Interview with Lynda Hilburn

Please help me welcome my friend and fellow member of Colorado Romance Writers, Lynda Hilburn. Lynda has graciously agreed to give one winner signed copies of both THE VAMPIRE SHRINK and BLOOD THERAPY

Sterling_Blood_Therapy_cover_from_their_website_2What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I love paranormal, fiction and non-fiction. I think my work as a psychotherapist keeps me involved in the ongoing problems of “normal” people to such an extent that I love to lose myself in strange, non-ordinary worlds populated by extraordinary characters. And even if I’m writing about real things, the fact that the actors are vampires, ghosts, witches, wizards, psychics and other unusual individuals, keeps the storyline from being too mundane. I also plan to write psychologically-based fiction, such as romantic suspense and thrillers. I write now about a psychologist who treats vampires, and I’m sure a demented clinician will show up soon.

What is your typical day like?
I don’t think I have a typical day. I work as a psychotherapist for a community mental health center several days a week, so I usually don’t get any writing done those days. After being in that environment all day, it’s hard to clear my brain enough to be creative. On the other days, I see private clients, run errands, meet friends for lunch, think about cleaning my house, and get as much writing and promo done as possible. Then many weekends I schedule book signings or I attend conferences or other writing events. If I didn’t have my trusty day planner, my life would be even more chaotic than it already is.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?
I had an unusual experience. My first two novels were published by a small print publisher in 2007 and 2008. After that, we parted ways. My then-agent retained the ebook rights to the novels for me [because back then nobody was talking about ebooks!] After trying to sell the third book in my series to a new publisher without success [everyone kept telling me a series simply couldn’t move from one publishing house to another], I followed the advice of JA Konrath who was singing the praises of self-publishing. I found someone to covert my novels into digital formats, hired a cover artist and put the novels up on all the ebook outlets. That was March, 2010. Within a month, my novels were best sellers. I was stunned! I had also gotten the rights back to all my other small projects from the epubs I’d originally sold them to, and I uploaded those, as well. Everything was selling like gangbusters! Soon I was approached by another agent who wanted to represent me. I wound up selling the first two books plus a third in a blended deal with a UK and a USA publisher. In October, 2010 I took my copies of the novels down. From that point, the momentum seemed to deflate and my shorter works never told as well again. But since I have so many author friends who are wildly successful with self-publishing, I’ll keep writing things to upload – hopefully longer pieces. I just wish I had more time to write! People talk about the “golden age” of self-publishing being over. Well, I hope that’s not true!

Do you have critique partners?
Since I started writing fiction back in 2004, I have had many [many] critique partners. All critique partners are not equal. I believe that finding the right partners is a crucial element in the success of a publication-seeking writer. Now, because I don’t have as much time to reciprocate with my author friends [I’ll read yours, you’ll read mine], I hire beta readers. I have somehow managed to draw excellent writers to read my pages for horribly low wages. I’ve been very lucky. And I also work with editors. I can’t imagine submitting my work without having it read by as many quality eyes as possible. But the downside of crit partners is that some people seem to delight in raining on parades. Perhaps they aren’t really serious about getting published, or they’re just negative people, so they will go out of their way to criticize and diminish you. Beware of those folks. As they say about agents: a bad agent is worse than no agent. Same for critique partners.

Do you or have you belonged to a writing organization? Which one? Have they helped you with your writing? How?
I belong to a lot of writing organizations, but the first one I joined – Colorado Romance Writers [a local chapter of the mothership Romance Writers of America] – was the most influential for me. I had no idea there was such a huge, friendly group of writers available online. My passion for writing fiction came directly from my interactions with a couple of CRW members. Their support and encouragement made all the difference. And nobody has better resources than romance writers! They literally showed me a blueprint for writing a novel. Now, in addition to CRW, I am a member of NINC [Novelists, Inc], which is an excellent group of multi-published authors sharing cutting-edge information, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Pikes Peak Writers, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal writers, Mystery Writers of America [and the Rocky Mountain chapter], Sisters in Crime, and I’ve belonged to Horror Writers of America.

Tell us about your current series.
I write the Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist series. Book #1, The Vampire Shrink, has had many incarnations. It keeps rising from the dead. New book #2 is Blood Therapy and new book #3 contains parts of an earlier series novel, and it will be called Crimson Psyche. The series is about the continuing transformation and unfolding of the main character, Denver Psychologist Kismet Knight. After her first session with a new client – a young Goth named Midnight – Kismet is pulled into what she thinks is a role-playing community: people who want to be vampires. Turns out that’s just the tip of the coffin. Soon our intrepid heroine meets a drop-dead gorgeous, 800-year-old vampire named Devereux, a quirky FBI agent, a witch, ghosts, and several other unusual characters. From that moment, her life is never the same.



