Category Archives: writing tips

When Love Meets Monsters — Paranormal Romance!

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover by Kelli A Wilkinsby Kelli A. WIlkins

Hi Everyone,

To celebrate my favorite month, I’m writing about what happens when horror meets romance—paranormal romance!

Although I create hot and spicy romances, I actually started out writing horror stories. For some, that might seem like an odd combination, but it works for me. One half of my brain writes the horror, and the other half writes the romance. (In fact, I released two horror stories last fall. You can read more about them on my site or my Amazon author page.)

I like writing horror fiction because I get to explore different settings, plots, and characters that I couldn’t develop in romance. Sometimes after working on several romances, I’ll switch moods and write a horror story to give my brain and writing muscles a change of pace.

My horror short stories are more psychological/spooky/creepy than gory, and it’s fun to add something scary (or strange!) into a romance. Sometimes it’s hard to keep a paranormal romance within bounds—you have to blend just enough horror elements into the love story without grossing out (or turning off) the heroine or hero… or readers!

Other times, the challenge to writing a good paranormal romance is creating a believable plot or finding a way to make a “monster” attractive/romantic/sexy. If one of your characters is a monster (of the non-human variety) you must believe your creature is real, whether he’s a vampire, a werewolf, or something else entirely.

Killer in Wolf's ClothingIf you don’t write the creature believably, readers won’t buy into it, and there certainly won’t be any sparks flying in your romance. As a writer, you need to make your monster as real as any other human character and flesh him out completely with a backstory, goals, motivation, and conflicts. (What kind of monster is he? How did he get that way? What is life like for him?)

My contemporary paranormal, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover started out with the premise “What if a vampire went to the beach and fell in love with a surfer?” The book is extra “unique” in that it’s told in first person from the male character’s point of view.

I made Anya (the vampire) sympathetic and sexy, and not overtly terrifyingyet she still flexed her vampire muscles when she wanted to. This story could have easily gone down the horror road and become a full-fledged vampire story, but I wanted to show a softer, kinder side to the Anya and embrace her once-human side.

My gay paranormal, Killer in Wolf’s Clothing is not your usual werewolf love story. Readers should know that Deke, the “werewolf” character, doesn’t actually turn into a “wolf-man”—he’s more of a shapeshifter who transforms into a super-aggressive Alpha male during the full moon. As I say in the book, “It’s more Incredible Hulk than American Werewolf in London.”

I almost had a problem writing Killer in Wolf’s Clothing because I’m “old-school” when it comes to creatures of the night. I expect my werewolves to be violent and vicious, and anything but cuddly. In my opinion, if a person is going to turn into a werewolf/wolf-man, he should look like the werewolves in Dog Soldiers. (A horror movie I highly recommend.)

As I wrote the book, I contrasted Deke’s harsh and demanding personality with that of his gentle alter-ego Greg. Greg understands his condition and does everything he can to keep Deke suppressed. But Deke is a badass with a serious need for revenge, and the antagonist, Blayne, is just about as violent and vicious as you can get (without fangs and claws). I enjoyed writing this story, and although it’s dark in places, Larry (Greg’s boyfriend) lightens the mood with his offbeat sense of humor.

The Viking’s Witch is a historical romance with paranormal elements set in Scotland in 803 A.D. The heroine, Odaria, is what they called a witch back then—nowadays we’d call her a psychic and a healer. Odaria’s “magic” is the catalyst that sets the story in motion. When the book opens, Odaria is about to be burned alive for being a witch. She calls down a spell and curses the villagers while unknowingly invoking a Viking raid. Or so it seems…

The Viking's WitchOdaria uses her “powers” for self-preservation and to get revenge on the people who hurt her. Rothgar (the hero) doesn’t believe in her “magic” and thinks she’s merely pretending to be a witch to frighten people. But after a highly-charged interaction with Brennan (the villain), Rothgar gets a taste of what Odaria could really do if she set her mind to it.

I loved showing readers (and Rothgar) Odaria’s powers of clairvoyance, telekinesis, and psychometry. The scenes that included the “magic” elements were a lot of fun to write. I’ve always been interested in psychic phenomena and other New Age/paranormal subjects, so it was easy for me to incorporate what I know into Odaria’s character.

Vampires, shapeshifters, witches… no matter what subgenre of paranormal romance you write, readers need to be swept into the story and buy into the premise that you’ve created. Your job as a writer is to make the reader believe in the paranormal element (whether it’s a werewolf, zombie, vampire, or ghost) and take the reader on a journey with the main characters as they fall in love. The situations in the story need to be plausible and told in a way that grips the reader, even if the premise seems a bit far-fetched (at first).

When writing paranormal romance, don’t be afraid to break patterns, make your characters different, or have them go against stereotype. Give readers something unexpected, turn a cliché on its ear, or use a different point of view—it’ll make your work stand out. Why not set your werewolf story in Hawaii? Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover takes place at the beach—and that’s not a place you expect to find a vampire.


Order Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover here:

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Vampires-Lover-Paranormal-Romance-ebook/dp/B01IBYWYCI

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1135216230

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/confessions-of-a-vampires-lover-kelli-a-wilkins/1017484568

Order Killer in Wolf’s Clothing here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G3V9VWW

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1126206487

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1113758712?ean=2940153330563

Order The Viking’s Witch here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Vikings-Witch-ebook/dp/B008R5185G/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375813873&sr=1-1&keywords=Kelli+A.+Wilkins

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vikings-witch-kelli-wilkins/1112359676?ean=9781605421698&itm=1&usri=kelli+wilkins

Other platforms: http://medallionpress.com/books/the-vikings-witch/

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at paranormal romances. I like hearing from readers, so feel free to drop me a line with questions or comments. You can catch up on all of my writings and follow me on social media here:

Website: www.KelliWilkins.com

Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Medallion Press Author Page: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 romances span many genres and heat levels.

In 2016 Kelli began re-releasing her romances previously published by Amber Quill Press. Visit her website and blog for a full title list, book summaries, and other information. Her Medallion Press historical western romance, Lies, Love & Redemption, was published in September 2016.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her 15 years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

If you like to be scared, check out Kelli’s horror ebooks: Dead Til Dawn and Kropsy’s Curse.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/.

Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

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Writing Gay Romances – Four FAQ

A Secret Match by Kelli A Wilkinsby Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

My name is Kelli Wilkins and I write romances. My books cover nearly every genre and vary in heat level from mild to super-spicy. People have different reactions when they learn what I write. (Sometimes they gasp and pretend to be horrified, and then ask me if I “act out” my love scenes at home!)

But when people find out that I write gay romances—that really gets them going! “Why would you write one of those? You’re not a man or gay.” (Here’s my turn to gasp and act surprised. Really? You’re kidding!) I generally respond with: “Why shouldn’t I write gay romances? I wrote a vampire romance, and I’ve never been a vampire.” (That usually quiets people down for a while.)

I get a lot of questions about “why” or “how” I write gay romances. Here are the top four, along with my answers.

You’ve written lots of straight romances. Why write gay romances?

Why not? I’m a writer. And as a writer, I write whatever romance book comes to me, whether it’s a contemporary, historical, paranormal, or gay romance. My stories are about people who meet, fall in love, and overcome obstacles to be with each other.

This basic philosophy applies whether the characters are same-sex, different sex, or space alien and earth girl. Love is love and romance is romance. I’m not married to one specific genre or heat level. I go where the story and the characters take me.

When I wrote A Secret Match and Killer in Wolf’s Clothing I trusted my instincts and wrote the story that was in my head. Although both books are contemporary gay romances, they’re very different.

In A Secret Match, a big part of the storyline centers around Everett dealing (or rather, not dealing) with his sexuality, and his (un)willingness to be open about who he really is. The characters in Killer in Wolf’s Clothing are comfortable with their sexuality, but have other issues to deal with. This super-hot paranormal/shifter is a fun look at the werewolf legend and blends romance, mystery, danger, humor, and sizzling love scenes.

How do you write the gay love scenes?

I approach a same-sex love scene the same way I would if I was writing about a hetero couple. When I write a straight romance, about half of the scenes are written from a male point of view. So I have experience “thinking” about scenes from a male perspective anyway.

Peter thinks about the girl he loves, fantasizes about making love to her, he kisses her, they touch, and… There’s not much difference in writing a story from two male points of view. Writing a love scene isn’t only about the gender or the anatomy of the characters—it’s about creating a believable, intimate scene where two people express their love for each other.

Each character in each book is unique, so the love scenes are always approached from different directions. Everett and Josh’s first kiss (in A Secret Match) was a tender and sweet moment, while the first time readers meet Deke (from Killer in Wolf’s Clothing) they realize he’s anything but shy.

What’s the hardest part about writing a gay romance?

The answer to this is quite surprising, and no, it has nothing to do with bedroom activities. The hardest part about writing a same-sex romance or love scene is: pronouns.

As I’m writing, I’ll dash off something like: “He ran his hand down his chest and…” Wait, what? He ran his own hand down his own chest? No… I have to pay extra close attention when revising or editing a same-sex scene. Too many “his” references and the reader doesn’t know who is doing what. Better to say: “He ran his hand down Kevin’s chest and…”

Are you concerned about “what people will think” about you writing gay romances?

Not in the least. People will think whatever they want. I realize that not everyone wants to read the same type of romance, and that’s fine. But if readers are turned off to me as an author just because I write gay romances… well, that’s too bad, see ya.

When I wrote my first gay romance, I considered “what people would think” about the book and me writing it—for about three seconds. Then I reminded myself that I’m a writer, and I create the characters and scenes that make up the book.

