Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Welcome uber author Kylie Brant!!

Cindy here. I am SO excited to welcome my buddy and amazing talent Kylie Brant to the Top Down. She's here to tell us about her first sale story and her upcoming release for Silhouette Romantic Suspense, TERMS OF SURRENDER. Some lucky blogger will win a copy of Kylie's new book so make sure you let her know you're happy to see her. And I have other news ... drum roll please .... The Top Down crew is THRILLED to announce that Kylie will be officially joining us as a rider as of today. We are so excited to welcome her to the convertible and include her on all of our future road trips.
So now, without further adieu heeeeerrrrr'sssss Kylie!!

I started writing in 1990, which was pre-email, pre-internet, pre-me knowing anything at all about the writing industry. All I knew was that I loved to read. And my favorite authors just weren't writing fast enough to keep me in reading material!

I teach full time and have five kids, so the summer my youngest, a set of twins were four, I figured I was going to have all sorts of time on my hands so I decided to write a book. Yep. Not only blissfully ignorant but blindly optimistic as well.

When I deemed it 'ready' I did what every well-educated industry savvy author wannabe does when she's ready to submit: I opened my favorite author's book and found the address of the company she wrote for. Confidently, I found the telephone number to go with Silhouette's address and called them up to find out how to go about submitting.

Boy, are New York secretaries snotty about questions like that. Let's just say that was my first introduction to things like tip sheets and query letters and 'unsoliticited manuscripts'. (I didn't know what that was, but could tell it was a bad thing.)

Once I was invited to submit, I figured a week to get there in the mail, a week to get back, a month to read it. . .I'd be generous ☺ and give them six weeks. But I started to watch the mailbox after three.

Four long excruciating months later, I got a two-page rejection letter from the senior editor of Special Edition. She suggested several revisions and invited me to resubmit, which I did. But this time when the book was mailed off, I'd wised up and started another book in the duration. Which was lucky, because it took six months to receive yet another two page rejection letter. My second book had just gone in, this time to Intimate Moments, so I took the time to revise the first manuscript once again and sent that in, too.

The only reason I was even home the afternoon I got the call from Silhouette is because I was sick in bed with laryngitis. Leslie Wainger's assistant editor was on the phone, all excited because she'd tracked me down. Apparently I'd neglected to include my phone number in the cover letter. Go figure. She said she was excited because she'd found me in the slush pile. I thought she said flush pile, which didn't sound promising. She told me Leslie was reading the manuscript as we spoke and would call me later.

After we hung up it all started feeling so surreal. Had that really just happened? Or was it the product of a Vicks Vaporub induced dream? All I could do was lay there for hours wondering, unable to call anyone for fear it had been a dream and if it hadn't, I didn't want to tie up the line. By the end of the day Leslie Wainger did call back and offer to buy the book. It wasn't much of a conversation since I could barely talk, but when she offered to call back the next day when I was feeling better I said NO! I was afraid to let her off the line!

A couple months later she bought my first manuscript too. But boy, that baby went through some major surgery prior to publishing!

My newest series for Silhouette, ALPHA SQUAD, kicks off this month with TERMS OF SURRENDER:

First-she'd left without a word.
Second-he hadn't chased her down.

Now they had to face their past under heated circumstances. And SWAT team hostage negotiators Jolie Conrad and Dace Recker couldn't let their simmering feelings explode. Because they'd suddenly become partners-and targets for a thwarted felon with revenge on the brain.

Staying alive would push them to the limit-but staying away from each other might just push them over the edge..

Hard to believe I've written over two dozen books for Silhouette now after that--oh, let's just call it an ignoble beginning!

How about you? Have you ever had good fortune strike despite everything that should have countered it? Or hey, we could talk about the best thing that ever happened to you when you were sick ☺ Because to date, making that first sale is the most excitement I've ever had in bed. (Whoops. Sorry, Farmer Guy!)


Michele Hauf said...

Welcome, Kylie! I think there's either room in the middle somewhere in the back seat of the convertible, or you might cling to anything solid and just hang on for the ride. It's a fun one!

(I added your book cover to the sidebar.) Very nice!


Kylie said...

Thanks, Michelle! As long as it's a convertible, I'm fine riding anywhere, LOL.

I was pretty pleased with the cover. Then I started poking around and found same guy (T shirt and all!) on another book cover. Apparently he's not very faithful, LOL!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Welcome, Kylie!

I loooove the cover on TERMS OF SURRENDER!

As I read your post, I must have said "Me, too" a dozen times. Teacher, decision to write a book when the youngest was about 4, knew nothing about publishing, got the name of (in my case) an agent from a book I enjoyed, and the wonderful Leslie Wainger! Good fortune, indeed.

And now, to our great good fortune, you join us in the convertible. Life is good.

Kylie said...

Thanks, Kathleen. Although Leslie terrified me at first, LOL, I learned so much from her. She has such a vast knowledge about the industry. I was bummed when I lost her as an editor.

Ignorance sometimes really is bliss because had I known how daunting the odds were of ever getting published, I'm not sure I ever would have started. I have so much respect for unpublished authors these days who are so savvy, understand what they're up against and still persevere. We all serve as examples that it can pay off!

Liza said...

Welcome Kylie! I love reading about everyone's first call. I know I've never had anything as good as this happen when I was sick.

