Sep 17, 2008
Interview with Lynda Hilburn
Lynda Hilburn has had a life long fascination with the paranormal world. She says, "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 2007 Lynda published The Vampire Shrink. This October 1st the sequel Dark Harvest will be available. Recently I reviewed The Vampire Shrink and found it completely mesmerizing. I will be reading Dark Harvest as soon as possible!
Following the interview look for contest rules. Two lucky commenters will win either a copy of The Vampire Shrink or Dark Harvest.
PVN: Lynda, welcome and thanks for being here!
PVN: There is a minor character I found so intriguing - Cerridwyn - the Tarot Card reader. Could you talk a bit about her? Will she appear in other works?
LH: Cerridwyn is a composite of several tarot readers I know (including myself). When I wrote about her being on Denver’s 16th Street Mall, I used my experience from years ago, when I gave tarot readings in Boulder on the Pearl Street Mall. She combines the best qualities of all my psychic friends: wise, funny and very gifted. I do expect she will show up in other books, probably the third one where Kismet becomes more involved in expanding her own intuitive abilities. She’ll discover her new circle of friends includes Cerridwyn – who is likely to become one of Kismet’s teachers.
PVN: How much, if any, of yourself is in Dr. Kismet Knight?
LH: She’s a fantasy version of me. She’s younger, prettier, thinner, having much more sex and lots more fun than me! LOL. She has my social awkwardness, my impatience, my tendency toward perfectionism, my cerebral nature, and my bizarre sense of humor. I get to live vicariously through her and her adventures. In the first book, Kismet talks about having lost the initial enthusiasm she had for her career as a psychologist, and she begins counseling the vampire wannabes in an attempt to remedy that lack of excitement. As a therapist, I can relate to that. I still love my work, but sometimes I daydream about opening my waiting room door to find a handsome, extraordinary (vampire?) male waiting for me. If he’s decked out in leathers, that would be okay, too! My clients bring paranormal issues to therapy, but so far I haven’t met a real vampire. (But there’s always tomorrow.)
PVN: Devereux is a complex character - he is highly moral, a lustful seducer, a sorcerer, and perhaps we'll learn more about him in the future. How would you describe him?
LH: Even while mortal, Devereux was wise beyond his years. He attributes his wisdom to his lineage, which is made up of witches, wizards and Druids. In the first book, he talked about the influence of his mother, who was/is a force to be reckoned with. He was born with the gift of Sight. When he became a vampire, and acquired additional preternatural abilities, he kept his strong personal foundations. He’s moral, but not in any human sense. He doesn’t concern himself with things humans would consider important, but he adheres absolutely to his own ethical code. He has lived so long (800 years), and has recognized and assimilated his primitive, vampiric nature. It is my intention to show him as multi-layered: he’s not only a powerful vampire – a natural leader – but he has retained the best of his humanity and expanded/deepened it. He has emotional depth, a quest for knowledge and an understanding of higher consciousness. Plus he’s great looking! He believes Kismet is his mysterious “mate.” We’ll find out more about Devereux as the series unfolds.
PVN: Besides vampires you mix in other paranormal persons a ghost, a mystic tarot reader, and a witch and sorcerers. (Did I forget any?) How were you able to blend all of this so smoothly into your story?
LH: Thank you for saying I blended them smoothly! I appreciate that. I love to write about what I know, so adding ghosts, mystic tarot readers, witches, sorcerers, etc. is easy for me. I’ve experienced ghosts, auras, and all things psychic my entire life and I have lots of friends, acquaintances and clients who identify themselves in the other categories. I’ve always been lucky to surround myself with other people who are as fascinated with the paranormal/metaphysical as I am. Most urban fantasies today have various supernatural – or at least unusual – characters. I just added vampires (I simply love them) into the mix.
PVN: Without any spoilers would you tell us what to expect in Dark Harvest.
