This is the paranormal blog of author Lynda Hilburn, http://www.lyndahilburnauthor.com
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Recommended Non-Paranormal Books
I've been meaning to start this list of nonparanormal books I like for quite a while and I kept forgetting. In the realm of fiction, I mostly read paranormals (vampires, witch, psychic, some shapeshifter, some urban fantasy), or psychological thrillers. I'm also a pushover for books with interesting, bad-boy male characters. I especially love series with lots of books in them. Anyway, here are a few of the nonparanormal authors/books I like:
Jonathan Kellerman (Alex Delaware series) Alex Delaware, Ph.D., is a psychologist living in L.A. He manages to befriend a beefy, behemoth of a gay police lieutenant and worms his way into helping with various murder investigations. Alex has a hard time with relationships. He seems to be a commitment-phobe. Most of these books are excellent stories, and through the course of the series, Alex finally begins to grow up (I think he's in his 40s in the book) and asks some deep questions. Kellerman focuses on character development more than the tedious details of the outer stuff. Good books.
Stephen White (Alan Gregory series) Like Alex Delaware above, Alan Gregory is a psychologist working in Boulder, CO (my home town). The author lives in Denver, but he used to live in Boulder, so quirky Boulder comes off as one of the main characters of the book. Also like Delaware, Alan Gregory manages to befriend a policeman and get involved in cases. I like these books a lot and at the same time I get annoyed by Alan's anal, stick-up-the-butt approach to psychotherapy. He's definitely old-school. But, I still get each new book as it's released. Alan also shares Alex's relationship problems. Alan also seems to be somewhat anorexic. But the stories are clever and the mysteries interesting. Keith Ablow (Frank Clevenger series) These books are psychological, but slightly different from the ones above. Frank Clevenger is a severely addicted, screwed up forensic psychiatrist. He is an expert on serial killers and he gets called into all kinds of grisly, interesting mysteries. He also has a screwed up adopted teenage son, and a profound inability to keep any kind of mature relationship going. But he's so flawed, so human, that you just have to root for him. Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum series) I wrote about these books quite a while ago in a blog post. I said that I hadn't paid any attention to them because, every once in a while, I'd pick one up in a store, read the back page blurb, and put it back down again. It sounded like another Sopranos-type deal and I really wasn't interested in reading about women-hating idiots in New Jersey. I did eventually get the first book at the library and thought it was clever and cute. Stephanie herself isn't very interesting, but the cast of supporting characters is great. But I was having a conversation with a writer friend about why I can't seem to write one heroine-one hero books and she said I'd probably like the Stephanie Plum books because there were two hot guys. What? Two guys? For some reason, I just thought it was a standard romance thing between Stephanie and the cop. I'm sure the cop is hunky, but he didn't ring my chimes. Cops just don't. I'd never have picked up another of the books if my friend hadn't mentioned that Dangerous, Bad Boy Ranger would take a larger role as the books progressed. Hmmm. Well, let me reconsider. So, now I'm hooked. Not because of Stephanie or the other characters (they're cute, but they do the same things in every book), but because of Ranger. Superhero Ranger. Brooding, mysterious Batman Ranger. Oh, yeah.
My friend, Lora Rosario, and I have created a new blog, specifically for vampires -- Lair of the Vampire. Stop by and give us your ideas for ways to make the blog more awesome. Do you have great vampire photos? Trivia? Opinions? Feedback? Well, then this is your place. Come on down! http://lairofthevampire.blogspot.com
It's been fun selling my short story. All the promo that goes along with the sale has been eye-opening. Not that I mind. I like talking about Diary of a Narcissistic Bloodsucker. And I enjoy that people seem to like the title (and the story). It's great to get good feedback.
I went to a author's panel last night in Denver. Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (presenting a big conference this September) sponsored the talk with three well-known, successful authors talking about how they "did it." Highly motivational. And frustrating.
But both the sale and the panel made me think about my progress since I started writing fiction about 2.5 years ago.
So, here's where I am now: I sold the 12,000-word short story (Diary of a Narcissistic Bloodsucker) I completed the 105,000-word novel (The Vampire Shrink) and have an agent, and I'm in the midst of writing the second novel in the series I'm 20,000+ words into a vampire novella which takes place in the inner city of Detroit (where I grew up) I have several other short stories in progress.
Not too bad for 2.5 years. OK. I guess I can stop torturing myself.
In honor of the release of "Diary of a Narcissistic Bloodsucker," I'm holding a contest! There will be two winners and I'll be giving away downloads of anything at The Wild Rose Press, and/or CDs from my line of guided hypnotherapy CDs. Your choice.
All the contest information can be found at the Forums at The Wild Rose Press.
Come over and check it out. And, if you've had a chance to read my story (especially if you liked it -- grin!), please write a review.
My friend, L. Rosario, has penned a sensuous, delicious vampire short story. If you've thought about having just one night with a gorgeous vampire, you'll love this story. You can find it (and buy it) on The Wild Rose Press website, www.thewildrosepress.com, Blood Ritual.
My short story, Diary of a Narcissistic Bloodsucker, will has been purchased by the Black Rose Line of The Wild Rose Press and will debut soon. It's a vampire humor/satire w/romance elements. Here's the blurb for the story:
Told in first person by the vampire herself (Zara), this is the diary of an ancient, self-absorbed, yet-amusing nightwalker. She lusts for both sex and blood. Unfortunately, something has gone awry and her normal habits now create new problems to solve. In the midst of sorting things out, she meets an intriguing human named Niven -- a musician who lives in the magical kingdom of contemporary Boulder, CO -- and discovers that he is much more than he appears to be. Then, if things weren't interesting enough, Zara encounters her old mentor/lover -- the vampire who originally turned her -- and things get downright supernatural.
This isn't a traditional romance story. It's the flow-of-consciousness tale of a very naughty vampire. I hope you'll give this bad girl a look-see when the story's up on Wild Rose's website. I'll keep you posted.
The photo to the right is of Elvira (Mistress of the Dark), but Zara often speaks fondly of the television vixen. It seems Zara was only too happy to allow Elvira to use her as a role model. Ah, the joys of moon bathing.