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!



Donna said...

I've read and enjoyed both The Vampire Shrink & Dark Harvest. I would say that I am a hopeful romantic and lucky enough to be married to a man that indulges that side of me.

Margay Leah Justice said...

Lynda, it's nice to know that I'm not the only hopeless romantic here who's been kicked around the romance block a few times but still believes that something beautiful is waiting just around the corner. I think that's why I like reading about and writing about romance myself. But am I a sadist for kicking my characters around that block a time or two before they come to deserve each other?

Unknown said...

Hi lynda thanks for the post today it was very enjoyable. I totally agree that life is so much better with love in it. Your right that it wont pay the bills but it sure does make everything a little more sunny.

Lynda Hilburn said...

Hi, Donna! Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm so happy you enjoyed my books. It's great that you have a romance-indulging man!

Margay: LOL. I always make the romantic relationships in my book as complicated as possible. (Might as well make them realistic!)

Sarabelle: Nice to see you. Love does light up our lives. Thanks for entering the contest!

Meljprincess said...

Hi Lynda,
It's Draculissa from the BBB blog.
I love your Beatles quotes. Brings to mind this quote not from them.
"The greatest thing you'll ever just to love...and be loved in return". From "Nature Boy" ~ Eden Ahbez
1947. Though it has been sung by a bunch of people. My fav. being Nat King Cole.
I have a serious crush on your book, THE VAMPIRE SHRINK. It will break my heart if I don't find it soon. *g*
OK, I'm cynical. Romance fades for some and I find myself living vicariously through my favorite characters. I think that's why I'm reading so many paranormals, horror, and thrillers. Life's just not exciting anymore. I don't want to coast through life. I want to live it! Advice? Thanks. ~ D

Billie Jo said...

Hi Lynda,

First let me tell you..I LOVED your book.

To be honest I was never a believer in romance. However, when I was at a horribly low place in my life and marriage, I picked up my first romance book. After reading a few of them, I was hooked and started to believe that just maybe I would find the "true love" everyone talks about.

A year and a half later, I found my soulmate and have cherished it ever since.

I thank all the romance authors for giving me that hope. Thank you as well.

Billie Jo

Billie Jo said...

Hi Lynda,

First let me tell you..I LOVED your book.

To be honest I was never a believer in romance. However, when I was at a horribly low place in my life and marriage, I picked up my first romance book. After reading a few of them, I was hooked and started to believe that just maybe I would find the "true love" everyone talks about.

A year and a half later, I found my soulmate and have cherished it ever since.

I thank all the romance authors for giving me that hope. Thank you as well.

Billie Jo

TheaH said...

I love romance. I have to admit the one really romantic guy I dated was too cloying, too clingy. The rest have not been super romantic. My current partner of nearly six years was upfront--he doesn't remember birthday or anniversaries, isn't good with presents, but will stand by me and honor me. He does surprise me every once in a while and I reward him lavishly for it, hoping for a repeat.

With Valentine's Day I have to set expectations out loud and in detail. I have been announcing that I want dinner (our neighborhood Chili's is fine), a card and to go see Coraline. I think we are up to three announcements and he asked questions the last time, which is a good sign.

So, I can totally appreciate getting the romance in your life through reading and writing about it.

Plus the universe doesn't know the difference between wishing and the real thing. Just be careful of how you couch it or you can find yourself in a horror story!


Tiffany James said...

Hi, Linda!

I laughed out loud when I read your comment about a soft, gooey middle. :0) Maybe if we all embraced our romantic sides we'd all be a little happier and the term would change from "hopeless romantic" to "hopeful romantic"! What do you think?


Viola Estrella said...

Hi Lynda!
LOL!That sounds like my kind of exercize. And I haven't seen Burn Notice but that scene sounds amazing. I love scenes with raw emotion. Great interview!

flip said...

Loved that scene in Burn Notice. It is so nice to see romance on tv.

JeanMP said...

Love that show Burn Notice, but haven't scene that episode
Enjoyed your interview!

Lynda Hilburn said...

Meljprincess: What a great comment. (I hope you get to fulfill your crush soon!) I think another thing that romance does is heal. I know that sounds strange. In fact, I just came to that realization this morning (I'm at work) when I was talking to a client about why reading fiction in general -- romance in particular -- is a good thing. I said I thought reading about relationships might give us permission to keep trying -- to say "maybe" instead of "no." We've all been hurt and rejected, etc., and so many of us retreat. Reading about possibilities (examples of successful connections) creates opportunities to actually utilize the knowledge in our own lives, to take a risk. And I know what you mean about reading horror, paranormals, etc. I haven't run into any real vampires yet, but I'm still looking. And what fun! Thanks for stopping by!

Lynda Hilburn said...

Billie Jo: Thanks so much for commenting! I'm so happy you love my book. You're thoughtful to tell me. I love your uplifting story! How awesome that you found your soul mate! You've reminded us to keep on dreaming.

TheaH: What a great story! Love shows up in the most unexpected places. I hope you and your sweetie have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Lynda Hilburn said...

Hi, Tiffany! Thanks for stopping by. Hopeful romantic? I love it!

Viola! Nice to see you. Yes, all exercise is good exercise. And I can think of some other forms I'd like to become reacquainted with! LOL.

Daelith said...

Hi Lynda!

I don't really consider myself a romantic in real life, but I love reading them. They provide such an escape for me...especially in the middle of my work day. (I always read on my lunch hour.) Sometimes I admire the characters in them and wonder if I could be more like them. Then others make me glad I'm not like them.

I have to admit too that at times they have helped add a little extra spark with the hubby. ;)

Estella said...

I love reading romances, but don't consider myself a romantic.

Mariee said...

