Sunday 20 July 2008
This week I have a treat for you all! My guest is The Vampire Shrink author Lynda Hilburn !

Lynda has a few books under her belt but The Vampire Shrink is the one that had me loving her! She also runs the Paranormality Blog which is brimming with author interviews and contests!

I loved The Vampire Shrink and I was lucky enough to win an ARC of the upcomming sequel Dark Harvest (read my review).

Oh and keep reading till the bottom because I have a great prize for you to win this week! I think some of you will be dying to win this one!


Amber - Welcome Lynda! I have had the pleasure of reading 'Dark Harvest' the soon to be released sequel to 'The Vampire Shrink' but alot of my readers haven't. Could you start us off by introducing Kismet Knight and the story so far?

Lynda - Thanks so much for having me, Amber! I so appreciate your support and kindness!

Kismet Knight is a Denver psychologist who's a little bored with her normal private practice. She longs for excitement and challenge. When a new client comes to her office, saying she wants to become a vampire, Kismet's world turns upside-down. Being a scientist, Kismet doesn't believe in creatures of the night. She's certain all the people calling themselves vampires are suffering from mental illness. Until she meets the gorgeous male sitting in her waiting room, that is. Devereux claims to be an 800-year-old bloodsucker, who has been waiting for Kismet for centuries. From the moment Kismet sets eyes on the blond immortal, her life is never the same again. She discovers a mystical world filled with vampires, witches, psychics, ghosts and other paranormal characters that exists alongside her "normal" world. And things keep on getting stranger. What's a psychologist to do?

Amber - How would you describe your books? What genre and themes do they cover?

Lynda - I've changed my description tons of times. My book blends so many genres that it's impossible to find a neat niche for it. Now I simply let people define it for themselves. But, as an umbrella term, "paranormal fiction" would be the best fit. I often say something like:

The Kismet Knight, Ph.D., Vampire Psychologist books are dark contemporary fantasy/dark vampire chick lit with romance elements, mystery elements, horror elements and humor.

I stopped calling my books "urban fantasy" because readers now associate butt-kicking heroines with that genre, and my heroine isn't very physical. She's introspective and cerebral and the books are character-driven rather than action-driven.

Amber - What kind of research did you have to do for the Kismet Knight books?

Lynda - I'm not much of a research person! That's why I write contemporary stories. And in the case of my psychologist heroine, I just use experiences from my own professional life as a therapist. I borrow ideas from my clients, exaggerate and embellish (sometimes) and change the names to protect the innocent!

Amber - What other books have you written?

Lynda - "The Vampire Shrink" and "Dark Harvest" are the only print books I've written so far. Before selling those, I sold three short stories to The Wild Rose Press: "Diary of a Narcissistic Bloodsucker," which is a vampire satire/humor; and "Vampire of my Dreams," and "Trick or Treat," both erotic paranormal romance. I also sold a novella to Loose Id, "Undead in the City," which I intend to expand into a novel. The characters are too much fun to abandon mid-adventure!

Amber - What is coming next? More Kismet? Any other projects you are working on?

Lynda - Kismet can have an unlimited number of adventures in her new role as The Vampire Psychologist. I'm working on the third book in the series. I'm also writing a short story for an anthology called, "The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance," due out in February. I do plan to expand "Undead in the City" into a novel -- or perhaps a series. And a new character -- a psychic -- has been tapping me on the mental shoulder for months now, trying to get me to write her tale. I need to get organized!

Amber - Looking at your website you seem to be a very busy person. Tell us a little about all the interesting things you are involved in. When do you find time to write???

Lynda - Actually, finding time to write hasn't been much of a problem until recently. I've been working for myself as a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, professional psychic, group facilitator and workshop presenter for many, many years. I was able to structure my time according to my own desires, so I could manage some writing time every day. Recently, I took a regular job -- or as regular as psych jobs can be. I am working 3 days a week (soon to be 4) for a community mental health center and I inherited a case load of 70 clients! That's a lot of paperwork! So, I tend to spend more time in my office there than I should. Hopefully, after I get into a rhythm at the new place, my time will open up again! (Remind me I said that!)

I'm lucky to have so many interests (or maybe I just have a short attention span!). In addition to my new job, I like to see a few counseling clients privately, as well as offer some hypnotherapy, give a few tarot readings and teach a class or two. I'm happiest when I'm busy (I should be ecstatic now!).

Amber - What do you like to do when you do have any spare time ;)

Lynda - I'd like to say I exercise, travel to exotic locations and party with friends, but none of that would be true. I do try to walk as often as I can, because it simply makes me feel good. But I haven't had any time for travel for a couple of years (although I'm dreaming about a return trip to the U.K.) and I tend to spend my non-working time writing or watching TV. How exciting, eh? I'm such a live wire!

Amber - Why did you start writing and why Vampires?

Lynda - I've always written, but previous to 2003, I wrote nonfiction (articles, columns, workshop materials, self-help chapters). And I've been a vampire fan since I saw my first Bella Lugosi movie and read "Dracula." Discovering the wonderful world of paranormal romance changed everything for me. Since most vampire books I'd read before 2003 could be categorized as "horror," stumbling upon a whole new genre got me excited about trying my hand at fiction. I'm now addicted.

