Monday, September 13, 2010

Interview with Amber Quill Press author, Kelli Wilkins

1. Tell us about your newest release.

My newest Amber Quill Press “Amber Heat” romance is a fantasy/historical called A Midwinter Night’s Delights. It’s the scorching sequel to A Midsummer Night’s Delights.

The book follows the continuing sexual adventures of newlyweds Annabelle & Julian. In the last book, they went to a special ball at the Marquis of Demby’s estate and learned about their passionate sexual natures. Now they’re back to attend a midwinter ball. But there’s one catch, for the last few months they’ve been a little too wild and have to learn self-restraint – at the hands of the marquis and his wife.

Here’s the full summary:

A Midwinter Night’s Delights

Julian and Annabelle are back for another naughty ball!

The Marquis of Demby’s Midsummer Ball transformed Julian and Annabelle forever. No longer shy about satisfying their sexual urges, the young newlyweds give in to their wanton desires whenever the mood strikes—even if it’s during a dinner party. Anything goes in their open marriage, and they’re not ashamed to share their passions with others.

But everything changes when they are sent to Vincent and Sabrina’s estate to be disciplined. Before they can participate in the Midwinter Ball, they must learn self-control. Carnal punishments and sensual lessons are just a few of the erotic surprises awaiting them…before the ball even begins!

Although A Midwinter Night’s Delights is a sequel, it stands alone as a single read. It was released on September 12 and is available in a variety of electronic formats. The book link is:

2. Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?

The whole book was a lot of fun to write, so it’s hard to pick one favorite. Many of the scenes in A Midwinter Night’s Delights are very graphic, but two scenes stand out in my mind as particularly sensual.

In one scene, Julian is given the task of pleasuring an incredibly shy woman. He has to learn how to focus on her needs and her body, while earning her trust. The scene is hot, and yet has a tender, innocent side to it.

Later in the book Annabelle and Julian get rewarded for “learning their lessons” and receive a special kind of massage. As readers of the first book know, A Midsummer Night’s Delights was very graphic and hot – the follow-up story takes Julian and Annabelle into a world where they must learn how to submit to their “punishments” and control themselves sexually.

I also enjoyed writing the scenes where Julian is protesting the punishments and gets a little snippy with the marquis, Vincent, and his wife, Sabrina. I tried to infuse a little bit of humor into those scenes.

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve been writing stories ever since I can remember. When I was in high school, I wrote short stories and plays for fun and I took a lot of creative writing classes. After college, I enrolled in a Commercial Writers’ Program and read some of my stories in class. At the time, I was writing short horror fiction. Everyone liked the stories and encouraged me to submit them for publication. One day, I read a short romance in a magazine, and said “I can write that.” So I did. A few months later, I sold my first “10-Minute Love Story” to the Sun – and from there I was hooked. I became a regular Sun romance author and eventually branched out into writing science fiction stories for the Sun as well.

Later, I submitted three romance novellas to the Amber Quill Press writing contest, and they contracted me for all three! At the time, I was writing “traditional” (aka not-so-spicy) romances, but I had never written an erotic romance. In keeping with my knack for writing in different genres, I submitted stories in three different romance categories. A Most Unusual Princess is a fantasy, The Dark Lord is a gothic historical, and The Sexy Stranger is a contemporary.

After these novellas were released, I kept writing erotic romances. A Most Unusual Princess spawned two sequels, Dalton’s Temptation and The Pauper Prince. Although I’m drawn to historical/fantasy settings, if I get a great idea for a story I’ll go with it, regardless of the genre. A Midwinter Night’s Delights is my 11th romance with Amber Quill Press.

4. Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?

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 when I’m mulling over ideas or trying to think of plotlines, I’ll play the ‘what if’ game and ask myself, “what if….” And see what I come up with. (One of my science fiction stories recently appeared in an anthology entitled What If… so I think it’s a useful phrase!)

For example, my paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, came about because I had a “what if” idea: What if a vampire went to the beach and fell in love?

Beauty & the Bigfoot was inspired by a wacky “what if” idea that popped into my head: “What if a girl fell in love with a Sasquatch?” The more I thought about it, the more the story unfolded.

I have entire folders of ideas just waiting to be developed. I find ideas everywhere – while driving, watching people at the store, from overheard conversations… usually something catches my attention and I let my mind wander, to see where the ideas take me.

5. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

My biggest writing quirk is that I write everything in longhand. Every short story and novel all start out on paper, then I revise and edit them as I type them up.

A second writing quirk is that I write in several genres, including romance and horror. Some people can’t quite understand how I’m able to write romances one minute, then create spooky horror stories the next. (I like to think that one half of my brain writes the horror and the other half writes the romance.) I’ve also written dozens of sci fi stories and four non-fiction books, so I pretty much write everything. I like switching back and forth between genres because it allows me to explore different plots, characters, and settings.

6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I think that writing is an ongoing learning process. Every time I sit down to write, I learn something about the craft of writing (how to say something better, improve dialog, give more attention to detail, etc.) When I’m plotting my stories, I make an outline of the scenes and the characters and do a character background sheet. So in theory, I should know everything about the characters and plot. However, the writing process always finds ways to surprise me.

Sometimes I’ll be writing a scene and the characters “take over” and decide that the scene should go a different way, or something I planned on happening changes. I thought I knew all about my characters before I started writing The Pauper Prince and A Midsummer Night’s Delights – but I was wrong! One thing I learned while writing those stories was that characters can jump off the page and take the story in a different direction. Even though I created the characters, I was surprised to discover a different side to Prince Allan (in The Pauper Prince) and Julian (from A Midsummer Night’s Delights).

Another thing I’ve learned over the years of writing romance is that I have to turn off my “internal editor” every so often when it comes to writing some of the more explicit love scenes. My romances with Amber Quill Press not only run the gamut of different genre categories, but they also have different heat levels ranging from 1 to 3. For example, A Most Unusual Princess is a heat level of 1, (relatively mild), Trust with Hearts is in the middle, with a heat level of 2, and A Midwinter Night’s Delights is a scorching hot level 3.

7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

I’ve been reading since I was very young, so I’d have to say that every book I’ve read has influenced me in some way. Some authors are great examples of voice, mood, or tone, while others are excellent with details, plot, or characters. I think the more you read (in any genre) the more you learn what works in a story and what doesn’t.

When I was staring out, I joined writers’ groups and took writing classes, so I was fortunate to receive encouragement and feedback from other writers. I have a few writer friends, and we keep each other motivated and share feedback on our stories.

8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?

My friends and family have been very supportive. My husband is proud to call me the “resident writer” in the family. Sometimes I’ll ask him for a male point of view on a scene or a character, or ask an odd gender question. He loves reading my stories and is always amazed at how I’m able to come up with such interesting characters and creative story ideas.

I share my newsletter, Kelli’s Quill with my parents, friends, and other relatives, so they’re aware of my writing. I let them decide for themselves whether they want to buy the books or not.

My father likes reading all my great reviews, and he’s read a bunch of my short stories and interviews, but I’m not sure if he’s read any of the erotic romances. My mother and brother have read my books and they like them.

9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading, gardening, traveling, going to flea markets, or hanging out with my husband and friends. I try to balance my writing life with my “regular” life, so I’m not being anti-social and slaving away writing when I could be out enjoying the world. I like going places and seeing new things, because you never know when something will spark an idea for a story or a character. I also work a full-time job, so I’m constantly busy.

10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?

Right now I’m working on several projects. I’m in the middle of revising a historical/mystery romance and editing a romance set in the world of professional wrestling. In August 2012, my full-length historical novel, The Witch & the Warrior will be released by Medallion Press, so I’m working on that, too. I recently started a blog: and I post to that once a week. My newsletter, Kelli’s Quill comes out every other month. Readers can sign up on my website:

Thanks for the interview! It was great sharing my thoughts. I enjoy hearing from readers and welcome questions and comments about my books.

You can learn more about Kelli by visiting her website
You can purchse A Midwinter Night's Delight by clicking here.


Caffey said...

I so enjoy Kelli's books! I recently got her cowboy one, TRUST WITH HEARTS! I so enjoyed the Historical Fantasy books, A MOST UNUSUAL PRINCESS and THE DARK LORDS. I need to get that print of the last one of the series! So good to read your interview here Kelli! Going to see whats out new with you that I missed.

Caffey said...

Oh I see the new one! A MIDWINTER'S NIGHTS DELIGHT. Awesome! That go with the series? I figured it probably did. Its been a while since I read so it will be great to do some re-reading before! Congrats on the Medallion Press!

Again great reading your interview!