I am super excited today to be joined by Lindsay J. Pryor author of BLACKTHORN series on Publication day. Blood Bound, book #7 is out today and you can grab your copy on the link below. Lindsay has kindly offered to take part in my Q&A interview. So without further ado I would like to welcome Lindsay J. Pryor.

Morning thank you for joining me this morning

Morning, Shell. I’m really happy to be here. Thanks for the invitation.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?

I’ve been writing for over thirty years and have been published for the last four. I currently write dark, multi-layered Gothic paranormal romance set in the gritty and dystopian urban world of BLACKTHORN. An Amazon bestselling series, it has achieved numerous Gothic and PNR Amazon number ones both in the UK and the US.

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.  

Although I now write full-time, I’m a qualified Psychology lecturer and English teacher.  I taught for eighteen years, primarily to improve literacy for children with special needs. I was born and grew up in Wales but now live in England with my husband, our rescue bunny and a plethora of wild woodland creatures.

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or watching films. I love nature and walking so, when the weather’s reasonable, I trek along coastlines, through woods or over the moors. I definitely like the quiet life!

When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?

I’ve always written stories. I wrote my first sci-fi book when I was nine. It’s been my primary hobby and outlet for as long as I can remember. Coming up with story ideas has always been more of a compulsion than a choice, which is why, for years, I wrote purely for the pleasure of it.

When I was 13, I remember telling my careers adviser that I wanted to write books. I was advised to opt for a more sustainable career. Even when I relented and paved out a career for myself in teaching, I still wrote every spare minute I had. I wrote stories throughout my teenage years 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 then went on to qualify as an English teacher.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I decided to start pursuing publication. A handful of submissions of later and, despite being very lucky to get some positive responses about my potential, I knew I was nowhere near ready. I left things lie for a number of years as I worked on developing my writing and deciding what genre to focus on and, basically, simply enjoying the pleasure of the process.

It wasn’t until I was in my late thirties that I saw a call out for the New Voices competition in Writing Magazine, and one of the prizes was editorial feedback. I entered for two consecutive years and was voted into the final by readers and editors both times. Bookouture discovered me because of that competition. Today marks my seventh book published with them.

Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?

My books are dark paranormal romance. My audience are prolific readers with eclectic tastes – PNRs, Urban Fantasy, romance, soft fantasy, Gothic, sci-fi, thrillers, erotica, classic literature. I have both male and female readers who span an age-range (though I only recommend my books for 18+). As one of my readers put in his review on Amazon.com:

“Lindsay Pryor makes it very probable that Blackthorn would appeal to the more traditionally genre restrictive readers who generally like to stick to only their preferred genres (for example it definitely spans across the genres of paranormal/urban fantasy, dark fantasy, science fiction, action/adventure, fiction, romance/erotica and crime/forensics).”

I basically write for anyone who likes an intense and complex interwoven story, enjoy plot twists, getting deep inside the heads of characters, and who don’t mind the darker side of romance.

What is your writing process? and how long does it take?

I had a very specific process for Blackthorn because of the overarching plot that runs through the eight books.

As a general rule though, I spend a considerable amount of time staring into space and scribbling notes about character, strength of conflict, and key plot points that mark their journey. Once I have the three key turning points in the story, I start to write a rough outline. I never start writing until I know where a story is going. At that point, I play each scene through like a film in my head, over and over again until I’ve nailed the focus of it. I do a lot of that late at night and first thing in the morning.

When I’m underway, I tend to write a few thousand words each day to maintain the pace of the story. My books average 100-120k which can take me anything from 6 to 12 weeks on average.  

The real work doesn’t start until the first draft is down and I’ve finished telling myself the story. I then go over and over the story, omitting and adding scenes and layering in detail. I work in loops, such as from the end of the book to the beginning or from the middle to the end. Then I begin the official editing.

Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?

They’re most definitely all fictional.

Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?

My books are littered with personal experiences and observations of some of the core themes of my series: prejudice, discrimination, the invalidity of assumptions, the effect of social hierarchy and the impact of the lack of fair opportunities. Also how love, loyalty and compassion can fight through the toughest of times.

Ultimately though, a writer’s job is to empathise. You don’t need the personal experience – you just need to be able to imagine how it would feel. Saying that, I do have one scene where one of my characters stands on a shard of glass. I once spent the night in A&E after doing to same. I can still remember lying in agony on the hospital bed as the glass was removed. I made a mental note of every sensation in case I needed to use it in a story one day.

What research do you do?

I’ve been fascinated by mythology and the paranormal for over thirty years now. My favourite books as a child were The Enchanted Wood, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and The Worst Witch. It all stemmed from there.

When I studied for my Psychology degree, I read into parapsychology on the side and even did some ghost hunting off the back of it. Books (both reference and fiction), TV and films have all been a source of extending my knowledge as much as possible – especially so I can turn things on their head and approach things from a different angle.

Who would you like to co-write with and why?

Oh my goodness, what a question! The scope! I’m going to break away from books as that’s too predictable and say I’d love to write an episode of The Walking Dead. If Robert Kirkman is available  

What’s your favorite book?

Wuthering Heights. For me, the beauty of Wuthering Heights was Emily Bronte’s willingness to push aside what is deemed appropriate and right as to how heroes and heroines should behave and interact on the page to, instead, focusing on enabling the rawness and power of the romance to take centre stage above social conventions. The reader is left knowing that Heathcliff loved Catherine and Catherine loved Heathcliff – a love that survived beyond the end. Albeit dark and tumultuous and destructive, ultimately their love was meant to be.

What’s your favorite food?

Most things Italian, especially anything vegetarian.

What’s your favorite film?

Argh, another killer! I’m a HUGE film fan. Heck, if I have to choose, I’m going to go for As Good as it Gets, but that’s closely followed by The Lost Boys, Mad Max Fury Road, Stardust, World War Z and Lucky Number Slevin.

What’s your favorite song?

You’re torturing me with these favourites! It depends on my mood. I love belting out 80’s soft rock (tunelessly), 30 Seconds to Mars, Kings of Leon, The Beatles, Queen, Adam Lambert, My Chemical Romance, even Genesis. Argh, it’s too close a call between John Lennon’s Imagine, Blackbird by The Beatles and Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush.

How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?

You can visit my website. Everything you could need to know is there. My other main place is my FB page where I regularly chat to my readers. I receive a lot of emails too, so never hesitate to get in touch if you prefer a less public forum.

Lindsay J. Pryor  Author of the BLACKTHORN series

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