I don’t worry about what people might think of me writing about two male characters kissing, going to bed, or making dinner. Basically, the story needs to be told, and I’m the one telling it. As a writer, I’ve made up all sorts of things: an erotic Bigfoot story, a historical Viking tale, detailed ménage scenes (in all combinations), and a first-person vampire love story.

Writers need to turn off their internal editors and forge ahead with the story as it should be (and needs to be) told. If we constantly worried about what grandma would think about our writing, or if we were afraid to open up and let the characters (and the story) take us into the bedroom, we’d never write anything except G-rated fables.

I once read a blog where a woman was “confessing” to writing an erotic romance, even though she couldn’t tell anyone about it and wouldn’t “dare” put her real name on the story. I got to wondering…why? Why hide your writing? And if you’re “ashamed” to be writing in a particular genre, why invest the time and energy into something you’re not going to stand behind?

Now more than ever, I’m just as proud of my gay romances as I am of my straight romances. Why? Because I’m a romance writer—and in my books, everyone deserves to be in love and live happily-ever-after with whatever partner they choose.

And that’s the way it should be… in fiction and in real life.

Kelli

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 romances span many genres and heat levels. Visit her website and blog for a full title list.

In addition to writing romances, Kelli enjoys scaring readers with her horror stories. Don’t miss her spooky ebooks, Kropsy’s Curse and Dead Til Dawn.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her 15 years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/.

Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book summaries, excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI
Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web:
Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

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Raise the Stakes in Your Story with Goal, Motivation & Conflict

Stack of Paper by Typewriterby Kelli A. Wilkins
www.KelliWilkins.com

Hi everyone!
Here’s a question for you: What do you want? It can be anything: a new car, to lose ten pounds, or get a fantastic new job. (That’s your goal.)

Now what’s your motivation for wanting that? Prestige? An improved self-image? More money? Great. Now what’s stopping you?

These may sound like strange, soul-searching questions for anyone who isn’t a writer, but authors have to answer these questions all the time. And if you’re a writer, you probably recognize them as: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict (or GMC).

Every character moves through the process of goal, motivation, and conflict (often multiple times) in a story. It’s the writer’s job to keep raising the stakes for his or her characters and keep the action moving. Here’s how…

No matter how grand or simple, everyone in a story has a goal. By the end of the first paragraph, the writer must establish what a character wants (goal), who or what is stopping him (conflict) and what’s at stake if he doesn’t get what he wants (motivation). This striving and struggling leads to action, which moves the story along. Each scene in a novel or short story is built around things getting worse for a character, and he or she taking action.

Goals can, will, and should, vary depending on the type of story, but they fall into two categories: emotional (or internal) goals, and physical (or external) goals.

The Viking's WitchAn internal goal is something the character needs or wants. This could be meeting a soul mate and falling in love or healing grief after the loss of a loved one. An external goal is something the main character physically must do, such as steal a magic ring from a dragon, or climb down into a cave to rescue a child. (In my romance, The Viking’s Witch, Odaria’s goal was to escape the townspeople trying to burn her alive.)

Sometimes goals start out simple (buying a house or getting to a wedding on time), and your job as a writer is to make it hard for your character to achieve his or her goal. How? By creating obstacles that force the character to work harder. Find out what the character wants, then throw in a curve and see how you can make things go wrong. (Basically, the worse you make things for your characters, the more they have to grow—and that adds drama and tension to your story!)

But writers don’t just give their characters goals; they must motivate them to reach those goals. Ask “What’s at stake?” for the character. Why do they want this thing? What happens if they don’t get it? If the answer is “Nothing, he moves on…” then you need to up the stakes and get your character seriously motivated. For example, if your character doesn’t get to an important meeting on time (goal), he may lose his job (motivation), and if your super-agent hero doesn’t stop the villain, there may be a worldwide disaster.

Conflict is what’s stopping your character from getting what he or she wants. It’s a complication that adds more trouble to your character’s life. Conflict boosts the action and makes your novel or short story more interesting. Authors can use external and internal conflict (or a combination of both) to enhance the drama.

External conflict comes in many forms, such as a villain blowing up a bridge, a well-meaning secondary character (or an overbearing parent) arriving at the worst time, or unforeseen circumstances such as a flood or a car accident. (In The Viking’s Witch, Odaria’s main external conflict was running into a pack of invading Norsemen. That turned into an entirely new complication for her!)

Dangerous Indenture coverConflict can also be internal. In this case, the character keeps himself or herself from having what he or she wants. (“I can’t go to the party because I don’t know anyone there.”) Internal conflict is self-sabotaging. The character has self-doubts and lacks self-confidence and through the course of the story, struggles to overcome his or her fears.

For example, maybe your divorced heroine tells herself she’ll never find true love, or a disgraced hero cop is secretly afraid of getting back on the street.

Goals can and do change as a story progresses. Some goals are reached (or not) but then a new goal will crop up and replace the old one. Each time your character changes his goal (or reaches it and gets a new one) the whole goal, motivation, and conflict cycle repeats and keeps the story flowing.

