Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Write Because I Like It ~ Kit Wilkinson

Kit Wilkinson 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 one extremely energetic Border Collie named Bear.

The not-so-interesting “how I became a writer” story

It's pretty clear how one becomes a brain surgeon or a lawyer, but a novelist? There’s something mysterious about becoming an author. Or people want there to be...

Personally, I’ve always cringed a little when anyone asks me about the whys and hows of my writing. And this is because my answer tends to disappoint everyone.

Why did I start writing? How did I start?

Um...I sat down at the computer one day and began typing... because I was bored.

I’m totally serious. A few years ago, I quit my teaching job, was home with my two kids whom I love dearly, BUT I was bored. So, while they napped, I would sit down and write a chapter at a time. Pretty soon I’d written a full-length manuscript and I had so much fun doing it, I decided to write another.

While on the second story, I thought since I liked it so much that I would learn about publishing. I hooked up with some local writer’s organizations where I met experienced authors. They were kind enough to look at my work and give me advice—which I listened to. They pointed me toward some publishers that best fit the content of my work. I read over sixty books from those publishers and continued writing and restructuring my stories. After two years, I went to a conference. I met my agent there and within six months sold my first story.

Now, of course, I’m leaving out some things—for one, the rejection part. The story didn’t sell as I wrote it. It underwent major revisions, as did my second novel. And then, recently I submitted a third story on a proposal, which, after revisions, has yet to sell. I’ve had to put that aside and move on to yet another story idea, which did (just recently) sell. (whew!)

The other thing to mention would be my background. I studied and taught literature (for a VERY long time), concentrating primarily in French medieval writings, but I also received degrees in general French Literature and in American Literature, which means I’ve been writing ABOUT fiction for years and years. Some might say the leap from writing literary criticism to writing a novel is small. I’m not sure if that is true or if my former studies are a bit of a hindrance to the creative process.

Either way, good writers are usually good readers and I have definitely been a reader all my life.

So, what do YOU tell people when they ask why you write or how you started writing? What do you say if it wasn’t your lifelong dream or you’re not an amazing “discovery of talent” story? What if you’re like me and you just decided to give writing a try? Honestly, I’m not sure exactly what answer people want to hear but I’m going to try THIS the next time:

I write because I like it.

SABOTAGE 4 1/2 STARS from RT Book Reviews:
Olympic hopeful Emilie Gill is beautiful, rich, successful--and in danger. Someone's targeting her stable, her friends, her life…and there's nowhere for her to turn. The police? They've charged her with murder. Her father? Out of town--again. Her best friend? He's the man she's accused of killing. There's no one to count on--until Derrick Randall rides into her life. The stable manager's support encourages Emilie to open up her carefully guarded heart. But just as she's learning to trust, it all comes apart. Her faith--and newfound love--are all she'll have when the sabotage turns deadly once more...


Jenny B. Jones said...

I write because it's something to do in between the few minutes of the day I'm not emailing or checking Facebook.

I've got the Sabotage on my TBR pile right next to me. Can't wait to start!

Nicole Unice said...

Kit, I loved this post! It's great to hear about your journey, particularly the re-writing, rejection and the fact that you are a reader. Apparently, I'm trying to write a poem. Ridiculously refreshing post. I'll stop now before I embarrass myself any further.

Cara Putman said...

Loved Sabotage! And loved learning why you write. Keep it up. You've got talent!!!

Nicole O'Dell said...

Sabotage was awesome! Definitely recommend it.

Loved your description of why you write, Kit. I kind of slipped into it the same way--well, not exactly the same. LOL I was on bed rest while pregnant with my triplets and had a new two-book deal in my hands. Had plenty of time to write and submitted those ms from my hospital bed. Now I'm hooked, too! FUN!

Kit Wilkinson said...

Great to be here again on Novel Journey. Thanks for having me. Thanks for stopping by folks...



Lynette Eason said...

Hey Kit, great post. I loved the fact that you wrote because you were bored. I just spoke to a group of women today about why I started writing. Um...because I was lonely. LOL. I read Sabatoge in two days. Great book!


Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. said...

Wow, Kit! I learned a lot more about you from reading this great interview. That is so impressive. I am almost done with Protector's Honor and am taking it to the Nissan dealership tomorrow to finish it. Really enjoyed it and have Sabotage sitting on the shelf ready to go!

Tracey Bateman said...

Great story of how you got published! I'll have to find Sabotaged. Sounds good! Congrats on the new sale ;) Whew LOL