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Lindsay J. Pryor: Blood Roses interview

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Behind every great vampire is an incredible author.  To celebrate the launch of Blood Roses – the second book in her Blackthorn series – Lindsay J. Pryor joins us today to reveal more about the epic developments in Blackthorn…

Q. Blood Roses is finally out today (quick, go buy it here - and then come back and read the interview), but when did you first start writing it?

A.

I wrote about three quarters of the book back in 2007. The characters and basic storyline were devised a few years before then but, like many of my Blackthorn stories, it remained under development while I worked on plot threads, world building and other short stories. I was spurned on to finish it after the tremendous response from readers/voters when I entered it in New Voices in 2010. I have a LOT to thank them for.

Q.

Leila, the heroine from Blood Roses is a serryn – which we’d never heard of before – can you explain what that is exactly?

A.

A serryn is a rare strain of witch whose blood is poisonous to vampires. They’re human and impossible to detect. All serryns are witches (or the politically correct term ‘interpreter’), but not all witches are serryns. They hunt and tempt or, if the desire takes them, seduce vampires into biting them. They’re cruel, devious and detached. You know their potential because even Kane [a master vampire and the Hero of Blood Shadows] makes reference to being ‘unnerved’ by them.

Leila is an anomaly though. She recognises the slippery slope that befalls serryns once they embrace what they are – not least estrangement from their families. Because of her background, Leila is determined to turn her back on her destiny but faces a terrible struggle once faced with Caleb.

Q. 

OK – so if serryns kill by seducing vampires into biting them, does that work with both male and female vampires?

A. 

All vampires are susceptible to serryns who, incidentally, are always female. Serryns themselves are non-discriminatory – they’ll kill males, females and the young. They truly are incredibly unpleasant.

Q.

Kane Malloy from your debut Blood Shadows was a very old and powerful master vampire.  Caleb from Blood Roses is an infamous serryn-hunter with a dark past and a key player in what’s to come.  So, I think what everyone wants to know is… Kane vs Caleb – who wins? And will we ever find out?

A.

You most certainly will! As you would have read in Blood Shadows, and will read in Blood Roses, they are already more than aware of each other. Kane and Caleb will be on the page together before too long, and it’s going to be interesting! I had a lot of fun writing one of their initial scenes together. I almost wanted to take a step back and just watch. They’re quite hypnotic when interacting. I’d want both on my side and neither as my enemy, that’s for sure!

Kane is quite something to contend with – you’ve only seen a fraction of his capabilities so far. When you see him confront the Higher Order (just one small spoiler!), you’ll understand much more just how powerful master vampires are. Saying that, Caleb’s darkness is more intense than Kane’s. Caleb teeters on the edge of falling into a lethally dark place again, the consequences of which would be dire. But then Kane knows much more about what’s to come. After all, he’s in Blackthorn for a reason.

As for who will win… I can’t tell you that! All I’ll say is they’re both survivors, exceptionally smart, strategic, manipulative and ruthless and both born leaders. They’re quite similar, and were created that way for a good reason. It’s their weaknesses that will set them apart – and I’ve interwoven plenty of clues (both in their pasts and their current behaviour) as to what those weaknesses are. Right, enough said!

Q.

And your personal preference…?

A.

My personal preference? Ha – that’s gives away far too much information! Ask me again when the series is over. The author in me finds them both equally enthralling. I love writing them because they’re so unpredictable. Right up to the last minute of writing a scene, they can change it. Saying that, my heroines don’t do a bad job of throwing my plans into disarray either.

Q.

Caleb and Leila really shouldn’t be together – I mean they’re from different sides of town, they’re genetically programmed to kill each other, and they’re fighting each other for the survival of their entire species (phew). Do you intentionally set out to make things as difficult as possible for your hero and heroines? 

A.

Lol! Absolutely. Stories are about conflict – internal and external. If you’re going to do it, do it plentifully and passionately. The whole Blackthorn backdrop is built on conflict and the characters’ relationships need to reflect that. If you want to sit back and have an easy time, Blackthorn’s not the place.

Like you said, Caleb and Leila really shouldn’t be together. Theirs is the most forbidden romance of all because of the consequences. Basically, Blood Roses is a much darker and more intense read because their developing love is. Caleb and Leila have what I would describe as epic love. I’ve had some mixed responses about the end of Blood Roses so far, but all I can say is it absolutely has to happen that way to make sense of what’s to come.

