Deadly Darling: Kylie Brant

bio_pic2The 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>.

Carey: Now that we’ve got the important stuff covered, how did you begin writing for Harlequin? Do you have a favorite from among your Silhouette series?cover_012009

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.cover_092009

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!deadly_sins

To learn more about Kylie visit her at KylieBrant.com

About Carey Baldwin

Carey Baldwin is a mild-mannered doctor by day and an award winning author of edgy suspense by night.

Posted on March 5, 2013, in Author Interview, Carey Baldwin and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. Ooooh, cannot wait for the CIRCLE OF EVIL trilogy! 2013 is shaping up to be a most excellent reading year… as soon as I finish writing that pesky dissertation, haha.

    I have no secret life (unless you count world traveller and avid scuba diver in addition to being a doctoral student/scientist-in-training!), but people tend to be surprised that despite my rather-unimpressive just-under-5’4″-115lb physique, I can kick ass & take names. Guess all that time doing Krav Maga pays off! 🙂

    • LOL. I’m pretty sure I’d count ‘world traveller, scuba diver, and doctoral student’ , Cris! I really need to check out this Krav Maga, ’cause I’d love to be able to kick ass and take names. Thanks for commenting!

    • Don’t sell yourself short, Cris. Writing a dissertation and in your spare time ‘kicking ass and taking names’? That’s a secret life. 🙂

  2. It must be exciting to have a secret life which I do not have. People are surprised when they find out my husband and I work together.

    • Maureen I worked together with my first husband, and that was actually the best part of our relationship 🙂 . Now I wish I had that much time to be together with my current (and last!) husband. Thanks for commenting!

  3. My only secret life would be in the books I write, but since I have an agent and some lovely CPs and sisters willing to beta read, I don’t know how secret it is!
    I did notice two of your five children were twins–I have a set of boy/girl twins who just turned thirteen. I still think thirteen is easier than four. LOL.
    I am really looking forward to your next series. Circle of Evil is a great title!

  4. I’m afraid all the really good secrets are left to the characters in my books. I enjoyed this interview so much. Thank you for stopping by. I can’t wait to add your books to my TBR pile.
    Hugs.

  5. Kylie, I’m interested to see that you write “dark,” sexy RS. Did you have trouble publishing those? any pushback from readers following you from earlier works? is it the subjects that are dark or the writing itself, or a combo? Just curious, as I am told I write “dark.”
    Can’t wait to try your Mindhunters series–sounds awesome!
    Best,
    Jenna Blue

    • Well, if people are telling you that you write dark, what do they mean? Plot or writing style? Thanks for commenting today, Jenna~
      welcome.

      • Hi Sarah! Apparently it’s both—A very visual writing style with some heavy subject matter, at least in the first RS ms. In my newest RS WIP, I’ve tried to rein it in a bit for a better chance (hopefully) at getting it picked up.
        Thanks!

        • Jenna I feel your pain. But one minute “they” say dark and gritty sells, and the next you need to lighten up. I think you simply have to write your best book. We’ll all keep our appendages crossed for you.

          • Agree entirely, Carey! Best book, and also, what the storyline calls for. The first one is simply dark, period, and yet perfectly appropriate and right for that story & those characters. Agent & I discussed and both feel it’d be a mistake to dilute it…This new story is naturally less dark, so I’ll just do my best writing while I wait and keep on keepin’ on!
            Thanks for bringing Kylie on!
            And thanks for the well wishes!

  6. Kylie, thanks for being here today. I admit I’ve never read your books, but after reading Carey’s interview I’m convinced you may become my new favorite author. I love dark romantic suspense and wounded heroes – like Raiker. Is there one book you recommend above all others if I want a taste of your writing? (As for my secret life, well, it’s secret!)

  7. Kylie, welcome to Kiss and Thrill! Your books sound fantastic!

    No secret life for me, but I have taken an event from my past and fictionalized it – making it far more exciting, mysterious, and dangerous than it really was.

  8. Sadly, the only secret life I have is living through my characters. But there was this one 7-day cruise back when I was 23 and didn’t tell anyone where I was from or my last name…

  9. Kylie, your books sound wonderful and your output is astounding. Great to meet you. Writers have Huge secret lives…after all, we live through the adventures of our characters, even the villains! Can’t hurt anyone, but presents a wild ride. Yippee!

  10. My first husband and I were secretly married. I guess that counts!

  11. Welcome Kylie! So glad to get to know you and your books. I’m on a Karin Slaughter binge at the moment, so I guess I, TOO, like dark.

    I admire anyone (Carey, listen up) who has a full time job, raises children and still has the energy and creativity to write. And 5 kids?? Yikes. (Small shudder from the childless princess-in-her-own-mind.)

    Secret life? Well, like Cris above, I’m quite a pleasant person but when I exercise I’m a snarling sight to behold. I have to be very careful to keep my exercise and everyday worlds (friends) separated, because neither side would recognize the other me. No joke. Even my husband has never see the ‘other’ me.

    So..schizophrenia…I guess…is my secret life.

  12. Carey, thanks for introducing me to Kylie! And Kylie, thanks for spending the day with us. I was just over on Amazon checking out your dark, twisted secret life (your books, of course 🙂 ) Here’s how Publishers Weekly describes Kylie’s Mindhunters debut: vivid and strong, razzle-dazzle police procedural techniques, banter, unexpected twist, pulse-pounding climax. Wow! Can’t wait to start reading!

  13. Can’t wait to read the Circle of evil trilogy!

    • It does sound cool, Deborah. I’m also curious whether to see what types of books traditional authors produce when they are indie-publishing. I wonder if it will be very different from her other books. I’ll have to read one of each to find out!

  14. Kylie: So glad to have you on Kiss & Thrill today! I’m trying not to be annoyed that your first book got published. 😉

    No secret life here that I can think of, though some of my friends/family will probably be surprised by what goes on in my head if one of my RS books ever comes out.

  15. Hi Kylie! I’m a huge fan of your Mindhunters series. My favorite was (I can’t remember the title right now) the one with the kidnapped little girl. Such a great mix of romance and suspense! I used to keep my writing a secret, but no longer. Now I’ve got no secrets at all! I’m an open book!

  16. The series sounds intriguing.

  17. I love a good mystery and suspence, and Kylie never fails to keep me guessing. (I usually get it wrong). I love her books and can’t wait until her new book comes out. I’ve waited a long time for it.

  18. First, Kylie, let me thank you for the work you do with special needs children. I know you are sprouting wings on your back, as are all special ed teachers. I used to advocate for you to get a sabatical every 7th year to recharge your batteries so you could continue to do your wonderful work. Never could get administration or school board to buy in. Too expensive. 😦
    Can’t believe I don’t know about your Mindhunters series. I’ll be checking them out.
    Your secret is there are actually two of you allowing you to get so much accomplished. Don’t we all wish we had one of those “others” to help finish up the todo list?

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