Kit Wilkinson found success after James River Writers named her a finalist in its 2008 Best Unpublished Novel Contest. Harlequin decided to publish her manuscript, Running from Trouble, under a new title, Protector’s Honor. The novel was soon recognized by Romance Writers of America, winning a Golden Heart award for Best Inspirational Romance.
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. She is currently working on her fourth novel.
Laura Jones, former editor of our e-newsletter, Get Your Word On, interviewed Kit in November 2008.
QUESTION 1: Protector’s Honor is a double winner. It won both the Best Unpublished Manuscript Contest and the 2008 Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance. Now you have a contract for publication in September 2009. What has been the most unexpected benefit of these successes?
Actually, I was runner-up in the Best Unpublished Novel Contest, but that was great enough. I was pretty excited last April about my name printed in Richmond Magazine and my $200 winnings. And, now, yes, I just signed a contract with Harlequin Enterprises for this same story, which they are publishing next September in their Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense Line. I suppose my biggest surprise over this last year has been the supportive attitude of other authors, their willingness to answer questions and offer guidance as I take these first steps to becoming published. They’ve been encouraging and positive, always.
QUESTION 2: How long did it take you to write Protector’s Honor, and did you have help along the way?
A: It took me three or four months to write the first draft. Afterward, the manuscript underwent two major revisions, which took another two months with a long break between (as I wrote another story). So, altogether I spent at least a year working on it, off and on. And, help? Yes. I have an indispensable critique partner who’s not afraid to tell me when something doesn’t work. And, my retired parents also don’t mind reading for typos, which I greatly appreciate. Yes. Lots of help.
QUESTION 3: What is your most productive time of day and why is it the best time for you?
I’m a morning person. I love to get in a couple of quiet hours in the AM. But, I also have two young children, so things don’t usually go like that. I often follow them around with my laptop. I’m definitely a mom first and a writer second. There’s not a lot of “me” time which is one of the reasons I choose to write category length fiction. But I suppose my schedule will change a lot in the next few years as my children become school-aged. Hopefully, I’ll gain some more mornings to myself.
QUESTION 4: Any advice for new writers?
Get thee to a conference. This is something I waited too long to do. I’m not sure why. I guess I didn’t see the point until I actually went to one but there is a point. Not only do you get to learn good stuff and meet lots of cool people at these conferences, you also get the opportunity to meet agents and editors and very seasoned writers. It’s important to have these connections and to build these relationships. So go to a conference and when you’re there make the most of it, meet as many people as you can and go to as many classes as you can stand. Take notes. Keep in touch with people afterward.
QUESTION 5: Can you sum up your life in six words?
Mon Dieu, mon amour, mes enfants.