Why vampires? There's just something darkly appealing about the extraordinary nightwalkers. They started out human, so remnants of emotions, thoughts, learned behaviors still exist and enhance -- and conflict with -- their new, nocturnal realities. I remember seeing the Frank Langella version of "Dracula" in 1980 and thinking it was the most arousing version of the story I'd seen so far. Frank brought blatant sensuality to the role and, from that point, I was fixated. Vampires are my favorite paranormal characters.

Amber - Is Kismet anything like yourself? Are any of your characters based on people you know in real life?

Lynda - Kismet is a highly idealized version of me. She's thinner, prettier, younger and having LOTS more fun, but she's basically a wish-fulfillment. I get to act out my desires through her. What if a gorgeous vampire showed up in my waiting room? Kismet shares my lack of social graces, my tendency to be intuitive, introspective and cerebral, and my habit of choosing unusual men. All my characters contain aspects of myself, blended with people from my childhood, my recent past, my current life, my clients and things I make up about strangers.

Amber - What is your ideal writing environment?

Lynda - I have to be alone in a quiet room to write. If I'm around other people (in a coffee shop, etc.), I get distracted. Their conversations pull me in and I get caught up in whatever drama they're discussing (always the therapist). Ideally, the room is cool with good lighting. I can't have music on, because, as a former musician, that also captures my consciousness and I float away.

Amber - What authors do you enjoy reading?

Lynda - There are too many to name! I like almost all the vampire books, and most of the paranormals and urban fantasies, that have been released in the last 10 years. I'm a big fan of J.D. Robb's "Death" books and I like psychological mysteries/thrillers. I also read nonfiction in my areas of interest.

Amber - If the Kismet Knight books were going to be made into a movie/TV series who would you like to see playing the main parts?

Lynda - I've thought about that several times. It would be so much fun if Kismet comes to the little/big screen one of these days! I'd say Kate Beckinsale for Kismet, because she usually has long dark hair and blue eyes in her paranormal-type roles, but she also usually plays a butt-kicker. If she could get used to sitting in the psychologist's chair instead of being a warrior, she'd be great. As for Devereux? I do think the handsome Ellora's Cave cover model, Ryan, is gorgeous -- and he's almost there -- but not quite. So far, I haven't come across anyone I'd cast as Devereux. But I'm always looking!

Amber - What do you enjoy watching/listening to?

Lynda - I'm musically stuck in the past. Classic rock and roll. Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Eagles, Bonnie Raitt, CSN&Y -- anything from the early '70s til the early '90s. I spend WAY too much time watching TV: House, Boston Legal, The Closer, Burn Notice, Psych, Monk, Medium, Criminal Minds, Dexter, Torchwood, Numbers -- and I used to watch the vampire programs before they were canceled!

Amber - If you had three wishes and could wish for anything what would you wish for?

Lynda - I'd wish (making sure I worded it correctly so there weren't any unexpected, unintended repercussions) to go back in time twenty years, bringing all my life experience, wisdom and talents with me. I could kick myself for the ways I held myself back then! I definitely would've followed the philosophy of: "ask forgiveness, not permission" much sooner! For the second wish, I'd figure out a wonderful surprise for my son (grown and living on his own) and the third wish would probably involve money or being able to travel through thought like my vampire characters! (Of course, my early dream of being a rock star is still rumbling around in my psyche somewhere!)

Amber - Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions! I hope you will come back again in the future ;)

Lynda - Thank you, Amber! You're the best. Lynda


Contest time!

Dark Harvest isn't due out till October but Lynda is being really great guest and has given me permission to send a copy of the ARC E-book to one lucky person!

To enter all you have to do is post a comment on this thread telling us why you think a vampire would need to see a vampire shrink! No interesting vampire illness no entry ;)

Anyone signed up for my newsletter will also get an extra entry and you can also earn yourself a third entry if you post about this interview and contest somewhere on the net (don't forget to post the link with your entry here!)

You can enter till Sunday the 27th of July @ 4pm CET and you must be willing to give me a valid email address so I can send you the e-book if you win. Any subscribers to the newsletter must have verified their email address or I won't enter them into the draw.

If you win the E-book you have to promise not to give it to anyone else! It is for your eyes only and should not be passed around.

Enter away!!

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posted by Unknown at Sunday, July 20, 2008 |


At 20 July 2008 at 12:17, Blogger Estella

I'm thinking a vampire with an aversion to blood.


At 20 July 2008 at 12:29, Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried

Got it posted at Win a Book. Thanks for the heads-up, Amber!


At 20 July 2008 at 13:37, Anonymous Anonymous

hmmm.. you could definitely be terrified of the sight of blood. Then there could be a vampire who is afraid to leave the home. They could be tormented by all the wrongs they have done to survive over the centuries. the list could go on and on.


