reveal more about the characters. A room decorated in pinks and pastels with white wicker furniture probably belongs to a woman in a romance story. A room with red walls, black curtains, and silver candlesticks is most likely the setting for a horror story (or belongs to a romantic vampire!).


Rejection: It Really is All Subjective: All editors are not created the same. If you send your story (or query) out to 5 people, you’ll get 5 different opinions. (Although not every editor will share his or her feedback with you.) Rejection is hard to deal with, but as a writer you have to understand that the editor is rejecting the story, not you. Why? Sometimes you’ll never know. You might get a photocopied form letter that tells you nothing. Other times you might get a cryptic line about “not what we’re looking for” and sometimes you’ll get a paragraph with some explanation (weak plot, characters are not interesting, etc.). The important thing to remember after you’ve been rejected is to keep going. If the editor made suggestions (change the ending, add more dialog) consider the comments and either make the changes or don’t. (It’s your story.) But keep writing and submitting.


What’s Where?: Keep a list of when and where you submit your writing. Note the title of the piece (or query subject), date, and publication. This way, you’ll know what’s where and how long ago you sent it. This is handy in case you need to follow up on a wayward query or submission. I also make a list of places to submit to next, (just in case of rejection) so I’ll know where the story is headed.


5 Simple Rules of Writing: Learn these now and save yourself some angst:

  1. There’s no secret or magic way to get published. You must do the work, write the story, and submit, like everyone else.
  2. Write the best story you can and submit it to the proper markets.
  3. Everyone gets rejected – it’s not personal.
  4. Not everyone will like what you write. Develop a tough skin and learn to take negative reviews or criticism in stride.
  5. Keep writing no matter what. Be persistent and follow your dreams.

  I hope these simple tips have helped motivate and encourage you as you work on your 2012 writing goals! Next week, excerpts from an interview!

Until next time,
Kelli A. Wilkins

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kelli's Quill Newsletter - BIG Jan/Feb Issue




KELLI’S QUILL
The Official Newsletter of Kelli Wilkins
BIG January/February 2012 Issue (Vol. 5 Number 1)
Hi everyone! Hope the new year is treating you right. Before we get started, I’d like to thank everyone who joined my blog, signed up for my newsletter, and followed me on Twitter in 2011. As always, feel free to forward this newsletter to your writing groups, social networks, and friends. I look forward to chatting with readers and other writers in 2012!
Let’s begin with a review the best of 2011:
FOR READERS – A 2011 RECAP:


KELLI’S GAY ROMANCE: Kelli’s first gay romance, Four Days with Jack, was released by Amber Quill Press’s Amber Allure line in May. Set in a Caribbean resort, this contemporary follows the budding romance of two best friends. This novella also got great reviews!
“4 Gold Crowns! Four Days with Jack by Kelli A. Wilkins is a great story about best friends Jack and David. Two friends who have been in love with each other for years, and, for various reasons, afraid to let it out, finally give in while on vacation. David and Jack are beautifully created. They both have their faults but love each other enough to want to try. Kelli A. Wilkins’ Four Days with Jack is a great story about accepting who you are and going after what you really want.” - Jaymes, Reviewer, The Readers Round Table (Read the full review here: http://thereadersroundtable.com/erotic/?p=390)
“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 (Read the full review here: http://seriouslyreviewed.blogspot.com/2011/06/four-days-with-jack-by-kelli-wilkins.html?zx=cb3786698a471e82)
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




IT’S NOT ALL ROMANCE: Kelli’s flash fiction horror story “Death is Just a Tick Away” appeared in the premier issue of Dark Moon Digest e-Magazine. The magazine is available in Kindle (Amazon.com) and Nook (B&N.com) formats.

Here’s the link to order a Nook version:

The story also appeared in the Frightmares: A Fistful of Flash Fiction Horror paperback anthology published by Dark Moon Books. The story is based on a real superstition! The link is: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0983433550/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=shadara-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0983433550


 CATS & HORROR: Kelli’s horror story, “Just an Innocent Little Cat” was published in DARK THINGS II: Cat Crimes: Tales of Feline Mayhem and Murder in December 2011. The character of Chester is based on a real-life orange cat. All proceeds from sales of this anthology go to several cat sanctuaries across the USA.  Buy a copy (or three) on Amazon. The book link is:  http://www.amazon.com/DARK-THINGS-II-Crimes-Feline/dp/1468055488/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324187873&sr=8-1

Kelli’s Writings are on Amazon: Did you know that all of Kelli’s writings are on Amazon? (Romance, short fiction, anthologies, horror, non-fiction, and everything else….) Visit her author page and catch up on books you may have missed. The link is: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.-Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1326933452&sr=8-3


FOR WRITERS:
Something to Think About
It’s nearly February, the time of year when thoughts turn to romance and love. March is just around the corner, and everyone’s getting ready for spring….so naturally writers are thinking about…Autumn? Halloween? Yes, believe it or not, some publications are already planning late summer or early autumn issues. What’s the rush, you ask? Most magazines work on issues two to three months in advance, while some plan anywhere from six to nine months ahead. 




What does this mean for writers? Well, if you have a great seasonal/holiday story (or article) waiting to be sent out, don’t delay! (As a general rule, I submit seasonal stories six months in advance of the holiday.) Depending on the publication and the rules about simultaneous submissions, you may have only one shot of submitting your seasonal story this year. By sending it “early” your story has a good chance of falling onto the editor’s desk when the editor needs it, and it could very well be accepted into one of the coveted seasonal slots. In some cases, (if your story is rejected quickly or you learn that a publication has folded), submitting early will allow you to send the work elsewhere within the proper timeframe. With a little advance planning, you could see your seasonal work published sooner than you think!
Something to Write About
Are you working on a seasonal story and don’t know it? Whether you write romance, horror, or mystery, your story has to be set at some time of the year. Spend a few minutes and think about all the sensory details of the season you can add to any piece of writing. (The crisp crunch of oak leaves in autumn, a fresh-cut grass smell, icy blasts of December wind, the salty taste of sweat in summer….) But don’t just focus on the weather. Each season/holiday has its own particular sights, sounds, and smells. And don’t overlook tiny details such as flowers, insects, and animal life. (I once tossed a book across the room because the author had tulips blooming in September!)




Writing exercise: Pick a holiday/season and write a little story around it, using as many details as you can. Consider breaking away from the “traditional” seasonal stories (not every horror story happens in October). For example, why not set a romance at the beginning of the new school year? How about a terrifying tale that takes place on the 4th of July? (Preferably one that doesn’t involve frogs - that’s been done.)
You might be amazed at what you come up with, and you could turn a writing exercise into your next submission!
----
I hope you enjoyed this issue of Kelli’s Quill! Feel free to share it with friends. Next time, I’ll share some writing tips and an excerpt from an interview!
Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins