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Monday, November 8, 2010

Interview with Kylie Brant

I’m very excited to have fellow suspense author Kylie Brant joining us today. Kylie is the author of thirty-one romantic suspense novels for Silhouette and Berkley. She’s a three-time Rita finalist and has been nominated for five Romantic Times magazine awards, including a win for Career Achievement. She’s the recipient of two Daphne du Maurier awards for mystery and suspense. Brant’s books have been published in twenty-five countries and translated into fifteen languages.


[Anne] When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer, Kylie?

[Kylie] Writing always came easily to me but it wasn’t until I began reading contemporary romances that I was inspired to write. Authors like Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Elizabeth Lowell and Jayne Anne Krentz couldn’t write fast enough to keep me in reading material every month, so one day I decided to try my own hand at it. I began writing in 1990 and two years later I sold my first two manuscripts to Silhouette.

[Anne] Tell us about your latest book.

[Kylie] Deadly Intent is book four in The Mindhunters series. The books are loosely connected, as the main characters all work for the same company. Forensic linguist Macy Reid pairs with fellow investigator Kellan Burke as they race the clock to find an abducted eleven-year-old girl before the kidnapper follows through on his threats.

[Anne] This sounds like a story right up my alley. What inspired you to write this story?

[Kylie] Originally the book was entitled Deadly Fear, because the abduction of a child encompasses a parent’s worst nightmare. Ellie Mulder, the abducted child in the story has been kidnapped—for a second time. I wanted to delve into that fear, but what I found in the character of Ellie Mulder surprised me. She’s much more than a victim, and her experiences help her heal and find some closure from her past. The way she handles her experience serves as an example to the heroine, Macy Reid, who suffered a similar experience in her past.

[Anne] How did you go about researching your book?

[Kylie] I always talk to experts about specific plot points in my books and this time was no different. I spent a lot of time communicating with a national expert on forensic linguistics, an assistant director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, a mask maker…and a forensic doctor about how long a severed thumb will ‘keep’.

[Anne] Do you have anything new in the works?

[Kylie] Deadly Dreams is book 5 of The Mindhunters and is released in April. Deadly Sins follows in August.

[Anne] What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

[Kylie] I much prefer the term ‘organic writer’ :-). No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t force myself to outline. When I begin I know the characters very well; the overarching suspense plot, the conflict and I have a few scenes planned out. It makes it a bit difficult sometimes, especially in the first half of the book. It’s like ‘writing in the mist’. I have a general idea of where I’m going but the landmarks are fuzzy . But I like to be surprised in the story. It keeps it fresh for me. I’m afraid if I plotted it beforehand I’d feel like I’d already written it. I can’t stand being bored when I write.

[Anne] I totally agree, Kylie! I love those surprises our characters throw at us. Okay, If you could be anyone of your characters, which one would you chose to be and why?

[Kylie] I’m still intrigued by Macy Reid, the heroine of Deadly Intent. Rather than dwelling on a traumatic incident in her childhood she grew up to be a strong independent woman dedicated to catching the sorts of criminals that victimized her family. But her resolve is tested when, in the course of following up on a lead in the story she must confront the man who kidnapped her when she was eight. I find that depth of character admirable.

[Anne] Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

[Kylie] Hmm, dreaming here! I’m going to keep it pretty simple. I’d like to set my next trilogy in Savannah, GA and have already made some contacts there from a previous book. I’d like to spend a couple weeks and do all the touristy things before visiting the crime lab there and talking to people who can give me thorough history lessons of the area. I’ve always found that location fascinating.

[Anne] You’ve just been informed that your latest release was a NY Times bestseller and Hollywood wants to turn it into a movie. What actors would you choose to play your main characters?

[Kylie] I’m terrible at these sorts of questions, LOL, because I don’t ‘see’ my characters so much as ‘know’ them. What they think, what shaped them, who they are. But for Macy Reid I’m thinking Selma Hayek and for Kellan Burke a younger (green-eyed) Ewan McGregor.

[Anne] Well you did good! I love your choices. What type of books do you like to read when you’re not writing?

[Kylie] I love straight psychological suspense and complex romantic suspense stories.

[Anne] Name three things you can’t live without (excluding spouses and family because that’s a given).

[Kylie] Diet Coke, Skittles and the Internet :-).

