Writing Short! - Kimberly Killion

I’ve always written stories with a lot of characters and when I say a lot of characters, I mean A LOT of characters. In my first book, HER ONE DESIRE, I probably had a cast of 40-50 characters. The same held true in my second book, HIGHLAND DRAGON. I’ve always written a sub plot, or two, or three, or a secondary romance that had a HEA alongside the hero and heroine. I get emails all the time from readers wanting to know if I’m writing Kendrick’s story from HIGHLAND DRAGON, or Smitt’s story from HER ONE DESIRE. As much as I would love to write stories for those characters I also like to dream up new tales.

When I decided to write a short, I was terrified. But I tried it. I tried to stick to the main character’s story, but it just didn’t feel like enough meat to me. Then I was asked to write a story for The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so I wrote a quick little story about a Highland Falconer who set out to save his past love from her abusive husband. HIS MAGICK TOUCH is a short novella that is packed with close to a dozen characters. Sure the focus is on the Keiran and Sorcha, but I think in order to give the reader a lush story there has to be supporting characters.

My other problem with writing short is that I love a good, long, love scene and lots o them. Try writing a fifty page story with a  character arc for both characters, a couple hot steamy love scenes, toss in a secondary characters, an evil villain, a dead grandma, a paranormal element, and a HEA…


I discovered that it can be done in six scenes:


-The dramatic opening (heroine in peril)


-The rescue (the arrogant hero thinks he’s the cat’s meow)


-The struggle (I want him, I want her, kiss)


-The fight (I don’t need him, I want her)


-Realization (I love him, I love her)


-The end (The bad guy is going down…)




And of course, one must weave in lots of sexual tension. Well, at least I do. *wink*


I hope you’ll check out my upcoming release, HIS MAGICK TOUCH, coming January 2011 in The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance.
A wild and passionate highland fling… 

Contemporary  romantic fiction from  bestselling writers set in Scotland and  concerning ever-popular Highlanders  from every historical period. A  collection which ranges widely, including both  contemporary and  historical settings, time travel, ghosts, and plenty of  fantastic and  paranormal elements.

His Magick Touch is a sensual novella set on the Isle of Barra in the 16th century Scotland.

Here’s an excerpt from HIS MAGICK TOUCH to wet your appetite:

    Sorcha decided the Otherworld was blessedly warm and smelled of sweet spices and leather and brine. A gentle to and fro sway rocked her body like a babe in arms. She wiggled slightly, searching for injuries, but nothing hurt, save for a faint pinch in her ribs. Aye, she was definitely dead.
    She remembered falling, remembered her spirit reaching upward toward the white falcon. Mayhap the goddess had taken her spirit before Sorcha’s body hit the rock, saving her from the pain of death. Regardless of how it happened, she felt relieved to be on the other side and free of Hector’s abuse.
    She snuggled deeper into a cocoon of furs and wrapped her arms around the warm body stretched out alongside her.
    Warm body!
    Her eyes snapped open. The warm body belonged to a man—a verra naked man. Her breasts smashed against his finely chiseled chest and the hairs on his thighs tickled hers. She tried to inch away from him, but he circled her small frame with thick-muscled arms.
    “Be still and rest, Sorcha,” he murmured in a deep husky voice then kissed her forehead.
    She sucked in an audible breath and looked up into amber eyes flecked with gold. She recognized those eyes. “I know ye.”
    His smile was familiar as well—crooked with a single dimple set in the right cheek. “Aye. Ye do.”



Now for the questions…


QUESTIONS:  What do you love about reading novellas?  Or, since fairy tales are usually short, what’s your favorite fairy tale?


I’ll be giving away an autographed signed copy of HIGHLAND DRAGON to one lucky commenter.


Thanks Lila for having me on the blog and best of luck to you with your FIERY TALES SERIES!

Thanks so much for being part of the PRINCESS BLOG PARTY, Kimberly! Her giveaway is awesome. HIGHLAND DRAGON is a book you won’t want to miss! Giveaway is for North America *ONLY*.  Comments by those residing outside North America will not count for Kimberly’s giveaway but will count for mine. (See the NOTE in the pink box below for details).  So feel free to join in and comment, regardless of where you live!!

Please indicate if you’re outside North America in your comment.

To win you must:

1. Answer Kimberly’s questions below in your comment.

2. You MUST be a follower/subscriber of Lila DiPasqua’s blog (through Google Friend Connect).

3. You must reside in North America.

4. Winner will be selected from a random commenter on SUNDAY.

NOTE: The more you comment on the posts during the month-long PRINCESS October Blog Party, the more points you earn toward winning a signed copy of the next in the sexy Fiery Tales series, THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED…plus SIGNED copies of Nora Roberts’ BLACK HILLS and Eloisa James’ A DUKE OF HER OWN!

Ways to increase your odds of winning are found at the very bottom of this blog.


  • I won’t be eligible to win this (alas I’m all the way down in Australia but that’s ok the kangaroos keep me company lol) and it would be greedy since I already have a copy of Highland Dragon sitting on my TBR pile!

    I must say that The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance has the best cover out of all the Mammoth bks series!