LH: Dark Harvest takes place 5 months after the end of The Vampire Shrink. Kismet is still trying to get used to the bizarre paranormal Pandora’s box she opened when she began counseling vampires. She’s also trying to figure out a way to have Devereux in her life without losing her independence. He is definitely used to getting what he wants. Kismet appears on a morning radio program where she’s contacted by a day-walking vampire: Lyren Hallow. From that moment, everything is madness. If she thought being involved in the vampire underworld was frightening before . .
PVN: Where does this series lead? Will there be more books?
LH: I hope there will be more books! I’ll have to finish writing the third one (in progress) and sell it. Fingers crossed! In my imagination, there are at least 10. There is simply no end to the situations Kismet can get herself into.
PVN: What attracts you to the paranormal?
LH: Originally, I was attracted to the paranormal because it was exciting. Growing up as a very weird child who saw and heard things others didn’t, I felt comfortable with the idea that the universe is more amazing than we can imagine. I was like a kid in a candy store: there were so many things to explore – so much to learn – so many doors to open. I’ve always had a foot in both worlds: “normal” and extraordinary. And, within those two worlds, I balanced between the psychic aspects of myself and my Inner Scientist. I’m still just as fascinated by neuropsychology and higher consciousness studies as I am by ghosts, reading auras and doing candle magic. Today, since I work with clients who have a wide range of everyday issues, I enjoy writing about characters who are not normal – not usual. I guess I just find the paranormal universe astounding.
PVN: What sort of books do you like to read? or TV or Movies that you like to watch?
LH: I read vampire books – and – paranormal mysteries, paranormal romances, paranormal chick lit, urban fantasies, dark contemporary fantasies, some horror, humor, psychological thrillers, psychological mysteries, and lots of nonfiction in my various fields of interest (psychology, hypnotherapy, psychic abilities, tarot, etheric energy healing, sound and music healing). I will (of course!) watch anything on TV or at the movies about vampires. I’m a “House” fan, and I enjoy shows like “Criminal Minds,” “Dexter,” “Torchwood,” “The Closer,” “Burn Notice” – LOL! I think I spend too much time watching TV!
PVN: Where and when do you write? Describe the ambience.
LH: I have my computer set up on a table in my bedroom, and I can’t have music playing while I’m writing. It’s too distracting. I do like to keep the TV on in the next room just for background sound. I don’t have a particular time of day that I write – just whenever I can. While I was working on the second Kismet book, I had a nice routine going of writing a few hours per day. After I turned that book in, my discipline fell apart. So, I need to institute some new structure! I tend to write a few paragraphs, get up and stroll around for a few minutes, then sit back down and write a few more paragraphs. It would be okay with me if I found a more productive schedule!! It was easier to get my writing in every day when I only worked for myself. I saw clients when I wanted to. Now I work three days per week at a community mental health center, so I’m not home as much, so I have to take advantage of whatever extra time I have.
PVN: Do you have other fiction or nonfiction projects you are working on?
LH: In addition to working (slowly) on Kismet book #3, I’m finishing a short story which I sold to an anthology. The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance comes out Feb., 09 and my story will be in it. I love anthologies and would like to be invited to do more. I’m also brainstorming a series about a psychic who lives in my home town of Boulder, Colorado.
LH: More information about me and my books can be found on my website: www.lyndahilburnauthor.com, my blog: http://paranormalityuniverse.blogspot.com, and my MySpace page: www.myspace.com/lyndahilburn
Thanks so much for interviewing me, Patricia! I appreciate it.
PVN: It was my pleasure, Lynda!
Now for the contest information.
Two lucky commenters will win either a copy of The Vampire Shrink or Dark Harvest. (Thank you, Lynda!)
For a chance to win do one (or more) of the following:
*Comment on any subject from the interview. Each comment on a different subject counts as an entry.
*Ask Lynda a question. Each question counts as an entry.
*Link to Patricia's Vampire Notes and send me the URL. Each link counts as an entry.
Be sure to include enough email information so that I will be able to contact you.
This contest ends at 11:59 pm September 18, 2008.
Winners will be announced later in the week.