Open Book Society reviewer Andra is back this month with a great interview! Here she chats with author Kelli A. Wilkins, in which they discuss her book KROPSY’S CURSE, motivation behind the story, sequels, future projects, and more. Enjoy!
- Be sure to read our review for Kropsy’s Curse here at OBS.
Andra: What was your motivation for writing the short story “Kropsy’s Curse”?
Kelli Wilkins: I wanted to write a short horror story about two kids messing around with a Ouija board in a graveyard on Halloween. One of the kids is level-headed (and knows better) and the other one wants something exciting/scary to happen. I started thinking about why they were there, what they were doing, etc. The ending of the story (which I can’t reveal here!) came to me in a flash and I thought it was a good twist. I’ve always been a fan of horror stories and I love Halloween, so this was a perfect combination for me.
Andra: I wanted “Kropsy’s Curse” to continue…did you feel the same way when writing the story?
Kelli Wilkins: Yes and no. I always intended it to be a short story – and in a way it reminds me of the stories in the Vault of Horror or Tales from the Crypt comic books. It’s short and spooky and a fun read, and I wanted to let the reader imagine what happens after the story ends. Maybe it’s all a bad dream brought on by too much Halloween candy. Maybe it’s real and just the start of a novel about what else happens that night. Maybe Kyle is remembering that fateful night years later… Anything is possible!
Andra: What future projects are you working on? Can you tell us anything about them?
Kelli Wilkins: I’m not sure if your readers know, but I write in several different genres, including horror and romance. (I like to say that one half of my brain writes horror and the other half writes romances.) I recently published a horror novella titled Dead Til Dawn. Dead Til Dawn is set on the Gettysburg battlefield at night. In this novella, a group of friends goes out to explore the Devil’s Den in the hopes of finding a ghost. As a mysterious battlefield fog surrounds them, they quickly realize they’re not alone. This story was inspired by a trip I took to Gettysburg and a real (and totally creepy) encounter I had with battlefield fog late one night.
Earlier in 2015, I released You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction. It’s a fun and easy guide designed for beginner writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started.
I just finished writing a historical romance set in Nebraska in 1877. The title is Lies, Love, and Redemption, and it’s scheduled for publication by Medallion Press in 2017. In the meantime, I’m outlining a paranormal romance and another gay contemporary. In the horror department, I’m working on a few short stories and a horror novella.
Andra: Who are your literary influences?
Kelli Wilkins: I read everything – horror, romance, thrillers, mysteries, non-fiction – so all of the books I’ve ever read and all of their authors have influenced me in some way. My main influence in the horror genre has been Stephen King. I started reading his short stories when I was very young, and I fell in love with the way he told a story. The characters and settings drew you into the world of the supernatural and made you think about things differently.
Andra: What is one thing you’d like your fans to know about you and your books?
Kelli Wilkins: A lot of people ask me how (and why) I write in so many different genres. Each genre has a different feel to it, so I have to switch gears and write the story using the elements specific to the genre. I always have most (if not all) of a story in my head before I start writing, so once I sit down to write, I tell the story as it comes to me.
I like to write in multiple genres because it lets me explore different types of stories and characters. Sometimes after writing a few romances, I’ll take a “break” and write short horror fiction. Switching from one genre to another lets me refocus my creativity and keeps the writing fresh. My romance novels cover nearly every subgenre: paranormal, contemporary, gay, historical, and fantasy – so I’m always writing something different!
Andra: After reviewing your website I see that you are a pet advocate. Do you have any pets in your home and if so….cats, dogs, hermit crabs?
Kelli Wilkins: Right now I have two adult cats I adopted from an animal shelter. I adopted older cats because sadly, many adult pets are passed over for “cuter” kittens and puppies. I always advocate everyone adopt any pet (dogs, cats, rabbits, etc.) from a local animal shelter or animal rescue, because every animal adopted out creates a space for another needy pet. Shelters and animal rescue organizations are filled with loving animals waiting for a chance to be loved, and they deserve forever homes. If you can’t adopt a pet, consider donating money, food, or supplies to a local shelter or rescue. They can use all the help they can get!
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts today.
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Thank you to author Kelli Wilkins for an amazing interview!