Remember, your job as a writer is to keep making your protagonist’s life miserable. Don’t set the story goals too low or make the conflicts too easy to resolve. If your pampered starlet is suddenly broke and living on the street, force her to work at a rundown diner and make her life absolutely dreadful. Show us how she has to struggle to overcome her circumstances and let us know what’s at stake if she fails.

I hope you enjoyed this look at how to get your characters moving. If you’re writing something now, pick a few scenes from your novel or short story and identify the goal, motivation, and conflict. Ask yourself how you could raise the stakes for the characters and enhance the drama—so readers will be hooked!
Happy Writing,
Kelli
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 romances span many genres and heat levels. Visit her website and blog for a full title list.

In addition to writing romances, Kelli enjoys scaring readers with her horror stories. Don’t miss her spooky ebooks, Kropsy’s Curse and Dead Til Dawn.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her 15 years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/.

Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book summaries, excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI
Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web:
Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

You Can Write Horror – Really!

you can write_coverby Kelli A Wilkins

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing an excerpt from my non-fiction writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction. As an author of more than 95 short stories and 19 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?

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!

This fun and practical book walks you through the story-creating process step-by-step: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work. I also included helpful tips all writers can use, plus easy writing exercises to get you motivated.

Here’s an excerpt from the section on writing horror:

Horror readers want to be scared (or at least made to feel nervous), so start scaring people on page one. Use a clever hook, details, and setting to pull readers in. Start with a pool of blood on the floor or give us all the details of your haunted house. Let readers experience what it feels like to be chased across a field by a werewolf.

In horror, you can write almost anything and get away with it. Play on childhood fears and things people hate (or are afraid of). Here’s a short list: clowns, creepy dolls, being buried alive, stuffed moose heads, basements, closets, the dark…

As you write, keep the tension and suspense constant. Enhance anticipation and fear in layers. Your novel or short story needs twists and turns to keep the reader engaged and wondering, “What happens next?” Be sure to end scenes (and/or chapters) with a cliffhanger or other danger.

If your antagonist is a monster (of the non-human variety) you must believe your monster is real (whether he’s a vampire, a werewolf, or a slimy sewer creature). If you don’t write the creature believably, readers won’t buy into it. Make your monster as real as any other human character and show him in action.

Because your monster is not human, it’s okay for readers to hate him. They should know he’s bad news from the start of the story, so make him awful. You don’t want readers (or other characters) sympathizing with your monster—you want them to fear him.

TIP: Don’t mix monsters. Only include one primary monster or menace in your writing. Don’t have vampires, werewolves, zombies, and demons running around in the same story, attacking a town during a full moon on Halloween. It’s overkill—and not in a good way.

If your monster is human (serial killer), depict him at his worst. Don’t shy away from showing him doing really bad, socially unacceptable things. Horror stories are generally dark and explore themes and ideas that expose the bad side of people. If you’re not comfortable going to “the dark side” to write terrifying stuff, you may want to consider writing thrillers or suspense stories.

Your human “monster” needs to be fleshed out. Develop his character through details, give him a history, and show why he’s so warped. If your villain is a racist, show readers how nasty he is through his actions, dialogue, or vocabulary. Make readers hate him. Get readers emotionally involved so they can’t wait for him to get what he deserves in the end. (And he will!)

In a way, it’s fun to show two sides to your villain. Maybe when we first meet him, he seems charming and sweet and is a perfectly normal eighth grade science teacher. Later, when we see the torture chamber in his basement, we’re thrown for a loop.

When creating a human monster, take cues from reality. Most predators are cunning, manipulative, without remorse or conscience, and have a sense of entitlement. They’re great at tricking people and identifying weak spots or vulnerabilities. They are practiced liars and good at covering their tracks to avoid detection. In general, people underestimate them. Many serial killers blend into society and nobody suspects a thing—now isn’t that scary?

If you are writing a serial killer-type villain, be sure he exhibits traits consistent with a predator. He can’t be nice. He can appear nice on the surface as he lures unsuspecting people into his van, and he’s very polite—but it’s all for show. Underneath he’s dangerous.

TIP: There are a lot of books about serial killers/predators and their psychological profiles. Use them to understand your character’s thoughts and behaviors. If you are writing about a villain, you might need to know if he’s a full-blown sociopath or just has narcissistic tendencies.

I’ve written dozens of speculative fiction (horror and sci fi) short stories as well as three paranormal romances. For me, creating disturbing villains and exploring the “dark side” of fiction is fun.

HiResHere are two writing exercises to motivate you to write a horror story of your own. How will you scare people?

EXERCISE 1: Take one of these first lines and write a few paragraphs about it. See what ideas come to you as you start writing.

Steve knew his house was haunted, but that didn’t bother him. He had bigger problems.