Keri Ford said...

Aw man, that sucks. Get the call and you can't even talk worth a darn! But major fun way to brighten up a crappy day.

Look forward to hearing more about you.

Debra Dixon said...

Whoohoo, Kylie!

We're so glad to have you on board! You've been hanging out with us in comments for a while and you fit right in.

I snorted coffee through my nose when you said you could write during the summer with a set of 4-year-old twins.

Oh, how naive we all once were.

Kylie said...

Thanks Liza and Keri!

Now imagine me trying to call my family and friends to tell them the news when I had no voice. That was interesting!

I hadn't told anyone but my immediate family I was writing so most people didn't get it when I was able to share the news anyway. But it was still a thrill I'll always remember!

Kylie said...

Yes, Deb, naive and totally clueless, at least in my case!

But I think starting out that way helped me because while the kids were home I had to write amidst chaos all the time. We have one of those houses that was the hangout so there were always a dozen kids here. My office is right off the family room so it was never quiet.

It was the silence once they left that gave me fits. I had a hard time re-learning how to prioritize my time.

Helen Brenna said...

Hey, Kylie! So excited to have you not only visiting today, but joining our Top Down crew! Yay!

Flush pile. LOL!

Cindy Gerard said...

I see you're getting a Top Down welcome, Kylie! We're all so glad you're here.

Taking the chance to let everyone know that i'm blogging at Michelle Bounfiglio's Romance B(u)y the Blog today so please stop in and see me when you leave here:o)

Maureen said...

Hi Kylie!
Congratulations on your new book and what a great story. Once when I was sick with the flu my husband came home with a new car. That was quite a surprise.

Helen Brenna said...

You won, Maureen. A new car!

Kylie, sweetie, got you up on our header!

Kylie said...

Yes, Brenna, I was *that* clueless, LOL! This is why I usually make people buy me margaritas before telling that story!

Kylie said...

Wow, Maureen!! That *is* a great surprise on a sick day! I'd be pretty thrilled with that, too!

Kylie said...

Thank you, Brenna!

And thanks to Cindy for suggesting to the crew to let me ride along. I'm having a ball!

Christie Ridgway said...

Hi, Kylie! So glad you're with us. I don't think anything fortuitous has ever happened to me when I was home sick...

I still can't believe you were so optimistic about writing a book with 5 kids, including a set of twins! I sold my first book when my sons were 5 and 2, though, and I don't remember being phased by the thought of producing the next manscript while staying home with a two-year-old. Amazing what one can accomplish during naptime...

Kylie said...

You're so right, Christie. Whatever is normal at the time is what we learn to work around.

With five kids all involved in sports, my weeknights were filled but my weekends (outside of volleyball season) were free. That's when I wrote. Now I'm home more week nights but it seems like we're gone every weekend. So I' relearning how to organize the time I have.

I'll never enjoy writing after a full day of work, but under deadline I have no choice.

lois greiman said...

Kylie, I'm so glad you're here.

That is a nice cover on Surrender, but tell us about your next projects. :)

catslady said...

I think one of the most important things for authors must be perserverance - congrats!

Estella said...

Your new book looks great!

Kylie said...

Catslady, I have my favorite quote as a magnet on the refrigerator and it reads: perserverance pays off in the long run, but procrastination pays off now, LOL. I'm the queen of procrastination so it's discipline discipline discipline for me.

Like I don't get enough of that at school, LOL!

Kylie said...

Thanks, Estella, I like the cover, too. And believe me, you don't hear me saying *that* often enough!

My last book was supposed to feature a Navajo Tribal policeman walking into a slot canyon. The hero looked like an eighteen year old cowboy walking into a giant wedge of cheese!

Kylie said...

Why thanks for asking, Lois! There are two more Alpha Squad books coming from SRS, in January and July. Then I have three dark romantic thrillers coming out from Berkley in Sept, Oct, and Nov. of next fall. I've got my fingers crossed for them. They sure are a blast to write!

Kylie said...

Smacking my forehead!

Helen, many apologies by calling you by your last name! One of my friends is named Brenna. And...well...I'm just old.

It's been that kind of day ALL day!

Helen Brenna said...

Don't sweat it, Kylie. I knew what you meant. And I love the name Brenna. I know several girls around my daughter's age with that name.

Once you've been around for a while, you might have a few other choice names you'll want to call me. LOL

flchen1 said...

Kylie, I loved reading your post today! And I love your fridge magnet--I might need to get one of those for myself :) I'm the queen of procrastination ;) Considering that, my life's a tremendous blessing :) I'm glad we don't always get what we deserve ;) Congrats again on your successes, and your fab family!

Sean and Anna said...

Welcome Kylie! I love having a new author to try out- the cover looks great and I will definitely keep my eyes out for it.

Kylie said...

Thanks Flchen1--I was so thrilled to see that magnet! Made me think there were others out there like me, LOL! Maybe we all could start a support group!

Kylie said...

Thanks, Anna--I hope you find the book! Distribution has been something of a problem with the line recently, although they tell us that is improving.

ArkieRN said...

Hi Kylie! The best thing that ever happened to me when I was sick was hearing the news that I was in remission.

Dina said...

Welcome, Kylie!

Thanks for visiting and telling us about your book.