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Kylie Brant swings with some words and a giveaway...

November 3, 2009
Today I'd like to welcome author Kylie Brant to drey's library! She has so very kindly taken the time to answer some questions, read on!

kylie brant
drey: Hello Kylie! Thank you for stopping by, and for taking the time to answer some questions for us. Welcome to drey's library!

Kylie: Thanks for the invite, Drey! It's great to be here!

drey: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? What got you started?

Kylie: Although I've been an avid reader all my life, it didn't occur to me to try writing until my kids were 12, 11, 7, 4 and 4. I began out of sheer desperation--my favorite writers couldn't write fast enough to keep me in reading material. I decided one summer I'd write a book and that spawned a career that's lasted...gulp...nearly twenty years. In retrospect, I think part of the reason though was that it allowed me to spend hours in a room by myself. =) Quiet wasn't the normal course of affairs at our house when the kids were home!

drey: What was your first sale experience?

Kylie: Usually it takes very strong margaritas to get me to tell my first sale story. (How about some virtual margaritas?) After all these years it still makes me wince at my ignorance. But I started writing before the Internet made it so easy to network with other writers. I didn’t belong to any writing groups or know anyone else who was writing. I just decided one summer I was going to write a book.

After a few months, I deemed it ‘ready’ and opened up the cover of my favorite books (Silhouette Intimate Moments) to see where to send it. I got the phone number for the company in New York and called to tell the receptionist I had a book I wanted to send in and asked how to go about it. =)

She huffily informed me that they didn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. I had no idea what that meant, but could tell from her tone that it was a bad thing. She finally gave a long-suffering sigh and told me about tip sheets and query letters. I queried and got an invite to submit and sent it in.

I figured I’d hear in about six weeks. Four months later I got a two-page rejection letter from a senior editor detailing the work’s strengths and weaknesses and inviting me to revise and resubmit. I did, but I’d wised up a little. This time when I sent that first manuscript in, I immediately started another. That was lucky because this time it took six months to get yet another two page rejection letter. Manuscript two had been submitted, so I revised the first yet again and sent it in, too.

When Silhouette called I was actually home from bed with laryngitis. Leslie Wainger’s (then senior editor of Intimate Moments) assistant called. She said she was just tracking down my contact information because—AHEM—I had neglected to include it with my manuscript. She went on to say that she was quite excited because she’d found me in the slush pile. I had no idea what that was, but thought she said flush pile, and that didn’t sound good! She told me Leslie was reading the manuscript as we spoke and that she’d be calling me later.

After we hung up, I started to wonder if I’d dreamed it. Maybe it had just been a Vicks Vapor Rub induced hallucination! But Leslie did call a couple of hours later and make an offer on manuscript two. She asked if I had any other works and I told her I had another in their offices. A couple months later she bought manuscript one, as well. So while I can claim to have sold the first book I wrote, it did go through some extensive surgeries first. =)

drey: What inspires your writing?

Kylie: I love straight thrillers and psychological suspense novels/movies, as well as romantic suspense. My plots are a meld of news stories and the constant 'what if' my mind is always going through when I read/hear something that intrigues me. I also love learning about crime and forensics, and they are both prominent in my stories.

drey: When and why did you decide to meld romance with a thriller?

Kylie: Although I love the Silhouette Romantic Suspense line, as it grew shorter and shorter I struggled more and more to create a complex suspense plot. I actually had the idea to write a romantic thriller a few years before I acted on it. It meant stepping away from deadlines for Silhouette to write a book on spec. I wrote Waking Nightmare in 2006-07 and then went back to contract with Silhouette while I shopped it around. I ended up selling a trilogy to Silhouette a few months before selling The Mindhunters series to Berkley. So then I had four books to deliver in seventeen months...a pretty brutal schedule while I was teaching full time! (No kidding!! I'm amazed!)

drey: The heroines of your Mindhunters series are all strong, yet have emotional baggage from their past. Was this a conscious decision?

Kylie: We're all a compilation of our experiences and backgrounds and those figure into our motivations and perceptions. So it goes to figure that those people who are struggling to overcome something in their life make for a lot more interesting characters than, say, I would. =) So yes, I consciously shaped characters whose strength was melded by incidents in their pasts...and their background provides an obstacle to their future. Can they put the past to rest to earn their happily ever after?

drey: What's next for the Mindhunters? Are there more books? Will there be one with the boss--Adam Raiker?

Kylie: I'm currently writing book four in the series, Deadly Fear. Adam's story will be the last book in this trilogy, and there's an overarching suspense plot that links the books together. (Heh. Am I good or what??)

drey: Do you like to read? If so, what are some of your favorite books and/or authors?

Kylie: My writing time comes from what used to be my reading time, so I no longer get to read as much as I like. My favorite authors are Cindy Gerard, Tami Hoag, Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts / JD Robb, Lee Child, Robert Crais and Kyle Mills.

drey: What do you like to indulge in, when not writing?

Kylie: I enjoy reading, traveling, hanging out with family and friends and flower gardening.

