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Kylie Brant is here today

Waking Nightmare

Kylie, Thank you for agreeing to be a guest on my blog.

It’s great being here, Greta!  Thanks for having me.

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

Besides being a writer, I’m also a full-time elementary special education teacher.  We have five grown children, all within five hours of here so we spend lots of time traveling to get together with them.  I’ve always been a voracious reader, so it wasn’t that great of leap to writing…I love creating my own characters and stories!

How long have you been writing?

I began writing in 1990 and sold two years later to Silhouette Romantic Suspense (Intimate Moments.)  I actually sold my second manuscript first.  They asked if I had any others completed and I was able to tell them that my first attempt was somewhere in their offices, as well.  They ended up buying that one, too.

What is your writing process like?

I am sooo not a plotter.  After spending a lot of years feeling somehow inferior about that, I’ve learned to embrace it. 🙂  I have a low threshold for boredom, and like to be surprised along the way. 

When I begin I know my characters very well, have planned out the suspense plot and have the final scene in mind.  Usually I know who the villain is, but not always.  I might have ideas for a couple scenes, and that’s about it.  I’m always sort of feeling my way on the first three chapters.  But after that I write fairly fast.

In the summer I write ten pages a day, four to five days a week.  But during the school year I have to write on weekends and at night.  So deadlines get a little hairy while I’m working full-time!  I’m a procrastinator by nature and need looming deadlines to produce.

I edit as I go along; it’s a good way to get back into the story when I’m not able to write every day.  I’ll edit the last chapter or so I wrote before I start new pages.  So when I’m done with the story, I go through it once and make notes of what works and what needs changing.  Then I make those changes and send it in.

I’m a ruthless self-editor.  If I saw the manuscript ten times after that, I’d change it every time!  They’re wise to limit my looks at it.

Waking Evil

Can you tell us about your new series Mindhunters: Waking Nightmare, Waking Evil, and Waking The Dead?

The trilogy of dark romantic suspense books all revolve around characters working for Raiker Forensics, nicknamed The Mindhunters.  Headed by the legendary Adam Raiker, who was a well-respected criminal profiler for the FBI, the agency is comprised of some of the best criminologists in the country, all with some sort of forensic specialty.  Each book features an investigators from The Mindhunters, hired by law enforcement to consult on a high profile crime.

My September release, Waking Nightmare, has profiler Abbie Phillips hired to join Detective Ryne Robel’s task force hunting a vicious serial rapist.  He isn’t happy with her presence on his team, but she soon proves her worth by determining the method the offender is using to select his victims:  by learning their darkest fear and then forcing them to live it.

Waking Evil (Oct. 09) has Ramsey Clark joining Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents investigating a vicious murder in a small rural town. Renowned parapsychologist Devlin Stryker tries to convince her that a century old legend has something to do with the murder.  But Ramsey believes in facts, not superstition.  Then another murder occurs and she’s left to wonder if a killer is playing on everyone’s fears or if a prophecy is being fulfilled, one victim at a time.

Waking the Dead (Nov. 09) has former forensic anthropologist Caitlin Fleming called in when seven sets of skeletal remains are found in the Oregon wilderness.  She needs outdoor guide Zach Sharper for one reason only—to lead her through the forest in search for clues.  But as desire sparks between them, a killer is closing in, looking to put an end to the investigation, and those on the verge of unmasking him.

What are you currently working on?

I recently sold three more Mindhunters books to Berkley and am working on book four, tentatively titled Deadly Fear.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

I have no idea.  They’ve just always been there.  Even as a kid I always had a storyline running in my head.  It was like watching a mental movie 🙂 .  I thought everyone experienced the same thing!

Ideas can spring from anywhere.  A newspaper article, a snippet from a movie, a conversation…it doesn’t take much before I’m thinking, ‘What if this happened?  What if this person did that?’ and a new plot forms.

Waking The Dead

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors?

I read almost exclusively in the straight thriller and romantic suspense sub-genres.  My favorite authors are Cindy Gerard, Nora Roberts, Tami Hoag, Karen Rose, Lisa Gardner, Lee Child, JD Robb and Robert Crais.

