Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Author Interview: Lynda Hilburn

It's Wednesday! I am thrilled to announce that our Word Wizard for today is Lynda Hilburn...






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...

*crazy applause*


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.

32 comments:

Lynda Hilburn said...

Dear Tiffany: Thank you for having me today! I'll check back this evening when I get home.
Hugs, Lynda

Melissa Mayhue said...

Wonderful interview, ladies! Of course, Lynda is already one of my favorite people!!!

~ Melissa

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Tiffany and Lynda! This is a great interview.

It's interesting how you came to write paranormal :)

Love the cover!

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Tiffany James said...

Melissa,

I thought you were supposed to be cleaning today!? :0)

Just kidding - glad you stopped by. Lynda is an amazing lady and I love her vampire hero, Devereux.

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Renee,

Great to see you here at AH! The cover on this book is awesome. I love the tatoo on Devereux's back. You can also find it throughout the book!

Tiffany

Elaine Levine said...

Lynda's work sets her apart from a glutted vampire market. Her writing is intellectual and deeply convincing. And any book with Dev in it is a "must buy"!

I got a sneak peek at DARK HARVEST, and let me tell, it's sizzling!

Nice interview Tiffany!

Elaine Levine

Elaine Levine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tiffany James said...

Elaine,

Beautifully put! Do you want a job as an interviewer?! :0)

I was lucky enough to win an e-ARC of Dark Harvest and I can't wait to open it up.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tiffany

Ariel said...

Lynda, thank you so much for The Vampire Shrink! I discovered it by accident not long ago on the library shelf, while searching for anything vampire. When I saw the title, I KNEW I had to read it, since I have an undergrad & grad degree in Psychology, too!! What can be better than psych AND vamps!!
I was thirsting for more after the first Book of Devereaux and Kismet, and I'm so thrilled to know that Dark Harvest is not the last installment! I can't wait for the new book!!
--Ariel

Viola Estrella said...

Dev is my favorite part, too! Looking forward to reading Dark Harvest!!

Viola

ps- You don't have to enter me in the contest. I already have my very own signed copy. Love it!!

Lynda Hilburn said...

Thanks so much, everyone, for the kind words! It's so nice to be here. I'm glad Devereux is scrambling hormones. He's definitely yum! I can't wait to see who wins the signed copy!!
Lynda

Karen said...

Interesting Dinner guests, Lynda. (lol)

Can I be invited?

Karen

BreiaB said...

I am new to Lynda's work, but I have to say I am impressed to see paranormal stories where the supes aren't perfect and have just as many issues as the rest of us. Keep up the good work and great interview.

BreiaB said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tiffany James said...

Howdy, all!

For some reason comments are getting posted twice so I have deleted the doubles. I am having some weird computer issues so I am sure it's me! I believe the term would be "technologically incompatible". :0)

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Ariel,

I always thought psychology and vampires were such an interesting mix. How fun for you to find Lynda!

Thanks for stopping by AH and good luck!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Viola,

Thanks for visiting AH. You lucky duck - you all ready have a signed copy! Devereux is the best...

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Lynda,

I love your comment about Devereux "scrambling hormones"! I'd also have to say it is quite accurate. Thank you so much for taking time out to be a part of Armchair Heroines!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Karen,

Make sure you aren't on the menu if you garner that coveted dinner invitation! :0)

Thanks for stopping by AH!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Breiab,

It is comforting to know we all have baggage, isn't it? Even if some of us also have paranormal powers!

Thanks for visting and good luck in the contest!

Tiffany

kimmyl said...

Hi Lynda. Great interview.Love the cover. Nice. Very nice. I can't wait to read The Vampire Shrink.

Jeanne Stein said...

karen said: interesting Dinner guests, Lynda. (lol)

Can I be invited?

Me, too!!! Nice interview!

Jeanne

Tiffany James said...

Kimmyl,

Great to see you here again at AH. I found I was really drawn in by Vampire Shrink's cover, too.

Good luck in the contest!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Jeanne,

Glad you enjoyed the interview. It sounds like Lynda is going to need a large table for her dinner party!

Thanks for stopping by AH.

Tiffany

Lynda Hilburn said...

Dear Ariel: I'm so happy you liked THE VAMPIRE SHRINK. It's been exciting having my book in so many libraries. (Yay to libraries!) I hope you like DARK HARVEST. It's my hope that Kismet will continue on. There's no limit to how many weird situations her clients can pull her into!

Karen and Jeanne: You're definitely invited! I'll see if I can reserve a dining room at The Crypt in downtown Denver for our gathering!

Dear Breiab: I love the notion of vampires with neuroses and psychoses! Definitely not perfect!

Kimmyl: Thanks so much for your support!

Thanks so much, everyone. You really made my day! I'm off to see my non-vampire clients . . .

Hugs, Lynda

Ariel said...

I wish you could travel with your book signings. Although North Carolina isn't far away...care to venture away from Colorado? How fun would our dinner converstaion be!? I am anxiously awaiting the new book, no doubt about that.

Enjoy your day, and thanks for the personal comments--that means the world to me!
--Ariel

Amberkatze said...

Great to see you over here Lynda!

Great interview

Tiffany James said...

Amberkatze,

Thanks for visiting AH. Glad to hear you enjoyed Lynda's interview.

Good luck in the contest!

Tiffany

jennybrat said...

Hi Lynda

If you were a character in one of your books, who would you be and why?

Tiffany James said...

Jenny,

That is a great question!

Thanks for stopping by AH. Good luck in the contest!

Tiffany

Lynda Hilburn said...

Dear Jennybrat: Which character would I be? That's pretty easy. Psychologist Kismet Knight is an idealized version of me. She's prettier, thinner, younger and having much more romance and sex than me, but she's my wish fulfullment! I have so much fun imagining what it would be like if a gorgeous, extraordinary male showed up in my waiting room -- a male who isn't a client, so I could allow myself to have a non-therapeutic relationship with him! But, since that isn't likely to happen in the "real" world any time soon (boo hoo), I'm so happy to have Kismet to act out all my hidden desires! Thats a great question. Thanks for asking!
Hugs, Lynda

Lynda Hilburn said...

Hi, Amberkatze: Thanks so much for dropping by!
Hugs, Lynda