Author of the bestselling Blackthorn series and now having signed a three-book print deal with Piatkus Books, Lindsay J. Pryor is celebrating the launch of HAVEN, the first book in her spin-off series, by sharing 10 things her readers might be interested in knowing about her.

Lindsay J. Pryor

Lindsay J. Pryor

I used to be a Ghostbuster. I had a stint supporting a paranormal investigation team and once stayed in a haunted house overnight. But despite loads of activity and the local media being in attendance, I fell asleep on the job. I think it’s safe to say Venkman, Stantz and Spengler and would have sacked me.

I’m swayed more by ethics than labels. Being cruelty free is particularly important to me. I believe in the impact of individual choices and that people can enact positive change by being more aware of the practices they are funding.

I’m happiest in a wood or on the coast. I have an aversion to crowds, jostling and noise. I’m much more at home with nature.

I’m scared of the dark. We used to live in an eighteenth century cottage in a tiny rural village nestled between Exmoor and Dartmoor. Complete blackouts were not uncommon so my husband bought me a tiny, twist-on camping lantern to hook on my jeans. It went everywhere with me. Almost twenty years later I still keep it in my bedside table even though it doesn’t work anymore.    

I was a teacher for eighteen years before becoming a full-time author. As well as being a qualified psychology lecturer and English teacher, I specialised in teaching children (primarily teenagers) with special needs. As such I’ve been trained across a broad spectrum of skills from conflict de-escalation, sign language, physiotherapy, administering medication, manual handling, as well as sensory education. My most complex student was deaf, blind, couldn’t speak and could only move his hands and his head.

I’ve been a member of Mensa for twenty-five years. I sat the exam to support a friend and ended up being invited to join. I’m a genius apparently. I can still remember my mum laughing when I told her. It was a valid and substantiated response.  

I have no sense of direction, can’t read any kind of map, and don’t know my left from my right. Basically either I have an escort or I don’t get there. It’s not even the big stuff. It’s not unusual for me to walk out of changing rooms or toilets and find my way into staff areas. Not so long ago I even stood in the “ladies’” facilities at one of my local cinemas trying to work out when (and why) they’d installed urinals in there. 

According to family legend my great grandmother was a gypsy. She fell in love with my great grandfather who was a non-gypsy and so had to choose between him and her family. She chose him. It’s no wonder I write about forbidden love when it’s literally in my veins.

I’m a perfectionist, not least when it comes to my writing. It’s why I never re-read my own books: the urge to rewrite them and do better would inevitably take over.

One of my most life-changing moments was watching my dad die in front of me after his seven-year battle with a rare form of cancer. The last thing he ever said to me was to pursue my dreams, so I did. Five years later I signed my first publishing contract. Now, another five years on, I’ve signed my first print deal. My publication journey has been an unusual one but has shown what can be done if you make the most of opportunities when they present themselves alongside creating your own.