What books are on your keeper shelf?

My favorite books by Nora Roberts are Carnal Innocence and Hidden Riches.  All of Child’s Jack Reacher novels and all the JD Robb’s are keepers for me.

What was the first romance book you read or the book that has stood the test of time for you?

I have many of the first books written for the Silhouette Intimate Moments line, those by Elizabeth Lowell, Erin St. Claire (Sandra Brown), Linda Howard, Paris Afton Bonds.  All are comfort reads for me.

If one of your books was made into a movie, which book would you like it to be and which actors would like to see as the lead characters?

I’d love to see Waking Evil as a movie.  Matthew McConaughey would be perfect as Devlin Stryker and I’d like to see Demi Moore cast as Ramsey Clark.  She could give Ramsey her edge J.

If you could switch lives with one of your characters who would if be & why?

Hmm, I’m a far bigger wimp than any of my heroines!  But I’d switch with Abbie Phillips, of Waking Nightmare.  She’s a bit more cerebral so we’re probably more alike.

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

We love to travel.  In the fall we tailgate at all the university football games with some of our kids and friends.  Other weekends we’re on the road to see family.  In the winter we get away to someplace tropical every year.  That’s always a wonderful week!  We just bought a convertible and when the weather was nice we’d just take off and spend the day at the lake or riding along the Mississippi.

If you could ask readers anyone question, what would it be?

What makes an author become an auto-by for you?

Where can readers find you on the internet?

Oh, I’m all over :).  My website is http://www.kyliebrant.com/.  I blog with nine other authors at http://ridingwiththetopdown.blogspot.com/ .  I’m on both Facebook and Twitter and love to hear from readers at kylie@kyliebrant.com.

***Leave a comment answering Kylie’s question and one lucky comment will win a signed copy of Waking Nightmare.  Good Luck 🙂


39 Responses

  1. If its part of a series that has drawn me in (just can’t wait for the next installment) and/or if its an author that I follow loyally. With having a kindle I love that I can pre-order and it goes straight to my kindle the night before release.

  2. That’s a cool benefit, EMoore!

  3. Usually it’s a long anticipated next part of a series.

  4. Great characterisation and if it is paranormal – worldbuilding.

    Consistency, especially with a series and characters. I want the character that appeared in book 1 to be the character who appears in book 3 – who hasn’t mysteriously undergone a personality transplant! 😀

    And a sprinkle of sizzle . . . . 😉

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Kylie!

    An author becomes an auto-buy when I love her writing so much that I finish her book and want to start over again from the beginning. I like mysteries and suspenses, though, and I often find that my joy is diminished on a second read. In those cases, I really look forward to that author’s next book. It doesn’t have to be the next in a series for me to feel compelled to buy it.

    Sadly, it takes just one bad book for me to turn away from a former favorite. My reading time is too precious for me to waste on a waning star. I feel more betrayed by favorites “phoning it in” than I do by new authors.

  6. I enjoy reading series so if a author writes one and it keeps my attention, they usually become an auto-buy for me!

  7. With so many books out there to read, I guess for me if I connect with a book then I am hooked by the author. It’s got to be a page turner and flow smoothly. Books that are boring …not auto-buys.

  8. When I find a wonderful book by a new to me author, and the second book I try is as great, then I hope she has a long backlist…

  9. Chey, I hate waiting for a series too! But I lack the patience to wait until all the books are out and then read them all at once, too!

    Willa, the consistency and sizzle are musts 🙂

    Whoa, Jamie, one book? You’re a tough audience 🙂 It’s usually three for me, but the author has to be a REAL favorite to get that long.

    Teresa, I love series, too. My favorite is JD Robb’s.

    Eva, there’s nothing greater than finding a new author to glom! My most recent was Robert Crais. I’m still trying to get my hands on some of his backlist.

  10. I wouldn’t auto-buy any author’s work particularly if the book is issued first in hard back. Every once in a while, a favored author writes a book I can’t get into. I would have to read the blurb and excerpt.

