I am excited to welcome Wilhelmina Stolen to the BookEnds team!
Wilhelmina and I connected through her query in my slush pile. I fell in love with her cowboys and southern sass. I felt like I was on their ranch while reading and by the end wanted to go horseback riding with them.
Hope you enjoy learning more about Wilhelmina!
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
After I plan a book I know how long it will take me to write it and am able to set daily word goals. I start my day at 6:00 a.m. with a cup of coffee and breakfast with my husband. Then I take a walk and settle in to write. I write five days a week, six to eight hours a day, in my office or if it’s a warm day, on my laptop outside.
Do you have any writing rituals? (e.g. burning a candle if you’re having trouble getting started at the computer or writing longhand first if you’re feeling uninspired.)
I keep the wax warmer in my office filled with calming scents and I have a window that lets in plenty of natural light. For the winter months when it gets darker quicker, I have lamps that create a cozy writing atmosphere. My dogs, Molly and Maggie are always at my feet and help remind me when it’s time to take a break.
What do you love about writing Contemporary Romance?
Everything. I love the satisfaction that comes with knowing I’ve written characters that are relatable, strong and flawed. I love the comradery of the industry and genre. I enjoy meeting people, attending book signings, conferences and talking with people who have a passion for reading and writing romance.
Why did you choose the genre you’ve chosen?
I read my first Diana Palmer book when I was fifteen and from that moment on, I was in love with cowboys. The next year, my family and I moved to Texas. I went to my first rodeo and was hooked. So, when I started writing romance seriously, I knew I had to write cowboy romance. Oh, and about those Diana Palmer books… I named my sons after characters in the Long Tall Texan series.
What is the hardest part about writing Contemporary Romance?
I can devour a 300-page book in a day when I have time and so can other diehard romance readers. So, for me, the hardest part of writing is keeping my readers supplied with the next story.
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
My husband and I own a small farm. So, when I’m not writing, I’m outside gardening, fencing, or tending to my animals. I’m also an amateur photographer. Odds are, if I’m outside, I’m snapping pictures as I work.
Do you belong to any writing organizations?
I’ve been a member of the Romance Writers of America since 2011.
What’s the last book you read?
I’ve just started Stone Cold Cowboy by Jennifer Ryan.
Plotter or pantster?
I like knowing the where, what and when’s of the story before I start writing. Plotting is the only way I can be productive and write more than one book a year.
Synopses, love them or hate ‘em?
Plotting makes writing a synopsis easier, but I never enjoy sitting down to write one. I compare it to having a root canal without the Novocain.
Do you have a writing playlist or a vision board? If so, what’s on them?
I’m a visual person. So, Pinterest helps feed my imagination for characters, setting and sometimes, the plot. I also create playlists on Spotify.
Drink of choice when writing? When not writing?
Coffee in the mornings, ice green tea throughout the day and Macha Green Tea before bed. Occasionally, I treat myself to a glass of red wine and cheesecake.
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
Believe in yourself. Believe in your writing. Don’t take refusals personally. Be persistent. Don’t give up. Keep writing. Write every day. Don’t second guess yourself. Trust your gut. Chin up. Don’t forget to breathe. Your day will come.