(Pictured left, writer Michelle Beesley with successful Brisbane author, Kylie Kaden)
In the northern suburbs, managing a writing career, and a hectic house with a husband and three boys, you will find the delightful author, Kylie Kaden.
Kylie is the author of two novels, Losing Kate and Missing You published by Random House. I attended one of Kylie’s very first author talks at Ashgrove library, so it is fair to say I am a long-term fan of her work.
I met Kylie for a coffee and to hear more about her story and career.
The laundry office
Writing wasn’t Kylie’s first career option, but she honed the discipline in the tax office – yes, the tax office!
“I studied psychology at university before working as a manager at the Taxation office where I honed my writing skills preparing fact sheets,” Kylie says.
“It was only as a housework avoidance tactic after I had my third child, that I began writing Losing Kate. I was hiding out in the laundry supposedly sorting the mountains of washing in there,” she confesses.
The laundry served Kylie well, and on completion of her novel, she made a decision that changed her life.
“I decided to send the completed novel off to one of the biggest publishing houses, Random House, where it was retrieved from the slush pile. This never happens, so I was really lucky and everything happened very quickly for me,” she says.
Kylie’s novels are contemporary – part romance, part crime with twists and turns. Her stories are character-driven; complex, engaging characters keep you riveted to the end. Kylie categorises them as cross-genre.
“I write about what I know and am interested in,” Kylie says. “I’m interested in people, family, and how relationships tick.”
She uses flashback to tell aspects of the story and explains that, “some publishing houses don’t like this form of storytelling, but somehow it just worked in Losing Kate.”
Brisbane readers will recognise many familiar Sunshine Coast landmarks in Kylie’s novels.
“I grew up camping at the coast with my family so it seemed a logical place to set my first novel,” she says. “I’ve just been to the coast with my family for the holidays and it’s so beautiful and relaxing. It’s great to be able to take the family back to places I loved.”
In Losing Kate Kylie’s main characters are comprised of a trio of friends on the cusp of adulthood who are caught up in a tragedy. The ways in which this affects all their lives is explored as Kylie takes us on a journey to find the answers to the mystery.
Missing You includes local landmarks such as the UQ campus, suburbs of Brisbane and of course, the beach.
“It tells the story of the romance between Ryan and Aisha and how their lives change coping with a high needs child,” she says. “There is the theme of family dynamics … and when they renovate an old house that’s from my own experience as well.
“I believe the local settings will resonate with readers. As well as the fact that my characters are very real; facing real problems that many of us have encountered.”
Kylie’s advice to budding writers
Kylie says aspiring writers should just keep going, and try to keep self doubts at bay.
“Write about what you know and are interested in. Fit it in when you can … even if it’s just snatches of time here and there,” Kylie says.
“Good critique partner’s who you trust are also invaluable.”
What’s next for Kylie?
Well, the third novel is on the way and it is also set in a coastal location.
“It has the working title, The Day the Lies Began,” she says, “and no it doesn’t get easier by the third novel.
“You don’t want to compromise your standards by rushing the ending because you have a deadline. People know your work now and have certain expectations of what your stories will be like.”
Losing Kate was one of only three novels chosen by Screenworks NSW to take part in a film adaptation project, pitched to producers at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival.
“I have never written a screenplay,” Kylie says. But after the festival Kylie admits she now knows why it takes four years to make a movie.
A fan moment … who can blame me?
I confide to Kylie that her main character Jack from Losing Kate and Ryan from Missing You are my favourites in her novels.
“Yes,” she laughs, “my friends and I have been saying that Liam Hemsworth would make the perfect Jack.” I agree and he does really love Byron Bay. I think Kylie may need me as her assistant if that project goes ahead.
Answering my final question Kylie says, “No, I don’t still write in the laundry! I have a proper space in my office now, although the boys often come in and play computer games or the dog needs something.”
All the more real life fodder for Kylie to write about.