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Friday, December 25, 2009

GUEST BLOG: KELLI WILKINS

Greetings, Whipped Cream Readers!

I hope everyone is having a peaceful holiday season.

When I sat down to write this blog, I wondered, “What would readers want to know most about me or my writing? What bits of advice could I share?” I decided to address the most common questions I’ve been asked by interviewers, everyday people, and romance readers.

So here are my “Top 5 Questions Writers Are Often Asked” complete with answers.

I hope you find them interesting.

Happy Reading!

Kelli

1. How do I get published?

“How do I get published?” is one of the most common questions aspiring writers ask published authors. The truth is, you can’t do anything to get published, other than submitting your best work to the appropriate publication. The rest is up to the editor.

But here are three tips to getting published: 1. Write the best story you can 2. Go to the library and sit down with The Writer’s Guide to Novel and Short Story Markets. It contains contact info for hundreds of publishers and publications broken down by genre. (Or you can search for publications online.) 3. Pick the best place to send your story, and then submit it. After you’ve sent your story, forget about it and write something else. It may take months to hear back about your submission.

2. Any advice for aspiring authors?

The best advice I can give to any writer (regardless of what genre he or she likes to write) is to keep writing. It takes a lot of dedication and determination to sit down every day and write something. But the more you write, the easier it gets. Writing classes are a great way to learn the basics of storytelling. (That’s how I got started!) If possible, join a writer’s group or a critique group to get feedback on your stories. When you’ve written, revised, and polished your story, submit it! You can’t get published if you never submit, and you never know when your first acceptance will arrive.

3. Where do you get the ideas and titles for your books?

Ideas are everywhere; you just need to find them. I tend to be a bit nosy and I like to explore, so I come up with ideas just by noticing my surroundings and observing what’s going on around me. I also have a vivid imagination, which helps give me ideas. Once in a while, a story idea or character will come to me out of nowhere. Sometimes I take two ideas and combine them into one, or I take an idea and ask myself “what if” to invent new scenarios and plotlines.

Sometimes, titles are harder to come up with than the whole book! In some cases, I’ll have a title in mind before I start writing the story (such as The Dark Lord and A Midsummer Night’s Delights), but many times I don’t have the title until well after I’ve finished writing. I try to find a theme or a line in the story to use in the title or as the title. (A Most Unusual Princess is a good example.) If that doesn’t work, I’ll brainstorm about the characters or related words, then mix and match potential title ideas until something clicks.

4. What are some of the public misconceptions or myths you’ve encountered when people discover you write romances?

The first one that jumps to mind is that the authors of erotic romances are basing the love scenes in their books on their own private lives, and that we “act out” the love scenes. Not true! The stories are fiction, not confessionals. Another misconception is that writing romance is “easier” than writing stories in other genres because there’s no “real” plot or characterization. Again, not true! Writing good romance (at any heat or sensuality level) is just as difficult and as labor-intensive as writing horror, sci fi, or mystery.

5. How long does it take to write a book? Do you spend a lot of time researching?

Once I have a genre or time period for the story, I do research for details and/or ideas for setting, clothing, occupations, or even the food that people ate. I like to weave little details into the stories and blend them in as naturally as possible. When I’m writing fantasy romance, I try to make the details believable, even if I’m making them up! Believe it or not, I did a lot of research before writing Beauty & the Bigfoot. I had to know everything about Bigfoot so I could create the quirky characters and give the story an extra boost of realism.

Depending on the length of the story or the scope of the book, it can take anywhere from a week to a month to write the first (very rough!) draft. Shorter stories like The Dark Lord and The Sexy Stranger took a week to make it onto paper. Full-length books such as Dalton’s Temptation and The Pauper Prince took a month. I write all my stories in longhand, so after the first draft is finished, I edit it as I type it. I love the process of writing. Creating characters and telling the story of their adventures is a lot of fun. It’s interesting to see what the characters do, to watch them fall in love, and to learn how they overcome their troubles to have a happy ending.

I hope you enjoyed this guest blog! To learn more about my romances and other writings, visit my website at: www.KelliWilkins.com


Author Bio:

Kelli Wilkins has published several contemporary, paranormal, historical, and fantasy erotic romances for Amber Quill Press. Her most recent release, Beauty & the Bigfoot, is a paranormal comedy that puts a unique twist on the legend of Bigfoot. Kelli is currently working on several new projects and invites readers to visit her website www.KelliWilkins.com to catch up on all her writings and sign up for her newsletter, Kelli’s Quill.

Kelli’s Links:


Look for Kelli’s blog posts archived on the Amber Quill Press author site: http://aqpauthors.blogspot.com/

Check out Kelli’s Facebook page: facebook.com/kelli.wilkins1

Kelli also has pages on:
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/profile/KelliWilkins
Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/KelliWilkins
Manic Readers: http://manicreaders.com/KelliAWilkins

Author’s Den: http://www.authorsden.com/kelliwilkins

5 comments:

sherry said...

Thanks for the answers I've always wondered how long it took to write a book. When I'm waiting for a book I forget how much an author has to do to get it ready for me to read.

robynl said...

I too enjoyed the post. You say creating characters is a lot of fun - and your characters become our friends as we read their story. Thanks so much for this.

Virginia C said...

Hi, Kelli! Merry Christmas! Thank you for the wonderfully encouraging and informative post.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Lady Jane said...

Thanks for the informative post Kelli. Also I loved your book Beauty and the Bigfoot it was humorous and very interesting. I really liked your twist on the Bigfoot legend. :)

Michelle Kafka said...

Thank you for answering some of the questions that I had been wondering about. Happy holidays!