Hi Lynda.
I'm a hopeless romantic as well. Haven't watched any episodes of Burn Notice, but it sounds like I have to check it out. Not enough romance of tv these day, especially after they cancelled Men in trees.

Pam P said...

Love does make the world go 'round, count me as a romantic. I loved that scene in Burn Notice, Lynda, one of my favorite shows.

Lynda Hilburn said...

Hi, Flip! I thought I sent a post through to you earlier today, but it isn't here, so I guess it didn't work. Thanks for commenting. I'm also glad to see romance on TV. I really enjoy romance between complicated adults. grin.

JeanP: Nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by.

Lynda Hilburn said...

Daelith: I know what you mean! I'm glad the books stimulate your relationship with hubby!

Estella: I guess I've become more of a romantic as I've gotten older. Dealing with reality is highly over-rated! lol

TJ Bennett said...

These are great comments, folks. Keep 'em coming for a chance to win the big gift basket. If you're interested in trying for a free signed copy of THE LEGACY, btw, find my post that is titled "I'm feeling generous, etc." from a couple of days ago and leave a comment before 8pm central standard time (yikes, that's in 10 mins!) to be eligible for the drawing. I'll award two books.

Lynda, you're doing a great job keeping up with these folks! :-)


Lynda Hilburn said...

Hi, Marie. I doubt that anyone else would consider "Burn Notice" romantic. Its a clever spy program. But the spark between the two main characters is very intense. Lots of women love the silent, mysterious male. That's part of the appeal of this show for me. Thanks for commenting!

PamP: Yes. Where would we be without relationships? Thanks for stopping by.

Lynda Hilburn said...

Hey, TJ! Thanks for having me here on your wonderful blog today. Excellent idea for a contest!

TJ Bennett said...

If you do say so yourself, wink wink nudge nudge. :-)

I freely admit it was Lynda's idea to have guest hosts blogging for me this month, folks, and what a great idea it was. I just decided to super-size it, like I do everything I get my hands on, and have the hosts give away the big basket of books while they were at it! Mwahhahhahh!

And speaking of books, I best go figure out who won mine. Be back in a jif.


Lynda Hilburn said...

TJ: Take credit where credit is due! All I thought of was the guest bloggers. The contest idea was all yours!

CatherineKean said...

Hi Lynda!

Great post! I'm definitely a hopeless romantic. Right now I'm planning a Valentine's Day dinner for my hubby and daughter; what better day to tell them how special they both are to me?

Best wishes,


Sue A. said...

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s books like yours that make these days bearable for those of not in relationships. Thanks for sharing your light!

donnas said...

Great post. I loved your book and cant wait for more.

I have to admit I am a romantic and I hope to one day find a love like those you can read about.

Lynda Hilburn said...

Hi, Catherine! Nice to see you here. A Valentine's dinner sounds great! They're going to love it. Thanks for commenting!

Sue: Thanks for stopping by! Yes! Valentine's Day is a good day (for some of us) to curl up with a good book (and a good male character!).

DonnaS: Thanks so much for telling me you loved my book! That makes me very happy. You're sweet to tell me. Keep hoping. Love is possible.

Trish Albright said...

Lynda! Wonderful post. Still smiling at the pilot light! Romance novels saved me through many single years, and solo Valentine's Day nights. I hope you have a couple good ones lined up for the weekend. Thanks for sharing your optimism. I think, as Joan Wilder would say, you're a "hopeful romantic."

Lynda Hilburn said...

Thank you, Trish! As usual, my TBR pile is huge. I'm actually going to try to get some writing done this weekend!

Meljprincess said...

Well said, Lynda. Thanks. I appreciate your comment about my comment. *g* And now I'll sit and wait for The Vampire Cupid.

Donna Caubarreaux said...

What a cover!

Makes me wish I was an artist, instead of a writer.

Kammie said...

Cool cover for The Vampire Shrink! I think romance is all about the small things. That kiss on the cheek, holding hands and the I Love You when you're not expecting it. Oh, and I do believe romance reading makes one a bit more romantic. Those stories are filled with ideas.

Lynda Hilburn said...

Meljprincess: The Vampire Cupid -- that's cute!!

Donna: Thanks for the kind words about the cover. I appreciate it!

Kammie: Thanks for your nice words, too. I'm right there with you -- it's the unexpected things that feel so wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Even though I'm a single person right now, I still believe I'm a hopeless romantic. I get misty-eyed when I see couples that have been married for over 50 years and want to give them a round of applause on such a wonderful achievement.

And I thank romance novels for keeping my romantic pilot light lit. Whenever I start getting a bit down about being single, I pick up a book and the couples happy ending renews my faith.

Lynda Hilburn said...

Jody F: Thanks for commenting! I know what you mean about the long-married couples. What an achievement in today's world!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynda! Even though I'm single, I'm a hopeless romantic. Romance novels have helped get me through all the "single years".

Lynda Hilburn said...

Deborah: You and me both!! Thanks for stopping by!

aromagik said...

I'm married, and I'll admit that part of what I love about reading romances is that "first kiss" rush I get, but I also like to apply what I read to my love life with my husband. Yep, keeping the pilot light lit -- excellent way to put it!


Anonymous said...

Hi Lynda!
Great post. It's always a boost to read about other single people and how they find ways to bring romance into their lives, (through fiction). It keeps the heart beating and hope alive to read about couples beating the odds to find their way to each other. I too am a huge fan of Paranormal Romances and have been dying to read your books!


Lynda Hilburn said...

Aromagik: Ah, yes. The first kiss rush! What a good feeling. I couldn't agree more! Thanks for stopping by!

Judi: It is encouraging to read about people finding love and connection despite the odds. I hope you get a chance to read my books soon! And I hope you like them.
Hugs, Lynda