    If I did decide an author was worthy of an auto buy, it would probably be for a long running series, not stand alones.

  11. Hi Kylie!
    I have quite a few auto buy authors. Most of them are series books that I have already read quite a few books from. But some have only written one book and I loved it so much that I can’t wait for their second. I guess the thing that makes an author an auto buy is usually if I couldnt put their book down, I love their characters, the genre is one that I enjoy, and I can’t stop thinking about their books.

  12. Anne, I’m a tough one about buying hard cover, too. For one thing, they don’t fit well on my shelves. The other thing, of course, is cost. They are darn expensive! But oh, sometimes it’s sooo hard to wait!

    Rachael, most of my auto-buys are based on long standing. But the newest addition to my auto buy list made the list based on one book. So it differs for me, too.

  13. Hi Kylie!

    First, I would like to say thank you for being a special education teacher! My 8 year old has Aspergers, is in co-teaching classes, and the special ed teachers has made such a difference not only for my son but for the whole family. I know how quickly my son can drive me nuts, I can’t imagine the patience it take to handle a classroom full of students with different challenges. So thank you!

    As for the question…any author that can keep me up reading all night just to finish the book becomes an auto-buy.

  14. Hi Kylie and Greta!

    Great interview and post!

    An author becomes an auto-buy when they can keep my attention to the end of the book, the characters are well drawn out and I care about the characters.

  15. An author is an auto buy for me after I read that first book and it is so good that I can’t put it down. It’s got to grab me from the beginning and hold me to the end!

  16. Hi Kylie! Thanks for being here! And thanks Greta, for a great interview!

    I guess what makes an author an auto-buy for me is really loving the characters and their interaction. It seems obvious, but it’s so true — if I don’t care what’s happening to the people I’m reading about, why would I read more? It can be a series where the main characters’ story continues, or where the secondary characters get their own story — I’m not picky.

    Oh, world-building counts for a lot too — and if there’s some steaminess involved, so much the better!

  17. Terri, I agree, characterization is very important to me, too. I also can’t watch TV shows where the characters have no depth.

    Bella, I always say I have to care where the characters get thrown under a bus at the end, LOL. If not…the author hasn’t captured me.

  18. If I have read the first book in a series and loved it then I definitely buy the sequels.
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  19. An auto-buy author has fabulous writing that sucks me in from the first word to the last, characters that are compelling and sexy, gives me wonderful love stories, and has me wanting to read their stories all in one sitting, no interruptions ( in my dream world maybe, lol).

  20. An auto-buy for me is when an author has consistently wowed me with two books or more by writing in some way differently and thereby separating them from the competition in my eyes.


  21. A auto-buy for me is when I try an author and I love her books and they become keepers. I will buy her books again! I love books that will keep me up until three am that’s when they become auto-buys for me. I have heard a lot about your book, can’t wait to read it.

  22. Hi Kylie! What makes an author an auto buy for me is an author who continually writes stories that can keep me engrossed. I like an author who’s characters and story lines remain in my memory as a favorite and books that I feel comfortable recomending to others. Congrats on the series release.

  23. Depends and varies from author to author. From the depths they put in their characters, where they just seem real as life to you as you read, the atmosphere of the book, how the manage to steal and wrap your attention to what is unfolding down in the book (so I guess it depends on their writing style there eh?), the way they paint the portrait

  24. If I like the characters and storylines and the writing style, the author becomes an auto-buy.

  25. Thanks for posting, Kylie! I enjoyed the interview:)

    And as for the question–different things. I’m such a strange reader that I really couldn’t say what makes an author an auto-by for me. Though a few are: Kerrelyn Sparks, Lee child, Jennifer Ashley, Gena Showalter and Cindy Miles. I love their writing style. So I guess, yeah, good writing is important to me. But, LOL, isn’t it to everybody?

    Your books sound really good! I’ll have to try one!:)

  26. Hey Kylie
    I was just reading your other posts and saw you enjoy Robert Crais! I need to catch up with his backlist too but The Two Minute Rule is one of my absolute favorites by him. You have to read that one!

