BIOGRAPHY: Author Kylie Brant has penned twenty-five award-winning books for Silhouette Romantic Suspense / Intimate Moments, and three dark romantic thrillers for Berkley Sensation. Her September '09 release, Waking Nightmate, is a Barnes and Noble bestseller. She’s a two-time Rita nominee, and has been nominated for five Romantic Times awards, and is a RT Career Achievement award winner. In 2004 and 2008 she was awarded the overall Daphne du Maurier Award for best mystery/suspense
novel. Her book Undercover Bride is on the Romantic Times Magazine’s All-
Time Favorites list. She resides in Iowa with her family.
Thanks for being here, Kylie. It’s a pleasure.
Thanks for having me, Kelly!
#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
In my other life I’m the mother of five and teach full-time in an elementary special education classroom. When my kids were younger, I was busy every weeknight but free on weekends. Now that they’re grown that situation is reversed, which makes deadlines a bit dicier!
#2- You are quite an accomplished author, having won or placed in several awards. What was it like to achieve that and do you have any new goals for yourself?
I think I was the most shocked one in the room last summer when I won the overall Daphne again. That moment numbers among the very rare occasions when I’m truly speechless . Of course, I haven’t won a Rita yet, so that would be nice someday. It’s always special to win an award from one’s peers.
#3- How do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
I’ve been fairly fortunate. Over the course of 28 books those occasions haven’t been frequent but criticism is part of the game. Early on I developed a thick skin. I just realize I have very specific reading tastes myself, so it’s only to be expected that my books will strike a chord with some readers and not with others. We can’t be all things to all people. I am perhaps my own worst critic, however. And if criticism is leveled in a thoughtful way—why an element of a story didn’t work for a reader—I truly do learn from that. As for those who want to trash the whole thing, I just figure they aren’t my readers. And we’ll both be happier if they don’t pick up another of my books.
#4- When did you know that you wanted to be a writer and what influences have you had that sparked it?
I’ve always been an avid reader, and writing was something that came easily to me in school. But I never thought about writing until I’d finished my Masters degree in my mid twenties. I resolved to treat myself to only reading for pleasure for a year. It was then that I discovered contemporary romance and I gorged myself on them for about a decade. By that time I had become a more discriminating reader and had lists of favorite authors. I grew increasingly frustrated that they couldn’t write fast enough to keep me in reading material, LOL, so one summer I decided I was going to try to write a book myself. I’ve been at it ever since.
My earliest influences were those wonderful writers who wrote the earliest Silhouette Intimate Moments books. Linda Howard, Sandra Brown, Elizabeth Lowell, Nora Roberts…I still have many of those books on my keeper shelves.
#5- What advice would you give to other aspiring writers?
Finish your manuscripts! I’m always shocked when aspiring writers tell me how many unfinished manuscripts they have. I suppose that’s okay while you’re learning craft, but once you’ve honed those skills you really need practice at writing the story from beginning to end. That’s what published authors have to do, usually under deadline. That gives you the most valuable experience you can get. Learning to slog through the sagging middle, unsnarl the plot tangles and write a satisfying ending wlll help prepare writers for their career after the first sale.
#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
My dark romantic thriller trilogy from Berkley (THE MINDHUNTERS) is out now: Waking Nightmare (September 2009), Waking Evil (October 2009) and Waking the Dead each feature a character working for The Mindhunters agency, a private forensics consulting firm led by the legendary ex-FBI agent Adam Raiker. In each book, the heroine is hired by a law enforcement agency to consult on a particularly high profile crime.
I recently went back to contract with Berkley for three more Mindhunters books, to be released in 2010 and 2011.
My website can be found at www.kyliebrant.com. Readers can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.
#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Check out the contest page on my website. Every month I’m giving away signed copies of the new series, so be sure and sign up!