The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn
This book is an urban fantasy so romance readers be wary – there are a few differences compared to a traditional romance. I still thoroughly enjoyed it, though. And I am left pining for more!
My favorite part? Devereux. Here's a hero I can sink my teeth into…come on, it's a vampire book. You had to know there was going to be at least one bad vampire pun.
Anyway, I love this handsome, fanged devil! You see, I'm the kind of girl who wants it all. I want to be respected as a woman, have lots of choices, and be able to make up my own mind. But there is also something intensely appealing about an 800 year-old vampire complete with a few chauvinistic bents. I'd love for him to want to take care of me, spoil me rotten, even protect me. We might have to talk about that title "Master", though...
I have a signed copy of Lynda Hilburn's The Vampire Shrink for one lucky reader. My other blog is also involved in this contest and I only have one book to give away. So feel free to pop on over to No Rest for the Querying and enter there, too! Post a comment below about your experience with vampires. Like them? Why? Dislike them? Why is that? One random winner will be chosen on Tuesday, June 24th.
And now, without further ado, I am pleased to introduce Lynda Hilburn, today's Armchair Heroines Word Wizard and author of The Vampire Shrink...
Thanks so much for having me, Tiffany!
Great to have you here at AH, Lynda. How did you get started writing?
I've written nonfiction for 30 years, mostly articles, columns, humor pieces, workshop/presentation materials and free-form journaling. At the end of 2003, during a hypnosis workshop, one of my students noticed that I had lots of vampire books (of the horror persuasion) on my bookshelves. She asked if I knew about something called "paranormal romance?" Paranormal romance? No, I hadn't ever heard of that. She rattled off names of authors I hadn't read, and enthused about the great books I was missing out on. Armed with the list she provided for me, I headed off to the library and devoured every paranormal I could find. I was in bloodsucking heaven. Also, right about that time, urban fantasy began sticking its dark little toe into the publishing pool as well. Since I'd always loved to write, it didn't take me long to find myself sitting in front of my computer, pounding out my first fiction tales. Of course, those first tales will remain hidden under my bed, never to see the light of day! I couldn't believe how much fun it was to write fiction rather than nonfiction. My imagination exploded. Now I'm addicted.
Where do you find inspiration?My writing tends to be character-driven. I get inspired by people. Mostly clients, since my series is about a psychologist who becomes embroiled in the vampire underworld. It was a client session that inspired the idea for The Vampire Shrink. I couldn't stop thinking about how fascinating it would be if a real vampire showed up in my waiting room. Especially a gorgeous one. I write about what I know, so that means my stories all contain elements of psychology, metaphysics, occultism, magic, nontraditional spirituality, the intuitive arts and higher consciousness. I can't resist lifting up every rock to see what's underneath.
Who's your favorite, Alan or Devereux? (That is really an unfair question, but I couldn't resist!)
Well, as you might expect, I'll say I love them both. I like Alan's irreverence and his obvious insecurities. But I'm a vampire fan, first and foremost. I adore Devereux. He's a combination of all the vampire qualities I like: great looking, highly intelligent, motivated to continue learning and growing over his vast lifespan -- a vampire who isn't upset about being a vampire. He doesn't hate himself. He enjoys blood and isn't shy about sharing that knowledge with the heroine, Kismet. I'm planning to have Alan make a return appearance in a future book. Right now, he's off chasing a very bad vampire.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
My early goals all centered around music and singing. First, I wanted to be a Broadway star, then -- after I fell in love with the music of the late 60s and early 70s -- I knew I had to be a rock star. I spent 20 years singing in rock and roll bands. I never became a star, but during that time I discovered that I was interested in too many things to simply pick one thing. So, I studied metaphysics, wrote articles for newspapers, gave Tarot readings, went to college (undergraduate and graduate) to study psychology, raised my son as a single mom, and kept adding interests and skills. Now, when I think about what I want to be when I grow up, I just answer "happy."
What's your biggest writing challenge?
Making myself sit in the chair and write. I can always think of several other things I could do. I have plenty of time to write, and lots of reasons to write, so maybe I ought to give myself a therapy session to find out what the problem is!!
What's your favorite way to interact with your readers, besides through your novels?
I enjoy doing presentations, attending conferences and arranging book signings. But, having said that, I'll admit that I'm an introvert -- even painfully shy in situations where I don't have a clear role and I don't know anyone -- so I'm even happier to connect with readers via my blog and through email! I love hearing from readers.
Random question: Given the choice of anyone in the world, living or dead, who would you like to have as a dinner guest?
Well, as long as I'm not dinner, I'd like to have a chat with Dracula. What a twisted, intriguing psyche he must have (I imagine, grin!). Maybe I'd invite Anne Rice's Lestat to join us, just for another extraordinary viewpoint. Think of the case studies my heroine, Kismet Knight, would write! (Of course, I'd have to have Devereux near by, just to keep things under control. After all, he is my hero!)
Thanks again, Tiffany!! I look forward to finding out who wins the copy of The Vampire Shrink! The next book in the Kismet Knight, Ph.D., Vampire Psychologist series comes out this October: Dark Harvest.
Whew-ew! Thank you, Lynda. I can't wait to read Dark Harvest...
Don't forget to post in order to be entered into the contest! Be sure to visit Lynda's website to learn more about her fascinating world.