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Thursday, October 28, 2010:
Special guest Kylie Brant

I'd like to welcome back to the blog author Kylie Brant, whose 4th book in the Mindhunters series is out November 2nd. Kylie was here just about a year ago talking about the release of the first 3 books in the series, and now she's back to bring us the next installment in this riveting series. I'm really excited about having her back at the blog, as she's one smart cookie with a taste for blood. Okay, not really, but that sounded deliciously creepy. And speaking of which, Kylie is here to talk about......REDRUM.

Everything I Know about Murder I Learned from Writing

Oh, that sounds ever so much more ominous than it is :) Because despite my research, I'd be the worst homicidal maniac in the world. Too lazy, for one thing. Can't you hire that sort of work out? I don't even clean my own house, LOL. Plus, despite years of weight strengthening I'm the weakest person in the world. I can barely lift my (fairly stocky) two-year-old grandson. I'm definitely not up to wrestling an unsuspecting victim to the ground to enact murder. I've got a bad back. And neck. Not to mention the carpal tunnel that would make wielding a knife troublesome. My deadliest trait might be my innate ability to drive people crazy, but in my defense, for some it's an exceedingly short trip :)

But it's amazing the tidbits a writer runs across in the course of research. Need a body defleshed and don't happen to have a vat of acid handy? Get yourself a body sized plexiglass case and fill it with dermestid beetles before putting the corpse inside. (Although if you have the time, isolated space and a large amount of lime, you could always dig a shallow grave and top it with lime.) Wondering how long a severed thumb will keep? Three days, give or take in a cold environment. I'm told one can keep it in a baggy on ice. And in case you've ever entertained the burning question of when the best time is to commit murder, you might be interested to know that a body will bleed out quickest first thing in the morning, upon rising because the body is still warm from the bed.

And what sort of person finds these pieces of trivia fascinating? Well, But purely from a writing standpoint, I assure you!

Given that I come from a fairly ordinary background, I need to do a great deal of research to write some of my plots. Luckily, with the Internet that sort of research is made easier. It especially simplifies finding the experts I need to answer my questions regarding specific plot elements. I've gotten assistance from hostage negotiators, police detectives, private investigators, state police directors, criminal lab managers, forensic anthropologists and a forensic linguist, to name a few. Although I think I have a vivid imagination, it's amazing some of the ideas I get from some of them :) To my knowledge, I've never actually spoken to anyone with first hand knowledge of committing murder but given some of my experts' backgrounds, they have insightful tips for my stories that certainly wouldn't have occurred to me.

My most recent bout of fascination is with the area of forensic linguistics. As a writer I'm intrigued by words and their nuances anyway. So an occupation that involves doing threat assessments (how likely is it that the author will carry through on the threats?) and author analysis of ransom notes currently tops of my list of If Only I'd Known These Jobs Existed....

All these random bits of knowledge come in handy when cooking up my plots and for entertaining (if unappetizing) dinner conversation. And who knows? Maybe some day I'll be offered a gig riding along with homicide cops, ala the TV show Castle!

Whether writing suspense, contemporary or historical, authors often have intriguing bits of trivia in their books.
What's the most interesting thing you've learned from reading a romance book?

No one knows the patterns and nuances of communication like forensic linguist Macy Reid. She is also an expert on kidnapping, having experienced firsthand the stark terror of being abducted when she was a child. So she is the perfect investigator to be called in when a Denver tycoon's eleven-year-old daughter is abducted—for the second time.

The biggest stumbling block for Macy may be a member of her own team: Kellan Burke, the wisecracking, rule-breaking investigator who relishes getting under Macy's skin. Their styles couldn't be more different; the attraction between them more explosive. And when it becomes apparent that Macy can't solve the case without confronting the demons from her past, Kell is just the man to take her there—and back.

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  1. Off the top of my head the most interesting thing I have learned reading a romance book is how truely sinister romantic suspense writers mind's really are. Some of you come up with the most sinister of villians in your books.....sometimes so much so that one must read with all the lights on.

  2. LOL, Barbara :) We're a sinister lot! I always tell people that I have a dark side...mostly, I guess it's just a dark imagination. I'm forever imagining ax murderers lurking in the darkened shadows when I go upstairs at night!

  3. The most interesting thing I have learned to accurate criminal profilers can be.

  4. Estella, yes, that sort of eye into the killer's mind is sort of scary, isn't it?

  5. The most interesting thing I have learned is that no matter how evil and diabolical the villain is, the hero/heroine always wins! Yay for that!

  6. Misha, sometimes we need books to celebrate that sort of justice prevailing, as it doesn't always in real life!

  7. I didn't know another story in the mindhunters series was being released. The first three books were very good. The last interesting thing I remember from a romance book was in Nora Roberts latest, where there was a lot of info about search and rescue dogs.

  8. Oh, Maureen, I'm reading the Search right now! It is really interesting.
    There's a rescue scene using scent dogs in my newest book, too.

  9. I love that the big bad evil always gets it in the end, and my favorite characters get their HEA.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  10. It might not be the most interesting, but one of the first things I learned was the ranks of the aristocracy and how to address them.

  11. Cathy, it's nice to have that guarantee of a happy ending in a romance, isn't it?

  12. Jane, I read regencies and historicals for years. While I wasn't that interested in what they wore, I did find the ranks and behaviors interesting, as well.

  13. besides the things a writers mind could show id have to say how to forgive even in the book takes more then a few pages or days and weeks

    and in histicals i learne dranks and classes and een some fasshion

    great post i love your books

  14. SiNn, forgiveness or redemption often takes the entire book. You're right--like in real life, it doesn't happen automatically.

  15. what i've learned, love will always find it's way :) and there's always A happy ending !

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  16. Mariska, that guarantee is what keeps us romance readers reading :)

  17. I have learned alot but I cannot think of one thing. People don't realized how much research goes into a book. Someone is always asking me how do you know that and I say from a book.


  18. Loretta, LOL, they ask me the same thing, usually in horrified tones. I have to tell them it's from research I've done!

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