Q.

Blood Shadows was a pretty dark book by paranormal romance standards… but if anything Blood Roses is even darker and more intense – do you ever have to stop writing because you’re scaring yourself?

A.

Ha! Yes! I want to feel when I write. I also want to react. If I’m not, I can’t expect my reader to. I have even typed whilst squinting across my shoulder at the screen to create some safe emotional distance. I think the most essential tools for any author, aside from a way with words, is empathy and sensitivity.

In terms of comparing the darkness and intensity in the stories, I’ve always felt it important that each romance carries its own identity. The style of each book primarily reflects the heroine’s journey. Blood Shadows is fast-paced (only days for Caitlin to save her own life) with lots of twists and turns because much of it is about Caitlin uncovering that the truth is contrary to what she’s always believed. Just as I keep pulling the rug out from under Caitlin’s feet, I do the same to the readers.

Blood Roses is much darker because Leila is placed in the midst of her worst nightmare. Caleb is brutally single-minded and relentlessly piles on the pressure to make Leila break. I wanted the reader to feel the same intensity, frustration and claustrophobia that Leila does. One reviewer openly said she had to take a break whilst reading it, which is perfect. Poor Leila doesn’t get that option, which I hope increases readers’ empathy with her situation.

Q.

We get to learn more about the vampire prophecies in Blood Roses and I get the feeling that we’re building towards something EPIC.  How long do we have to wait?

A.

In terms of actual books, not too long. You’ve got one more pivotal couple to meet – Jessie and Eden – then it all kicks off. In some way, the first four books are like the opening ceremony to the Olympics. I wanted to introduce you to everyone, let you decide who you’re rooting for, feel the tension building and make your predications – then the games will open.

Q. 

What’s it like sharing the world of Blackthorn with readers after 16 years of having it all to yourself?

A.

Insanely exciting – especially based on the incredible response to Blood Shadows. Because the time was very short between signing with Bookouture and the first book coming out, I was swept up in all the mania and didn’t have much time to think. Now, some days, I get painfully anxious about how Blood Roses will be received, just because it’s so different to Blood Shadows. But inevitably comparisons will be made between the books and readers will have their favourites – but that’s a good thing.

Of course, the best thing is actually having people to talk to about Blackthorn, especially having kept it to myself for some many years. The most overwhelming emails I get are those from readers thanking me for writing the series. I also love hearing from readers itching to know a little more – which is part of the reason why I wrote my Beneath Blackthorn posts.

I can only say how grateful I am to the readers who have invested their time and money in the series so far. I don’t take any of it for granted, especially as there’s not some magic formula where the books get published regardless.

Q. And finally, how about Blood Torn – book three in the Blackthorn series… it’s a little way off, but what can we expect?

A.

I’m HUGELY excited about Blood Torn. It’s a leap into the clandestine lycan world which you haven’t seen much of yet. I don’t want to give too much away but, as with my vampires, I’ve introduced some new ideas around lycan mythology to keep it interesting and fresh, let alone tie it in with what’s to come. I’ll be posting more about it on my blog in due course.

Both the hero and heroine are extremely different to what I’ve written before, as is the dynamic between them. But the story, as with all Blackthorn romances, remains dark, sexy and edgy. There are some plot twists, paths begin to cross and expect some huge revelations of what’s to come. As always, I advise you enter Blackthorn with an open mind and no set rules or expectations of how the paranormal world works. I can’t wait to share the next installment with you.

If you enjoyed that little extra insight into Blackthorn, please help us share the news via twitter and facebook!

And if you haven’t bought Blood Roses yet, than what are you waiting for?!  Buy links below:

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | iBookstore | Kobo |

You can follow Lindsay at the links below:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

 

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Showing 4 comments
  • Tracey Rogers
    Reply

    Wow I’m hyperventilating at the thought of Kane and Caleb in the same book! Fabulous series I hope it’s a long one. Come quickly Blood Torn.

    • Lindsay J. Pryor
      Reply

      I’m passing you a paper bag, Tracey. Deep breaths! Deep breaths! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Just think – the countdown to Blood Torn has already started!

  • nancy barone
    Reply

    What an interesting interview! And the serryns- can’t wait to read more! Congratulations, Lindsay!

    • Lindsay J. Pryor
      Reply

      Hi Nancy! Thank you for coming to read – I’m sure your super busy with everything that’s happening. I can’t wait for your launch! :-)

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