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?