Deadly Darling: Kylie Brant
Posted by Carey Baldwin
The first time I met Kylie Brant I was struck by how friendly and sweet she was. It didn’t surprise me to learn she was a teacher, because she was so smart and nice. It didn’t surprise me to learn she wrote romance because we were at a romance writers’ conference . But what did surprise me was to learn that behind this lovely, kind, and fun woman lurked the devious mind behind some truly twisted and sexy suspense. Her books are dark, fantastic, and wildly popular. But I won’t spoil the story. I’ll let her tell it herself. Please help me welcome the fabulous Kylie Brant!
Carey: Kylie, you and I have some things in common. You live in an old Victorian—I wish I lived in an old Victorian. You write ten pages a day—I wish I wrote ten pages a day. See how much we have in common?
Kylie: You’re too funny . During the school year my only days to write are the weekends, so those ten page days don’t add up very fast!
Carey: I’m truly amazed by the balancing act you manage. I know you have a very rewarding and demanding day job and a wonderful family. Before we talk about your writing, can you tell us a little about your work and family life?
Kylie: I have five kids—four boys and a girl. Men and women now, actually. But when I started writing my kids were 12, 11, 7, 4 and 4. So I had to learn to write amidst chaos. That was the natural state of things around here, back in the day!
I’m also a special education teacher, working with students with learning and behavior problems. It’s challenging, incredibly rewarding and never ever boring.
Carey: Incredible, that with all those demands, you have managed to write twenty-five romantic suspense books for Silhouette and six dark romantic thrillers for Berkeley. I know you think I’m going to ask about those series (and I am) but first I want to know…what are those Harlequin parties really like?
Kylie: They’re the best party in town at RWA, hands down. Some might rave about their decadent dessert tables, but I’m more a fan of the open bar and dancing <g>.
Kylie: I always say I started writing because my favorite writers couldn’t write fast enough to keep me in reading material. The Romantic Suspense line got its start as Intimate Moments, and I cut my teeth on early books by Linda Howard, Erin St. Claire (Sandra Brown) and Elizabeth Lowell. When I decided to try my hand at writing I wrote the kind of book I liked to read…emotional with a good suspense to go along with the romance. I was lucky enough to sell the first book I wrote, but it went through several revisions first.
I wrote several series for Silhouette. My favorite was probably the Alpha Squad SWAT trilogy, if for no other reason than I loved the research for it.
Carey: Kylie, what inspired you to write your fabulous Berkley Mind Hunters series? How do you write so authentically and wonderfully about a subject that is far from your life experiences?
Kylie: So you’re assuming that my personal experience doesn’t include planning serial murder and de-fleshing skeletal remains? Glad I get the benefit of the doubt . My husband always says if something happens to him the cops should first look at my extensive research library, LOL.
I love dark suspense with lots of twists and turns. And despite my absolute lack of knowledge regarding anything the least bit interesting I am quite adept at research. I find forensics, with all its myriad sub-categories, endlessly fascinating. I’ve been fortunate enough to find experts to help me with the plot-driven details needed for my stories.
Although I’ve never been a fan of the CSI shows (they’re factually inaccurate), I do love a good cop/detective story. I’m on a lot of loops with law enforcement types and they all agree that there are no perfect crimes, just limited time and resources for the police. So I began wondering what would happen if the law did have infinite time and resources on their side…add in cool forensic experts and The Mindhunters were born.
Carey: Does the reader need to start with book one, WAKING NIGHTMARE? Or can they start anywhere in the Mind Hunters series, which includes WAKING EVIL, WAKING THE DEAD, DEADLY INTENT, DEADLY DREAMS, and DEADLY SINS?
Kylie: I’m told the books stand alone well. They’re tied together because the characters work for the same company, and their enigmatic boss, Adam Raiker, appears in each. The Deadly series does have an over-arching suspense plot involving Raiker, and probably is a bit more interwoven than the first three.
Carey: Can you choose one of heroes and one of your heroines from the Mind Hunters and tell us what makes them tick?
Kylie: I was surprised by the amount of reader mail I got from the very beginning on Adam Raiker. When I began the series I never intended that he’d be more than a secondary character who comes in at the end of each book. But readers (and my editor!) demanded that he get his own story (Deadly Sins).
Raiker is a legendary former FBI profiler who was caught by the child killer he was trailing and kept for days and tortured. He ended up escaping and killing the villain, but he’s disfigured by the incident. He wears a patch over his lost eye, has scars across his throat and hands, and nearly lost a leg, so he walks with a cane. He’s tenacious, a bit irascible and ferocious when cornered. He’s also carrying a torch for the woman he loved—and lost—seven years earlier.
Carey: I heard a rumor that you have a new series coming out in 2013. Can you tell us about Circle of Evil?
Kylie: Circle of Evil is a dark romantic suspense trilogy I’m going to be self-publishing, beginning in May. The three books take place in Iowa and follow characters working for the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation. Although each book will feature a different hero and heroine, the suspense plot will be inter-linking throughout the three books.
Chasing Evil begins when DCI agent Cam Prescott discovers that someone has been burying bodies atop recently dug graves in small county cemeteries. Each of the victims has been horribly tortured…and each is numbered. Touching Evil will be available in October and Facing Evil in 2014. The books will be available in both print and digital.
Carey: Oooh! Sounds positively…EVIL. Beyond your next series, we’re all curious to know what your plans are. What’s in store for Kylie Brant fans?
Kylie: In addition to my new series, I have a couple straight suspense projects currently being considered by publishers. Hope to have some news soon!
Carey: We look forward to hearing that news and please come back and share it with us! Thank you so much for being here today. I know our readers have comments and questions for you, so I’ll open it up to them now.
Kylie is a midwestern school teacher with a secret life writing dark, sexy, suspense. Do you have a secret life, or is there something most people would never guess about you? One lucky commenter will win a copy of DEADLY SINS – your choice of print or e-book!
To learn more about Kylie visit her at KylieBrant.com