Today I'd like to welcome Kelli A. Wilkins, author of “You Can Write—Really!” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her newest book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction was released in February 2015. This fun and informative non-fiction guide is based on her 15 years of experience as a writer, and is available exclusively on Amazon. Kelli published three romances in 2014: Dangerous Indenture (a spicy historical/mystery), Wilderness Bride (a tender historical/Western/adventure), and A Secret Match (a gay contemporary set in the world of professional wrestling). Her romances span many genres and heat levels and yet she’s also been known to scare readers with a horror story.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No. 1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? Why?
More than likely, yes. Of course, it depends on who the loved one is, what he or she did, and what my part (as an accomplice) would be. And save him or her from what? Certain death? A serial killer? The possibilities are endless…
No. 2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
You can be alive and “exist” day-to-day without experiencing life to its fullest and taking advantage of all the world has to offer. If you spend all day and night watching TV on the couch, that’s being alive, not living. Truly living means getting out in the world and experiencing new things, travelling, seeing new sites, meeting new people, taking risks, embracing challenges, and making the most of every day. When people are at the end of their lives they generally don’t regret not watching another reality show—they regret not interacting with their loved ones and doing more in life. There’s a reason people have bucket lists. Truly living also keeps you young, vibrant, healthy, and makes you a more interesting person.
No. 3 What motivates you to write?
I’m motivated by the stories and the characters that pop into my head. I’ll be minding my own business, and “surprise!” an idea for a book or a short story appears out of nowhere. When that happens, I write down the idea or outline the story before it fades away. I love the process of writing a story and living it through the different characters. It’s exciting to invent a world for these people to live in and then write down what happens to them.
No. 4 Why do humans want children?
I’m not sure. I think a lot of people have them because it’s expected of them and that’s what everyone else does. I’m part of the population who does not want children, and people are always surprised to hear that (especially since I’m a woman) I have no desire to reproduce. “No kids? Really? Don’t you want any?” Half the time I’m tempted to fire back: “No tattoos? Really? Don’t you want any?”
No. 5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your latest book?
The biggest challenge in creating all of my books is finding the time to write, edit, and revise. I work full-time, so I do my writing later in the day, on weekends, etc. Depending on how long a book is, it may take only a month to write the first draft, but then I may spend anywhere from two to six months editing and revising. I have a lot of ideas for more books—I just need the time to write them! No. 6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far? Oh boy, this is a hard question! I’ve learned a lot of lessons so far, and a few that stand out are: life is precious and your time here is short, so make the most of every second, every hour, every day. And during this time, surround yourself with people you like who are positive and enrich your life, not make it worse. Life is too short to be around people who are mean, selfish, or don’t treat you with the respect you deserve. Don’t take anything (or anyone) for granted. And above all else, “to thine own self, be true.”
No. 7 How did you come up with the title for your book 'You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction'?
For me, coming up with titles is one of the hardest parts of writing a book. I can write a 70,000 word novel just fine, but then I get stuck on a three word title. Sometimes titles come to me before I start writing and that’s great. I play a mix and match game with most of my books—listing words that describe the book, theme, characters, etc., and then combine them into different titles. I did the same sort of thing with You Can Write—Really! I wanted it to be catchy, positive, and motivating. I always ask my friends and family for their suggestions on potential titles and have them “vote” for their favorite once I’ve narrowed it down to three or five.
No. 8 How do you handle personal criticism?
I try to listen with an open mind and remember that the person giving the criticism is coming from his or her own set of expectations and life experiences. I remind myself that he or she is entitled to an opinion; but if you ask 50 people for their opinion on something, you’ll get 50 different answers—and none of them is the “right” one. I also keep in mind that what I do has nothing to do with the opinions of other people. They are free to do their thing, and I’ll do mine.
No. 9 Why should people read your book?
You Can Write—Really! is an easy guide designed for beginner writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started. It’s a light-hearted book that’s filled with fun writing exercises and helpful tips all writers can use. As an author of 95 short stories and 19 romance novels, I’m often asked: Where do you get your ideas? How do I get published? How do you write a book? What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out? Do you have any writing tips? I’ve answered these questions many times in interviews and addressed them in guest blogs, but I always wanted to say more. One day, I started thinking about everything I’ve learned over the years, and inspiration hit me: Why not write a book on how to write? The result? You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction.
No. 10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
Why is there something? Because if there was nothing, we wouldn’t be here to know there was nothing. And there really can’t be nothing, because if there was nothing, then nothing wouldn’t exist. You have to know that there is “something” to understand that there is an opposite (nothing).
These questions really get me thinking! The universe contains everything, but who or what created the universe? Where did it come from and how? And who or what created whatever (or whoever) created the universe? Where do you go when you get to the end of the universe? And then what happens?
Thank you Kelli :)
For taking the time to answer my questions
& the best of luck with your new book!
Check out “You Can Write—Really!" on
If you’ve always dreamed of writing and getting published, but have no idea where or how to start—THIS is the book for you!
You Can Write—Really! is an easy guide designed for beginner writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started.
Award-winning author Kelli A. Wilkins takes you step-by-step through the writing process, covering the basics of plotting, editing, revising, and submitting. In addition, she explores ways to get your creativity flowing, explains where authors get ideas, and shows you how to create interesting characters for your story.
Helpful tips and fun writing exercises throughout the book get you started!