Kaylea Cross isn’t your average chick lit romance writer. She is known for her romance filled books, but her specialty is that she combines military suspense with romance for her readers. Critics call her books ‘edge-of-the-seat’ thrillers. This multi-genre aspect of her books could have been because of her varied interests ranging from gardening and cooking to Civil war and Special Ops. She says that she is a great Civil War buff and also loves reading about the Special Ops. In addition to being a well-known writer, she is also a registered massage therapist and practices the same. She is also a professionally trained belly dancer.
Kaylea has written a number of New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, the most popular being the Hostage Rescue Team series of books. Kaylea has also been critically acclaimed for her Suspense series. She has won a number of awards and contests starting with the Laurel Wreath Contest in 2009 for her book Out of Her League (her very first book). She was also nominated for the internationally acclaimed Daphne du Maurier award and the National Readers’ Choice Award. She has 2 sons and lives in Vancouver, BC with them and her husband. She splits her time between her massage therapy, writing, and parenting.
‘Ignited’, the first book in her most popular Titanium series follows the story of Khalia Patterson whose father is murdered by Taliban in Pakistan. Khalia is now in-charge of the non-profit dedicated to the education of women in Pakistan and moves there. She finds herself amid tensions and politics of the troubled country. She is protected by Hunter, a member of the Titanium security team and they develop a relationship. The story follows the mystery of her father’s murder and the emotions in her relationship with Hunter. ‘Signed’, the second book in her Titanium series follows the story of Claire Tierney who happens to find some classified information at work and gets employed by the government for a dangerous mission. She finds herself being the target of Taliban which is trying to assassinate her. Undeterred by the threat, she is focused on her mission. Protecting her is Master Seargent Gage Wallace with whom she develops a complicated relationship.
‘Out of Her League’, her first and most popular book in the Suspense series follows the story of Christa Bailey, an athlete who is hopeful of joining the Olympic softball team representing her country. She finds herself being stalked by a psychopathic fan who is obsessed with her. She is forced to turn to Rayne Hutchinson for help who is determined to protect her. You can find that all of Kaylea’s books are women-centric. Every book follows the story of a strong-willed female protagonist who is dying to achieve a mission come what may. She develops a complicated relationship with a guy-in-uniform who is hell-bent on protecting her from her threat.
Kaylea says that she enjoys Dark Chocolates, Gardening, Belly Dancing and Baseball. She actively promotes her book online. She also interacts with her readers on social media regularly. She also loves giving advice to aspiring writers on her blog as well as her facebook page. She made an interesting fictional interview with her book characters for somanyreads.com. The interview was between her and her characters – Matt DeLuca, Clay Bauer, Brad Tucker and Jake Evers where they discussed their careers, music, food and books.
Kaylea says that even after so many books as a full-time writer, most of them successful and award winning, she still faces common writers’ problems. She says that she still suffers from writers block from time to time. She also says that she procrastinates a lot and that there are a number of books that she couldn’t finish. She also has two active little boys that she has to take care of and struggles to find time to write. She remembers during an interview that she received the edits of her first book while she was on bed rest during her second pregnancy.
To tackle her problems as a writer, she says that she starts a book by writing an outline of the whole story. She then adds scenes to the outline before writing the actual story and the dialogs. This way, once she starts the story and gets stuck on a scene, she can always leave it at that and go to the next scene. She can get back to the incomplete scenes once she finds inspiration later. She explains that she couldn’t have completed a single book if she hadn’t done this. She says that she often sneaks to work when her boys are busy watching TV or having a snack. She does the bulk of her work at nights when her boys are asleep.
Kaylea’s books are known for characterization and deep conversation between the characters. The hard work that she puts behind developing the characters is evident for the readers of her books. She says that she first imagines every aspect of the character before starting with the story. She writes down every aspect such as the character’s favorite food, music, type of partner interested in, weapon, etc. even if they will never be mentioned in the story. She says that this helps her understand her character deeply. She then writes scenes that will best test the emotions of the characters. She plays every scene in her head like a movie and imagines how the characters would react. She plays out what such a person would talk in the situation. She says that this envisioning has helped her write vivid characters that her fans are now fond of.
As advice for aspiring writers, she asks them to read a lot of books in their genre, not much for inspiration but for understanding the style of the authors. The aspiring writer can break down the story and see how the author grasps the reader into the book. She recommends hiring a dedicated writer, if possible a career-oriented one to critique their writing on a regular basis. Regular critiques help the aspiring writer hone her skills instead of assigned edits after the completion of her work. She also recommends hiring a professional editor before sending in your work to agents.Book Series In Order » Authors » KayLea Cross