[Anne] What advice would you give to any aspiring writers out there?

[Kylie] Finish the book. I’m appalled by the number of people I know who get invitations to submit and then never follow through on them. It’s easy to be tempted by the shiny promise of a new story, one that promises to be perfect…easy to write, a future award winner, etc. But writers write the whole book. They can’t quit when they get to the sagging middle, or when they hit plot problems. They write the story to the end and they do it by deadline. Once one has moved from novice writer to intermediate level they really need to finish manuscripts because they’ll learn more by going through that process, from start to finish, then by starting and stopping several works in succession.

[Anne] Great advice, Kylie! Where can we find you on the web?

[Kylie] Oh, I’m everywhere, LOL. My website is www.kyliebrant.com

Find my ten author blog at ridingwiththetopdown.blogspot.com

Facebook url: http://www.facebook.com/kyliebrant1

I’m also on Twitter.

[Anne] Where can we purchase your books?

[Kylie] Deadly Intent was released November 2 and can be found in bookstores everywhere!

[Anne] Is there anything else you’d like to add?

[Kylie] Thanks for having me! Readers can contact me at kylie@kyliebrant.com

Thanks for the interview, Kylie. I wish you continued success in your writing career. Folks, be sure to drop back by Friday as Kylie will be sharing a writing tip with us too. Until then, enjoy your week!


Anne

15 comments:

Miss Mae said...

Hi Kylie!

Your books sound chilling. I absolutely can not imagine any worse fear than having your child kidnapped! *shudder*

Congrats on all your wonderful successes, and I agree that a writer must follow through the entire book and FINISH writing it! It takes discipline, but "gettin' 'er done" is a must!

And oh, as one who has lived in Savannah, GA, please don't forget to mention the natives of the area...I mean the palmetto bugs, sand gnats, alligators, and the blood thirsty painful mosquitoes! LOL

Wonderful post today! :)

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Kylie and Anne,
What an intereting interview.I'm defintely curious about the kidnapping and scared for the victim. I can see why you'd like to write in Savannah, lots of history and opportunity there.
As Miss Mae says though, watch out for the mosquitoes in the summer. Perhaps, a late fall or early spring visit. Congratulations on all of your success.

KylieBrant said...

Thanks for the tip, Miss Mae! That would certainly add realism to the story!

KylieBrant said...

Hi Gail--what's the weather like right after Christmas? Other wise I have to wait until summer...and I figure it'll be beastly warm by then!

Anne Patrick said...

Hello ladies!
Sounds like you have some nasty natives, MM. I bet if you gave them some of your grandpappy's special lemonade they wouldn't bother you nearly as much. LOL.

Thanks for dropping by!

Miss Mae said...

Ha ha, they loved me, Anne! LOL

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Kylie,
We've visited quite a bit in the early spring. But I believe judging from that area of Georgia, soon after Christmas Savannah would probably have low's in the 50's and highs in the high 60's, maybe 70. I think it would be pleasant.

KylieBrant said...

Gail, it would certainly be nicer than 20s in Iowa!

Danielle Thorne said...

Hi Kylie, great interview. Love your back story and have to agree--Savannah is a WONDERFUL place. I hope you find your way there--and make sure you check out THE PIRATE HOUSE restaurant!

Another great interview, Anne--thank you for sharing. Good luck to both of you and many, many sales!

Anne Patrick said...

LOL. Miss Mae, I thought so! Them skeeters probably come from all over for a taste of grandpappy's special recipe.

Anne Patrick said...

Hi Danielle,
The PIRATE HOUSE restaurant sounds like an interesting place to eat. And you can't beat 50 - 70 degree weather around Christmas. Forget Arizona, I think I wanna move to Georgia :-).

KylieBrant said...

Danielle--I've heard of that restaurant! It's definitely a must-see!

Diane Craver said...

Hi Kylie,
I'm so impressed by all your successes as a published writer. Congrats on all your awards.

I love the term 'organic writer' for your writing process. We went to Savannah once and it's full of charm.

Great interview, Anne and Kylie!

Gina said...

Kylie and Anne, this was a great interview! Really good advice, too about finishing the book. Good luck on your books.

Anne Patrick said...

Hi Diane & Gina,
Thanks so much for dropping by in support of Kylie!

Hugs!
Anne