Conversations with Authors – Ronald Malfi and Kelli A. Wilkins

Conversations with Authors

Ronald Malfi and Kelli A. Wilkins

 

Ronald Malfi is the author of Medallion Press’s May 2014 release December Park, which critics say “feels a bit like Stephen King crossed with Dennis Lehane” (David Pitt, Booklist). Like many horror authors, Malfi grew up on a literary diet of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Peter Straub. He later broadened his tastes and soon fell in love with Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Thomas Pynchon. Get to know Malfi in his Q&A below.

 

Kelli A. Wilkins is the author of our May 2014 release Dangerous Indenture, an e-book exclusive historical romance with plenty of mystery and thrill mixed in. Wilkins was raised in rural upstate New York and majored in communications and minored in drama at Hofstra University. After college, she took writing classes simply as something to do. She didn’t know it at the time, but this hobby would turn into something much more. Get to know Wilkins in her Q&A below.

 

Q&A with Ronald Malfi

 

  1. What led to your decision to be a writer?

Does anyone really decide this? I write to keep me sane.

  1. Tell us what it took to get your first manuscript published.

My first published book was my fourth written novel manuscript, and it came on the heels of about a decade’s worth of writing in my free time. Every writer will say you need to be disciplined and determined and never lose hope, but if they love doing it, you don’t need to tell anyone that.

  1. What are the three most important things aspiring writers should know about getting their work traditionally published?

There is only one thing: that trying to become a traditionally published author is like trying to run a marathon on your hands. It sounds impossible and 99.9 percent of the people will give up, but there are people out there who can do it.

  1. Aside from writing, what are your hobbies or areas of expertise?

I have a daughter, so my hobbies are fiercely limited. And I also have a wife, so she will argue I have no areas of expertise. I do love music, however.

  1. Where can your fans go to get in touch with you?

Via e-mail at ronmalfi@yahoo.com, my website at www.ronmalfi.com, or hunt me down on Facebook.

 

Q&A with Kelli A. Wilkins

  1. What led to your decision to be a writer?


I didn’t really decide to be a writer. I just sort of fell into it! When I was in high school, I wrote short stories and plays for fun and 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. I still write horror and romance. I like to say that one half of my brain writes horror, and the other half writes romance. My romances vary in genre and heat level, depending on the plot and the characters. I like writing in different genres, because I never know what I’ll come up with next.

 

  1. Tell us what it took to get your first manuscript published.

 

My first romance was a historical/fantasy novella published with Amber Quill Press. A Most Unusual Princess was a winner in the Amber Heat writing contest (along with two of my other books, The Dark Lord, and The Sexy Stranger). Before I won that contest, I had published several romance short stories and had written a few full-length romance novels (that were unpublished). I had faith in my stories and my characters and kept writing and submitting my books until they found a home. I put in thousands of hours of hard work on my books and short stories, and I’m proud of all the stories I’ve written.

 

  1. What are the three most important things aspiring writers should know about getting their work published?

 

I think aspiring writers should know that after the story is published, there’s more work to be done. You need to market yourself and your book(s) and take an active role in getting noticed. Interviews, guest blog posts, and contests are all great ways to get started. Don’t be afraid to talk about your book. Share the writing process and let readers see how the story and characters they love came to be.
Writers should also prepare themselves for reviews and comments/criticism. (For example, I’ve had “curious” people ask me if my love scenes are “true confessions” and based on my personal life.) When a story goes out into the world, the author has to brace him/herself for bad reviews and not take them to heart. Of course, the great reviews should be celebrated (and tweeted)!

A third piece of advice I’d give to any aspiring writer is to keep writing. If you’ve never written a story before, you may not realize how much time, energy, and effort goes into creating the setting, plot, and characters. You need to keep at it until the story is finished. (And if you get rejected, write something new and keep writing/submitting until you find a home for your stories.)

One last bit of advice for beginning writers (and this is a personal pet peeve): don’t go around telling everyone all about the book you’re going to write someday—sit down and write it!

  1. Aside from writing, what are your hobbies or areas of expertise?


When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading, gardening, or hanging out with my husband and friends. I like going to flea markets and exploring haunted/historical sites. They’re good places to get ideas for stories!

  1. Where can your fans go to get in touch with you?

 

I love hearing from fans and welcome questions and comments from readers. I can be contacted via my website www.KelliWilkins.com, and I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Manic Readers, and Shelfari. Readers can follow my blog at http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ and comment on my posts. I also send out a newsletter, Kelli’s Quill that’s filled with news, reviews, writing tips, and more.

 

 

 

 

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