Thursday, December 3, 2009

Guest Author Kylie Brant Wakes the Dead

We are happy to have romantic suspense author Kylie Brant with us today! Kylie states that she started writing out of sheer desperation because her favorite authors didn't write fast enough to keep her in reading material. She is an elementary special education teacher whose idea of relaxing includes dreaming up new ways to kill and maim her characters. Hey, a girl's got to have a hobby, right? Please help us welcome Kylie to The Romance Dish!

The title of my November release resonates with memories of the past. Except back when my kids were home, Waking the Dead was more reminiscent of getting them up in the morning in time for school :)

Waking the Dead is the third book in a back-to-back trilogy entitled The Mindhunters. Each features a different investigator from a private forensics firm, headed by the legendary ex-FBI profiler, Adam Raiker. In this book, seven sets of skeletal remains have shown up in a remote cave in the Oregon wilderness. All bear the mark of their killer. All are missing their skull.

Forensic anthropologist Caitlin Fleming is called in to help the sheriff's investigation into the case. Wilderness guide Zach Sharper is her unwilling assistant as he shows her through the Willamette Forest in search for clues. Despite the attraction that burns between them, Cait will let nothing shake her focus. Until the killer closes in to terminate the search--and the two on the verge of unmasking him.

I had a lot of fun with the characters in this book, because no one is what he or she seems. Cait is a former teen model, whose looks are often a detriment in her chosen forensic field. Zach Sharper is all rough edges and sex appeal :) who sought solace in the Oregon mountains after too many tours in Afghanistan.

And the killer...well, I'm going to be perfectly frank--the villain in this book creeped me out :) Or maybe I was more spooked by how well I understood him. The background and experiences that shaped him into the monster he is were very clear to me as I was writing the book. And in a perverse way, that's a good thing. The story people breathe life into the plot. Without depth, the characters are dull and lifeless. That goes double for the villain. To engage in a suspense book, the reader must feel fear. And that fear can only be experienced when the threat is real; if the villain comes across as capable of truly horrendous acts. And the better we understand him or her, the more intrigued we become. Because, let's face it--evil is compelling.

The scenes with the villain are always my favorite to write. I love delving into the darkness that exists inside the character. But they don't haunt me. When I'm asked how I can write such dark plots, or if my writing ever gives me nightmares my answer is usually something along the lines of: I raised five kids, four of them boys. It takes *a lot* to scare me.

Check out my website at for more on Waking the Dead, and the other two books in the series, Waking Nightmare and Waking Evil.


  1. Your new book sounds fascinating! I'm really curious as to why your villain creeped you out. I'm definitely going to look for it in stores. ^^

    Also, your book sounds like a case right out of Detective Conan/ Cased Closed (A really popular Japanese anime/manga dealing with crime and detectives). I can see Conan trying to solve the mystery now all the while trying to keep Ran safe. ^w^

  2. I have all three books. I hope to get to "Waking the Dead" by the weekend. I'm so happy there will be more Mindhunters books.

  3. I really must get these books they sound fantastic I do love a good romantic suspense.

    Have Fun

  4. Hi Kylie! I LOVE your new series. I've read Waking Nightmare and Waking Evil and I've got Waking the Dead on my TBR pile. I'm particularly enamored of your heroines. Abbie and Ramsey are amazing, smart and courageous women and it was a pleasure to 'read them in action'. Your villains are uber frighting and the plot for each book was a terrifying ride - in a good way. So thanks for keeping me turning the pages. I'm curious how you go about researching your books - each one that I've read had such detail.

  5. Hello and welcome to The Romance Dish, Kylie! We're so glad you're here with us today. :)

    Congrats on the recent release! I'm not usually a fan of romantic suspense, but your books sound reeeeeally good.

    You're an elementary special education teacher? That is awesome. I have the utmost respect for special education teachers as my son is on the autistic spectrum. Thank you for helping kids like him! You rock!

  6. Jedi, it was Kylie's description of her villain that has me curious!

    Enjoy it, Jane! Thanks for stopping by!

    *waving* Hi, Helen! They do sound great, don't they?

    Great question, Marisa! I'm wondering how she researches it, too. Especially that evil villain!

  7. Jediskora, I'm not familiar with the anime/manga but it sounds like a great show!

    The villian in WTD is creepy. When I told my kids about him one of my sons said he didn't think moms were supposed to know stuff like that, LOL.

    Jane, I hope you enjoy them!

  8. Let me know if you find them, Helen!

    Thanks, Marisa. When it gets into the forensics end of things I not only read books and troll the Internet, I usually tap experts in the field. I had a couple forensic anthropologists and a molecular scientist help me with the scientific side of things for this book.

  9. Andrea, I hope your son has good teachers. That's so important. Equally important are involved parents like you who can follow through at home. Structure's soooo important!

  10. This book looks very interesting. I'll definitely have to check out this series! All the romantic suspense books that I've read have always been very good.

  11. Hi Kylie :)
    Thank you for sharing here today.
    I am looking forward to reading the Mindhunters series. I love that line about raising the boys & it takes a lot to scare you. :)
    Happy Holidays,

  12. Kylie,
    Now i really must know why he is. My curiosity has been tweaked even more. ^^ Adding your book to my wish list on amazon.

    Also, if your curious about the Detective Conan/Cased Closed series here is a link where you can read the manga online

    Beware though. It's very addictive and it has 715 chapters so far. ^^

  13. Welcome, Kylie! It's interesting that your villain scares you. ;) I know I've read some books that have scared me quite a bit!!

  14. Thanks for visiting with us today, Kylie. Your new book sounds like one I'll want to save to read when there are lots of people around! ;-)

  15. Thanks, Trisha. Hope you check it out!

    RK, everyone was just home for Thanksgiving and I happen to be blessed with three grandchildren...all of them boys, LOL. The place was rockin'!

    Jedisakora, thanks so much for the link!

    Gannon, I'm definitely glad I don't know some of the people I write about!

    That's right, PJ, read it with the lights on!

  16. Thanks, Kylie. My son's teachers are top notch. He has come a long way, especially in the past two years. And you could almost say that I'm a little too involved, but I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

    Thanks for visiting with us!