Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Guest blogger: Kylie Brant


Hi everyone! Thanks for allowing me back on the playground! I guess that means I must have played nice the last time I was here. Or at the very least, Playground Monitor never caught me when I was kicking sand around :-). I’m sure she’ll have her eye on me this time, though!

Remember when you were a kid, and you waited forever for Christmas? I’d start moaning about June regarding how far off it was and my mom would start moaning for a very different reason—it was only six months away. Hah! A lot adults knew. Six months was a lifetime!

Well, that’s sort of how I’ve felt waiting for my dark romantic thriller trilogy to be released from Berkley. I signed the contract in 2007, almost exactly two years ago. My editor wanted to release the books back to back as quickly as possible. The problem was, I was still under contract to Silhouette and owed them two more books. That meant I had four books to write as quickly as possible. There was also the little matter of my teaching job to tend to, as well :-).

So excuse me while I squee and happy dance a bit because my first release date is here! Waking Nightmare hit the shelves at bookstores yesterday. And I’m happy to say reviewers have said nice things about it (so far :-) ).

The book is the first release in The Mindhunter series coming out Sept-Oct-Nov this fall. The name is a nickname for a private forensics firm headed by the legendary former FBI profiler Adam Raiker. It’s staffed with some of the best criminologists in the country, and each book features a specialist who’s called in to consult with law enforcement on particularly puzzling or high profile crimes.

Waking Nightmare pairs criminal profiler Abbie Phillips and Savannah detective Ryne Robel as they trail a sadistic serial rapist. He’s initially skeptical about what she can add to his task force. But skepticism turns to respect when Abbie discovers that the seeming random acts of torture are actually calculated to match each victim’s darkest fears. And the stakes are rising. While they study the devious psychopath, he’s watching them—the next objects of his terrifying obsession.

I’ve been doing lots of blogs and interviews recently and once I describe the books I’m invariably asked how an elementary teacher ended up writing about forensics, serial rapists, defleshing bones, and extracting DNA from skeletal remains.

The answer is simply that I’m fascinated by people. What they do and their motivation for doing it. How some attempt to justify actions that seem unjustifiable to most of us. And the resiliency of the human spirit, that enables people to endure tragedy and trauma and come out it stronger.

Whether writing shorter books for Silhouette or longer mass-market books, ultimately I’m writing about the characters, back-dropped against some larger than life suspense. Engaging the readers in their stories, rooting for their happy endings, and bringing down a few bad guys along the way.

You can read more at my website: http://www.kyliebrant.com/ or check out the excerpts posted for each story at http://www.kyliebrant.com/current_releases.html#nightmare.


Do you like your romance with suspense? How dark is too dark? Are there limits to what you want to see the protagonists suffer on the way to their HEA? How much romance do you want to see in a romantic suspense / thriller book?

I’m giving away a signed copy of WAKING NIGHTMARE to one lucky commenter today!

21 comments:

Jane said...

Hi Kylie,
Congrats on the new release. I love romantic suspense, but it's hard to find the perfect balance between the romance and the suspense. Nothing is too dark for me. The gorier the better. If the romance is rushed or contrived I would rather not see any romance.

Problem Child said...

Hi Kylie and welcome!

This series sounds fab! I really love the profiler-type stories over the CSI-type (the art over the science, you might say.)

Do the parents of your students know you write this kind of book?!

Liza said...

Congrats on the new release, Kylie! I love romantic suspense, and haven't found any too dark so far. I know they are out there, but I haven't read anything so dark I couldn't finish it. I look forward to reading Waking Nightmare and have it on my TBB list in my phone(can't remember all the books without it).

Angel said...

Kylie, This series sounds awesome!!! I love romantic suspense (the darker the better) and can't wait to get this one. And I love the name Ryne, BTW.

Your question about how much romance is interesting because I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I recently read 2 new books by a particular author whose previous books I had loved. These, not so much. They were well written, but the romances in them seemed more of an afterthought. As a matter of fact, the author seemed more intrigued with the villians than the actual couple in the book. So while I love a well developed villian, if it overshadows the romance, I find myself coming away disatisfied.