  27. An author becomes auto-buy for me…when their stories draw me in and do not let me go. I, also, am really big on series. If I love your writing and your books are part of a series…this pretty much guarantees you a spot on the auto-buy list.

    Your books sound really great and I would love to be entered.

  28. Ooh, just started the Waking series~~I have them all lined up, lol, waiting to be read in order. I’m loving Waking Nightmare so far…..what makes an author an auto buy? A story that grabs me by throat and won’t let go. Charachters that become so real to me, that I’m sure I’ve met them, and plots that draw me in and flow like a movie in my mind. It might not be ALL of these in one book, but one of them might grab me enough to secure you a spot as an auto buy. More than one? You’re a keeper shelf member, lol.

  29. Hi! Great interview. The whole series sounds very intriguing. I love books that make me feel, make me laugh and cry together with the characters. Authors who can make me involved in their characters’ lives are on my auto-buy list (example – S. Kenyon)

  30. WOW!! LOVE the cover for Waking Evil and LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover for Waking the Dead!

    Auto-buys….Great storytelling (and great characters). Like you, I read almost exclusively romantic suspense and thrillers (with a little UF, YA and mainstream fiction for variety and most of the non-suspense stuff has a lot in common with the suspensy stuff i choose).

    So I know saying great storytelling sounds trite and simple but as a writer, I”m also a super-picky reader. If you can suck me in so that i completely forget/don’t notice the writing, I’m yours. Kay Hooper does this. I love her books and can totally ignore stuff that if done by any other writer, would probably annoy me LOL *blush*

  31. An author becomes an auto buy for me if I have consistantly enjoyed their books. Usually if I am trying out a new author if I don’t like the first book I will go ahead and try a couple of more and if I still don’t care for their books I will drop them from my HAVE TO HAVE list. Nora Roberts is probably the exception. I have always bought hers even though she has had a few that I just didn’t care for.

  32. Lillie–I’m so glad your child’s teachers are making a difference! I actually enjoy the challenges, and I have a lot of help in my room, so that helps. I agree about authors keeping you up all night…although I’m always mad at myself in the morning, LOL!

    Terri, characterization is hugely important to me, too. If I’m not rooting for them, there’s no reason to finish the book.

    Debbie, good point about the author having to grab us right from the beginning!

  33. Raelena, I often wondered if that’s why soap operas are popular…they’re like a series that doesn’t end!

    Cathy–no interruptions? That would be heavenly!

    Deidre, I read a great deal for the author’s voice, too. I have to like the way they tell the story.

    Thanks, Quilt Lady. I enjoy those books that require all nighters but I’m happier if I don’t have to go to work the next day!

    Barb, that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?

  34. Raonald, I enjoy stories where the characters feel so real to me that I find myself wishing they *were* real so I could know them! Nonreaders would find that very strange, LOL.

    Donna, good point in that it’s a multitude of things that the author has to do well to pull in the reader.

    Chelsea–Lee Child…Jack Reacher. Awesome!

    Racheal, I’m off to check my bookshelf to see if I have that one! Thanks.

    Lori, yes, when we want the series to go on and on…

    Melissa, hope you enjoy the books!

    Frana, I enjoy an author that makes me care deeply about the characters, too. For me it’s Nora Roberts, every time.

    Linda, I’m a NR fan too (see above) but there’s something to be said about an author so masterful that even her books that aren’t our favorites are still better crafted than many others we read. I guess that’s why I always go back for more!

  35. I have a few auto buy authors and they all have one thing in common. They write consistantly good stories with characters that appeal to me.

  36. Liona, it’s heaven when you find a new author that meets that criteria, isn’t it?

  37. What makes an auto-buy? Humm….. if they write a series I love, or a story that I just couldn’t put down, and various other things.

    I’d have to think about this.


  38. Yes, Wendy, peruse your keeper shelf and give it some thought 😉

  39. An author that become an auto buy for my is when I really like a series of books from that author.

    kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

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