And, to finish off, the Proust-lite:
  1. What is your idea of earthly happiness? Today was a good example! It was a college football day so we spent it tailgating with family and friends. It was a beautiful day to be outside and I just like being around my favorite people :)

  2. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? I've often said that my idea of hell is being chained to a sewing machine throughout all eternity =)

  3. Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in fiction? I love Eve Dallas, the recurring heroine in the JD Robb books. She's an ideal example of a flawed heroine who has endured a past emotional trauma that continues to impact her perceptions and reactions to people. It's a pleasure to watch her evolve and adapt as she learns to trust the hero in the series, as well as her friends.

  4. Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in real life? Oh, that would be my mom. She was my role model in every way. I also had two grandmothers who were quite strong women for their time.

  5. What sound do you love? I'm a sucker for Christmas carols. =) I love everything about the season and have been known to take my CDs to school to listen to, because my family gets sick of hearing them!

  6. What sound do you hate? The alarm in the morning. To say I'm not a morning person is putting it charitably.

  7. The quality you admire most in a man? A sense of humor. That's one of the things that drew me to my husband, all those years ago. Some of his lines have found their way into my books over the years.

  8. The quality you admire most in a woman? Strength and intelligence. I have little tolerance for women who become doormats to the people in their lives.

  9. If not a writer, you would be a ... since I'm also an elementary special education teacher that's an easy one.

  10. What is your favorite swear word? F*ck a duck.

drey: Thank you for your time, Kylie! I really appreciate this!

And now, you lucky ducks, pay attention... Kylie's giving away a copy of her latest Mindhunters release, Waking the Dead. This one's open everywhere--there's a print copy for a US/Canada winner, or an electronic copy to an international winner.

-- Contest is open internationally (see above)!
-- To enter, comment and share: Do you want to read Kylie's Mindhunters series, and why?
-- Follow for 1 extra entry.
-- Share for 2 extra entries (let me know what & where, please).
-- Do it all before 6:00 pm CST November 16th. Good luck!


Marjorie/cenya2 said...

A super giveaway, please count me
I follow by google reader.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

rubynreba said...

I would like to read this. Your interview shows me that it would be very good.

chey said...

I want to read the Mindhunters. I've been checking out interviews and excerpts and it sounds like a great series.

I follow by yahoo reader

chey127 at hotmail dot com

tetewa said...

I'm always looking for new authors and series to read!

Anonymous said...

I've never read Kylie's work. Based on the interview, I'd love to start with the series.


Anonymous said...

I'm an email subscriber.


CrystalGB said...

Great interview. Kylie's series sounds good.

I am a follower.


KR said...

Romance plus thriller! I'd love it.


KR said...

I follow


clenna said...

Your review sold me - I'd really like to read the series - it sounds exciting - I love forensic science.

clenna at aol dot com

Chelsea B. said...

Great interview! I've heard really good things about this series! And I love suspence/romance, so that's enough to make me want to read these books! :)

Martha Lawson said...

Great post.. Yes, I want to finish the Mindhunter series. I've read the first book, not the others.. Waiting on going to the bookstore to pick up the others..

I am a follower.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

enyl said...

Every review that I've read about The Mind Hunters series promises that each story is full of twist and suprises. I like to try to solve the mysteries before the end of the book. I also have a keen intrest in forensic anthropology and frensic psychology.

enyl said...

I'm a follower.

Sheila Deeth said...

The combination of emotional baggage and strong always attracts me to a book. I'd love to read these. And I enjoyed the interview, especially how you began serious writing.

I follow.
sdeeth at msn dot com

DarcyO said...

I love a good thriller. Please include me.

+1 follower

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

donnas said...

Great giveaway. This sounds like a great series and I cant wait to read it. All I need to do is find a copy of the first book!

Already a follower.

Linked on sidebar here:

bacchus76 at myself dot com

annies home said...

I would love to read this book sounds awesome

Bleuette said...

These books sound great, I love good thrillers.

+1 Followed your blog.

Mariee said...

Romantic suspense is one of my favorite genres. And I have heard a lot of good things about this series.

I follow with Google Reader.


kalynnick said...

I want to read Kylie's Mindhunters series because it sounds good.

kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

Nicole said...

I would like to read the Mindhunter's series because I enjoy this genre.

+1 follower

Karen H said...

I would like to read the Mindhunters because 1) I've never read Kylie's work and 2) the books sound exciting.

kkhaas at bellsouth dot net

Karen H said...

+1 I am already a follower

kkhaas at bellsouth dot net

s7anna said...

I've been hearing great things about this series. It's already on my TBB pile (to be bought). It would be great if I won a'd make it doubly sweet.
I am also following your blog.

Happy Reading
Anna Shah Hoque

Maureen said...

I enjoy romantic suspense and the book looks good.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Maureen said...

I am a follower.

mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Lady_Graeye said...

Another great interview! I love Kylie's books!
I am a follower

Unknown said...

I haven't read any in the series, but from the description, I'm adding it to my list to check out.

kolists a/t gmail d\t com

Unknown said...

I'm a follower.

kolists a/t gmail d\t com

Jaime said...

The series sounds great, would love to read it
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Anita Yancey said...

I would like to read the Mindhunter series, because I'd like to find out about Adam's story. It sounds great. Please enter me. Thanks!


Gwen! said...

This one looks great!

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