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  • I’m in for the giveaway. I’m British though, so I’d like to be added to the other draw.

    Sounds like a great read though! Love the cover.

    I’m a follower, although gconnect has issues now and doesn’t remember me at all! I’m there, but merely a blank face with no background at all. Honestly, I could be anybody. LOL


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  • Hello everyone!
    I’m glad to see others awake at this ungodly hour. :)

    Lila, we must rescue Calin from Camille’s TBR pile! Oh, no! Pull him out! Read his story. Ye willnae be disappointed. ;) And I agree with you about the cover of the Mammoth book. It’s really a beautiful image.

    I’ll try to pop in and out today…I’ve gotta sneak off to the day job for a while, but I’ll be around…

  • Well, I have kind of a silly answer but I like the “novella” because I can sometimes finish an entire one in a streetcar ride. The streetcar ride to work is the only time I get to read most days so if I can finish a storey in one sitting I’m very happy!

    I think I just thought of a new fantasy for yesterday’s question. Having the time to read something cover to cover in one sitting! Erotic!!

  • Hi, Kimberly! “His Magick Touch” sounds magically delicious! I find that I am enjoying novellas, anthologies, and short stories more and more as I am expanding my reading horizons. Sometimes the shorter length story line is just the perfect bite for my reading appetite : ) I love “Beauty and the Beast” and “Cinderella”. I have great empathy for both the Beast and Cinderella ; )

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  • Hi Kimberly and Lila,
    I loved Highland Dragon. And I agree that having secondary characters is a very good thing. Seeing the way the hero and heroine interact with these characters also gives yo more of their personalities. And then hopes that another book will come featuring one of those characters. :)
    I started reading more short stories and have enjoyed them because the Author can write about and hit o all points to close the story and you’re left satisfied.
    I enjoyed your post here today Kimberly.
    Carol L.

  • This blog party is a great idea, Lila, and I really enjoyed your post, Kimberley.
    Lots of characters add lots of interest and more than one HEA in a book only makes it better. It’s not possible to have too many HEA’s.:) I loved Highland Dragon and Magick Touch in The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance is on my list.
    Why do I love novellas? Intense romance and magic that I don’t have to put down because novellas can be read in one sitting.

  • Hi Kimberly! Awesome post! I have the opposite problem as you, in that I sometimes need to add characters, or bring them to a larger role in the stories to make it work. But when I do, they take on a life of their own. I love when characters take over. :-D

    Novellas are awesome for those times I can’t read an entire book and they’re doubly delicious because I can read them in one sitting.

    As far as favorite fairy tale, I love them all. Like Lila, I’m adapting some of them. Right now, I have The Nightingale and Rapunzel in the works.

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  • Hi everyone!

    *waves* at Kimberly. Thanks so much for being my guest. That excerpt makes me crazy. I WANT to read that. Under deadline right now which = no spare time. But when I hand in this book, I’m attacking my TBR pile. I just adore Kimberly’s hot Scots. ;)


  • Wow! Ya’ll are an active group here!!

    Virginia said “” sounds magically delicious” I think I’ll use that tagline to promote HIS MAGICK TOUCH! LOL Only one problem, I can’t get the lil green leprechaun out of my head.

    Carol & Carolyn, I’m glad you enjoyed HIGHLAND DRAGON. That book was the book of my heart and I loved each and every character I developed.

    Noelle, I agree that some characters can take over and then you find yourself wanting to follow. That damn Smitt in my first book was a hot little piece of male to play with, but he constantly led me astray. ;)

    Thanks, Lila! I love doing two things in my openers: 1) Putting the heroine in peril and 2) Putting her in the arms of a nekkid man. LOL

  • Hi Camille–great to see you, hon! And I agree, that cover is gorgeous.

    Hi Sassy Brit–Welcome to the Princess party! Sorry GFC is giving you a hard time. I *think* it’s okay now. Glad you’re here. :)

    Hi Kathy–Love the fantasy! :)

    Hi Virginia–Yay! You’re answer makes me very happy. THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED is a collection of 3 classic fairy tales, (scandalously retold, of course). I just adore anthologies. Not because I’ve written 2. I honestly have many. As Carolyn says so eloquently, “It’s not possible to have too many HEA’s”. Thanks for being part of the countdown party!

    Hi Carol, You’re absolutely spot-on with your comment about secondary characters! Great comment. :)

    Hi Carolyn, Love your reasons for liking a novella/anthology!! Nicely put!

    Hi Noelle! Yay! You’re doing your own retelling of fairy tales! That’s awesome! I have a Rapunzel story on the back burner for now. I just love that tale!! Best of luck with your stories!

    Hugs all!

  • @ Kimberly—1) Putting the heroine in peril and 2) Putting her in the arms of a nekkid man.>>>>Can’t ever go wrong with that! :)

  • I live in England so i can’t win this one but i like Novellas becuas they are so short and i can devour 3 in one day :)
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  • Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for stopping by. I like your answer. ;) By the way, I was just in England. I loved it!


  • London i imagine? That’s were most people go and i have never been!!!