On a warm June day, the body of Ann Marie Duncan washed up on shore.
“I have to tell you a secret. I’ve got six bodies buried in the cellar.”

Mike got a strange call from Dave on Friday. After that, he never heard from him again.

EXERCISE 2: Here are some wild “what if” questions to get you thinking about story ideas. Pick a few and write three to five paragraphs about each. What if…

…archeologists uncovered a living mummy while excavating in Egypt?

…your character inherited a haunted house and knew the ghosts?

…a killer picks his victims according to their birth sign?

…the weird Goth kid down the block really is a vampire?

…a woman finds a blood-soaked clown hiding in her garage?

If you’re ready to write, order your copy of You Can Write—Really! here:
http://www.amazon.com/Write-Really-Beginners-Guide-Writing-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00THWLFQU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1423749384&sr=1-1

I enjoy hearing from readers and other authors. So feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, and to let me know how you liked the book. You can catch up on all of my writings and follow me on social media here:

Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Happy Haunting,
Kelli

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning romance and horror author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books.

Her short horror fiction has appeared in several anthologies. In autumn 2015 she released two horror ebooks, Kropsy’s Curse and Dead Til Dawn. In 2014, her horror fiction appeared in Moon Shadows, Wrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

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.

Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover… Love at first bite

tnConfessionsVampiresLover coverby Romance Author Kelli A. Wilkins
www.KelliWilkins.com

Greetings Everyone,

Today I’m sharing an inside look at my paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover. As most everyone knows by now, I write spicy romances and spooky horror fiction. For some, that might seem an odd combination, but it works for me. I like to say that “one half of my brain writes the horror, and the half writes the romance.”

There have been a lot of vampire romances published over the years, and vampires continue to fascinate romance readers. So what makes this story different from all the rest? Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover offers readers a different view of a vampire romance. For starters, the novella is a summer romance told in the first person from the hero’s point of view. The story also makes use of an unusual setting – the beach. Yes, it’s a summer beach-themed vampire love story! And you don’t see those every day.

So, how did this story come about? My original idea was simple: “What if a vampire went to the beach and fell in love?”

I’m married to a surfer and one of our trips to the beach (where I sit and write) got my imagination going. I liked the idea of contrasting typical sun-worshipping beachgoers and surfers with a darkness-loving elusive vampire. Besides, what could be more mismatched than a die-hard surfer falling in love with a nocturnal blood-drinker in the heat of summer?

Although the story is about a vampire, I wanted to keep the central focus on Brian and Cassie’s relationship and not on the “bloodier” aspects of vampirism. I think there’s a fine line when blending horror and romance into paranormal romance. Too much gore or a “too terrifying” creature can snap the readers and the characters out of the romance and into a full-on horror story.

I also made sure that the love scenes were highly sensual and almost surreal. Aside from being a vampire, Cassie is a woman with needs, and she makes sure Brian satisfies them! I don’t remember how I got the idea to have the story told by Brian, but it worked. (Readers and reviewers liked the first-person aspect – it pulls you into a story that would seem unbelievable.)

I love combining my two favorite genres into one great story. (You can check out all of my romances and horror stories on my site or Amazon author page.) Some people think it’s strange, but writing horror lets me explore characters, settings, and plots you don’t normally find in romance. And every so often, it’s good to mix a little paranormal into your romance and see what happens. Who knew vampires could have a summer romance?

Here’s the book summary for Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.

Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover

The moment Brian spotted Cassie sitting on the moonlit beach, he was hooked. Beautiful, smart, and sexy, Cassie is the girl of his dreams. She didn’t mind that he spent the hot summer days riding the ocean waves, because once the sun set, he belonged to her–all night long!

Everything is perfect between them–until Brian discovers Cassie’s shocking secret. Can Brian give up the sun, sand, and surf to be with the woman he loves?

Read Brian’s first-hand account of their unusual love story in… Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover!

***

CATCH UP WITH KELLI

I enjoy hearing from readers and other authors. So feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, and to let me know how you liked the book. You can catch up on all of my writings and follow me on social media here:

Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Happy Reading!
Kelli

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning romance and horror author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books.

Her short horror fiction has appeared in several anthologies. In autumn 2015 she released two horror ebooks, Kropsy’s Curse and Dead Til Dawn. In 2014, her horror fiction appeared in Moon Shadows, Wrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

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.

Book Review: You Can Write-Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction

You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing FictionYou Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction by Kelli A. Wilkins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book isn’t just for beginning writers, it has something for writers at every stage. With sections such as Meet the muse, Excuses, Ideas, Characters, Marketing, etc, whatever you’re looking for, there’s something here to learn from.

I have a lot of writing books, and some of them deliver on their promises, some don’t. But this book breaks down the writing process and shares tips and tricks to help you to learn and grow.

No matter where you are on your journey as a writer, you’ll get something out of this book. I highly recommend it as a reference and as a way to inspire and encourage you to move past writing blocks, and tap into your creativity.

