Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Author Interview with KYLIE BRANT

Kylie Brant is the author of 28 books for Silhouette and Berkley who has three back-to-back releases (dark romantic thrillers) in September, October, and November. She lives in Ohio with her husband and live a double life: she’s an elementary special education teacher during school days and the dreamer-upper of new ways to “kill and maim” the characters running around in her head on nights, weekends, and in the summer.


Your first manuscript sold AFTER your second one. What’s that all about?

When I sent in my first manuscript, I waited to hear back, thinking it'd take a matter of weeks. I got a two page rejection letter four months later inviting me to revise and re-submit. I did so, but the second time I sent it in I was a little wiser. I started another manuscript and had completed that and submitted it by the time the first one was returned, with yet another two page rejection letter. So once again, I revised and re-submitted.

When Silhouette called with an offer on the second manuscript, they asked if I had any other works they could see. I was able to tell them about my first manuscript, which was in-house again. It took them three months to locate it, but they eventually bought that, too. So RANCHER'S CHOICE, my first manuscript, was actually published four months after my second work.

You prefer killing and maiming fictional characters to playing golf. What’s the fascination and where does it come from?

Hmm, could be sheer laziness :) I can kill and maim from the comfort of my chaise lounge! I've always been interested in police/forensics shows and movies. I'm especially intrigued by how people think, and the motivation for their actions. The psychological aspect to the characters, even the villains, is what I find fascinating. People are multi-faceted and those hidden layers can be endlessly intriguing.

You’ve been known to say your favorite authors couldn’t write fast enough for you so you began writing. Who are your favorite authors—and why?

Nora Roberts, because she is the master as far as storytelling goes and so prolific she doesn't keep me waiting long for the next story; Lee Child, who writes page turners and some of the best suspense on the market; Robert Crais, because he's managed to create not one, but two series featuring compelling characters; and Tami Hoag, because she hooks me on her characters every time.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?

Time management has always been my biggest hurdle. I have always taught full-time in addition to writing. When I began, my five kids were ages 4-12. We were gone every night of the week at their events, but I was home on weekends and that's when I'd write during the school year. Now that they're gone, we're home weeknights but gone a lot of weekends. Writing three books in a little over a year while teaching full time gets a little brutal!

What are the titles of your three back-to-back books? Briefly tell us what they’re about and let us know where we can buy them.

The books are part of a series called The Mindhunters. Legendary ex-FBI profiler Adam Raiker heads the elite private forensics agency which includes some of the best criminologists in the nation. Each book features an investigator from that agency.

Waking Nightmare has a September 1st release date. With a serial rapist loose on the streets of Savannah, hotshot detective Ryne Robel needs answers, not the psycho-babble head games of forensic profile Abbie Phillips. Abbie must convince him the elusive suspect is learning his victims' darkest fears--then forcing them to live them. Waking Nightmare can be found online and in bookstores.

Waking Evil will be released October 6, 2009. When the body of a woman is found in rural Buffalo Springs, forensic investigator Ramsey Clark is called in. Ramsey believes in evidence, not superstition. But, when another murder rocks the town, Ramsey begins to wonder if a killer is playing on everyone's fears-or a prophecy is being fulfilled one victim at a time.

Waking the Dead has a November 3, 2009 release date. Caitlin Fleming, a former forensic anthropologist, is hired to help investigate when seven sets of skeletal remains are found in the Oregon wilderness. Outdoor guide Zach Sharper leads her through the forest as she searches for clues. But as desire burns between them, a cold-hearted killer closes in.

What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?

I just signed another contract with Berkley for three more Mindhunter books. Adam Raiker plays a larger role in each of these and the final book of the series will be his story. They'll be available in 2010 and 2011.

Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?

Complete the manuscript! I'm always shocked when aspiring writers tell me how many unfinished manuscripts they have. That might be fine while they are still learning craft, but once the mechanics have been mastered the most important thing they can do to hone their skills is to complete the work all the way through. That's what really separates serious writers from hobbyists. It's important to learn how to untangle the plot snarls, slog through that sagging middle and write the black moment, and the ending. Set goals for completion dates, because it teaches the time management skills that come with deadlines.

Do enter contests, especially those that have published authors, editors and/or agents as judges. Sometimes the feedback will conflict, but analyze it for commonalities so you can see what worked and what didn't work for the reader and revise accordingly.

Submit when you get an invitation to do so. Some aspiring authors go to editor appointments and are asked to send in the manuscript and then fail to do so. Take advantage of each opportunity that comes your way.

We’ve been hearing a lot about publishers going out of business and buying fewer and fewer books from new authors. What are your thoughts about these subjects?

The current economy has kept sales tight, no doubt about that. It started a year ago last summer and I felt that publishers really slowed new acquisitions as they concentrated on the inventory they had in house. But a glance at the sales in Publishers Marketplace does show sales picking up a bit again. They do have to restock inventory so authors shouldn't give up hope. But it's definitely tougher making a sale in this economy than it was eighteen months ago. Hopefully, the next year will see things easing in that way.

Do you have any upcoming book signings or appearances? If so, give us all the details.

No, no book signings. I really limit them during the school year because weekends are my writing time.

Here’s your opportunity to tell us anything else you care to share.

Check my site regularly to sign up for monthly book giveaways!
What are the addresses of your website(s) and blog(s):

You can find my site at www.kyliebrant.com and I blog with nine other authors at http://ridingwiththetopdown.blogspot.com.


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