Monday, September 07, 2009

Interview with Kit Wilkinson

Kit Wilkinson is a former Ph.D. student who once wrote discussions on the medieval feminine voice. Now, she prefers weaving stories of romance and redemption. Her first inspirational story won the prestigious RWA Golden Heart and sold to Steeple Hill Books.

Welcome to Novel Journey, how long did it take you to get published?

From when I finished writing my first “salable” manuscript to when I received “the call,” it took exactly 14 months.

Do you think an author is born or made?

I haven’t been at this for very long, but my take is that very few authors could get along without the help of a savvy editor and/or without the help of critique partners. Writing is like playing the piano. You can have all the God-given talent in the world but without tons of supervised practice where techniques are developed and refined, your playing won’t be very interesting.

Any advice on maintaining a good editor/author relationship?

Kit answers this question (and many others) in a video interview here.

What is the first book you remember reading?

The first books I read were Winnie the Pooh and Paddington books. I suppose I had a thing for bears. The first book I fell in love with was The Call of Wild by Jack London. I read it in seventh grade English. I can vividly remember sitting in that classroom, devouring the story of Buck (which I, of course, named my dog), not wanting the bell to ring, and not wanting the book to end.

What common qualities do you find in the personalities of published authors?

All authors, even the extroverts like myself, enjoy spending time alone. Authors also tend to be driven, self-motivated people who don’t like “group” projects.

How do you know if you have a seemingly “stupid” book premise that is doomed to fail versus one that will fly high?

All stories must have certain elements or they are doomed to fail… For a story idea to fly high, I think it must have global appeal combined with superb writing and story telling.

What is the theme of your latest book?

I’m currently working on a story set in the Savannah area “low country,” which touches on the issues of Human Trafficking and self-forgiveness.

At what point did you stop juggling suggestions and critiques and trust yourself (as a writer)?

I don’t know because I’m not there yet. I greatly value the opinions of my critique partners—depend on them to make my story better, my characters deeper, and my writing smoother.

Are takeaway messages (in your book) important to you?

Absolutely. Although it’s hard in category to handle an issue with any serious amount of depth, there still must be a moment when characters are changed, touched, enlightened. If I’ve done my job as a writer and taken my reader into the fictional story world then that character moment should also mean something to the reader. That’s my hope…anyway.

When do you know you’ve got the finished product and it’s your best effort?

It’s finished when my editor says it’s finished. Until then I always feel like I can improve a story.

Kit did a great video interview for your pleasure. Be sure to watch as she answers the following questions: 1)How man drafts do you edit before submitting to an editor? 2) What mistakes did you make while seeking publication? 3) What projects do you have coming out? 4) Tell us about "the call". 5) Any advice for aspiring writers?


Keli Gwyn said...

What a cool interview. I loved the video clip.

I finished reading Protector's Honor at two o'clock this morning. Had to find out how things worked out for Tabitha and hunky hero Rory, whom I fell for hard and fast. The story begins with an action-paced encounter and builds to a powerful ending. Well done, Kit.

Kit Wilkinson said...

Thanks Keli! It's great to get such comments from an admired peer.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Kit, on your release.

Connie Gillam

lynnrush said...

Wow, that was fun to watch the you tube interview. Great! Loved hearing your story, Kit. You're an inspiration.

S. Dionne Moore said...

Thanks again, Kit. You did a great job and it really does show.

Tina said...

Great interview and I LOVE the video! Congrats, Kit.

Lisa Jordan said...

Loved the video interview! So cool. Very personable. Haven't read your book yet, Kit, but I plan to! Congrats on your new release!

Beth Trissel said...

I didn't know you were a former PHD! I remember what an ordeal our family went through when my dad got his doctorate in English. Would've been more fun if he'd been a novelist. I love Winnie the Pooh too. Congrats on all your success Kit. Much deserved.

Chip said...

This is a great video, Kit. Really glad you did this and shared it with everyone. Thanks!

Annette said...

Hi Kit! Congrats on your release! I can't wait to buy your book. The Call of the Wild was one of my favorite books, too. Anything involving horses and dogs, even if they were sad.

Sheila Deeth said...

I enjoyed this interview. Thank you. And congratulations.

Diana Cosby said...

I enjoyed your interview. I can 'see' you in class reading. I was as guilty reading The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. There's something amazing about the power of the journey.
I wish you every success. I'm so proud of you! *Hugs*


Sarah said...

Winnie the Pooh was one of my first 'big' books too. Closely followed by The Hobbit lol x


Walt M said...

Kit, great interview and video clip. I like Jack London, too, but I think you're a bigger fan than I am.

Looked for your book today and couldn't find it. Will keep trying until I do.

Kit Wilkinson said...

Hi folks, Thanks for all the great response, especially on the video.

And I have our two drawing winners (thanks to my daughter who does the actually drawing)--Audrey and Beth. Congrats ladies!!!

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Kit,
Sorry I'm stopping in late. Looking forward to seeing you at ACFW! Congrats on your success!

Nancy Farrier said...

Wonderful interview, Kit. I can't wait to read your book.

Missy Tippens said...

Oh, how fun!!! I loved the video! It was like having a nice visit in person--and I got to meet your dog, too! :)

Congrats on your book and your future release!

Christina Berry said...

Don't you know the dog always steals the show?? ;)

Great interview, and I join my voice in the praise-the-video chorus!