Purchase on Amazon.com: You Can Write Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction

How to Pick the RIGHT Editor for Your Book

00409147by Nancy Nyman

Ask anyone who’s successfully written and published a book which person on their team was most critical in whipping their manuscript into shape and “My editor” will almost always make it onto the shortlist.

Why is an editor so critical? And what does an editor actually do? Knowing the answers to these two questions might help you take pressure off of yourself and guide you in choosing the right kind of editor for your project.

Getting Started

Some writers choose to engage an editor early on. In this scenario, the writer will hire a developmental editor to help develop the manuscript from initial concept, through outlining, and even drafting. A developmental editor will have a pulse on the marketplace, analysis of competing works, and references and resources to help the writer through the development of the book.

Improving Your Manuscript

Content editing is perhaps the most comprehensive, and often the most crucial, type of editing. A content editor will help you improve your manuscript by identifying and solving problems of clarity, context, accuracy, consistency, and order. A content editor can also help you figure out what’s missing. Content editing often yields a major rewrite or two.

Grammar Checking

Copyediting provides a line-by-line check for grammatical errors, a cross check of references for tables and illustrations, and will note any permissions that might be needed. If your book doesn’t include tables and illustrations, and you’ve already done your rewrite, it might be time for proofreading, the final phase of editing. During the proofreading process, an editor will review your manuscript line-by-line, word-by- word to ensure accuracy.

Wherever you are in the process, remember: editors approach your project with objectivity, enabling them to see things that you might miss, which makes their contributions key when it comes to writing your book.

Nancy Nyman is a writer and co-founder of Two Girls Unleashed. http://www.twogirlsunleashed.com/

Heating Up Summer Romances with Sizzling Details

you can write_coverby Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi Everyone,
I hope you’re enjoying the summer! Today I’m sharing a few thoughts on using details to spice up your summer romances.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself at the beach. The ocean waves are rolling into shore… you feel the sun on your skin and the warm, gritty sand beneath your toes… the air smells like salt water mixed with coconut suntan lotion… You open your eyes and see a tanned hunk standing in front of you. A bead of sweat drips down his six-pack abs….

Did it feel like you were on the beach? Could you sense everything happening around you? Good, because conveying sensory details to readers is an excellent way to draw them into the book and make them part of the action.

More than anything, readers want to get inside the story, feel what the characters are feeling, and live vicariously in the world the author has created. When writing a summer romance, authors can make the most of sensory details to bring the story alive.

An author can (and should) explore all the details of a scene to give the reader the experience of “being there.” Here are a few examples of how you can bring everyday surroundings to life and enhance the senses:

What’s the weather? What time of day have you set your scene? Early morning sunrise? In the blazing afternoon heat? A cool summer night? Does a sudden thunderstorm send everyone at the baseball game running for cover?

Liven it up with color! Summer colors are usually bold and bright. Describe your heroine’s hot pink bathing suit, the hero’s cherry red convertible, or the vibrant turquoise beach towel they make love on…

Add some flavor: The sense of taste is usually hard to work into a romance, but you can get inventive. When the characters kiss, what do they taste? Zingy lemonade? Beer? Mint chip ice cream? Spicy BBQ? Does she taste like the strawberries she’s just eaten?

The sounds of summer: People spend lots of time outdoors in the summer, so what do your characters hear in the background? People talking? Kids yelling and playing games? Splashing in a lake or a pool? Carnival-ride sounds from a boardwalk? Sea gulls calling? Lawn mowers buzzing?

Look around: What do your characters see or notice as they go through a scene? Fireflies? Bees buzzing around flowers? A tattoo peeking out from under a bathing suit? Her long legs? Are people watching them kiss on the beach?

Breathe deep: The sense of smell isn’t always crucial to a romance, but having your character follow his nose to the smell of burgers on the grill or relaxing in the comforting smell of smoke from a campfire can enhance a scene. Maybe your heroine is turned on (or off!) by the scent of suntan lotion. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers. Flowers are blooming all summer, and your heroine can be an avid gardener who loves the scent of roses, while your hero has allergies! Trust With Hearts by Kelli A Wilkins

Reach out and touch: Summer is a great time of year for your main characters to touch each other. Explore the feel of a shirt stuck to her body, sweat trickling down his back, the brisk coolness of walking into an air conditioned room, jumping into a cold lake, what it feels like to touch the other person’s hot, sweaty skin…

Authors can work “summer details” into a romance in countless ways. In Trust with Hearts, I had the hero and heroine have sex in his car after going to a drive-in—and get busted by the cops! I also had Curtis rescue Sherrie when she got overheated while gardening. He was worried she had heat stroke and brought her inside to cool down. (And that’s when they shared a kiss!)

