From Point A (agent) to Point B (book): 3Qs for Rita Nominista Kylie Brant

Kylie Brant just scored a Rita nomination for Waking the Dead, the third book in her Mindhunters series. From the flap:
Former forensic anthropologist Caitlin Fleming knows bones. So the investigator is the first one called when seven sets of skeletal remains are found dumped in a makeshift graveyard in the Oregon wilderness. Each skeleton bears the same distinctive marks. And each is minus a skull. Cait needs outdoors guide Zach Sharper for one reason only — to help her find her way through the Willamette Forest as she pieces together clues.
Obviously, these two will have a pretty cool first date story to tell their kids. We flagged Kylie down to offer heartfelt congrats and ask three quick questions.

Kylie, thanks for joining us and congrats on your Rita nom! In Waking the Dead, you're seriously messing with people's heads (ba-dum-bum-CH!) and you really made it work as tightly woven psychological suspense. Did you know from the beginning how the story was going to come together, or were you finding your way through the maze along with Caitlin and Zach?
Oh, I'd be lying if I said I ever knew in the beginning how any book was going to come out. I'm definitely an organic writer. I love that term so much better than 'pantser'. I knew who the killer was from the beginning in this story...sometimes I don't. I always have an end point in mind but getting from point A to point B is like writing in the mist sometimes. I can see the important landmarks but I'm not always sure what's going to happen on my way to each of them!

The Mindhunters continues with another trilogy being released by Berkley in 2010-11. You must admit, this is a sweet gig. How did it come about?
I'd written over twenty books for Silhouette Romantic Suspense and had been wanting to write something longer and more complex. I'd never been agented, and started writing a single title novel on spec as I searched for an agent. I finished the book and sent queries to several publishing houses. By the time I signed with an agent, I'd received five invitations to submit the book and signed for another trilogy with Silhouette. Three months after those submissions, Cindy Hwang at Berkley made an offer on the first three Mindhunters books. I'm lucky that she's a huge fan of the series, and that she requested another trilogy last summer.

I was surprised to read that you're still teaching special ed at the elementary level, even with your prolific publishing schedule. Clearly, you're a time management goddess, but there's also the contrast between nurturing sweet little children and dumping headless corpses in a makeshift grave. How do you balance the two Kylies?
LOL. You've obviously not spent much time in an elementary school. Seriously, I've always loved cop shows, psychological thrillers and suspense. My favorite TV shows are NCIS and Justified. I write what I like to read; the same sort of plots I choose when I watch a movie.

One more quickie, if you don't mind: What are you reading?
I've just started Lee Child's Gone Tomorrow. I love Jack Reacher!

Click here to read an excerpt from Waking the Dead.


Sounds terrific... and I already know Kylie Brant's a terrific writer!

And there must be something in the water at those elementary schools. I was teaching, too, when I got serious about writing.

Congrats on the RITA nod, Kylie, and for stopping by BtO.
KylieBrant said…
Thanks, Colleen. Hope to see you in Orlando!
I'll be there. Just look for the worst dancer at the HQN party!

Seriously. I make Elaine's Seinfeld dance look like a performance from Swan Lake.
KylieBrant said…
We should so totally dance near each other then, LOL. We can make each other look good!

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