Today is the day! Four years ago today, Blackthorn was first launched. Thank you to everyone who read and supported my anniversary post here yesterday as well as all of your wonderful comments on social media. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! If you missed it, you can find it here.
I would also like to say a massive thank you to Tracey Rogers, Wopsywoobookblog and Passionate About Books who have all celebrated with their own special anniversary posts on their blogs today, including recalling how they discovered Blackthorn. Thank you to HelCeesBanginBooks for giving my series such a big shout out on her FB page too. I really appreciate it, ladies. <3
Thank you as well too to everyone who supported my interview with My Bookworm Blogger yesterday. If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a signed paperback of Blood Bound together with a signed postcard, you still have time. Just click on this link.
And talking of giveaways…
IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME!
Last week I had three 24-four flash giveaways on Facebook to win stickers and limited edition postcards. Today, I’m giving ONE entrant the chance to WIN THE ENTIRE BUNDLE of prizes.
The bundle includes:
One signed limited edition ‘4-year Anniversary’ large postcard
One signed limited edition ‘Readers’ Quotes’ large postcard
One signed ‘Blackthorn Heroes’ large postcard
One set of ‘Blackthorn Heroes’ stickers, including 1 Kane sticker, 1 #TeamKane sticker, 1 Caleb Sticker, 1 #TeamCaleb sticker, 1 Jask sticker, 1 #TeamJask sticker, 1 Eden sticker and 1 #TeamEden sticker. That’s 8 stickers in total.
One Blackthorn Logo sticker
But exclusive to this website giveaway, I’m including a SIGNED A3 POSTER of the Blackthorn book cover of YOUR CHOICE in the prize bundle!
HOW TO ENTER
As today marks the release of Blood Shadows, all you have to do to enter is:
SHARE YOUR FAVOURITE KANE OR CAITLIN QUOTE OR MOMENT FROM THE SERIES SO FAR
(*BE WARNED THERE COULD BE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS GIVEAWAY*)
Tomorrow marks four years since Blackthorn was launched. Blood Shadows was officially released on 27th November 2012. Since then Blackthorn has sold in six figures, reached readers in several countries and obtained numerous number ones in both the Gothic and the PNR charts on Amazon as well as having reached the Top 50 on Amazon.com’s main kindle charts too. Blood Shadows was even optioned by Hollywood movie giants Relativity Media! It’s been quite the four years. And next year it’ll all be coming to an end with the series finale.
To mark the occasion, and to keep to the theme of 8 Blackthorn books, I thought I’d share… 8 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT MY CREATION OF BLACKTHORN. Oh, and look out for details of a giveaway at the end!
1) BLACKTHORN IS TWENTY YEARS OLD THIS YEAR!
Although tomorrow marks four years since Blackthorn was first published, it’s actually twenty years old this year!
2) IT STARTED ONE DARK AND STORMY NIGHT…
Okay, so it wasn’t exactly stormy but it did all begin one night. I’d moved to a city over 300 miles away from home to begin my first teaching job. After an evening out with my new colleagues, I managed to get lost on my way home. With no one at home to expect me and with 1996 hardly being the era of mobile phones, I had no option but to try and navigate my way alone through the empty city streets. It wasn’t long before I became increasingly lost as well as deeper into unfamiliar territory. So, during that time, I did what every self-respecting scared-out-of-their-wits author does and made up stories to keep calm and distract myself – and Blackthorn was born.
3) BLACKTHORN BEGAN AS A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES
From then on Blackthorn became a labour of love. I never intended it to be published, instead it was one of many simultaneous projects I had underway. Some went by the wayside but Blackthorn was one idea I simply couldn’t walk away from.
Once I had the concept behind Blackthorn, I wrote short stories to get to know the world. The stories were set in various districts across the locale, from Blackthorn to Summerton. Once the idea behind the overarching plot – the downfall of this oppressive society – took hold, the key contenders were already clear. Kane and Caitlin, Caleb and Leila, and Jessie and Eden all evolved from those short stories into what Blackthorn is today. The only exceptions were Jask and Phia.
4) THE UNDEAD DON’T EXIST IN BLACKTHORN
I’ve caused much confusion amongst some readers and reviewers by bending the mythological rules. For one thing, only lycans have fangs whereas vampires have an extra set of feeding incisors instead. None of my “third species” as I call them are immortal, nor are they cursed or contaminated, and they most certainly aren’t the undead! Why? Because apart from rare occasions when these “creatures” were constituted as deities, they have almost always been associated with evil origins. This was further enforced by the introduction of Christian ideologies, with vampires in particular not only deemed as a risk to our physical self but our spiritual self too. Then there’s the influences of literature and films in the mix. I wanted to come from the angle that just because we don’t understand something doesn’t automatically make it evil – one of the fundamental themes behind Blackthorn.
After all, one of the greatest freedoms of being a writer of fantasy is the ability to be selective about which aspects of mythology to apply. The creation of my third species is as much about characterisation and plot as fitting in logically into the Blackthorn world I’ve created.
5) I ONCE DESTROYED BLACKTHORN BEFORE REBUILDING IT
After I’d finished putting Blackthorn together, I stuck my head above the parapet to try and work out its potential for publication. But what had begun during a time when PNR was rarely found on the shelves was then faced with a market overwhelmed with vampiric heroes and fantastical urban underworlds, let alone well-established names globally dominating the genre.
Despite the knock of confidence, I started to look for publishing opportunities – only to find that, for those who accepted unagented submissions, Blackthorn didn’t meet their guidelines. Not only were my books too long, the preference seemed to be for standalones (especially from debut novelists unable to prove they could sustain a complex series). Most of all, my heroes didn’t conform to readers’ expectations. All in all, Blackthorn looked like it would be too high a risk to pursue.
So without even attempting to submit anywhere, I tucked Blackthorn away in my bottom drawer as I focused on a different genre.
It was only when my dad passed away in 2007 that I returned to Blackthorn, determined to pursue my dream of getting it published one day. To try and up my chances, I pulled out all of the overarching plot threads to the series and started turning Blackthorn into stand-alones.
The biggest clincher for signing with my current publisher was when they read Blood Shadows and Blood Roses and suggested that maybe Blackthorn could extend beyond three books. More than that, they asked if maybe I saw potential for an overarching plot to tie all the books together. I couldn’t pull all of my original notebooks out of my bottom draw quick enough!
6) BLACKTHORN USED TO LOOK VERY DIFFERENT
Those who supported Blackthorn from the beginning will know that the covers of Blood Shadows and Blood Roses once looked very different. They were designed by Henry Steadman and had a much more traditional Gothic feel. They also incorporated red, white and black. According to folklore, these are the three colours associated with the Blackthorn plant. (If you’d like to know why I called the series ‘Blackthorn’, you can read about it here.)
Before Blood Torn’s release in February 2014, Bookouture decided to give the series a brand new look with a contemporary urban edge.
7) JASK AND HIS PACK WEREN’T GOING TO HAVE A STARRING ROLE
Up until the point I was offered a publishing contract, there were only six books in the series (seven if I split the finale into two). I’d initially been signed for three. When it came to discussions for the third book, I was ready to move on to Jessie and Eden’s story. However, my editor at the time as well as author Michele Hauf (who was my mentor during the writing competition through which I was discovered) both felt Jask Tao deserved a story of his own.
I already knew the role Jask and Phia played in the overarching Blackthorn story (no spoilers for anyone who hasn’t got that far!), but I never intended a romance between them, nor to explore the lycans’ plight in Blackthorn in any great detail. Instead I’d planned to keep the focus on the vampires in the story. In addition to that I have a deep-rooted fear of lycanthropy so didn’t think I’d be able to write Jask as an appealing enough hero!
Since then, Jask has gone on to become one of Blackthorn’s most popular heroes – and it’s all thanks to my wonderful first editor and the fantastic Michele Hauf.
