Meet the Voices: Kit Wilkinson

download1Meet the Voices presents debut author Kit Wilkinson! Kit is a former Ph.D. student who once wrote discussions on the medieval feminine voice. She now prefers weaving stories of romance and redemption. Her first inspirational manuscript won the prestigious RWA Golden Heart and sold to Steeple Hill Books.

Besides writing, she loves hanging out with friends and family, cooking for lots of people, and participating in almost any sport. She and her husband reside in Virginia with their two young children and spazzy black mutt.

 

What is the biggest writing challenge you’ve encountered this past year – craft, career, writing life, etc.?

 

Selling a second story was a huge challenge for me this past year. My first contract went through in December of 08 so just after this my agent sent in a second completed manuscript. My editor loved the story line but the structure of the novel did not fit the suspense line so she asked for some major revisions.

How did you solve it?

 

 

It actually took hefty two rounds of revisions to transform the story (originally a mystery-romance) into a suspense novel. A lot of rewriting! (And I might have complained once or twice while I was at it.) But the characters and the story survived the transformation and I think/hope the outcome was successful.

What is the one thing you learned that you can share with other writers?

 

 

Get a mentor! Find someone a little further down the road than you are and learn from him/her.

Tell us about your current WIP.

 

I’m working on another romantic suspense. It’s set in Savannah, Georgia, and involves a Coast Guard officer and woman who runs a water guided tour service.

Kit, thanks for sharing with us! Voices can visit Kit’s website and learn more about her writing journey! Visit the Meet the Voices thread in the My Book Therapy forum to discuss writing, life, and everything in between with Kit.

 

Be sure to join us on Friday, October 2 at 8 pm EST/7 pm CST for a My Book Therapy chat with Kit and our book therapists, Susan and/or Rachel. To access the chat forum:

• Log onto My Book Therapy.

• Click on the forum button.

• Sign in with your username and password, if necessary.

• Along the bottom of your browser window, you will see MBT Voices Chat. Click on that and the chat window will pop up.

• Your name will show up in the box on the right hand side. To comment, type in the box in the bottom under the yellow smiley face.

• In the chat room, we will abide by chat etiquette–type ? for question, type ! for comment, and type GA for go ahead after you’re completed your question or comment.

• If you have any questions, e-mail 

lisa@mybooktherapy.com

 

 

Dropping the bomb – A MyBookTherapy Moment

Well, we’re back to blogging! It was great seeing so many of you at the ACFW conference in Denver. Please make plans to attend the conference in Indianapolis next year.

For those of you who attended our continuing education class, thank you. It was great to have such a large, lively group.

I wanted to bring some clarification on “dropping the bomb.” In the class on Saturday, I talked about not hording a plot point, but going ahead, getting the “big news” out there and see where the story ran from the “explosion.”

Here’s what I mean. If you’re telling the reader your heroine is pregnant outside of marriage, but the hero doesn’t know, GO AHEAD, tell him, see what the fall out would be! Don’t “horde” the point.

Or worse, don’t keep hinting at the fact she’s pregnant. “She was so concerned he’d discover her secret.”

Okay, that works for like, um, a chapter, or two. NOT a whole book!

What if the heroine tells the hero she’s pregnant, and he suddenly leaves town. Hmm, now we got a story. Have a bit of tension. Please, don’t let the heroine or hero live their story in their head. Live it out loud, on the pages, in dialog.

If the hero doesn’t know the heroine’s secret, neither should the READER!

On the other hand, when writing The Sweet By and By, I told the mother’s problem right away. Just put it out there on the page. During my edits, my editor suggested NOT telling the reader. Wait and let the mother tell the heroine in her own time. Ah, yes, makes perfect sense. And because the mother probably wouldn’t be musing about her secret all over the pages, I didn’t have to hint at it very much at all. She’d sort of tuck it in her heart and deal with it.

Once I hid her problem, I hid it. I referenced she had an issue, but didn’t say what. I didn’t let the reader in on the secret until the mother spoke the words out loud.

You have to feel your way through these things. What is the greatest and best path to creating tension on the page? Is it keeping the secret? Or is it blurting it out, blowing up the story and see where the rocks fall?

One thing’s for sure: don’t tell the reader if the other protagonist doesn’t know. Always think, what will create tension and conflict. And choose that path!

Meet the Voices: Winter Peck

Winter PeckThis week, Meet the Voices, presents Winter Peck. She is an Iowan at heart. At the age of 10 she discovered her talent for composing stories, and a passion was born. She leans heavily on her mid-western roots, her love of the Old West, and the rodeo. Winter is married to a National Guardsman, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Their story during the time of his deployment will be published in the book GOD Strong: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Military Wives, by Sara Horn (Zondervan 2010). She’s the mother of three boys and one cowgirl in training. Along with her own blog Rodeo with a Twist of Suspense; she contributes a monthly column called She Wears Combat Boots Too at the Take Root and Write blog. Winter and her family live in Central Illinois.

What is the biggest writing challenge you’ve encountered this past year – craft, career, writing life, etc.

Juggling my duties between being a wife to a National Guard soldier, a mom to 4 kids, my household chores, and coaching youth volleyball. My writing seems to take a huge hit sometimes when I’m bombarded by all the things I need or have to do that must come first.

How did you solve it?  (Through My Book Therapy or any other writing help).

