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7 Questions with ... Kylie Kaden

She can write romance novels, wrangle a sticky brood of boisterous boys and swim butterfly – we catch up with USQ alumna and Random House author Kylie Kaden to find out what makes her tick.

What's your hidden talent?
My array of secret talents must be so well hidden even I don't know I have them. I am rather proud of myself when I survive school holidays (as the only female in a house of boisterous boys) with all our lives (and TV) intact. That takes talent. I was a pretty good at Butterfly at school though – unexpected for an ‘indoor' girl. Does that count?

Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
Favourite villain? That's an oxymoron! If you love the baddies someone isn't doing their job right! If you're asking who I hate best - Hannibal Lecter, for the evil way he made it so creepily personal. (And Dexter. My favourite serial killer.)

You're hosting a literary dinner party, which five authors would you invite? (Alive or dead)
Now, assuming they're up for takeaway Thai (and don't mind a bit of argy-bargy from my kids in the background), I'd love to invite Wally Lamb (best female POV written by a man ever), Hannah Kent (How did you get so good so young, damn it?), Harper Lee (what's the story with the gap between books!?), Debra Oswald (I'm convinced scriptwriting is a great basis for creating novels and would love to pick her brains), Stieg Larsson (Just to find out what was in store for Lisbeth before his untimely departure). A rather eclectic bunch - should make for some interesting dynamics.

What are five words that describe your writing process?
Sporadic, interrupted, heartfelt, honest, improving.

If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
I would ask Marian Keyes how she manages to mix darkness and hilarity on the same page with no impact on pacing or mood. Genius.

Picture your favourite writing space. What are five objects you would find there?
Official answer: laptop, scene-cards, whiteboard, herbal tea and my reliable muse.
Unofficially: squashed Coke Zero cans, yesterday's teacup, Cadbury wrappers, pile of random clutter/Lego/unopened mail, and with any luck – none of my three children (appallingly detrimental to head-space).

Which would you rather do: 'Never write another story again or never read another book again'?
You are cruel. If I had to pick, I'd choose to never write again. Reading books takes me places when I have to stay where I am. Nothing else in the world can do that.

Miss Kylie at USQ Bookcase?

Kylie shares her tips and hints on how to get published as a traditional author. Download her handout here.