8) I WAS STILL TEACHING WHEN I WROTE THE FIRST FOUR BOOKS
Like the vast majority of published authors, writing wasn’t my only job when Blackthorn was launched. It’s a myth that once you get a publishing deal, you give up the day job and spend all of your days writing books. In fact, for the first four Blackthorn books I was still holding down a teaching job. I’d be teaching lessons to teenagers one day and then immersed in Blackthorn the next, swapping lesson planning and reports with book edits and fan mail. It wasn’t until January 2015 that I started writing full time. By that time, I’d waited almost 30 years to get to that point. If you love something enough, I guess you hold on for as long as it takes.
So that’s it – 8 facts you may or may not have known. And as you can see, Blackthorn had been on quite the journey even before it reached your shelf/device!
I’ll be back tomorrow to mark the official day with a GIVEAWAY BUNDLE for one lucky winner.
I was asked some of the most insightful Blackthorn-related questions I’ve ever had, so please do head over and take a look. Stephanie’s also giving away a SIGNED PAPERBACK of my latest release BLOOD BOUND as well as an exclusive SIGNED Blackthorn POSTCARD!
Have a wonderful evening and ‘see’ you tomorrow! <3
Blackthorn was launched four years ago this month. I can barely believe it. If you were supporting me this time last year, you might remember we had a big anniversary giveaway to mark the occasion. I’m not sure where those twelve months have gone.
Since then two more Blackthorn books have been released, and now there’s only one more to go.
The reality is really starting to sink in – and not only for me by the sounds of it! I know some of you have been supporting my series from the outset. Some joined Blackthorn as recently as a couple of weeks ago. Either way, I know the prospect of the end being in sight is creating mixed feelings. But, for now, let’s refuse to linger in the word ‘final’. We still have one more big adventure to come and what I hope will be a fun year ahead once the countdown officially begins. 😀
*This is not the actual cover. It’s just a teaser.*
I can’t give you any indication as yet as to when Blood Broken will be out (and bribery will make no difference 😉 ). But please rest assured I’m already underway with the first draft and I won’t keep you waiting a moment longer than I have to.
And even though I’m not doing a big giveaway this time around (because I’m saving that for the finale), I’m still marking the occasion across Twitter and Facebook over the next month, reminiscing with some quotes and Bites from the last four years. If you don’t follow me on either of those, you can peruse some of them here.
This was just a quick post for now. I’m going to be back here on the weekend of the 26th and 27th of this month (the official four-year anniversary of Blood Shadows) with my proper anniversary posts. I’ll hopefully ‘see’ you then!
Thank you, as always, for your ongoing support. <3
He was deemed the underdog from the outset, but Team Blackthorn was relentless. I’m thrilled to be able to tell you that our very own Kane Malloy has won Vampire Book Club’s Alpha Showdown 2016!! And he claimed the title with over 4,000 votes!!
In the words of Chelsea, owner of VBC:
“We haven’t had a surprise like this year’s Alpha Showdown in years. It’s official, a first-time contender has taken the title.
Congratulations to Kane Malloy from Lindsay J. Pryor’s Blackthorn series, your 2016 Alpha Showdown Champion!
It’s been a minute since a vampire held the title, and we’re so happy to welcome all the Blackthorn fans who came out in force for this master vampire. He beat former Alpha Showdown champion Barrons. BARRONS, y’all. And then won a second fierce battle against Kate Daniels. It’s impressive. He’s impressive.”
Thank you so much to everyone who came out to vote and show your support for Kane. To all my readers here, as well as across all my other social media; to my brilliant publisher who backed Blackthorn all the way; and to my exceptional street team who didn’t take their foot off the pedal from the second this showdown started – I can’t thank you enough. <3
Winning aside, events like these are all about having fun and finding fantastic new books to read in the PNR and UF genres – whether well-known global names such as the New York Times Bestsellers that Kane was up against, or relative newbies like Blackthorn and me. I’m loving all the recommendations being banded around across various social media as a result of this competition. So here’s a HUGE thank you too to Vampire Book Club for hosting the showdown.
I’ll be back tomorrow with some Blood Bound news as well as that giveaway I’ve been promising. I think it’s more fitting than ever now we have a little something extra to celebrate with!