Lynda Hilburn writes the Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist series. 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 her other reality, she’s a licensed psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, group facilitator, instructor, presenter and professional psychic/tarot reader.

Excerpt, BLOOD THERAPY by Lynda Hilburn

Ensconced on the white couch in my waiting room sat the blond god in question, decked out in his usual body-skimming, high-fashion black leathers. His thick platinum hair flowed
down his well-toned chest in the most touchable, inviting manner. Blue-green gemstone eyes sparkled.

A fallen angel.

He gave a devastating grin and Nicky gasped and fell to his knees, question forgotten. “Master!”

As always when Devereux was near, my body developed a mind of its own. My heart pounded, my mouth declared a drought, and my knees weakened. I blinked to clear the sudden fog and clutched the doorknob for support. I didn’t know what it was about him – perhaps it was his mystical vampire vibe, or maybe his personal charisma and raw sex appeal – but once again my brain cells refused to report for duty and my libido dimmed the lights.

My mouth fell open as a sharp pain radiated across my brow. I stared at him, and the room temperature suddenly spiked. Sweat beaded on my forehead and trickled between my breasts.

Whew! Did somebody turn up the heat in here? Maybe I should just take off a few of these clothes . . .

“Good evening, Doctor Knight,” said the gorgeous nightwalker, widening his dazzling smile as he rose in a fluid motion. “I hope I am not interrupting.”

Interrupting? Am I doing something? Oh, yeah. Counseling. Client. Psychologist. I remember.

I leaned towards Devereux and inhaled deeply.

There’s that amazing aroma. Spicy. Earthy. Sensual. Edible. Wait – what’s happening? Snap out of it, Kismet! Why does he always scramble my senses?

As I tried – and failed – to form coherent words or thoughts, Nicky speed-crawled across the floor and wrapped his arms like fleshy shackles around Devereux’s legs. He pressed his face against the supple leather. “Master! I can’t believe I’m in the same room with you. What an honor.”

Devereux arched an eyebrow, his disturbingly sensual lips gently lifting at the corners as he stared down at his devotee.

“Rise, child.”

Nicky lurched to his feet as if he’d been yanked up by invisible hands. A look of adoration on his face, he stared into Devereux’s eyes.

“Say goodnight to Doctor Knight and be on your way,” the Master crooned in his deep, vibrant voice.

His eyes still locked on Devereux’s, Nicky mumbled, “G’nite, Doctor,” then he turned, zombie-like, and shuffled out through the door into the hallway.

The usual struggle took me hostage: my body instinctively wanted to move towards Devereux like a flower bending to the sun, but my brain – at least, the tiny part that wasn’t missing in action thanks to his innate vampire juju – reminded me that I barely knew this attractive, scary male, and that I was tired of other people deciding what I should and shouldn’t

I shook myself and blinked to break the spell Devereux’s appearance always cast on me, then I sucked in a deep breath and licked my dry lips. The pain in my head morphed from a bonfire to a simmer.
Why am I having so many headaches lately? Maybe I should have my eyes checked.
“That’s incredibly annoying, you know.”

“Annoying?” he asked, looking deceptively innocent. “To what are you referring?”

“Yeah.” I took a step back from the doorway, and from Devereux, in a vain attempt at self-control. “As if you didn’t notice the pseudo-lobotomy-without-anesthesia my brain gives itself whenever you show up. I thought you said I’d get used to your vibration, or your aura – whatever the vampire version is – and I’d stop turning into the village idiot in your presence. Oh, wait, no, I mean the hormone-riddled village idiot. But what am I saying? You probably like it.”

He laughed, which was even more annoying, and propped a shoulder against the doorjamb. “I promise you will acclimate.”

He pretended to pout, which wasn’t very effective because his mouth kept twitching as he fought a smile. “Soon I fear you will have no reaction at all to my arrival and I shall be reduced to competing with all your human suitors.”

I didn’t have any human suitors at the moment and he knew it: he’d cleared the decks. But that wasn’t anything I’d admit, or a subject I wanted to discuss, so I switched channels.

“What did you do to Nicky? Why was he walking so strangely?”

Devereux chuckled. “His body resisted the command I sent to his brain. He is too young to understand the futility of fighting a directive from one so many centuries older than himself. He will learn.”

He thinks mind control is amusing?

11 thoughts on “Interview with Lynda Hilburn

  1. Thanks Cindy for having Lynda. Hi, Lynda. I love The Vampire Shrink and can’t wait to read Blood Therapy. Bought 2 so I can send one to a friend. Devereux is awesome. Love Kismet. Love your voice. Many sales to you.

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