Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lynda Hilburn Author Interview


Book Nerd Interview

Lynda's books can be classified as urban fantasy/dark fantasy with romance, suspense/mystery, satire, horror, humor and sex.

Lynda Hilburn writes paranormal fiction. More specifically, she writes vampire books. 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 psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, professional psychic/tarot reader, university instructor and workshop presenter. Her series, Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist is being rewritten and will be republished by Quercus Books in the UK and Europe, and by Sterling Publishing/Silver Oak in North America. The UK version of the first book in the series, "The Vampire Shrink" will be published September, 2011. The North American version a few months later. Book #2 (tentatively titled "Blood Therapy"), which is a new book, will be published a year later, and book #3 (the book that used to be called "Dark Harvest") will follow a year later. She also has a short story in the anthology, "Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance," called "Blood Song." "Diary of a Narcissistic Bloodsucker" and "Undead in the City" are available through Amazon.com and Smashwords.


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Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?

My all-time favorite book is Dracula by Bram Stoker. That book both frightened and entranced me, and introduced me to my favorite creatures of the night. Stoker gave human qualities to a character who had previously been alien and monstrous. He created disturbing layers. I’m also a huge fan of Anne Rice’s vampires and witches. Besides paranormals, I love the “In Death” series by J.D. Robb, the Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais, and all of Tom Robbins’ quirky books.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

Some variation on “don’t wait for your muse to show up – sit your ass down in the chair and type.”

Did you learn anything from writing Kismet Knight, Ph.D., Vampire Psychologist and what was it?

Kismet’s tale was the first novel-length writing I actually finished. What I learned was how hard it was to switch from nonfiction [which I wrote for years] to fiction. The learning curve was huge. And since she is an idealized version of me [except younger, prettier, thinner and having a lot more fun], I got to explore “paths not taken” through her. That’s the most fun part.

What do you feel is the most significant change since book one?

Book #1 [originally written in 2005] had so many incarnations, and went through so many editors, beta readers and critique partners, that it was literally a new book every few months. Kismet is slowly discovering the hidden aspects of herself, and since I have decided to keep writing the books, no matter what, giving myself permission to allow the transformation to unfold at her pace rather than mine has provided many surprises. She is fleshing herself out in unexpected and exciting ways. I never know what she’s going to do next.

What part of Devereux did you enjoy writing the most?

When I first started writing Dev, I envisioned him with long, dark hair. But he wouldn’t have it. He insisted on being blond – I’ve never figured out why – so I had to readjust my fantasies about the vampire sitting in the waiting room. I love that he has magical abilities beyond his vampire nature, and that he values a woman’s intellect as much as anything else. And, of course, it was so much fun to write about his gorgeous face and body. He’s truly [after I got used to the hair color] the man of my dreams.

For those who are unfamiliar with Kismet, how would you introduce her?

Kismet is a mostly traditional, rational psychologist, which means she tends to believe what she can prove with her five senses and nothing more. She was raised by socially inept academics and she never explored the more creative aspects of her nature. If she can’t categorize it, it doesn’t exist – which makes her discovery of the vampires very challenging. She and I share a career [therapy], and we both know that clients frequently act out, claiming to be vampires, werewolves, space aliens, etc. So it comes as no surprise that she would cling to her diagnoses of mental illness rather than embrace the hidden preternatural world she stumbles into. I have clients who told me ten years ago they are being visited by aliens and I still don’t believe them.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know the most over the course of writing Kismet Knight, Ph.D., Vampire Psychologist Series?

I think cocky FBI profiler, Alan Stevens, is delightful. His rough edges make him very different from Devereux – very human. And his mind is quick and clever, which intrigues Kismet. He makes me smile every time he’s on stage. He’ll definitely show up again in the future.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

Right now I’m working on the edits for the expanded/rewritten book #3 in the series, which is called Crimson Psyche. After that I’ll start on book #4 [I need a good psychology-vampire name for it!], and I’ll keep brainstorming a spinoff series. I’ll also finish a few novellas and shorts stories I’ve had on the back burner. Of course, if I could quit my day job as a therapist, I could write much faster and get a lot more books written!

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

OMG! I completely love Roarke from the “In Death” books. He could definitely make Kismet think about being a very naughty girl. Of course, since Kismet hasn’t ever had to learn to defend herself physically [she always uses her mind and her therapy skills], Eve would kick her ass. But it would be an exciting few minutes!

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

There are two questions: How much do you weigh? How old are you?

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?

I don’t really call anyone. After talking to my clients all day [one session after another, after another], I can’t make myself pick up the phone for social purposes. But I do email several writing friends who keep me from jumping off various cliffs daily.

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?

The most memorable summer job was helping out at a neighborhood swimming pool. I wasn’t a lifeguard – because I don’t swim – but I helped control the little kids. I have very pale skin, which used to break out in huge, awful freckles from the sun. That summer I was horrified to discover myself covered with the little brown spots. And, being unaware that putting light-colored powder all over my face, arms, shoulders, legs, etc., would make me look like a neon-white zombie, I was mercilessly taunted all summer. I never went near a pool after that, and I still avoid the sun as much as possible. I’m a vampire!

