The book in today's Spotlight hit my Kindle the day it released. And I've read it. And I loved it. So I'm super chuffed that I get to host the author here today.
Lindsay Pryor has the amazing distinction of being a finalist in Mills & Boon's New Voices contest not once but twice. I fell in love with Lindsay's voice and her stories when I read her very first chapter of Blood Roses on the New Voices site in 2010, and her 2011 entry was even more electric. That entry has now become her debut book, Blood Shadows, a gripping read with a dark, dangerous hero (the ultimate bad boy), some really snappy dialogue ... and it's hot!
Thanks for joining us here today, Lindsay.
1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I’m a British paranormal romance author who writes dark, intense, multi-layered stories set in the dystopian world of Blackthorn. My first three books in the series have been signed by Bookouture (founded by ex-Harlequin marketing controller, Oliver Rhodes). The series was launched in November with Blood Shadows. Blood Roses will be released in April and the third book in the Autumn.
My writing was discovered through Harlequin Mills & Boon’s New Voices competition, where I finished as a runner-up in both 2010 (with Blood Roses) and 2011 (with Blood Shadows, formerly known as Beguiling The Enemy). I’d been writing for over twenty-five years by the time I’d built up the courage to get my work out there
As well as being an author, I’m a part-time special needs teacher. I live in the South West of England with my husband, our rescue bunny and a plethora of woodland creatures.
2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th? (Nora only!)
Blood Shadows is my first published book. I’ve just finished polishing Blood Roses and am underway with book 3. I have all sorts of other work outside of the Blackthorn series stashed away in my writing cave, but most of it will never see the light of day.
3. Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
Writing has always been an indulgence to me so I’ve never found it an effort to pin myself to my desk and work. It’s more of a challenge finding other things that can sustain my interest or motivate me enough to peel myself away. Shoe shopping sometimes works! So does The Vampire Diaries, Being Human and Supernatural.
4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?
Get yourself on social media – Twitter, a blog, Goodreads, Pinterest, Facebook. I’m new to social media but it has made a huge difference to me in terms of reaching people, meeting readers and making friends. Before New Voices, I was very reclusive when it came to my writing. I’d never even spoken to another writer. Getting on social media was the best thing I ever did. I now have amazingly supportive readers and fellow writers who I couldn’t do without in terms of getting word of my books out there.
5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
My day fits around my writing and I’ve always been the same. I only eat, sleep and take breaks when it fits in with whatever stage I’m at in plotting, drafting or revising. It’s a terrible habit, but after so many years it’s too instilled to change now. There are days when I’ve missed meals, realised I’m still in my pyjamas at four in the afternoon, or started writing in the dark in the morning only to look up and see it’s the evening. My husband is amazing at making sure I’m fed, watered and get some sleep. We’ve been married fourteen years through all that, so he totally deserves a certificate of dedication.
6. Do you write every day?
I don’t write on the days that I teach, because I work long hours and have prep to do when I get home. Every other day, yes. Aside from when I’m at the day job, I very rarely take a day off from writing. Even if I’m not technically writing, I’m making notes.
7. Could you be friends with any of your heroines?
Most definitely. My heroines all have characteristics that I really admire and would appreciate in a friend. They’re compassionate, honest, reliable and stand up for what they believe in as well as those they care about. They also have traits that drive me to distraction, but I think that’s essential for well-rounded characters.
8. Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?
Despite how badly behaved my heroes are and the fact I’d run a mile from them if I ever met them in real life, I can’t deny I find them intoxicatingly appealing. I’ve been told many times that Kane (Blood Shadows) skirts dangerously close to the edge, but that readers have fallen for him anyway. I was no different when I wrote him. There were times when I convinced myself I’d never get away with the way he is, but I still developed a soft spot for him and I’m thrilled readers have too. Caleb (Blood Roses) is exactly the same. They might be dark heroes, but they’re heroes all the same in their own unique way. You’ve just got to have the insight and desire to scrape beneath the surface sometimes to see it.
9. Any craft books you recommend?
I’ve not read any craft books. I’ve bought them in the past, flicked through them and found myself becoming too over-analytical about how and what I write. I’ve subscribed to Writing Magazine for years though and love their tips and articles.
10. At what point in your career did you actually start to feel like you were a writer?
I’ve never not felt like a writer because I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t have a writing project underway. Blackthorn itself has been under construction for sixteen years, so I’ve lived with these stories a very long time. I think it’s more a case of me pinching myself enough into believing my work is finally out there.
When I think back, my first conversation with my publisher and then my editor were pivotal moments for me in feeling like a professional author. I was so unbelievably nervous about saying or doing the wrong thing because, having never spoken to a publisher or editor before, I had no idea of the protocol. They were both amazing though. Holding my book for the first time and reading my first review were also significant moments in convincing me it was all real. I cried over both. I still have days when I find it hard to get my head around the fact my book is in readers’ hands. And I certainly don’t think I’ll ever stop appreciating readers who email me or tweet me just to let me know they’ve enjoyed what I’ve created.
For vengeance - would you trust a vampire?
For justice - could you betray your family?
For love - are you ready to question everything you believe in?
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 7 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.
Blood Shadows is available on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony eBooks and Apple. And there's a trailer!
You can follow Lindsay on her blog, Goodreads, or on Twitter.