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    Fav fairytale is Beauty & the Beast
    I love novellas cause they are a faster read cause they are shorter. And I am a slower reader so this good. LOL.
    Sue B

  • Hi Kimberly and Lila,
    Loving the blog giveaway so far Lila. I like novellas because I can just read one or two whenever I want. It’s like a quick fix. If I am running short on time I can pick one up and be finished with it quickly.

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  • I love the shorter stories because everything is more intense–the emotions, the suspense–to be fit into the shorter format. Authors do more with the less they’re given because they want to leave a bigger impact. I also like discovering new authors via anthologies. You get a nice mix of established and new authors.

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  • Hi, Kimberly! I like reading anthologies; it’s one way for me to find new-to-me authors. Also, novellas are great for those times when I can’t settle in for hours to read.

    As for fairy tales, I like Puss in Boots – do a good deed and the cat will help you.

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  • Hi Kimberly!

    I like to know the ending right away so novellas are perfect. My favorite is Beauty and the Beast! Also like the beauty and the beast themes in historical romances. Elizabeth Hoyt’s fairy tales are also great!

    Google follower!


  • Hi Kimberly. What I like about novellas is you can try a new to you author and see if you like their work and on busy days you can still get your romance fix by reading a novella.
    I am a follower.


  • Maria S.

    Hi Kimberly and Lila. What a great post!

    What I like about novellas is that they are a quick read for someone like me who doesn’t have a lot of time but enjoys a good romance and more so if they are filled with spicy content.

    Maria S.

  • ok what i like about Novella’s is what i also don’t like about Novella’s There short. Yes i like to squeeze a little taste of a series i’m enjoying in a Novella but then when it’s over i’m wishing it was a longer whole story. The other thing i like about novella’s is you usually do not know all the authors so you get a chance to sample a new authors material. If you do know them all all the better because you get a little extra from all of them.

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  • I’m so glad to hear novellas are so loved. I’ve had a few readers not happy with me lately when I tell them my next release is a novella. They whine because they want the thick lush 400 page book.

    So, yay for novellas!!!

  • I like novellas because they pack enough interest to be considered good stories, but they’re no so long as I get bored with them as soon as I’m halfway into it! I find myself thinking “How much do I have left to read?” when I’m in the middle of a lengthy novel…and that takes away from the pleasure of the book!

    Have a fantastic rest of the week!
    (Google follower)

  • Pam S (pams00)

    I really enjoyed the post – ty for sharing your thoughts on what key points are in a great short.

    I love novellas. They are great when I have shorter time to read. I don’t have to put it down until the end ;).

    Hmm Favorite fairy tales are Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast – lol even as a child I was attracted to bad boys…

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  • Popping in say hi to two of my favorite authors.

    Kimberly — I’m really looking forward to The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance. Who doesn’t want a mammoth Scotsman??? ;-)

    What do I love about novellas? The ease of reading a satisfying love story in a short amount of time (like waiting in my child’s school car line or at the doctor’s office, etc.).

    Hugs to you both!

  • I like novellas, because some times I’m just in the mood for a shorter story. My favorite fairytale is Beauty and the Beast.
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  • Novellas are great when it is a busy time and I don’t have any large chunks of time to read. My favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast.

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  • Hi everyone!

    As an author with my second single-author anthology about to be released, I may be a tad bias here, but I love them because I can give readers 3 hot heroes, 3 strong, smart heroines, and 3 lush steamy love stories — in one book! :)

    Yay for anthologies and fairy tales! *smiles*

  • @ Elizabeth—Yes, beautiful London, also, Brighton, Bath–to name a few. Great trip! :)

    @ Buffie–Aww, thanks so much, dear Buffie! And thanks for stopping by. :) I just adore The Romance Dish &– you, PJ, Gannon and Andrea–the fabulous ladies who host it. :) I’m so glad I had the privilege to met you in person. Hugs!!

  • Victoria

    Hi, Kimberly! What a beautiful photo of you with the plaid sash. (Took me a minute to notice with the men in the covers surrounding you. lol)
    I love novellas because you get to devour the heart of the romance in a short time. That said, I’ll take any long lush stories of Scotsmen you put out. Can’t wait to read His Magick Touch!

  • I don’t prefer one or the other but I do read many short stories. THey can be refreshing, and as interesting as a longer one. Actually I admire an author that can create a good short story since there is not much “space” to explain every thing.
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  • I like short stories because they add details to a series. It also allows me to get a small sample of work from new authors. Thanks for the giveaway.
    I’m a follower.

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  • Anonymous

    Novellas are great for when there isn’t much time. I hate having to put a book down in the middle of the story, especially if I am really captivated!!!

    in Germany

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    Carol L.

  • Hi Kimberly,
    What I love about reading novellas is the all the drama in the beginning and middle of the story along with the HEA ending. As if I don’t have enough drama in my life (LOL), but I love knowing that at the end of the novella there is a happy ending for someone. I love how you broke down those six scenes and they are so true about alot of the books I’ve read. You’d think I would get tired of reading books with those same qualities but I don’t.

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  • I like novellas because they are a great way to introduce me to new authors.

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