Hello Everyone! I’m pleased to welcome author Lynda Hilburn to the Paranormal Unbound blog. Lynda writes about my favorite preternatural creature – vampires, of course – so I had to invite her over for a chit chat. 🙂
Hi, Lynda! Thanks for being with us today here on Paranormal Unbound. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a happy misfit – definitely marching to my own drummer. By day I’m a licensed psychotherapist and therapy group facilitator at a local mental health center, where I have to keep my wild side under wraps [and my vampire posters off the walls]. The rest of the time I’m a paranormal fiction author/storyteller, intuitive tarot reader, rock singer, hands-on healer, hypnotherapist and motivational speaker. I love reading and writing about vampires, shifters, witches, psychics, ghosts – all supernatural creatures – and living in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in beautiful Colorado.
What do you love about writing paranormal fiction and specifically vampire fiction?
Maybe because my day job deals with human drama and challenges – things a lot of us struggle with on a daily basis – I love being able to step out of that, into the strange and unusual. I’ve been a rabid fan of all things vampire since I was a kid reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The idea of tortured creatures of the night has always inflamed my imagination. And combining the idea of immortality and sex, well, there’s no end to the fictional possibilities. There’s just something arousing and amazing about an undead lost soul seeking redemption. The characters and situations I create in my head are much more interesting than my everyday reality. But I’m still waiting for a vampire to show up in my office. I’d describe my books as bloody, sexy and funny.
As you know, Lynda, I’m a fan of your Kismet Knight, Ph.D., Vampire Psychologist Series. Where did you find the inspiration for the world you’ve built in the series?
That’s sweet of you to say! The idea for the Kismet series came from a client session with a young woman who talked about wanting to join a non-human group [aliens]. She spoke about feeling disconnected and how she longed to belong to her “real” family. After that session I started thinking about the client’s words, which reminded me of some of the vampire books I’d been reading.
As I left the office for the night, I imagined a smokin’ hot vampire sitting on my couch, which was highly inspirational. I started playing with the story idea and THE VAMPIRE SHRINK was born. I intended to have the series take place in Boulder, which is where I live, but it’s too small to have that many vampires [without wiping out the human population], so I moved the tale down the road to Denver. There’s a great club called The Church that was perfect to represent Devereux’s vampire gathering place, The Crypt.
We enjoy chatting about heroes and heroines on this blog. What type do you prefer to write? Alpha, beta, gamma, snarky, badass, tortured, flawed, stubborn, patient, intelligent… And where would you place Kismet and Devereux in this spectrum? (I know where I’d put Devereux — is it getting hot in here? lol)
I love intelligent characters of both sexes, so everyone I’ve written so far has a keen brain and clever wit in addition to their other traits. Well, wait a minute. I guess there is an exception. One of the bad guys in THE VAMPIRE SHRINK, who reappears in BLOOD THERAPY, is so mentally ill that his mind is fragmented. He’s not much for small talk or party chatter. Besides, he smells bad.
I like everyone to be psychologically interesting with clear symptoms of one diagnosis or another. I’d say Devereux is a combination of all the things I like about heroes: gorgeous, smart, charming, compassionate, patient, sexual/sensual and loving. But he’s also bossy, brooding, flawed, stubborn, domineering and a world-class badass master vampire.
Kismet starts out totally in her head – intellectual, rational, stubborn, narrow-minded, distant. She’s emotionally repressed and has spent her life so far in academia, trying to prove herself. Her challenge through the series is to acknowledge and accept the other parts of herself and to allow her innate abilities to blossom. She and Devereux are transforming themselves and each other. Since all my characters also tend to be verbal, I’ve yet to challenge myself with writing someone who’s the strong, quiet type.
I’m a bit of a cover fanatic and I love your covers. Who is your cover artist?
The covers for the self-published books are by Kim Killion of Hot Damn Designs. I plan to have all my self-pubbed covers redesigned in the future so they conform to whatever “brand” we come up with. Right now, there’s no real theme. My traditional covers have been frustrating for me. THE VAMPIRE SHRINK has had 5 covers so far [not counting the German covers], and my British publisher has designed another new cover for it, which is supposed to show up in January, 2014 when book 3 is released. BLOOD THERAPY has had 2 covers so far, with a new British version coming soon. And the new book, CRIMSON PSYCHE, only has one cover [unless you count the 2008 book Dark Harvest, which will be partially reproduced in Crimson Psyche]. I don’t know if those new British covers will be used for the USA versions. Confused yet? LOL. Me, too!
For the cover of DEVEREUX: THE NIGHT BEFORE KISMET A Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist short story – the model looks exactly like the Devereux in my head. Is this how you see him? (Okay, it is definitely getting hot in here! *fans self*)
Yes. That’s definitely how I see Devereux. I tracked that model down on purpose to see if I could buy some photos. His name is Ryan Taylor and he lives in New Zealand. What a hunky doll. He used to perform with Chippendales. There just aren’t many guys these days with long blond hair, so I was happy to find him. He used to do a lot of covers for Ellora’s Cave.
Do you read vampire fiction? If so, who are your favorites?
I adore vampire fiction. In addition to Bram Stoker, it was Anne Rice’s vampires that started me on the long, fanged path. I try to read widely in my fields [vampires, paranormal in general, psychological thrillers] and I don’t always like the books everyone else raves about. I’m sorry Charlaine Harris’s Sookie books have ended. That was a lovely series. And the early Anita Blake books are personal favorites.
I’m obsessive about books. I have a Kindle, and enjoy it, but I’ll never stop buying paper books. My local library can be counted on to order every new vampire book that comes out, so I always reserve them there to see if I like a particular story, then I buy the book to add to my personal collection [which takes up so many shelves, I’m embarrassed to say].
What are you working on now, and what’s up next for you?
I just finished book #3 in the Kismet series, CRIMSON PSYCHE, which will be out in Britain/Europe in January, 2014 and at some unknown point later next year in the USA. I’m completing a short story called “Sex in a Coffin,” which is a snapshot of life for Kismet and Devereux. I’ll put that one up myself within a couple of weeks. I’m also expanding and rewriting a story that was in a Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance in 2009 called Blood Song. I want to get that one up soon, as well. Then, I’ll start working on an erotic romance [or two] and Kismet book 4. I wish there were more hours in the day [and I’d win the lottery so I could write full time!].
Tell us about one of your books!
UNDEAD IN THE CITY is a vampire erotic romance short novel, featuring feisty lead guitar player Tempest Moon and undead assassin Malveaux. It takes place in the inner city of Detroit [where I grew up]. I’m definitely planning to write more in this world.
Here’s a blurb:
Musician Tempest Moon knew the world was a rough place. Raised in the inner city of Detroit, the only way she learned to succeed was to be smarter – and tougher – than the next guy. Being a sexy, talented singer/lead guitar player with her own band was her way of staying in charge of her destiny. Whether anyone else liked it, or not.
Tempest’s band was gigging in yet another downtown dive. The club was almost empty due to the arrival of the worst blizzard the city had seen in a century. With one more set to play before she and the band could escape the smoky lounge, a mystery man walked in. Even dripping wet from the relentless onslaught, Tempest could tell the man was unusual. If only because he was the most gorgeous male specimen she’d ever seen. But he was a little pale.
Malveaux had ducked into the bar to avoid having to kill any more of the worthless minions set upon him by the local vampire territory boss. Under most circumstances, he’d have enjoyed tracking the idiots, and tearing their hearts out. He’d learned long ago to take pleasure in his work. But Malveaux wasn’t dealing with usual circumstances. A sexual obsession, passed to him by his sire and suddenly overwhelming, had changed all the rules of the game. He knew if he didn’t find an “offspring” – a female thrall to serve his sexual needs – he’d go mad.
When he laid eyes on the charismatic musician on stage, he knew he’d found his “child.” She wouldn’t need to know he was an assassin. But she’d find out his deeper secret soon enough when he sank his fangs into the pulsing vein in her neck.
Together they’d take on the human underworld and the undead.
Lynda Hilburn writes paranormal fiction. More specifically, she writes books about vampires, witches, ghosts, psychics and other supernatural creatures. After a childhood filled with invisible friends, sightings of dead relatives and a fascination with the occult, turning to the paranormal was a no-brainer. In her other reality, she makes her living as a licensed psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, professional psychic/tarot reader, university instructor and workshop presenter. Books #1 and #2 in her Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist series can be found everywhere.
Thanks for chatting with us today and bringing some vampire romance goodness to our blog, Lynda! 🙂
Giveaway: Comment to Win!
Want some vampire romance awesomeness for your bookshelf? Leave a comment for a chance to win one of Lynda’s books! One commenter will receive: a *PRINT* copy of The Vampire Shrink or Blood Therapy, OR, an *E-BOOK* copy of Devereux or Undead In The City.
NOTE: Print copy for US residents only. E-Book copy for anyone (international).
Want one additional entry?
Tweet this interview and leave a comment about your tweet to count as the entry.
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This contest will run until Monday 9/9 (12 AM Pacific) – Winner will be drawn and announced by End of Day Monday (PST)!
MONDAY, September 9, 2013 — The gods at random.org have spoken! The winner of one of Lynda’s books (as listed above) is: BlondieBlack!
Disclaimer: Prize must be claimed within one week of the winning announcement.