Thursday, February 7, 2013

Author Spotlight - Lindsay Pryor

We've hosted a lot of authors on this blog in the nearly three years we've been running, and I have to confess I've read very few of the books we spotlight. Occasionally the interview might intrigue me enough to buy the book. Even more occasionally I might get around to reading it. Almost never do I read the book before the Spotlight appears.

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.

Blood Shadows (Blackthorn Series Book One)

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.


kitty French said...

Lindsay, it's a pleasure to have you with us in Minx Manor today, great interview!
Isn't your cover to die for! Romy has already convinced me to get your book, even though i'm not usually a buyer of paranormal. Looking forward to reading.
Now...Being Human. OMG. Another Being Human fan! WE are too few and far between. I love this show so much! I still miss Mitchell though. HOT or what?? Although Hal is growing on me fast too.:O)
But I digress - lots of luck with the book!


Catherine Coles said...

Congrats, Lindsay, am thrilled for you!!

So pleased to have you over in Minx Manor for the day :-)

lindsayjpryor said...

Hi Romy. I'm thrilled you enjoyed Blood Shadows. Thanks so much for inviting me here. That's an ambition I can tick off now. ;-)

lindsayjpryor said...

Hi Kitty. Thank you hugely for making me feel so welcome.
The cover designer is Henry Steadman who has designed covers for authors such as Richelle Mead, Dan Brown, Lee Child and Karen Rose amongst others. He's super-talented, so I was really excited when he took the Blackthorn project on. He's designing the Blood Roses cover too!
Thank you for letting Romy 'persuade' you to buy a copy. A lot of non-paranormal readers have been hooked in, so hopefully it'll work for you too. Fingers crossed. ;-)
And you're a Being Human fan? Better still a Mitchell fan? You are SO high in my estimations right now. Clearly a woman of impeccable taste. Hal is growing on me too. The new series starts on BBC3 on Sunday. Can't wait!
Oh dear, that was a long comment... sorry!
Good luck with book 2 release in April. I hope it's as hugely successful as Knight & Play. :-)

lindsayjpryor said...

Hi Catherine. Thank you, my lovely. It's been fantastic coming to visit the manor. I feel all privileged. :-)

Natalie Charles said...

Great interview, Linds! So happy for you, and I can't wait to see what the future holds. xx

Victoria James said...

Congrats on all your success, Linds. very happy for you!!
Great interview :-)

lindsayjpryor said...

Aw thank you, Natalie. And thanks so much for coming by to support my visit here. xx

lindsayjpryor said...

Hi, Victoria! Thanks so much and thanks too for coming to read and comment. I really appreciate it. :-)

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Fab interview, Lindsay! And many congratulations on your success!

lindsayjpryor said...

Huge thanks, Rachel. And I really appreciate you stopping by to visit and comment. :-)

Jennifer Shirk said...

HI, Lindsey! Congrats! Great getting to know you better!

Sally Clements said...

Hi Lindsay! Your book sounds great, and I'm off to grab it for my kindle too! I also love your cover, and thanks for helping my obsessive cover artist searching by revealing the artist!
Congratulations on your release, and much success!

Jennifer Faye said...

Great interview, Lindsay!!! I'm so excited for you. You've worked really hard to get to this point. Enjoy! :-)

lindsayjpryor said...

Thank you, Jennifer. And huge thanks for stopping by to read and comment. :-)

lindsayjpryor said...

Hi there, Sally! Oh wow, I'm really flattered you're buying a copy. Thanks so much. :-) I hope you enjoy it. LOL - I'm glad I took some of the stress out of the cover artist search. As you can probably tell, I'm thrilled with the cover too! I think he did an amazing job. And thank you too for your good wishes. AW, this is such a welcoming site to visit. :-)

lindsayjpryor said...

Hello, Jennifer! It's lovely to have you stop by and read. I really appreciate it. Yep, hard work but so worth it just to finally get my stories out there. I'm still enjoying every moment, don't you worry! ;-)

Christine said...

Yea! You're on the Minxes! You've arrived. I bought Blood Shadows hot of the press, after waiting for it for AGES. Just say'in!

It's a fabulous read and Kane is a thrilling character, tortured and driven and bad to the bone. Until Caitlin slips into his heart.

Cannot wait for Blood Roses. The future is looking pretty rosy for your career too, Lindsay.

Excellent interview!

Maya Blake said...

Congrats on your fab debut, Lindsay! I've heard brilliant things about your book and will be adding it to my TBR pile :)

lindsayjpryor said...

I know, Christine! And I'm so excited to be here. Aw, thanks for the wonderful comments. X

lindsayjpryor said...

*blushes* Huge thanks, Maya. I'm thrilled you're adding it to your TBR pile - thanks so much. :-)

Christy McKellen said...

Gosh you work hard Lindsay. I loved Blood Shadows and I'm eagerly anticipating Blood Roses. Great interview!

lindsayjpryor said...

I like to keep busy, Christy. ;-) I'm just in awe of authors who manage to write on top of having a family too.
I'm so pleased you enjoy Blood Shadows - and thanks again for reviewing it on Goodreads. It means a lot. X

lindsayjpryor said...

Sorry - spelling blip. That should have said 'enjoyed'. :-/