I was absolutely blown away by the support that came in for him during the 48 hours that the semi-finals were open. I put calls out here, on my Facebook page and all my other social media and, wow, did you step up to the mark! Votes came in from the UK, Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Europe (tell me if I’ve missed anywhere). In the end we got through with OVER 6000 votes!!!
A MASSIVE thank you to everyone who voted, commented and helped spread the word. <3
THE FINAL IS LIVE!
And now Kane needs you one more time. The final round of Vampire Book Club’s Alpha Showdown is LIVE – and it’s time for you to choose your champion for 2016!
He was deemed the underdog from the outset, but Team Blackthorn fought hard and relentlessly through three rounds to get our Kane Malloy to the final. Kane is now up against the mega-force that is Kate Daniels (created by #1 New York Times Bestseller Ilona Andrews) for the crown. It’s another tough one! Can he go all the way?
Please do leave a comment too, if you can, to show your support.
At the time of posting this, there are only 33 hours left – so please don’t delay!
And if you haven’t yet checked out all the fantastic characters and authors that were put forward for this competition, it’s well worth a look. I hope you find loads of great new books to read. The more, the merrier! Have fun! xxx
Whilst I’ve been working away on Blood Bound, there’s been a rather exciting event happening in the background. I know a lot of my blog followers might already know about this but, in case you don’t, our Kane needs your help.
For the first time ever, Blackthorn (namely our very own Kane Malloy) was entered for Vampire Book Club’s Alpha Showdown. This is a major event with some of the biggest names in PNR and Urban Fantasy pitched against each other for reader votes. There are lots of great prizes for readers too!
Please can you spare a few seconds to support our Kane?
WE SURVIVED ROUND ONE
I was thrilled enough just to have Blackthorn nominated, but then it got really exciting! After being deemed the underdog, Kane was the shock victor in his first round when he won against the uber-popular Jane Yellowrock (created by Faith Hunter). Not only was Jane the showdown’s number one favourite, our Kane made it through with over 1,000 votes!
THEN WE GOT THROUGH ROUND TWO
When Kane was pitched against Mercy Thompson (created by fantastic National Bestselling Author Patricia Briggs) in the second round, we knew it was going to be tough to pull it off again. So there was even more shock when Kane came out the winner for a second time – this time with almost 3,000 votes!
As you can tell, Team Blackthorn are really getting into this! I am so grateful to everyone who has pulled out the stops to get him this far.
NOW WE’RE IN THE SEMI-FINALS!
Now Kane is in the semi-finals – and this time he’s up against the almighty Barrons (created by incredible New York Times Bestseller Karen Marie Moning)! Cue palpitations and butterflies…
KANE NEEDS YOU!
The semi-finals are open now. Please can you take a few seconds to vote for our Kane?
HOW TO VOTE
It’s quick and it’s easy. You don’t have to give any details or sign up for anything. Vampire Book Club have made it as simple as possible for everyone to join in.
Scroll through and look for the vote box (it comes after the two nominations)
Vote for our Kane
It closes tomorrow, so please don’t delay!
We’re currently just about in the lead, but everything can change at any point. It’s already a mighty battle up against Ms Moning’s phenomenal fan base. We’ve come this far though so, as Team Blackthorn keep telling me, we’re not going down without a respectable fight! (And having a lot of fun with it along the way. 😀 )
Thank you to everyone who takes the time to vote to support Kane, Blackthorn and, of course, me too. <3 And an extra special thank you to Tracey Rogers who wrote Kane’s pitch for him. You did us proud, Tracey!
I’ll be back next week with a Blood Bound update as well as a giveaway! I think it’s about time we had another one. 😀 Have a wonderful weekend if you don’t hear from me before. xxx
In case you’ve missed my recent posts on Facebook, a very Happy New Year to you!
Okay, so the title above is a bit of a giveaway as to what this post is about. Before I get on to Blood Instinct though…
Towards the end of 2015, Blood Dark was nominated for several readers’ choice awards across a number of different blogs – all thanks to my readers (and my incredible hot-off-the-press street team) for putting my latest book forward.