Who was your first boyfriend?

My first major crush was on the boy next door to my aunt’s house in inner city Detroit. His name was Jimmy Vince and he was a very bad boy. A juvenile delinquent, my mother called him. I couldn’t get enough of those big brown eyes and lanky build. Of course, I was a few years younger than him, so he had little time for me. Every time he brushed me off I was heartbroken. We reconnected several years later and the thug allure he’d exuded as an adolescent had morphed into lost soul. The bubble had burst. But I heard he joined the Navy later and traveled the world. But that first blush of infatuation was awesome!

Tell me about your first kiss

See the paragraph above. Jimmy cornered me in the attic of my aunt’s house and planted a big one on my closed lips [I didn’t know it would feel better to open them a little]. I walked around in a daze for weeks. I’ve since remained a fan of kissing.

When was the last time you cried?

What time is it? Seriously, I’m a very intense, emotional person and I cry all the time. Those Hallmark commercials with the little girl dancing with her father make me sob and snort. There are usually many reasons to cry: the world can be a sad place.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?

If I have to select from the last century, I’d choose the ‘70s, because all the great musicians were around then and the world was filled with exciting music. But I also think the teens of today have so much awesome technology at their fingertips, that I wonder what it would be like to be an adolescent now.

What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?

Yikes. They’re both hard. It might be more difficult for me to let someone down easy without hurting their feelings. Sometimes I’m not as sensitive as usual. I feel especially bad about one situation a long time ago when a sweet guy offered me his heart and I missed all the clues leading up to his declaration. I was so stunned that I was speechless. I simply couldn’t talk. I just stood there with my mouth hanging open. He wasn’t amused, and he never let me apologize. If you’re reading this, Steve: I’m sorry!



Blood Therapy is a dark contemporary fantasy with humor, mystery, romance and adult situations.

Kismet Knight knows exactly how to handle her clients, but when it comes to her love-life, she's on less steady ground. That was until she met master vampire Devereux, an 800-year-old hunk, who not only managed to convince the entirely rational shrink that vampires really do exist - he also persuaded her to start dating him.

Kismet's still having nightmares after being kidnapped by Lucifer, a psychotic vampire. From a therapeutic perspective she finds his split personalities fascinating - but she's constantly terrified. And Dev's become obsessed with finding Lucifer - before he comes after Kismet again.

So much for her nice, ordinary life...Blood Therapy is a dark contemporary fantasy with humor, mystery, romance and adult situations.
Kismet Knight knows exactly how to handle her clients, but when it comes to her love-life, she's on less steady ground. That was until she met master vampire Devereux, an 800-year-old hunk, who not only managed to convince the entirely rational shrink that vampires really do exist - he also persuaded her to start dating him.

Kismet's still having nightmares after being kidnapped by Lucifer, a psychotic vampire. From a therapeutic perspective she finds his split personalities fascinating - but she's constantly terrified. And Dev's become obsessed with finding Lucifer - before he comes after Kismet again.

So much for her nice, ordinary life...


The second book in Lynda Hilburn’s Vampire Psychologist series, Blood Therapy, the feisty psychologist, Kismet Knight, has come to realization that vampires exists amongst us. Coming off the heels of The Vampire Shrink, Kismet’s life have been frenzy ever since being kidnapped by a psychotic vampire named Lucifer and after learning about her powers and what it is capable of. Devereux, her master vampire lover, is breaking down as he is unable to track down Lucifer. Even the gathering of vampires for her self-help group seems to be failing. With Lucifer still pitting Kismet in his sights, she’s become defiant to Devereux’s demands and realizes that she needs to learn how to shield her brain from his powers.

Sequels are meant to give more insights to already developed characters and story lines. Author Lynda manages to do just that. She has advanced the Kismet character as well as adding a layer to an already compelling and intriguing world. Kismet’s sophisticated view of the vampire world is quite interesting. 


Lynda’s writing style transmits the readers into her viewpoint and gets a real definitive feeling towards how she feels about Devereux and this whole new world that she recently discovered. The clever concept of celebrity and historical figure vampires is entertainingly unique. Just the thought of your favorite Hollywood star being a vampire is a fun idea to throw around in your head. The story paces along quite well as Lynda places her wonderful characters into interesting and amusing situations. The psychology aspect of the book is the one thing that truly stands out. This is one department that many books in the paranormal romance section rarely explore and it certainly brings a plate of interesting throughout. Blood Therapy is a solid story being that is lead by imaginative and innovative writing that the third book is certainly shaping up to be a can’t-miss opportunity to find out what will happen next to these unforgettable characters.

You can purchase Blood Therapy at the following Retailers:
    


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Lynda and Sterling for making this giveaway possible.
 2 Winners will receive a Copy of Blood Theraphy by Lynda Hilburn.
1 Winner will receive One poster, One Bookmark, and One button of a Surprise Art by James Vallesteros.
10 Winners will receive One bookmark of a Surprise Art by James Vallesteros.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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