Friday, June 1, 2012

Kelli's Quill Newsletter - HOT May/June Issue


The Official Newsletter of Author Kelli A. Wilkins
May/June Issue (Vol. 5 Number 3)

Happy Summer Everyone! Hope you’re all enjoying the warm weather and enjoying life. This issue is filled with news about my two upcoming romances, and a special look at cats! (June is Adopt-a-cat month.)


The Viking's Witch is being published by Medallion Press on August 1, 2012.
Scotland, 803 A.D.

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 is up.

Visit Kelli’s Medallion Press author page:

Read a Great Book & Help Shelter Cats!
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?)

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:

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? 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 to help feed homeless animals and support shelters.


Killing Your Darling Characters

 Have you started writing a story (or an article) that you just can’t seem to finish? Have you ever wondered why?

In some cases, it could be writer’s block. You’ve gotten to a certain part of the story and run out of plot or ideas, or just don’t know what to do next. (I’ll blog about that more in future issues of the Quill.)

Or in other cases, it might be a case of not wanting to let go. Recently, a writer told me she didn’t want to finish the story she was writing. Why? Because she’d fallen in love with the characters and she hated to leave them behind. When the story was done, she wouldn’t be in their lives anymore.

That’s true – but your story can’t take on a life of it’s own (i.e. get published and in readers’ hands) until you finish it and send it off into the world.

Part of the joy of writing is creating interesting characters and following along on their journey throughout the story. Unfortunately, not all journeys have happy endings, and sometimes you have to kill off a character or leave him/her in fate’s hands.

It’s hard. I had to do it in my book, The Pauper Prince. I won’t give away the identity of who I had to kill, but sadly, that character had to go for the sake of the story. (I cried, but I did it anyway.) Remember, if it’s crucial to the plot to have a character die, then you have to kill him (or her) off. If it helps to soothe your grief, give your character a heroic death, one that takes place off-page, or one where he or she comes to an understanding that it’s time to go and quietly moves on.

But whatever you do, finish the story. Then set it aside for a while. When you’re ready, you can come back to it (to edit and revise) and not feel so emotionally attached to your characters and their plights. 

If you just can’t bear to bring yourself to “kill your darling” then reconsider if that character is right for that plot. It could be that your main character is looking to save himself for bigger and better things - or the next story that comes along!


Here’s an excerpt from Kelli’s interview with Manic Readers. (The link to the full interview is on the News page of Kelli’s site:

MR: You are indeed a multi-published author with “10-Minute Romances” in the Sun for one —tell us about these romance stories. How did you get started writing them? Can anyone write and submit or what was the process you went through to get yours published?

KELLI: The Sun’s romances were a lot of fun to write. Unfortunately, as of this writing, the Sun is no longer publishing fiction. The “10-Minute Romances” were some of the first short stories I had published. One day I came across a copy of the Sun, read the romance and said, “I can write this!” so, I did. I had the pleasure of working with a fantastic editor on all my Sun stories, and it was a great experience.

MR: I saw some non-fiction works on your beautiful website about cats & kittens and an unusual choice of pets, the hermit crab. Tell our Manic Readers about these books.

KELLI: I’m naturally an animal lover, which is a good thing, considering many of my books and short stories are about pets! I’ve written three pet care books, including Hermit Crabs for Dummies, Cats, Quick & Easy Cat & Kitten Care, and I was the co-author of award-winning book, The Simple Guide to Cats.

I enjoy writing pet care guides because I feel that all too often, people buy a pet because it’s “cute” (or it’s a curiosity), without knowing how to properly care for it.  My goal with these books is to educate pet owners/readers in an informative, yet fun way, and teach them everything they need to know about keeping their pet happy and healthy throughout its lifetime. It’s sad to think of how many pets are neglected because owners don’t properly care for them.

For example, most people don’t realize that hermit crabs need proper humidity and moisture levels in order to stay hydrated breathe through their gills (yes, they have gills!), and that they do not reproduce in captivity. I learned a lot about hermit crabs when writing that book, and I hope readers learn something, too.

MR: Do you write under more then one name why or why not?

KELLI: I don’t write under a pen name. I work hard on all of my books and short stories and I deserve credit for them. I think readers want to connect with authors and get to know the person who wrote the book they’re reading. (Remember the Richard Bachman/Stephen King fiasco? It annoyed a lot of readers.)

I’ve talked to authors who’ve written under their real names in one genre (for example, non-fiction) and used pen names for other genres (say, horror fiction). Most of them regret doing it, because it’s a lot of work. If you write under different names you need to build separate websites and author pages for each pen name. Also, it’s hard to establish a wide fan base if people aren’t sure who you “really” are.  

One benefit to writing everything in my own name is that I can list all of my writings (in each genre) on one website. This makes it easier for readers to find my books and other stories.

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Kelli’s Quill. Feel free to share with other readers, writers, and everyone you know who likes a good book!

Until next time,

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