Kate Brady is a RITA Award winning author, choral director, university professor, wife, mother, and caretaker of a variety of furry, feathered, and scaly pets. She lives with her family in Georgia, where she is currently at work on her next novel.
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Q&A with Kate Brady
Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
Both. Thankfully, my personal experiences aren’t nearly as tragic as the horrific events my characters endure. That is, I haven’t been fired or stalked, I haven’t lost a child or sibling, and I haven’t experienced parental rejection, familial hatred, divorce, murder, or the host of other traumas I force upon my characters. So the personal experience comes to play in more subtle ways… I do know what it’s like to suffer loss, to fight disease, to fear for a child, to fall in love, to have needs and fears and yet want to stay strong. Things like that. And many real-life events, sayings, and characters (or character traits) do make it into my manuscripts here and there. Current events also factor in, though more and more, I realize that I couldn’t possibly write many of the shocking things I see on the news: No one would buy it as a plausible premise.
Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I’m not a plotter. But in romantic suspense, let’s face it—we all know the end before we crack open the first page: The villain will be vanquished and true love will prevail. As for the specifics of how we wind up there, I do better when I let it happen organically than when I try to control things. So I create some character backstory, figure out what the villain is up to, decide on wounds and goals for the hero and heroine, and then turn them all loose together and see what happens. It’s usually the end of the book before I really find out what it was all about. Then I go back and weave in the things that make it work and take out the things that may have once seemed relevant to the story, but wind up not really mattering. The most enjoyable part of the process for me is being surprised by what happens next. I know that sounds strange, but that’s the way it happens for me.
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
Routine? I have no routine, though I wish I could. My days are only minimally routine, so I’m one of those writers who carries my laptop at all times and squeezes out words whenever and wherever I can… While waiting to pick up my children at school, during intermission of a concert, between classes, in the waiting room of a dentist’s office. When I do have big chunks of time at home to write, the kitchen island or any comfy chair will do.
We have a zoo of animals, so there’s almost always a dog on the sofa beside me, cats trying to snooze on my laptop, and/or cockatiels climbing around on my shoulders. (Is that idiosyncratic, or just weird?) And maybe because my house is so full of distractions, one thing I love to do is take my laptop to a cozy restaurant, order something-wonderful-that-I-didn’t-have-to-make, and read or write there. I know some people don’t like to go to restaurants alone, but it’s one of my favorite ways to treat myself and still get some work done.
Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?
I’m a professor of music and choral conductor: I teach two or three courses every semester at a large state university and I’m the choral director at a church. So writing is my third job, though both of the other jobs are now part-time positions.
In addition, I have two teenagers and a hubby. Enough said.
What are you reading now?
I’m currently on the judges’ panel for the International Thriller Writers (ITW) annual awards so I’m reading a ton of different authors just now, all of them vying for Best Thriller 2014! It’s a wonderful experience.
Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
Right now I’m working on my fifth book, which is the third novel in this set. The first two featured brothers Nick and Luke Mann as heroes, and now I’m writing their sister, Alayna. Every time I write a psycho-killer, I think I’ve reached the limit for what kinds of twisted psyches can drive a story, then I launch into another and find there’s someone even creepier chasing my heroes and heroines. In the third book (following WHERE ANGELS REST and WHERE EVIL WAITS), a villain known as The Sandman has haunted the coasts for decades, burying his victims alive beneath the sand. WHERE DANGER HIDES will come out in 2015.
Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?
Keyboard. There’s something about the action of typing that gets my brain going and feeds the creative process. Hand-writing just leads to doodling.
Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
I love to cook. And I spend way too much time watching cooking shows, surfing recipes, and reading foodie magazines. I figure anything that gets my kids’ friends to say, “Hey, let’s go hang out at YOUR house” is good, so I like having good eats around for the area teenagers. It’s not conducive to quiet writing time, but I figure it’s better having them at our house than at…er…many of the other places they’re prone to hanging out.
Also, in the spring, I love to spend time in my gardens. Though I will admit that by August, the Atlanta heat has usually sapped me of that desire and I spend the second half of the growing season cursing myself for having planted so much back in April!
Except for the fact that I won’t eat anything that swims, I’m not picky. My favorite is probably something with a Caribbean or tropical flare: Jerk-anything, something along the lines of pineapple-mango-pepper salsa, fire-roasted fresh veggies or grilled plantains. Yum!
ABOUT THE BOOK
SHE’LL RISK EVERYTHING
Special prosecutor Kara Chandler is very good at her job, so good that a homicidal mastermind vows to kill her and everyone she cares about. Desperate to save herself and her son, Kara seeks out cartel hit man Luke Varón. The last time she dealt with Luke, she saw him beat the system and escape prison. But now, the most dangerous man she’s ever met is the only one who can keep her alive.
HE’LL STOP AT NOTHING
Luke Varón isn’t who he appears to be. After spending years in the criminal underworld, he seeks redemption . . . and revenge. Yet when he sees the fear in Kara’s eyes, he can’t walk away. People around her are being murdered, and only he can help uncover the killer’s motive. Now as danger closes in, Kara and Luke must trust each other with their darkest secrets – before the evil in their lives destroys them both.
Read an excerpt
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Number of Pages: 426 pages
THANKS TO MARISSA AT FOREVER ROMANCE/GCP,
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