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover by Kelli A WilkinsMy summer paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, is set at the beach. I used a variety of details to describe the hero’s obsession with the sun, sand, and surf (or as he put it: wax, water, and waves). I contrasted that with details of being with the vampire heroine at night (moonlight reflecting off the ocean, making love on the deserted beach, and swimming at night). By enhancing the details, I showed how Brian and Cassie lived in completely different worlds (literally, night and day!) and still found summer love.

The next time you read a summer romance, pay closer attention to the little details the author has added. Notice how they draw you deeper into the world of the characters and the story. And don’t we all want to get swept away into another world for a while?

Whether you’re writing a summer romance, or losing yourself in one on a lazy afternoon, enjoy the rest of the summer!

Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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. In 2014, her horror fiction appeared in Moon Shadows, Wrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/. Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI
Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web
Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Setting the Stage for a Summer Romance

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover by Kelli A Wilkins by Kelli A Wilkins

Hello romance lovers!

Summer is here! To celebrate, today I’m sharing a few thoughts on writing summer romances.

Take a minute and consider this scenario: A young woman runs a bed and breakfast in a resort beach town. While kayaking early one morning, she sees a swimmer caught in a rip current. She helps him get to shore safely and learns that he’s spending the summer in town. They are attracted to each other, but don’t immediately act on their feelings.

How would you write the rest of the story? Where would you take it from there?
As an author, I’m free to invent anything I want in my books. I create the characters, their backstories, goals, hopes, dreams, and disappointments. I’m also in charge of the setting and the details—and they are two important things to consider when writing a summer romance.

Summer is generally considered a “fun” time (except for the mosquitoes!). Kids are out of school, people take vacations, friends and families gather around the pool, lake, or barbeque, and everything is more relaxed. All that can lead to summer love.

Everything’s hotter in the summer—including romances! Characters get hot—physically, as temperatures soar and the humidity rises—and hot for each other. Suppose a hero and heroine meet on the beach. They can get an eyeful of the other person’s muscular chest or long, lean legs. They’re both hot and sweaty (maybe he just finished playing a volleyball game). They may flirt, playfully touch each other, ask the other to apply sunscreen, or simply fantasize about what’s under that bathing suit.

In my summer romance, A Perfect Match, Vin and Danni are stuck driving across the country in July. At the start of the book, she’s professionally dressed, but as things heat up between them, she starts wearing playful summer dresses, sandals, and shorts. Her outfits were a great way for Vin to notice her legs and fantasize about touching her. (And his tank tops showed off his huge arms…) A Perfect Match by Kelli A Wilkins

Setting a story in the summer months opens a world of possibilities. Writers have more opportunities to bring the hero and heroine together and keep the interest going with summer escapades. Where you set your romance often leads to the types of encounters between your characters and also influences the plot.

Suppose your heroine lives in a beach town. Give her an interesting job that gets her out in public and she could meet Prince Charming.

Maybe she’s a waitress at a tiki bar, is a lifeguard, or just happens to meet a hot guy on the beach. Or, maybe your hero is on a beach vacation to get over being dumped by his ex and finds himself falling for the woman (or man) he meets on the boardwalk.

When writing any story, it’s always fun to play the “What if…” game. What if your hero is a lifeguard at a pool and rescues the heroine—or her child? What if a boater is stranded out in a lake? Suppose your hero and heroine meet on a fishing trip? They play on opposing volleyball teams? Meet at a Civil War reenactment event?

Don’t be afraid to turn things around and try something unusual. What if a surfer meets someone who absolutely hates the sun? (That was the premise to my summer paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.) What if the hero is terrified of the water and has to overcome that fear to be with (or rescue) the person he loves?

But not every summer romance has to involve the water, sun, and sand. Anywhere you can get your characters together doing any summer activity is a great way to create mood and setting. Suppose your single mom heroine is taking her son to day camp and falls for the camp instructor? Maybe your hero loves the woods and likes to hike, camp, or rock climb. Is your heroine attracted to the hot guy who mows the lawns in her development? The hero meets a sexy new neighbor at a community barbeque or fireworks display?

And don’t forget about summer sports: surfing, baseball, softball, or any outdoor event is a good way to have your characters meet. County fairs and concerts in the park are also great settings for love to blossom. Maybe your heroine falls for a member of the band…
Some summer romances have nothing to do with people on vacation or doing “outdoorsy” things, but still retain that summer heat. Trust With Hearts by Kelli A Wilkins

My contemporary romance, Trust with Hearts, takes place in the summer, but doesn’t focus on summer activities. Sherri and Curtis fall in love over the course of the book while doing everyday things, but I did work in plenty of seasonal details to give the book a summer “flavor” and spice things up!

If it’s really hot outside (and your hero and heroine are the naughty, adventurous types) you can have them go skinny-dipping in a pool, a lake, or the ocean. If your lovers are camping and feel the urge for a quickie, they could sneak off and do it in the woods (with the added thrill of the risk of getting caught), under the stars, in a tent (where someone might hear), or on a boat during a fireworks display.

