Chatting with Romance Author Kelli A. Wilkins @KWilkinsauthor #romance #authorinterview #writingtips
Chatting with Romance Author Kelli A. Wilkins
Today we’re chatting with romance author Kelli A. Wilkins. She answers a few fun questions and shares a look at her historical/fantasy romance, A Most Unusual Princess.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?
I’ve been inspired by many authors throughout the years and probably every book I’ve read has influenced me or inspired me in some way. I started out reading Stephen King short stories and novels, so I got a feel for good storytelling and world-building at a young age.
Lately I’ve been reading John Sandford, Jonathan Kellerman, and the Preston & Child novels. When I’m reading for fun, I read anything and everything that isn’t in the romance genre. I enjoy a good detective/mystery story, and these authors have created some fantastic and memorable characters.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Character names are very important to me in all of my writings. Sometimes the characters cooperate with me and tell me their names when I get the idea for the story, but sometimes I have to hunt them down and try to figure out who they are.
I choose names primarily based on the sound and how well the name matches the character’s personality traits. For some reason, many of my heroines have strong female names that end in “A” (Elara, Anya, and Odaria). Before I write, I try to match the hero’s name to his personality. Sam (from Lies, Love & Redemption) is easy-going, so his name is “softer.” While Deke (from Killer in Wolf’s Clothing) is a no-nonsense type, and Rothgar (from The Viking’s Witch) is a strong warrior.
How many books have you written?
To date, I’ve written 19 romance novels and 5 non-fiction books. My romances vary in genre and heat level. I’m drawn to historical romances, but I’ve also written contemporary, gay, and paranormal stories. Each romance is very different and takes me in new directions. I don’t limit myself to one time period or location when I write historicals. My books have been set in Celtic Scotland (The Viking’s Witch), Colonial Pennsylvania (Dangerous Indenture), and the Old West (Lies, Love & Redemption). I go where the characters and plotlines take me, so I never know what adventures await!
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
I strongly recommend aspiring authors to take writing classes, either in person or online. They’re an excellent way to learn the craft of storytelling and get feedback from other writers. I compiled all of my advice into my non-fiction writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction. Each easy-to-read chapter is based on my experience as a writer, advice I’ve received over the years, and the technical “know-how” I’ve gained in writing classes and workshops. The book gives aspiring authors practical advice on how to create a story: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work. Each chapter contains helpful tips all writers can use, plus fun writing exercises.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I just completed a new historical romance titled Redemption from a Dark Past. It’s a Gothic romance set in a remote castle. The book will likely be out in summer of 2018. I recently finished the first draft of a contemporary paranormal romance (as yet untitled), and I have outlines for several other romances. In addition to all that, I’m working on a few new horror stories. Readers can visit my social media pages and blog for the latest updates.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I’d like to be able to teleport from one place to another in the blink of an eye. Just think about where I’d like to be, snap my fingers, and then I’d be there. It would make traveling a lot easier and faster!
Do you write naked?
Nope! I write a lot of my books outside in the yard, so writing naked wouldn’t be a good idea. I do like to be comfortable though, and generally write in a t-shirt, shorts, or sweatpants.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
I want to visit Easter Island. I love the moai and collect them, so I’d love to see the actual statues in person. I’d also like to go to Romania and spend some time at Bran Castle.
What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
I’ve been reading ever since I was in grade school. So in some aspects I was a bit introverted. When I wasn’t reading or writing, I listened to music and hung out with the neighbors, rode my bike, and explored in the woods. I didn’t have a favorite toy, but I did get the electronic game “Merlin” for Christmas one year and thought it was pretty cool.
What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
Sometimes I have a recurring dream that I’m wandering through a huge house that’s mine but isn’t the house I live in now. As I’m going through the house I talk to a lot of people and I discover a hidden room or a hidden part of the house that nobody’s been in for 30 or 40 years. The dream happens pretty often and every time I have it, I’m in a different house. I have no idea what it means, but maybe I’ll use it in a story someday!
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with readers. I welcome questions and comments, so feel free to drop me a line. Let me know which of my romances is your favorite, and which characters you love best. I invite everyone to visit me on social media for book updates and more.
Here’s an excerpt from my historical/fantasy romance, A Most Unusual Princess. Although this book is part of a series, each title stands alone as an individual read.
Title: A Most Unusual Princess (Book 1 of the Royal Desires series)
Author: Kelli A. Wilkins
Genre: Historical/Fantasy Romance
Princess Elara needs to find a royal husband, but claims that no man can satisfy her. Her father hires Dalton, a special guard, to watch over her while she’s courting suitors. Dalton finds her unusual behaviors charming—and enthralling.
Dalton’s aloof manner intrigues Elara, and despite their differences, they share tender moments and intimate nighttime encounters. Elara is heartbroken when her father chooses a “proper” husband for her—until she meets the mystery man.
Bonus! This e-book includes a sneak peek at the second book in the Royal Desires series: A Most Intriguing Temptation.
Dalton walked past her and entered her bedchamber. She stood in the doorway while he searched the wardrobes and looked under the bed. After last night’s fright, she was taking no chances.
“There’s nothing… a-ha! What’s this?” He pulled a white silk stocking out from under the bed and waved it in the air.
“Put that down.” She raced into the room and lunged for the stocking. Dalton held it over his head.
“Is this what a princess wears beneath her dress?”
“Give that to me.” She knocked him backward onto the bed and pounced on him.
“This would make a nice remembrance,” he said, keeping the stocking out of her reach.
“Beast!” She squirmed as they playfully struggled for the stocking. A moment later, Dalton turned his head and his lips brushed against hers.
She gasped. Dalton had stopped laughing and was staring up at her. She closed her eyes and felt his finger caress her cheek.
“You’re beautiful,” he whispered.
The next thing she knew, Dalton’s mouth covered hers. The feel of his warm, moist lips sent a searing heat through her. After a few seconds of heaven, he pulled away.
“I should not have done that.”
She licked her lips. “I’m glad you did. It was nice.” Her heart hammered out of control, and her lower body throbbed. This was the feeling she was supposed to have when she met with her suitors. “Kiss me again.”
Dalton curled his arms around her and pulled her down onto him. His mouth moved against hers, and fire flashed between her legs. She kissed him, tentatively at first, then with more passion as she was swept away by desire.
He slid his hands across her back and down to her buttocks. She moaned as he squeezed her through her dress. Was this what it felt like to have a man make love to her? Every night should be like this.
She ignored a faint rapping on the sitting room door. It was probably a lady-in-waiting coming to undress her for bed. She needed no help with her clothes tonight. Dalton was here, he could remove her dress and then…
“Elara?” a male voice called out. “Where are you?”
Dalton broke the kiss and bolted upright. “It’s your father!”
The Royal Desires series is available on Amazon & other platforms. Catch this steamy historical/fantasy trilogy from the start:
Book 1: A Most Unusual Princess:
Book 2: A Most Intriguing Temptation: