The Author Visits Presents Lindsay J. Pryor
Calendar of Events
Sunday, August 17: Author Introduction and kick-off giveaway Monday, August 18: The Author Visits reviews Blood Shadows Tuesday, August 19: Interview with Lindsay Wednesday, August 20: The Author Visits reviews Blood Roses Thursday, August 21: Guest Post by Lindsay Friday, August 22: The Author Visits reviews Blood Torn
Saturday, August 23: What’s Next for Lindsay; Announce Giveaway Winner
What’s Next for Lindsay?
Blood Deep – A Teaser
Blood Deep is the fourth book in my Blackthorn series. Therein, you’ll get to meet Eden and Jessie – the final couple for you to meet who are pivotal to the future of Blackthorn.
Like the first three Blackthorn books, Blood Deep is set in the rotten core of the locale around which the series is based. This time, instead of delving into the world of the vampires (Blood Shadows and Blood Roses) or the lycans (Blood Torn), it takes you into the world of the cons – the human convicts rejected from the penitentiary across the border and forced to fend for themselves in Blackthorn amongst the third species.
In Blood Deep, many more pieces of the Blackthorn puzzle fall into place, the impact of some of these forbidden love stories is revealed and the consequences of their decisions starts to become apparent.
I do hope you enjoy it!
Lindsay’s Guest Post
The concept behind my Blackthorn series was inspired over 18 years ago. I’d not long left the comfort and safety of my family’s home to take up my first teaching post in a big city over three hundred miles away from everything I knew.
I’d already had a fascination with urban vampires having watched The Little Vampire on TV as a child. I’d gone on to see The Lost Boys in my late teens. Anne Rice was my first and, back then, only stint into vampire fiction. I’d already spent years intrigued by mythology and had been writing since the age of nine – short stories, full-length young fiction, plays and poetry. I’d penned my first paranormal romance (as they’re now called) short story in my late teens. Then came Blackthorn.
Walking home one night, I got lost in a very isolated and run-down part of the city. Iron bars were on windows. Metal shutters were on doors. The place was dead. I was terrified, but the idea for Blackthorn was born – dark paranormal thriller-style stories set in an urban, gritty backdrop of social unrest, where the third species (vampires, lycans etc) as I named them, brushed shoulders with humans. They weren’t evil, they weren’t the undead and they weren’t cursed – just physiologically different, defined primarily by shadows in place of souls. I devised a dystopian world where humans were calling the shots amidst segregation and prejudice. Soon Blackthorn became about how these characters, forced into this tyrannical system, into this melting pot of injustice, were going to overcome it.
I didn’t work intently on my series in all those years. It was more a background project, a secret passion, whilst I taught full-time and worked on other writing projects – ones I thought might actually get me published one day. Over the years though, Blackthorn took on more and more of a life of its own as I developed notebooks full of plotlines, characterisations and background information. I thought I’d get bored, but the ideas and the potential just kept coming. A whole multi-layered world took shape – a world that became vividly tangible to me.
The romances that evolved within that world became inevitable because I’m a romance writer at heart. This shady and dystopian location developed into the perfect backdrop for dark and intense forbidden romances that would become the catalyst for the change this oppressive world needed. Stories about heroes and heroines who had no place falling in love with each other became central to the world I’d created – romances that would not only impact on the fate of humankind, but also on the fate of the ‘third species’.
My stories aren’t for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure, but for those who aren’t afraid to visit the darker side of PNR, Blackthorn is proving to be a place that’s very much worth a visit.
Interview with Lindsay
I had the pleasure of interviewing the super-talented Lindsay J. Pryor. She is the creator of the highly successful paranormal romance series Blackthorn (and one of my all -time favorites) including the books Blood Shadows, Blood Roses and Blood Torn. The fourth installment, Blood Deep, is in the works. A release date will soon be announced. Enjoy my chat with Lindsay!
Veena: Welcome Lindsay, I cannot express how excited I am to showcase you and your work on The Author Visits.
Lindsay: Thank you for having me!
Veena: Let’ get started then. Tell me, when did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Lindsay: It was never an active decision. From a young age, my head was always full of stories and it just felt natural to write them down. I remember writing my first sci-fi at the age of nine. I announced I wanted to be an author when I was thirteen. I had no concept of what it really meant or involved but it was at the age when, at school, we were first encouraged to start making career choices. I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than sitting at my desk writing stories. I became a teacher and still teach now, but I’ve never stopped writing in all that time. Becoming published was the bonus because it means I can afford to put even more time into writing more books. For me, writing is a vocation, an outlet and an indulgence. For as long as I’m capable, I’ll be writing – it’s just what I do.
Veena: I understand completely – I find writing very cathartic as well. Next question. Who or what inspires you to write?
Lindsay: I have no idea where the compulsion comes from, only that I love stories. I like to create my own worlds and my own rules, so I was instinctively drawn to fantasy and sci-fi. It eventually evolved into a passion for what has since been categorised as paranormal romance.
My only sibling has autism so I grew up realising that not everyone is born with the ability to create a world of make-believe. I quickly picked up on the fact she was able to repeat things she had seen but couldn’t put her own slant on anything. I think that really took a hold somewhere subconsciously and made me want to go that extra mile when it came to creating stories. When you know that an imagination is not a given and the thought of not having one scares you, it makes you value it even more. I think that, ultimately, that’s probably what inspires me to put pen to paper and make the most of it.
Now that I’m published, my readers are also a huge inspiration to me. I’d be writing whether published or not, but I receive emails and messages from readers that really strike a chord some days. When someone thanks me for the escapism, when my books have made an emotional impact or when they’ve given someone something to look forward to, it makes sharing what would otherwise be in my bottom drawer so worthwhile.
Veena: I must say, I love your books and stumbling upon them was by far one of my best reading accidents. Please keep writing! As a writer myself I am always curious about how much plotting is just enough. How much do you plot before you start writing?
Lindsay: A lot. Blackthorn may have just started out as explorative short stories set against a world that was under construction, but that was almost twenty years ago. An immense amount of plotting has gone on in the background in that time. Now every book is meticulously planned to ensure that it not only develops as it should, but also feeds into the overall series arc in the best way possible.
I once spent over seven years trying to write a book (not Blackthorn) because I had no idea where I was going with it. I ended up changing direction so many times that I didn’t even know what genre it was in the end, let alone what my character’s integral journey was. It was one heck of a learning curve. One thing I learned was if you have a story to tell, at least know what you’re trying to say.
Veena: Sound advice. It’s always about balance! What is the most satisfying part of the writing process for you?
Lindsay: When my characters finally talk for themselves and I’m not letting my perceptions, concerns or judgments impinge on who they are. That’s when I know I’m not just telling a story on my terms but letting go and living it. If it feels real to me, it’s more likely to feel real to my readers.
Veena: What is your advice to writers about the path to publication?
Lindsay: Make sure what you’re offering is the best it can be, however long that takes. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache, a lot of increased self-doubt and a lot of wasted time (for you and publishers) that way. It’s very easy to get impatient and just cast a net out there before you’re ready.
You need to know what you want. There are so many options out there for writers seeking publication these days. Don’t be caught up in what you think you should do, work with what suits you – traditional, self-publishing, big five or independent, you do have a choice which to pursue. Go with what works for you as a person, a writer and your genre.
In all the above cases, you need to know the industry – or at least something about it. Writing is a business, not a hobby. Don’t allow yourself to be lazy thinking someone will sweep you up and all you’ll have to do is write books (you’re in for a shock if you do). It doesn’t work like that. I’m lucky that I receive exceptional marketing from my publisher (part of the reason I chose them), which is a rare thing in the current climate. But even with fantastic marketing, there’s nothing like forging genuine connections with readers and other authors. Get yourself out there, talk to people, learn and interact as soon as possible. You’ll be surprised at what you pick up.
Veena: Some of the best writing advice I’ve come across. Here’s something I know your readers are curious about, there are 4 books in the series, are you working on any more?
Lindsay: I am. I’m currently in talks with Bookouture about the rest of the series. My plan has always been to introduce the key players in the first set of books, then show the impact of their forbidden romances on the world in which they live, before reaching the finale.
Veena: I am excited there are more books! Can’t wait! Shifting gears, what are you reading now?
Lindsay: I have a TBR pile that is at threat of collapse at any point. I’m not in the middle of reading anything at the moment because I’ve been working intently on the fourth book in my series these past few months. All my spare time is currently going into the final edits. When I do have time to switch off, I’m tending to collapse in front of a film. I’m going to take a few days off soon though and have a major catch-up. I have no idea where I’ll start yet – probably with the backlog on my kindle.
Veena: Which character in a book would you enjoy having drinks and dinner with?
Lindsay: I’m going to shoot straight from the heart and say Dr Dolittle. Not only would he be utterly fascinating to talk to, I love to think that if we had conclusive proof of animals’ feelings and the impact we have on them, they’d be treated with more respect. But then you only have to look at the way people treat each other sometimes to know that’s probably an idealism that’s beyond optimistic.
Veena: Who is your favourite author?
Lindsay: I have so many! I think the two authors that had the most impact on me were Emily Bronte and Roald Dahl. I choose Emily because she defied conventions of the time, not least by having such an anti-hero take on a heroic role in a romance. Roald Dhal taught me that my favourite stories are those where I can’t predict the ending. In terms of my passion for the paranormal, I was gripped by Milton’s Paradise Lost when I studied it at school. That was the first time I’d read anything ‘paranormal’ in a literary context and it has always stayed with me.
Veena: Favorite scene from any of your books?
Lindsay: SPOILER ALERT One of my favourites is the scene towards the end of Blood Shadows when Caitlin faces off with the soul ripper. The first time I wrote it, Kane intervened, taking on the typical heroic alpha role, saving the damsel in distress and proving his love for her. But it never sat easy with me. It wasn’t just because it didn’t add enough tension for when he drove off, it felt both patronising and predictable. Worse, I felt it weakened Caitlin as a heroine. In essence, it wasn’t what Blackthorn was about.
I kept revisiting it until eventually it clicked. Not only had I been doing Caitlin a disservice, but Kane too. I realized that by him saving her, she’d have been indebted to him. Kane wouldn’t have wanted that – not least after what he’d put her through. After her living in fear for so many years, he wanted her to recognise her own strength. That scene was about her empowerment, not his. I think being a hero isn’t always about being the one to take control, but can equally be about stepping back and giving people the chance to save themselves.
It’s one of my favourite scenes because it reminds me not to take the obvious route or feel under pressure to conform to the rules of how characters in PNRs should behave. Yes, I got a little bit of flak for Kane standing by, but I’m all for a female character being able to fight her own corner – especially when she’s more than capable.
Veena: A writer after my own heart. I also enjoy reading and writing about empowered female protagonists. So thank you for being conscious about that! Finally, what is your favorite love story (book or movie?)
Lindsay: I think it has to be the love story between Melvin and Carol in As Good As It Gets. It’s such an amazing film, mainly because of how cleverly and touchingly the developing romance between those two characters evolves. I never fail to well up watching it.
Book: Blood Shadows (Book 1)
Release Date: November 14, 2012
Synopsis: Gifted with the ability to read the shadows of ‘third species’ beings, Caitlin Parish is the Vampire Control Unit’s most powerful agent. Despite that, her mission to hunt down Kane Malloy – a master vampire – comes with a death wish. Many have tried but few have survived.
For Caitlin, tracking Kane is about more than just professional reputation. With her parents both mysteriously killed seven years apart to the day, Caitlin knows that without Kane’s help she is next.
She has four days to make a deal with the wicked, the irresistible, the treacherous Kane Malloy.
The vampire who despises everything she stands for.
Book: Blood Roses (Book 2)
Release Date: April 19, 2013
Synopsis: A rare and powerful witch whose blood is lethal to vampires, Leila has always viewed her serryn abilities as a curse. After seeing her mother slaughtered as a child, Leila longs for a safe, quiet life.
That wish is shattered by Caleb Dehain – a vampire with a dark past and an even darker heart. The most feared serryn hunter of his generation, Caleb now needs the help of one of the very witches he despises to save his dying brother.
A serryn who has no reason to help him. Except that he has her sister.
Caleb and Leila are each others’ worst nightmare – but the slow-burning spark of attraction between them is undeniable. Will Leila’s blood be his damnation? Or could her kiss be his salvation?
Book: Blood Torn (Book 3)
Release Date: February 19, 2014
Synopsis: ‘Vampires might bite, honey, but lycans tear.’
Jask Tao, lycan leader, rules his pack with fierce dedication and demands the same loyalty in return. In the world of Blackthorn, where respect is a rare commodity, Jask has earned his – few dare to cross him, and fewer survive to tell the tale.
When he captures Sophia, a rare serryn witch whose blood is lethal to vampires, Jask knows just how valuable she can be. Despite her fiery nature, he also can’t shake the feelings that she rouses in him – feelings that he thought died along with Ellen, his mate.
Sophia knows she has to escape from Jask’s lycan compound – and fast. Inheriting her sister’s serryn powers can only mean one thing – that her family is at risk. She’ll have to get past the dangerously attractive Jask first but, scarred by memories of her mother’s murder, Sophia won’t ever give up.
Sparks fly between Jask and Sophia but, as both her family and the pack come under threat, they might just need each other if they, and their loved ones, are going to stay alive…
Where to buy the books:
Lindsay J. Pryor writes dark, intense, multi-layered paranormal romance set in the dystopian world of Blackthorn.
Blackthorn really captured the imagination of Lindsay’s publisher as a fantastically vivid and complex world, one which readers will utterly lose themselves in. She paints this multi-layered world effortlessly, and uses it as the setting for intense forbidden romances.
Lindsay’s Blackthorn series regularly tops Amazon’s U.S. and U.K Gothic romance charts. Blood Shadows has been number 1 in the vampire romance chart and the number 1 ‘Most Wished For’ paranormal romance on Amazon UK. She has also skirted the top 100 in Amazon’s overall kindle charts in both the US and the UK.
Lindsay has been creating stories since she was nine years old, when she quickly decided that fantasy was more interesting than reality. She thought she’d grow out of it but hasn’t yet.
Lindsay holds an honours science degree in Psychology and Communication, is a qualified lecturer and English teacher. She currently teaches children with special needs. When not writing or teaching, Lindsay indulges her fascination with mythology and is a keen supporter of animal welfare. She’s Welsh but now lives in the South West of England with her husband and their rescue bunny.