Author Spotlight: Kylie Kaden
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
Scant? Unless you count journals since I could hold a pen (riveting reading I’m sure!?), I’m a newbie on a steep learning curve. I did write the odd article for My Child Magazine, and a lot of shopping lists, but that’s about all. However, I was the girl who’d come home from the local library, wicker-basket on my bike brimming with books, so I knew early on I had a thing about words.
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
One journalist referred to me as the accidental author, and whilst 100,000 words don’t string together on their own, I never set out to be published. With three young sons, I started writing for sanity reasons – I was home on maternity leave two years ago, and simply wrote because I enjoyed it. I write while my youngest naps (and the washing mounts). So it was a housework avoidance strategy, really.
Tell us a little more about Losing Kate and what inspired the story idea:
Losing Kate is about two characters torn apart by a tragedy that are forced together half a lifetime later. No one person or event inspired the plot, but I wanted to explore themes such as the strength of friendships forged in youth and how our perception of events in those tumultuous times can shape who we become.
Losing Kate is described as part love story and part mystery, telling the story of two lovers torn apart by tragedy and the secrets they kept of one devastating night. As with all secrets, they do resurface eventually and we meet the characters again in the present. What was the most challenging aspect of writing Losing Kate?
The structure. With two parallel stories spanning thirteen years and a mystery to unravel, I found scene placement challenging. Trying to marry plot elements occurring in each thread took some time. It was risky using flashbacks extensively, but I just found it easier to ‘show not tell’, and keep the story engaging by including complete scenes from when Kate disappeared rather than sneaking the backstory in. Many whiteboards and post-it-notes were sacrificed!
What kind of research was involved in the planning of Losing Kate? Was there anything surprising that you learned during the research process?
Research? Planning? That all sounds like work to me! I’m a pantser (also a little lazy/time-poor) so there was none of that – although it would have cut down on my editing if I’d known where I was heading. They say writing a book is a lot like driving at night – you can’t see very far ahead but you can make the whole journey that way. That very much describes the way I write. Plus, because I had the whole ‘how to write’ thing to do, I don’t think I’d have coped with research as well. So I stuck very close to home with scenes playing out in my old high school (scary), suburban Brisvegas, and the national park where my surfer husband takes us to retreat from the hustle and bustle.
What do you want readers to know about the romance genre?
Many of us spend much of our lives either searching for the right partner, or getting over the wrong one. And for those that find lasting love, it’s rarely without conflict. So it’s easy to see why many are drawn to love stories; either to relate or escape. The romantic genre is rich, evocative and heart-wrenching. It embodies all that it means to be alive—to seek love, understanding and genuine connections with fellow humans. Who we chose to navigate this world with has the biggest impact on our happiness and sense of self. Why shouldn’t it play a leading role in the fiction we read?
What’s next for you?
I’m relieved to say I must have done something right, as the fantastic crew at Random House have asked me back for another round. I’m just in the final edits of my second women’s fiction – MISSING YOU, which will be out April 2015.
What book is currently on your nightstand? The Rosie Effect.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self? There is plenty of time to be a responsible worry-wart later…
What do you find easiest to write? Dialogue.
And, the hardest? Love scenes (call me a prude, but knowing my entire family is going to read it changes things.)
Favourite travel experience? A weeks lodging in an old converted Tuscan barn on our honeymoon.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: Live in New York.
Milk, dark or white chocolate? Milk (by the block!)
Red, white, bubbly? Bubbly.
Salty or sweet?
Both (My husband still looks at me in disgust when I have bacon and eggs on pancakes with maple syrup….). Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it.
Beach or mountains? Beach.
Give or receive? Give and you will receive.
About the Author:
Kylie Kaden was born and bred in Brisvegas where she lives with her surfy/lawyer husband and sticky brood of boys. A kid-wrangler, a self-diagnosed chocoholic, and ex-public servant, she can often be found hiding in the laundry with her laptop to keep sane, and still privately wonders if her quick road to publication was some sort of elaborate practical joke.
This mesmerising debut is part love story, part mystery, telling the captivating story of two lovers torn apart by tragedy and the secrets they kept of one devastating night.
I’m the most authentic version of myself when I’m around Jack. We’ve known each other since we were kids, and our relationship was always one of mudpies and mocking.
Then everything changed.
Beautiful Kate, my best friend, disappeared on a moonlit beach after Jack dumped her for me. Jack was a suspect and, sure of his innocence, I lied to protect him. I know Jack didn’t kill her. Our betrayal did.
Thirteen years later, I am thirty, childless and single, attempting to renovate my life rescuing a rundown worker’s cottage. All is as it should be in my safe little world – until Jack buys the vacant lot behind my house… and the feelings that we buried all those years ago – the guilt, the love and the pain – resurface.
We can’t keep running away from the past – and to move forward we have to know what really happened to Kate.