And you simply must tell us how you juggled all that writing with the day job!

Thanks for being here!

Angel

Playground Monitor said...

Tsk, tsk. You know what I said about kicking sand. ;-)

Welcome back and I agree the book sounds intriguing. I've read some excellent books with the darker, grittier tone, but overall I prefer some suspense with my romance rather than having the romance feel like an afterthought.

The Savannah setting sounds fitting too. The town is gorgeous, with the whole downtown laid out in squares surrounded by large oaks dripping with Spanish moss. And you can even take ghost walks at night. I haven't done that cause I'm a little afraid I might actually see one.

Kylie said...

Jane--I hear you on the romance. Sometimes I wonder about the thrillers I read that have the hero and a secondary character jumping into bed. What's the point? There is no romance, per se. No HEA or expectation of one. I'm curious to know what the purpose is, as sometimes it doesn't make the book stronger.

Kylie said...

Problem child (love your name by the way!)--some parents have known over the years but, ahem, most of the parents of my students aren't likely to read the newspapers, so most are unaware. It's not something I bring up at parent teacher conferences, LOL.

Kylie said...

Liza--how smart to have your TBB list on your phone. I have to start getting smarter with my technology!

Kylie said...

Angel--how I juggle the writing is a constant challenge! I have three books to write in exactly one year. I'm on page 25 on book 1! I just have to buckle down and fill out a schedule (calendar), crossing off days I can't write and figuring how much I can/have to do on the other days. It is hard for me to write on school nights so I try to go easy on school nights until the deadline is really looming. By then the book is flowing to the end. The last 100--125 pages usually go extremely fast. Sometimes in as little as 3-4 days.

Kylie said...

Marilyn, we are so down for the Savannah road trip! I'd love to take the haunted tours, stroll through the historic district and yes snap some photos of the police headquarters. I love old southern architecture and this is not a trip my hubby would enjoy!

Smarty Pants said...

Hey, Kylie. Welcome, welcome. I like dark books and write them from time to time. For a while, I was actually concerned about how I was coming up with some of the stuff I wrote. Was I suppressing something twisted? Who knows.

I think, especially with a book that dark, that you need the romance to lighten it up. Gotta have the HEA though. One NYT bestseller lured me in with a romance then killed the hero in the big climax with the villian. Sigh. It wasn't officially a romance, but it had a huge element of it in the book and it made me so angry, I haven't read another of his books.

tetewa said...

I enjoy reading this genre as it is one of my favorites, the darker the better!

kylie brant said...

Smarty Pants--I would never forgive an author who did that! After emotionally investing in a character, he'd better not die at the end!

kylie brant said...

Tetewa--I like the darker stuff too. I'm encouraged by how many readers like you enjoy it, as well!

Problem Child said...

~makes note to ask different questions at next parent-teacher conference~

:grin:

I didn't get my name for nothing...

catslady said...

I've been hearing good things about this book! I love romantic suspense - dark is fine with me. I like a variety.

Kristen Parker said...

I've read a couple of your Silhouette books but this looks even better. I know your excited to have it on the shelf.

I've read some real dark books that I enjoyed but I do like for their to be a happy ending and a good romance. I'd be upset if they killed off the hero in the end too!

I lurk over at Riding with the Top Down too.

Kylie said...

Problem Child--your name *is* well earned, LOL!

Catslady--I read romances for the 'guarantee'. If I invest in these characters, they will end up together and there will be a HEA. I realize thrillers aren't in the same genre, but I probably carry my expectation to other genres. That would probably make me stop reading an author!

Kristen--we welcome lurkers! Hope you enjoy this book too if you get the chance to read it!

Claire Winston said...

I went to Savannah one time and it's a really pretty city. neat that you set your book there. I like lots of romance in the books too and I don't like the really dark ones -- too scary.

Kylie said...

Claire, I hope to make it to Savannah and nearby Tybee Island some time soon!

donnas said...

Congrats on the release it sounds really good. I love romantic suspense novels. But I dont want it to have a ton of romance in it, if I wanted that I would read pure romance. It really needs just the right mix of the two.