Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning romance and horror author who has published more than a hundred short stories, nineteen romance novels, and five nonfiction books. Today, she answers a few fun questions readers often ask her. Learn more about Kelli and her books at her website and blog.
How would you describe yourself using only five words?
Busy romance and horror author.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Of course! I lounge around on the couch in front of the TV when I should be writing or cleaning or doing something else. I usually devote my Friday nights to being lazy.
How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I block out a chunk of time and review my outline. Then I envision the scene I want to write, and I just do it. My first draft is nowhere near perfect—I write it out just to get the scene on paper. When I go back and revise, I add dialog tags, sensory details, and fix up the word choices to make the scene come alive.
If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book(s) would you recommend that they start with and why?
That depends on what genre they like to read. My romances include almost all sub-genres, and the heat levels vary from mildly sensual to scorching-hot.
Historical romance lovers would enjoy The Viking’s Witch. It’s a spicy historical novel set in Celtic Scotland. Or, if they like Westerns, they could read Lies, Love & Redemption. It takes place on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.
Readers of historical/fantasy romance would like either my Royal Desires series (A Most Unusual Princess, A Most Intriguing Temptation, and A Most Unfortunate Prince) or my Naughty Nobles trilogy (Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights).
Contemporary romance readers can fall in love with Vinnie, the hero from A Deceptive Match, while paranormal lovers would like Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.
And readers of gay romance should enjoy A Secret Match, Four Days with Jack (coming in June), or Killer in Wolf’s Clothing. I like to say I have romances for everyone!
Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s your take on this?
That’s a fantasy! Most people want to believe that writers sit around contemplating what to write all day, crank out a book in a week, then sit back and collect outrageously huge checks. Yes, sometimes that happens to a few authors, but the rest of us put in lots of hard work. Many non-writers don’t understand that creating a book out of thin air is a time-consuming (and sometimes frustrating) process.
I’ve had well-meaning (I think!) people ask me how come I don’t have a million dollars or why haven’t my books been on the New York Times Bestseller List yet. The reality is that some authors can and do quit their day jobs to write, while others put in forty hours a week doing something else and then carve out time from the rest of the day to write. It’s not always glamorous, but creating characters and writing about them is fun, and that’s why I do it.
If you could be a character in any of your books, who would it be and why?
I’d probably be Odaria from The Viking’s Witch. Odaria is a very strong woman who has magical/psychic powers. It would be interesting to see what I would do with her abilities—although the idea of living in 803 and giving up all modern conveniences isn’t terribly appealing. Odaria also has Rothgar, a hot, sexy Viking warrior as her lover, so spending time with him would be a big plus!
If you could invite any famous person, dead or alive, for lunch, who would it be and what would you eat?
I’d have lunch with Stephen King (his schedule permitting, of course). Most people probably don’t know that in addition to my romances, I also write horror fiction. I read Stephen King’s short stories at a very young age, and his writing style and distinct voice have always stuck with me. I think his book On Writing is a must-read for anyone who writes or wants to write. And lunch? We’d go someplace low-key and casual (like a retro diner that has its fair share of unique characters) and be so busy talking about all sorts of stuff (writing, the horror genre, Dwight Yoakam, and Lucas Davenport!) that we’d forget to eat!
Tell us about your latest release(s).
This spring, I released my Naughty Nobles trilogy of erotic historical/fantasy romances. Although the books are related, each stands alone as an individual read. In January, I released Loving a Wild Stranger, a historical/pioneer romance set in the Michigan Territory in the early 1800s. Lies, Love & Redemption, my historical/Western was published last September.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Currently, I’m revising a new historical romance (as yet untitled) and I’m re-editing three of my contemporary romances previously published with Amber Quill Press. After that, I have ideas for a few other romances (another historical, a paranormal, and a gay contemporary).
Where can readers get in touch with you or find you on the web?
I love getting feedback and comments about my books. I enjoy learning which characters and scenes readers love best. Readers can find links to all my social media hangouts and a sign-up link for my newsletter at my website. www.KelliWilkins.com
Lies, Love & Redemption
Shot and left for dead, Sam Hixton stumbles into a general store on the Nebraska prairie and collapses into the arms of Cassie Wilcox.
Cassie’s world is turned upside down when the handsome stranger drops into her life. Sam is another complication she doesn’t need: her business is dying and her trouble with the townspeople is escalating. Yet she’s determined to keep the store open — no matter what the cost.
As Sam recovers from his injuries, he hides the truth about his identity and convinces Cassie to let him work in the store. He’s attracted to her and admires her independent nature but quickly realizes Cassie’s in way over her head. They fight their growing attraction, and Cassie questions whether she can trust her fragile heart to a mysterious stranger. Will he accept her once he knows about her troubled past?
Cassie resists Sam’s advances and represses her feelings until one fateful night when they give in to their fiery passion. Together, they work out a plan to save the store but find their efforts are thwarted—and their lives endangered—by the locals.
Sam’s secret returns to haunt him and pulls him away just when Cassie needs him the most. Will he regain her trust when she learns the truth? Cassie has everything invested in the store—can she save it and find true love with Sam before it’s too late?