Once upon a time, in a dark, dark wood … hold on … strike that …
Once upon a time, in a dark, dark district, deep in the rotten core of what was once a city, all that goes bump in the night are ruled with an iron fist by humans determined to keep the threat at bay beyond their guarded walls …
I often get asked what inspired Blackthorn - how the idea first came to me of such a gritty paranormal romance series. With dark, edgy and sometimes questionable romances laced with a heavy dose of realism (no immortals here!) and set against a Gothic urban backdrop, there had to have been some macabre influences in the background. I had watched The Little Vampire as a child and The Lost Boys in my late teens but, most of all, I blame fairy tales (that and getting lost in an unfamiliar city one night).
What is adult paranormal romance if not fairy tales for grown-ups? After all, they're as enduring as the legends surrounding our most beloved supernatural characters, so it's easy for the two to merge. As for dark paranormal romance, many of us are born with an inherent fascination with the macabre. It's in our basic survival instincts to be aware of the threats out there. As children, fairy tales feed that part of us. As a result, they're exciting, dangerous, scary, anxiety-provoking and utterly compelling.
Forget interpretations, fairy tales, real fairy tales, aren't nice. In fact, when you peel the layers away, they're downright disturbing. Dark, violent, cruel, full of selfishness and greed, neglect, kidnappings, emotional blackmail - fairy tales don't shy away from things. Fairy tales are certainly not there to soft-pedal reality. They don't hold back on character flaws. Anger, fear, hatred, cruelty, prejudice, oppression, injustice - they're part of the fabric of society. And maybe it's that truth which has allowed them to survive generations like they have.
It's not all doom and gloom though. Fairy tales may push readers to the edge of their fears but they do so to give a sense of right and wrong, to show both light and dark in parallel. As well as the bad stuff, they show that people can survive, that friendships can be formed, that some characters see the errors of their ways whilst those that don't are punished. Good can triumph over evil. Monsters can be defeated. Love will find a way. All can be okay in the end.
Isn't that why we love the escapism that stories give us? To go places we'll never experience, or might be too scared to venture alone? Don't some of us, as adults, want to revisit the witch's kitchen, to walk through that dark wood, to feel the wolf snapping at our heels behind the safety of pages? To believe that heroes and heroines still exist and, most importantly, that there's always hope? Don't some of us, basically, still like a little bit of magic in our lives?
I know I do, hence Blackthorn - not for the faint-hearted but, like most fairy tales, it was never meant to be.
Lindsay J. Pryor
Author of the Amazon #1 bestselling BLACKTHORN series
About Lindsay J. Pryor
Lindsay J. Pryor writes dark, intense, multi-layered Gothic dark paranormal romance set in the dystopian world of Blackthorn. Discovered after being a twice-finalist in an international romance writing competiton, Lindsay's Blackthorn really captured the imagination of her publisher as a fantastically vivid and complex world, one which readers will utterly lose themselves in. She paints this multi-layered world effortlessly, and uses it as the setting for intense forbidden romances. With six-figure sales, Blackthorn regularly tops Amazon's U.S. and U.K Gothic romance charts. Books from her series have also reached number 1 in four sub-genres of paranormal romance, as well as being a number 1 'Most Wished For' paranormal romance on Amazon UK. She has been a Top 50 bestseller (#47) in Amazon.com's main kindle charts and has skirted the Top 100 on Amazon UK. The first three Blackthorn books have since become available on audio via Tantor Media. Lindsay has been creating stories since she was nine years old, when she quickly decided that fantasy was more interesting than reality. She thought she'd grow out of it but, more than thirty years later, writing remains her passion. Lindsay holds an honours science degree in Psychology and Communication, is a qualified Psychology lecturer and English teacher. She taught for eighteen years, primarily to improve literacy for children with special needs, before becoming a full-time author. She's intrigued by mythology, likes to relax watching films and her favourite box sets, and is a keen supporter of animal welfare. Lindsay was born and grew up in South Wales but now lives in the South West of England with her husband of seventeen years, their rescue bunny, and a plethora of wild woodland creatures.