Readers love being swept away by summer romances and writers enjoy creating them. In fact, summer romances could very well be a separate romance genre! They’re fun reads for a day at the beach and they’re an excellent way to add a little “summer heat” to cold winter nights.

So… grab an icy beverage, set out that lounge chair, and lose yourself in a hot summer romance.

Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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. In 2014, her horror fiction appeared in Moon Shadows, Wrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/. Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI
Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web
Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Why it Matters that You Tell Your Story

Why it MattersA little while back I participated in a discussion around diversity in Science Fiction Romance  on the SFR Brigade group on Facebook.

The originator of the post had some thoughts around a post on The Galaxy Express  and had opened it up to discussion.

My impressions were that some people felt that there was criticism in the post and  that it was undeserved. While others mentioned diverse character they were using in their books.

It’s a discussion that has popped up before in various venues, and it seems with current events being what they are, the conversation is increasing.

Discussion about diversity in publishing is good and should continue. For too long these things have only been discussed usually among POC, and not made mainstream.

As a black woman, I write POC heroines because they aren’t represented in any major way in science fiction and fantasy. My first memories of seeing a black woman in a sci-fi setting was on classic Star Trek.

Back in the day, it was extremely unlikely to see black people on TV at all. In fact, the ones I remember seeing on TV could’ve been counted on the fingers of one hand: Nichelle Nichols, Diahann Carroll (“Julia”) are the ones who immediately come to mind. Two.*

Perhaps there were more during that time period, seeing how I vaguely remember Greg Morris in Mission Impossible, and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman in the Batman TV series (when the role wasn’t played by Julie Newmar or Lee Meriwether) but I’d be hard pressed to call any other names during that period.

*Update: after a bit more research I discovered that Cicely Tyson also had a regular role on the TV show, East Side, West Side from 1963-64.  H/T to commenter Clara54 who mentioned the  contributions of the incomparable, Pam Grier. Though Pam has also been on TV, her career kicked off in movies during the rise of the Blaxploitation era, in 1968-70.

Zero sum game

Fast forward to the present where we seem to be rehashing so many racially-tinged issuess that many people thought were resolved. Race/class/sexuality–it’s all churning above the surface now, helped along in no small part by the internet (via social media and blogging where voices can be heard across the globe).

My desire to write about POC as the lead characters comes from my own formative years where they didn’t exist. Or if they did, they were stereotypes. Relegated to the sidelines and bound by centuries old definitions.

In all the sci-fi I read as a young person, where were the POC voices? Hell, where were the female voices? They made spotty guest appearances usually typecast as “angry” or “inept” or “sex partner.” Background noise to fill in the scenery that was set in gear by the white male protagonists.

Blame it on Star Trek with the inclusion of various races and non-humanoids, but I had different expectations for what I wanted to see in a universe far, far away. It’s no secret that I identified with Uhura and with Spock, whose own struggles as a half human/Vulcan were often brought to painful life in the classic episodes. uhura

Luckily for the character, Spock was allowed self-actualization in the subsequent movies, where he started out as a coldly logical Vulcan and experienced an ultimate acceptance of his humanity by the time ST VI ended the classic cannon.

(The reboot revived it on a different timeline, and thankfully didn’t lose the flavor, though there are differing opinions on the casting choices for Khan in the second movie.)

A lot of what inspired this post was something I read last week written by  much younger reader. She described her first encounter with writer Octavia Butler. My first encounter with Butler is also a touchstone of mine, and I was drawn to her as a kindred (for Butler fans – no pun intended) spirit.

That all these years later this reader could connect in the same way I did shows how one voice can make an impact that reverberates long after that voice is stilled. Maybe when Octavia Butler started writing, she never knew how others would perceive her stories. How we would be moved to write stories of our own.

She (a black female sci-fi writer) showed me that it could be done. And when I read her books, I felt like I could feel her voice in my heart. She was telling my story in addition to telling a human story.

Because you see, that’s really what it comes down to. Human stories across the centuries, the civilizations, the cultures. It’s not a zero-sum game where if I tell my story, yours is discarded. As a POC I’ve felt that way for most of my life. Where were my stories? Where were my heroes/heroines?

Old Tropes

My story involves more than what is depicted in popular culture. Slickly packaged using the same old tired tropes. Checking off the same old boxes to ensure that  no reader/viewer is jolted out of their comfort zone. Or erased completely. Negated and rendered mute.

My story is timeless. As is yours. It is a shared human story, and can’t be told through just one POV.

So, I don’t write about POC characters because I want to reduce other stories or eliminate them. I don’t see it as a profit and loss sheet, where I’m going through the numbers, sliding beads across an abacus, deciding what has value and what does not.

Tell Your Story

My story is valuable, as is yours and all the writers writing across the world. We are telling the world’s story, in our own words, through our experiences. My story does not diminish yours. And your story does not reduce mine.

Tell your stories. Don’t wait for someone else to decide what they should be or how they should be defined. You own them. Tell them. Tell them now.