At 20 July 2008 at 17:35, Blogger Laura K

Yes, I must agree a vampire who was saved from sure death that's afraid of needles, blood, and the like. Maybe he's also a purist, not wanting to take from humans. He could be exploring alternative plasmas and the like!


At 20 July 2008 at 17:43, Blogger Jeanette J

I think a vampire should see a shrink to get over his fear of the dark


At 20 July 2008 at 18:05, Blogger Nancy Bristow

He might have issues about "turning" his mate....Nancy


At 20 July 2008 at 19:09, Anonymous Anonymous

I have to admit, I like the idea that a vampire is afraid of the dark. That would be wrong.

Let see, a good vampire condition that would require a shrink....what about something destructive, like an addition to silver or wooden stakes?

Oh yeah, and of course this has been posted over at Literary Escapism.


At 20 July 2008 at 20:44, Blogger Cathy M

How 'bout he is claustraphobic. That would make the whole sleeping in a coffin thing a pretty big issue.


At 20 July 2008 at 20:59, Anonymous Anonymous

I'm thinking Chiroptophobia -- Fear of Bats.


At 20 July 2008 at 21:23, Blogger Michelle

How about if the Vampire has developed "Haemophobia", an extreme and irrational fear of blood...that would make for some difficulties...

I posted this interview & contest on myspace:


At 20 July 2008 at 21:40, Blogger orelukjp0

The vampire would have to see a shrink for his mysophobia which is an an abnormal fear of dirt or contamination. I see him a little like the character Adrian Monk. His obsessive-compulsive disorders would not be as extreme but his fear of germs would have him reluctant to go near anyone to feed on the hoof. And blood banks. You don't know what's contained in the bags. It could make for a very mixed up vamp.


At 20 July 2008 at 21:45, Blogger Dani

I think that a vampire would need to see a psychologist to deal with being changed into a vampire in the first place. That's got to be a hard thing to deal with.

I've posted this at the Coffee Time Romance forums also. here's the link:


At 20 July 2008 at 22:02, Blogger Lynda Hilburn

Wow, everyone! These suggestions are so excellent! I'm definitely writing them down for future use in one of my books. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. It's so great to see you here. And thanks to you Amber, for having me! You're the best.


At 21 July 2008 at 04:53, Blogger Ruth Schaller

I'm thinking a vampire would have to see a shrink due to having to constantly deal with change. I think that would drive everyone crazy eventually. Maybe they are stuck in their time (when they were changed) and just can't seem to cope.


At 21 July 2008 at 08:44, Anonymous Anonymous

What about a vampire hypochondriac who is always afraid that he has chipped a tooth or otherwise ruined his teeth.


At 21 July 2008 at 14:05, Blogger Daelith

How about a vampire who loved garlic before they were turned and couldn't leave the it alone...keeps making him or herself sick.

Or a devote Catholic who was turned and keeps trying to make the sign of the cross and using holy water.


At 21 July 2008 at 14:43, Blogger Unknown

How about a vampire who had severe sexual aversion regarding pulsepoints (wrists, inner elbows, throat, groin), or just a general sexual aversion, which would hamper feeding, especially since he's especially skilled at the make-all-the-girls-swoon way to capture his prey.

~ GateGypsy from bookobsessed


At 21 July 2008 at 15:52, Anonymous Anonymous

Vamps could need to see a shrink for a lot of reasons- one could be that they need help dealing with constant death. Maybe they kill when they feed or maybe just dealing with loved ones dying. They might also use therapy to get help blending in. The list is endless and I love this idea for a book. Thanks for the great interview and contest.


At 22 July 2008 at 21:44, Blogger macbeaner

An OCD vampire would need to see a vampire shrink (sorry-I just got done with ReVamped :)


At 22 July 2008 at 22:44, Blogger Unknown

He might have a bad case of OCD.


At 23 July 2008 at 01:58, Blogger Kimberly B.

I would think that vampires might be likely to suffer from abandonment issues. You know, because of their longevity, and possibly also because of their nocturnal lifestyle (everyone else goes to sleep when their day begins).


At 23 July 2008 at 05:44, Blogger Patricia Altner

A California surfer is turned into a vampire. The thought of never going out into the sun drives him crazy. He desperately needs the help of a shrink.


At 23 July 2008 at 08:09, Blogger Jami

a vampire who LOVES blood and finds his mate in the process. he cant find it in him to kill her but has the selfish need to take her. he battles with being alone or jeporadizing her life and soul.


At 24 July 2008 at 18:45, Blogger Night critter

Someone who is foodaholic becoming a vamp would require lots of help from a shrink. They would have to come to terms with the radical change in their diet; only a liquid one from there on in.


At 25 July 2008 at 02:59, Blogger Kathy

If the vampire was a nice, caring person before he/she turned, then they may have lots of issues about now having to kill or turn others. They may have been a real animal lover or a vegan and now unable to bare that they have to kill people or animals to live.


At 27 July 2008 at 12:28, Blogger DawnM

Well my best idea was a phobia about blood, but I see someone already posted that. How about a horror of sharp objects -- that's got to cause problems with someone with fangs.


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