So, last week, I was really excited to find out that it went on to win three prizes in the Sweet N Sassy Book A Holics ‘Best of the Best 2015’ Awards: 2nd place for ‘Favourite Fantasy Book‘, 2nd Place for ‘Favourite Urban Fantasy Book‘ and 3rd Place for ‘Most Anticipated Book‘ of 2015! I was thrilled. Thank you to every single person who voted – and for all the wonderful comments left on my Facebook page. <3
I was also thrilled to find out that Blood Dark was named in My Bookworm Blogger’s Top 3 Reads of 2015.
“Lindsay is one of my all time favourite authors, she weaves incredibly intricate stories and has created a dark and thoroughly delicious and disturbed world called Blackthorn. Stories of vampires, lycans and witches have been done many times in the past, and many seem to blur into one. NOT Blackthorn! In the world of paranormal romance Blackthorn shines. It’s a whole new world ripe for the taking and is certainly the world you should be picking!”
“Sometimes the waiting is too much and the book doesn’t live up to it. But mostly great authors don’t let their fans down. And just occasionally, right before your eyes an author goes from great to sublime genius. This book nearly killed me. What on earth will happen in book 6?”
Thank you, Michelle!
And whilst staying on a Kane and Caitlin theme, Blood Shadows was listed as one of Splashes Into Books’ favourite Bookouture books so far alongside books by my fellow authors Angela Marsons, Holly Martin and Sue Watson. It also received a terrific review and 5 out of 5 stars!
“This is a great story, well written, fast paced, enthralling and intriguing as historical events are slowly revealed shining a light on deception, double dealers and demonstrating that it isn’t always those you believe to be enemies that you shouldn’t trust – unworthy friends may be even worse! This is the first book in the series and does end appropriately but also whets your appetite for future books – I can’t wait to find out what happens next! Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys paranormal mysteries with plenty of action and bite.”
Thank you, Bicted!
What a lovely start to 2016. 🙂 And on that note…
I already come bearing good news. As of early this week, the first draft of Blood Instinct is now with my editor. Even better news, it’s going to be back with me very shortly. That means I’ll be able to move on to the next stage (the structural edits) without delay. That signals a huge sigh of relief from me, and hopefully one from you too! Thanks, as always, for the fantastic response to the news already. I really appreciate it. <3
Since Blood Dark was released in September, I’ve had a lot of queries, particularly from readers new to Blackthorn, asking how soon Blood Instinct will be out and why I won’t give a release date – even an estimation (I love the attempts at bribes, by the way!). Basically, even though Blood Instinct is now written, we’re only at the initial stage. Further timings beyond the first draft deadline have yet to be set. My editor is always the first person to read my book and, until she does, my publisher has no idea how many redrafts/rewrites will be required. And, until I’ve seen the initial set of structural notes, I don’t know how long it will take me. As soon as I do, the schedule is set and Bookouture talk to me about provisional release dates.
However, even after all the structural edits are complete, there are still line edits to come and then copy edits – and all of that is before the rest of the publishing process kicks in. Once we’re at the line edits stage though, Bookouture usually confirm the release date. So, watch out for that announcement because then you’ll know we’re close to you being able to mark your calendars. 🙂 Oh, and if anyone still doesn’t know, Jask and Phia will be back in the spotlight for this one!
I’ll be back with more news after my first round of structural edits are in – unless anything exciting happens between now and then, that is!
By now, most of you will know I don’t need much of an excuse to be celebrating something Blackthorn related, but this truly is a special day for me. Three years ago today, Blood Shadows, the first book in my Blackthorn series, was published.
Someone asked me earlier how I was feeling three years ago today. The honest answer? A nervous wreck! But it was also an incredible day. Believe it or not, Blackthorn was actually sixteen years old by that point – it had been a labour of love whilst I held down a teaching job and worked on other books in the years that passed. At the time, I had no intention of attempting to get it published. Instead, I wrote it for the love of writing it – and I just couldn’t stop.
