Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Sure! I was raised in a small town in upstate New York, and I started writing stories when I was about 6 years old. I never tried to get any of my stories published until I enrolled in a writing program as an adult. Now, I'm proud to say that I'm a multi-published author.
I write in several different genres: romance, horror, sci fi, and non-fiction. When writing romance, I tend to focus on historical/fantasy genres. My "Royal Desires" trilogy with Amber Quill Press (A Most Unusual Princess, Dalton's Temptation, and The Pauper Prince) is "medieval" fantasy, with royalty and castles. The Dark Lord is a gothic historical, and The Sexy Stranger is a contemporary.
Aside from my writing, I enjoy gardening, going to flea markets, traveling, and of course, reading!
What do you do on a typical writing day?
I don't really have a "typical" writing day.I'm constantly working on different projects, so my day is always different. Some days I'll work on a horror short story or a short romance, or I'll write/edit a romance novel. When I'm not actually writing or revising, I'm usually submitting, promoting, or working on my newsletter. Although each day is different, I do keep a writing schedule. I write every day, Monday through Friday for at least 4 hours. Generally, I don't write on the weekends, but if I know I'll miss my "usual" writing time (or if I'm on a deadline), I'll add in a few hours at night or on a weekend.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
I keep a file of ideas for each genre I write. If I'm between projects and I'm not sure what I want to work on next, I'll look through the file and see what ideas jump out at me. Sometimes I get an idea for a project while I'm already working on something. When that happens, I jot down notes about the new idea, then come back to it later.
Thankfully, I don't get "stuck" on a story (or writer's block) too often. When that happens I usually realize that I'm thinking too much and I'm too close to the story. So I leave it alone for a while. I take walks, exercise, meditate, or do something fun to get my mind off the story. Within a few hours (or a day) I have a breakthrough and whatever I was stuck on (the plot or character development) clears up and I know what to write.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
I have an erotic novella scheduled for release in October with Amber Quill Press. It's titled A Midsummer Night's Delights and is part of an upcoming anthology entitled "The More the Merrier". The premise is "group encounters" and my story is about a young newlywed couple (Julian and Annabelle) who attend an unusual Midsummer ball. Couples pair up all evening, but not for dancing!
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I'd be glad to! Here's an exclusive excerpt (PG-13 rated) from A Midsummer Night's Delights:
"Did you enjoy yourself last night?" Annabelle asked.
Julian nodded as he took the plates out of the picnic basket. "What man wouldn't enjoy being teased and tormented by two lovely ladies until he was driven into madness?"
She grinned. After the first round of games, they had taken a short break, then played again. This time, Vincent had won and ordered her and Sabrina to tease Julian into a frenzy. They had licked and fondled him while he'd lain there, helpless to resist.
After they had tormented Julian, Vincent had told everyone to make a "flesh pile." They formed a group on the carpet and became intertwined with one another. After several minutes of play, she'd lost track of whose mouths, tongues, lips and fingers pleasured her. All she knew was that she never wanted the night to end.
"Tell me, truthfully Julian, you don't think ill of me for.liking this, do you?" She sipped her wine, then continued quickly. "Most men would be furious if their wife even looked at another man, and tonight we're going to join in with complete strangers."
"Darling, don't worry," he said, reaching out and touching her cheek. "I think it's marvelous! I never thought you'd be willing to try these games, or a group encounter." He shrugged. "I was pleased to find out I was wrong."
"So you're not upset that I was had by another man?"
"No," he answered, trailing his thumb across her lips. "As long as it's part of the game, I'm fine with it. In fact.I rather liked watching you and Vincent. I know you enjoyed it, too. I expect the ball will be even better. Now let's eat. I'm hungry for my midday meal, and I'm most eager to eat my dessert."
"Why? What's for dessert?"
He winked. "You."
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I have several ideas for thrillers and horror novels. (I tend to have more ideas than time to develop them.) I've made a few rough outlines for the books, but I haven't actually written anything yet. Maybe they will be my next pet project!
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
Although I've been writing ever since I was a child, I never tried to submit anything for publication until I enrolled in a Commercial Writer's program as an adult. (In fact, I'd never even shown any of my stories to anyone, aside from English teachers.) When I brought my first story to class, everyone loved it and they encouraged me to write more and start submitting. I figured "why not send in a story and see what happens?" From there, I started getting acceptances and that started me on the path I'm on now.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
The best advice I've received was to keep writing and submitting. You can't get published if you don't take the risk and submit, and you can't submit if you don't have anything written.
I've heard some pretty bad advice over the years, mostly from "well meaning" editors who send rejections. I recently received nasty feedback/suggestions on a rejection letter. The editor told me to change the ending of a short story because it was stupid, had too many details, and it needed a new title. Oddly, the very next day, that story won Honorable Mention in a writing contest. (Go figure!) I think every writer (whether he or she is just starting out or multi-published) should take all advice with a grain of salt. Advice is just someone's opinion, and if you change your story every time someone tells you to, pretty soon it won't be YOUR story.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I always make outlines, even for short stories. I need to have the plot to the whole story set in my head before I start writing. I do allow myself to veer off the outline as the story or a character dictates, though. The outline is just a skeleton of what I know about the story; where it's going, who does what, which character's point of view each scene is in, etc. When I revise and edit, I usually ending up writing scenes I never outlined or cutting scenes I thought I needed.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
The best way for readers to learn about me and my writings is to visit my contest-winning website: www.KelliWilkins.com. From there, they can use the "Contact the Author" form to write me and to sign up for my monthly newsletter, Kelli's Quill. I also have author pages set up on ManicReaders.com, Goodreads.com, Shelfari.com, and AuthorsDen.com. I enjoy hearing from my readers, and I welcome feedback on my books.
Thanks for the interview! It was a lot of fun to share my thoughts and ideas with Night Owl!