It’s been a long process of learning what I had to put first in my life and at times I let my writing be front and center while  letting everything else sit on the back burner. I had a reality check with God over this one. Once I put things into perspective, He took over from there.

I’ve been coaching for 2 years now and during the season it seems to take a lot out of me writing wise. But I’ve found ways to get around it, by setting aside time that’s devoted to coaching responsibilities and writing responsibilities. This year is the first year that all my kids are in school. Now I have seven hours to myself and I’m slowly finding when the best time is for me to write. I’ve also found that if I’ve got the majority of my household chores, like dishes, floors cleaned, and laundry done before I sit down to write, I’m not pulled away and I can focus.

What is the one thing you learned that you can share with other writers?

How to deepen your POV. Little tricks I’ve learned from published authors and my mentor. If you’re writing a scene between your hero and heroine where there’s a lot of emotional turmoil, dig deep inside yourself and recall how you felt in a similar situation. How your stomach fluttered in that funny way when you heard your boyfriend tell you he loved you for the first time. How you were so angry at something she said that you felt your blood pressure erupt like a Hawaiian volcano. My mentor even told me of a time where she wanted to know what it felt like to be upside down on a rip line, she propped herself upside down on her couch and recited the same things her characters said in her novel. She went back through and layered in the feelings in her body and head when she did that.

Deepening your character’s POV brings out their characterization and allows your readers to relate and feel for them. Also by pulling on all your senses you can show us what the character is seeing and feeling, without telling.

Tell us about your current WIP

I have two WIP’s I’m actually working on at the moment.

WIP #1–A Dash of Cinnamon:

She didn’t want another Hero.

For chef Lila Dayne, Trentsburg, Kentucky was a chance to start over after the tragic death of her soldier husband. After two years she’s managed to keep men at bay and her career on track. But it seems God has other plans for her. Lila’s dream was to open her own bakery and create some of the most delectable pastries of her own making. But she abandoned the dream when her husband, her biggest supporter, died.

Blake Maddox loves his job as a firefighter and a football coach. He’s found a way to redeem his past mistakes by helping the people of Trentsburg. Yet there’s a hole in his life, and he’s certain Lila can fill it for him. But she wants nothing to do with him. Blake’s determined not to give up.

They both realize God’s purpose in their lives, and how a little dash of cinnamon can bring two people together.

WIP #2–Angels of the Plains:

Two women on the run from the men who killed their parents for a secret their father hid. A riverboat gambler looking for redemption from mistakes that cost him everything. A rancher searching for a reason to love again. Four people hurting, will they allow God to heal their wounds and find love?

Voices can visit Winter’s website and learn more about her writing journey! Visit the Meet the Voices thread in the My Book Therapy forum to discuss writing, life, and everything in between with Winter. Be sure to join us on Friday, September 25 at 8 pm EST/7 pm CST for a My Book Therapy chat with Winter and our book therapists, Susan and/or Rachel. To access the chat forum:

* Log onto My Book Therapy.
* Click on the forum button.
* Sign in with your username and password, if necessary.
* Along the bottom of your browser window, you will see MBT Voices Chat. Click on that and the chat window will pop up.
* Your name will show up in the box on the right hand side. To comment, type in the box in the bottom under the yellow smiley face.
*In the chatroom, we will abide by chat etiquette–type ? for question, type ! for comment, and type GA for go ahead after you’re completed your question or comment.
* If you have any questions, send an e-mail to lisa@mybooktherapy.com and put Chat in the subject.

ACFW Conference this week

But first. . .

Sweet Caroline is this months Women of Faith Book Club novel! Thank you Thomas Nelson and Women of Faith! Check out my interview and other tidbits here.

Now, on to the ACFW Conference.

Susie and I will be meeting up in Denver tomorrow for the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference. We are really excited. One, to meet up with each other and all of our Voices, as well as ACFW friends.

Two, to teach a Continuing Education class “Become Your Own Book Therapist.” We’ll give you all of our secrets!

A conference can be an exciting as well as stressful time. Meeting old and new friends, going to be late, getting up early. Attending classes. Making editor and agent appointments. One moment thinking you’re on a great track and on the next you’re convinced you’re the worst author in the history of authoring.

Here are some hints for making the most of the ACFW conference:

1. Try to get some sleep.

2. Smile. A lot.

3. Greet others, even if they are scowling.

4. Listen more than you talk.

5. Visit the prayer room if you’re feeling beat up and weary.

6. Come to Harp & Bowl Friday night at 9:00 for worship and prayer — give to the Lord and be refreshed.

7. Ask for help or prayer if you need it.

8. Know God has a plan for you and He’s not forgotten you.

9. Guard your words. Never know who’s listening.

10. Have fun! Above all, have fun!

And oh, wear comfortable shoes and clothes.

Most of my major networking came during ACFW conferences. Those lead to big strides in my career. So, don’t be too shy. And I also know, God opened and closed doors accordingly. Have faith. Have faith.

Pray before you leave. Ask the Lord to be your editor, agent and promoter. Lead you to the people He wants in your life. I knew I’d pick the “wrong” people. Like, those I liked and wanted to build a relationship with didn’t feel the same about me. So, I let God handle the “picking.”

Make goals. List one or two major things you want to accomplish at conference. Attend a workshop every hour. Talk to two agents during meals. Meet a certain author. Say hi to a certain editor. Make all the morning worship and devo times. Set goals. Go to the My Book Therapy Pizza Party.

And oh yeah, have fun.
See you soon.