I do find some of the most interesting people to appear on my blog. Today’s guest, Lynda Hilburn, has been “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.
And The Vampire Shrink is about psychologist Kismet Knight and the dysfunctional vampires she meets in the course of her Denver practice. There are the bad ones, as you would expect, and then there’s Devereaux…
To read about the rest of Lynda’s novels, visit her website.
Through the Looking Glass: Publishing Today by Lynda Hilburn, Guest Blogger
Many thanks to Patricia for having me on her blog today!
“Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next.” – Lewis Carroll
I agree with those who say that nobody knows what’s going on with Publishing right now. “Reality” changes daily and as soon as we’re certain a trend is the “absolutely certain new direction,” it isn’t. Lots of people SAY they know. But they don’t.
Having said that, there are some folks – mostly authors who’ve stuck a toe into all the possible ponds – who can give educated guesses.
But, once again, nobody really knows. It’s easier to talk about publishing as we look in the rear view mirror, rather than gazing through the windshield (or the crystal ball).
It does seem to be the case, though, that it’s an exciting time to be an author.
My own publishing journey has been very strange, with many unexpected turns and twists. But compared to the alien landscape of today’s writing world, my story has become rather mundane.
I’ve been a non-fiction writer for a very long time. As a child and teenager, I wrote long, dramatic entries in various diaries and journals and eventually became quite adept at typing (on a manual typewriter) soulful, heart-wrenching letters to friends. (I’m a Leo. We do have a tendency toward the theatrical.) My academic and professional interests led me to create articles and training materials, in addition to writing newspaper columns. At one point, I had a weekly column in a couple of Boulder newspapers for 5 years (The Psychic Counselor). I was quite happy.
As a side note, I’ve been a vampire reader/fan since I first got my hands on Bram Stoker’s Dracula as a child (much to my mother’s horror). So, in 2003, when one of my hypnotherapy students noticed all the vampire books on my shelf and asked if I’d heard of a relatively new genre called “paranormal romance,” I had to investigate. This new-to-me genre knocked my socks off. Vampires as love/lust objects? Really? I already associated the dark nightwalkers with exotic sensuality, but actually having relationships with these bad boys? Sign me up!
So, needless to say, I read every book I could find and discovered there was actually a sub-genre called “vampire romance.” Be still my heart. As much as I loved Anne Rice’s Lestat, there wasn’t much heterosexual juice in that world.
I began to wonder if I might be able to write about vampires as fiction rather than non-fiction.
One day I was with a young client (I’m a psychotherapist) who talked about wanting to join a non-human group. As I listened to her words, I began to think about the similarities between her story and a few vampire books I’d read. I went home that night and started writing about a psychologist who finds a gorgeous vampire in her waiting room. The Vampire Shrink was born.
I sold that manuscript to a small publisher in 2007 and a second book in 2008. We then parted ways and I put the books up on Amazon and Smashwords.com myself in 2010. To my surprise and delight, they became best sellers.
In late 2009 and early 2010 self-pubbing really took off. Many people were doing very well, financially, from putting up their books themselves. Paranormals/vampires were especially successful. I couldn’t believe my stroke of luck at having followed JA Konrath’s advice to self-publish.
Since the books were best sellers, I was contacted by a new agent (my original agent and I had parted ways in 2008), who was able to get me an interesting 3-book deal. My first novel, The Vampire Shrink, and two more in the series would be jointly published in the UK by Quercus/Jo Fletcher Books and in the USA by Sterling Publishing/Silver Oak (Barnes and Noble).
That meant my first novel – the one everyone said I’d never sell because it was my first – has now reincarnated for the third time (don’t get me started about “rules”). I guess when the USA version comes out with its own cover, that will be a 4th reincarnation! See what I mean about a strange journey?
Anyway, it’s all wonderful. I love it down here in Alice’s world. Who knows what will happen next? Is that a rabbit?
Lynda, thanks so much for joining us today. As much as I like to say I hate vampires, I really enjoyed the story and the characters in The Vampire Shrink.