It’s no secret that I am slightly obsessed with vampires! I’ve blogged about it often enough, and my obsession may have come up in one or two interviews. So, I’m beyond excited to have dark paranormal romance author, Lindsay Pryor, on my blog today – what she doesn’t know about hot, steamy vampires isn’t worth knowing! 😉
Over to Lindsay…
The Fun Stuff:
What part of the world do you come from?
I was born in South Wales in the UK and lived there for twenty-two years, studying for both my degree and my post-graduate qualifications there too. I moved to the north of England for three years for my first teaching post, but I’ve now lived in the south west of England for the past seventeen years.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
An author. I had my first batch of careers advice when I was 13. By that point, I’d been writing stories for at least four years – including a science-fiction book. It’s what I did every spare minute I had so I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I had no understanding of what being published meant, just that I wanted as much time as possible to write. They advised me to opt for a sustainable career so suggested teaching. I did that for eighteen years but I guess the full-time author in me had to out at some point!
List three words to describe yourself.
Creative. Empathetic. Tenacious.
Who would play you in a film about your life?
Helena Bonham Carter. It would have to be someone quirky who plays intense and socially awkward well.
What’s your favourite snack food when writing?
Dark chocolate. I want to say fruit, I really do… we believe you, Lindsay 😉
If you had a super power, what would it be?
Tough one! I’ve always wanted to be able to fly and regularly used to take lessons in my living room growing up. It used to involve jumping across the room from one sofa to the other. The sad thing is, I used to award myself certificates for progress – and make my parents attend the ceremony.
I think I’ll opt for the power of healing though. I lost my Dad to cancer before he had the chance to see me published. The time I spent on the wards during his treatment was an immense eye-opener to what some people deal with every day. Imagine having the ability to remove that pain and be able to tell people that their loved ones are going to be okay? I also have a passion for wildlife and nature. My garden’s a woodland so there’s times when I wish I could offer more than just warmth and TLC when I lose one of the residents.
Oh dear, this was supposed to be the “fun” section. See, this is I write dark PNR… 🙂
The Sensible Side:
Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)
I’ve been writing for over thirty years and have been published for the last four. Writing was never actively a choice, more of a compulsion. I certainly never started out with the intention of getting published one day. I just kept coming up with characters and worlds in my head and the most natural thing to do was to write it down.
I penned my first sci-fi when I was nine and wrote stories throughout my teenage years and into my early twenties, as well as writing, performing and directing mini-plays in my local church hall. I opted to study Psychology and Communication at university because I thought it would better help me understand the characters I write about. I went on to qualify as an English teacher and spent eighteen years with a focus on improving children’s literacy. I also learned a lot about my own writing skills and techniques along the way.
I was discovered through an international romance writing competition after being a finalist for two years running. I was approached by Bookouture and asked to be their launch author back in 2012.
When I’m not writing, I’m reading or watching films. I also love walking and nature so, when the weather’s reasonable, I regularly trek along coastlines, through woods or over the moors. I definitely like the quiet life!
Where did the inspiration for your Blackthorn Series come from?
The concept for the Blackthorn series started evolving twenty years ago this month when I relocated to a big city over 300 miles away from everything I knew. Not long after moving there, I got lost walking home one night. I ended up in a very isolated and run-down area. 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 stories set in an urban, gritty backdrop of social unrest, where the ‘third species’ are segregated and discriminated against for having shadows instead of souls. Primarily based around a polluted, over-populated, rotten core of a locale, they’re given the dregs in terms of location, provision, opportunities and rights whilst being ruled by the iron fist of the more privileged humankind.
Blackthorn soon became the ideal environment to breed conflict between characters, particularly my heroes and heroines. Blackthorn inevitably developed into a backdrop for dark and intense romances that will each play an integral role in the future of all who live there.
What do you like most about writing dark paranormal romance?
I love writing fantasy because the level of creativity required is a challenge. There’s nothing quite like the total freedom of creating your own world and rules.
Because I’m fascinated by human nature, romance is the prime genre to explore all facets of a character. If you want to dig deep into a person, their take on and approach to their romantic relations will reveal more about them than anything else. I like to lay my characters as bare as possible, and romance allows the most holistic overview of a person.
Writing the darker side of romance comes because I love complex characters – whether reading about them, watching them, or creating them. Writing intense and unpredictable situations makes for a more interesting dynamic on the page for me. I also like the flexibility dark PNR allows. Neither the hero nor the heroine need to be guaranteed to do the right and moral thing, nor fit society’s view of what that is. There’s no clear-cut good and bad. Dark PNR allows for its characters to be shades of grey – and there’s a heck of a lot of scope in grey for a writer. When you have grey characters it can, ironically for PNR, be a truer reflection of life.
What is the hardest part of writing a series containing eight novels?
Not ever working with just one book at a time. Because of Blackthorn’s overarching plot, every time I write the next book I have to be thinking of all the previous books as well as where it’s all going to end so as to ensure the pace works not just in one book but across the entire series.
I also needed to lay the clues of what’s to come like a trail of breadcrumbs from book one. For example, one of my characters works out a salient piece of information in book 5 that’s first mentioned in passing in book 2. It meant nothing whilst reading the second book, but if it hadn’t been there it would have made the discovery too convenient for a significant turn in the plot later. That takes a lot of planning! It’s great fun because I have so many readers who now keep re-reading the series and spotting everything they missed the first time around. It hopefully makes reading Blackthorn a richer experience for them.
The other challenge is being aware that some readers will enter the series later in the books. It’s not easy trying to cover what they need to know without rehashing what is obvious to fans of the series – I don’t want to confuse one but neither do I want to bore the other. We have it plastered everywhere that readers need to come in from the beginning though. We can do nothing more than that.
As challenging as it has been at times, I’ve loved it.
Can you give us a brief excerpt from your latest novel, Blood Bound?
I can share one of the ‘Bites’ as we call them, so as not to reveal any spoilers:
What can we expect from you in the future?
Hopefully more books! With only one more Blackthorn book to go, I’ve already been in conversations about where I’m going next and have started on new projects that I’m working on alongside the final book.
How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
You can visit my website. Everything you could need to know is there. My other main place is my Facebook page where I regularly chat to my readers. I receive a lot of emails too, so never hesitate to get in touch is you prefer a less public forum.
You can also follow Lindsay on Twitter.
You can read my review of Blood Shadows (book one) HERE.
Thank you so much for joining me today, Lindsay.