Wednesday, February 11, 2009
IMHO Welcomes Paranormal Fiction Author Lynda Hilburn!
IMHO is pleased to welcome Lynda Hilburn to the Romance Roundup Gift Basket party. Lynda is a talented writer of paranormal vampire fiction, as well as a fellow Medallion Press author. Her first full-length fiction novel for Medallion, The Vampire Shrink, features a psychologist named Kismet Knight who is forced to adjust her notions of reality when she meets seductive 800-year-old vampire Devereux and winds up in the dark underbelly of Denver’s paranormal subculture. Kismet becomes a counselor to vampires, continuing in that role in the sequel, Dark Harvest, where she attracts the attention of day-walking vampire Lyren Hallow, who turns her world upside-down—again. Lydna’s books cross genres and have been described as “urban fantasy romance with mystery elements, sex, dark humor, and a contemporary vibe.” NYT and USA Today bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks says the world of the Vampire Shrink is “fascinating … wicked and sexy!"
Lynda’s eclectic background has more than prepared her to create such complex, fascinating characters. She has been at various times a rock-and-roll singer/musician, a typesetter/copy editor for various newspapers and magazines, a professional psychic/tarot reader, a licensed psychotherapist, a certified clinical hypnotherapist, a newspaper columnist, a university instructor, a workshop presenter, and a fiction writer. During many of those years, she was also a single mom. She lives with her son in Boulder, Colorado, in the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Lynda will put an autographed copy of The Vampire Shrink in the Big Basket of LOOOVE.
IMHO: Welcome, Lynda, and please tell us what romance means to you.
LH: Thanks, TJ!
When TJ invited me to write about what romance means to me, I was momentarily stumped. Since I’m currently between husbands/significant others, I don’t have any romantic stories to share. I couldn’t imagine what I’d write about. But then I realized that romance – the dream of it – still plays a huge role in my everyday existence.
The truth is: I’m a hopeless romantic.
Yes, I know. People who spend time with me might say I’m cynical about romance and love – that I’m shell-shocked from listening to tales of interpersonal woe daily in my psychotherapy practice. But that’s mostly pretense. I simply don’t want everyone to know about my soft, gooey middle (and I’m not talking about the obvious one that hangs over my waistband).
As others have written so beautifully, love is essential. The Beatles were right: “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.” And, “All you need is love.” Love won’t pay the bills, but a life without it is unthinkable.
Ah, but romance. That initial blush of excitement. The heart-thumping lust at first sight. The full-body rush of chemicals flooding the brain with insanity, causing us to acquire goofy smiles and – in the presence of the beloved – to stare blankly and be unable to string coherent sentences together.
What a marvelous feeling. And an addictive feeling. Lucky for romance writers!
That’s why I read and write romance. Since I’m not involved in any hands-on experiences right now, I need to immerse myself in the realm of possibility – to keep my pilot light lit. Even now, I can close my eyes and imagine one of my favorite scenes, and my heart rate increases. Hey, exercise is exercise.
I used to worry that reading romance in the absence of any traces of it in the “real” world would make me feel worse. That I’d suffer the lack even more by continuously living vicariously through my favorite characters. But that hasn’t happened. In fact, since the brain/mind doesn’t know the difference between something observed and something imagined, it seems to be fine with filling the gaps with fantasy relationships. I’ve even started assigning romance novels as homework for my clients. I’ve noticed they’re smiling a lot more these days.
A couple of days ago I watched an episode of one of my favorite shows, “Burn Notice.” The main character has tried to ignore his feelings about the main female character (great tension building) since the show began. In a scene near the end of the hour, the woman got trapped in a burning building and the man thought she’d died. When he discovered his error, he wasted no time showing her physically how he feels about her. Geez. Good acting, raw emotions. All I took away from that entire hour was that 10-second interaction. I’m hopeless!
Thanks a lot for getting all these emotions stirred up, TJ! Now, where did I put that chocolate? LOL.
IMHO: Hey, that’s MY chocolate! Oh, all right, I’ll share (grumble, grumble). :-)
Seriously, Lynda, thanks for pointing out that single women love romance as much as the “coupled” ones do (pardon the pun), and that reading romance is a great way to “keep one’s pilot light lit” (I love that!).
Now let’s hear it from you, gentle readers. Pull up a couch and tell Dr. Lynda your feelings on this subject. Be sure to leave her and at least one other author a comment if you want a chance to win the BIG BASKET OF LOOOVE. As a reminder, our previous guest hosts were, beginning on January 21, Colleen Thompson; January 24 - Brenda Scott Royce; January 28 - Kerrelyn Sparks; January 31 - Trish Albright; February 4 - Christie Craig; and February 7 - Lynne Marshall. Please come back on February 14, Valentine’s Day, to visit with our final guest, historical and paranormal romance author Sophie Jordan, AKA Sharie Kohler, who will put two books, one from each of her author personas, into the BIG BASKET OF LOOOVE. And don't forget to sign up for my mailing list at the top of the page if you'd like to be notified about future events and releases. See you soon!