Blackthorn has come a very long way since then – and my readers have been a HUGE part of making that happen. So, to say a big thank you for all your support, I ran a giveaway this week both here and on Facebook. Thank you for the amazing response and to everyone who entered – whether via email, this blog, or Facebook. Congratulations to everyone who has won and, for anyone left disappointed, giveaways happen throughout the year so keep a look out! I’m already plotting my Jask-related giveaway for Blood Instinct next year. 😉
And the winners are (you’ve won the prize above your name)…
WINNERS – PLEASE EMAIL ME with your postal address. For those of you who have won signed prizes, don’t forget to let me know if you’d like them signed personally to you! And congrats again! 😀
And to finish, for those of you who have never seen it, I thought I’d share the book trailer that launched not only Blood Shadows but my Blackthorn series. The soundtrack Bookouture chose is called ‘Superhero’ by Tim McMorris. (Oh, and don’t be thrown by the original cover!)
It’s been an amazing day for Blackthorn, but I’m not sure how much I deserve it this week! I’ve been mercilessly teasing my readers on my Facebook page (after doing the same to the Into the World of Blackthorn group first) when I asked them this question:
You can only wear ONE T-shirt. Which do you choose?
Kane dies, we riot.
Caleb dies, we riot.
Jask dies, we riot.
Eden dies, we riot.
I think the main problem was the statement I posted at the end:
Think carefully because there could be serious repercussions!
In the words of Colette: “Lindsay I think it’s safe to say you just might have a riot on your hands now for suggesting that kind of madness…”
Well, I think I nearly did!
Now obviously I’m not really cruel enough to make anyone choose between them. After all, their fate was marked out years ago as most of you well know… 😉
Anyway, in between me working on BLOOD INSTINCT today, things started getting busy for Blackthorn in Amazon’s charts after Bookouture ran some promo for my series.
For the first time ever, Blood Shadows not only hit #1 in both Amazon’s U.K. and U.S. Gothic Romance chart at the same time…
…but it also simultaneously hit #1 in both the U.K. and the U.S. Paranormal Vampire Romance chart too.
Blood Shadows even reached #3 in the overall Paranormal Romance chart AND #23 in the main Romance chart (thanks for pointing that one out, Fiona)!
On top of that, Blood Shadows entered the Top 100 on Amazon.com’s main charts, reaching #66. It also broke into the Top 20 in Amazon’s Canadian main chart for the first time ever, and reached #1 in three paranormal sub genres there: Vampire Romance; Fantasy, Futuristic and Ghost Romance; as well as Werewolves and Shifter Romance (Blackthorn is nothing if not diverse). And we nearly, nearly got into the Top 200 in the U.K.
I was equally thrilled that Blackthorn as a series also entered the Top 100 on Amazon.com in three different charts: #15 in Most Popular Books in Paranormal Romance, #32 in Most Popular Books in Genre Literature and Fiction, and #82 in the Most Popular Books in Romance. 🙂
And it seemed we just couldn’t keep Kane down today as Blood Dark hit #1 in Top Rated Gothic Romance and #1 in Hot New Releases too!
APOLOGIES (sincerely) to anyone who has glazed over with all the numbers, but this was one of the best days Blackthorn has had. And to finish it off, Blackthorn was featured on My Guilty Obsession Book Blog‘s Facebook page after one of my lovely readers, Amanda Perrie, applied for them to put me in the author spotlight for the day – which included dedicating their banner to Blackthorn. Thanks so much, Amanda. And thank you too, My Guilty Obsession Book Blog, for hosting me. <3
I’d also like to say a massive thank you to my lovely street team who only just started this week but are already working busily in the background looking out for opportunities to give Blackthorn a shout out wherever they can. Thank you, Darklings! (If you’re a dedicated Blackthorn fan who loves being on social media, feel free to contact me if you’d like to find out more about the team.)
That’s it – no more chart talk! Thanks so much for bearing with me, and to everyone (including the wonderful team at Bookouture) who was a part of making this happen. Have a wonderful weekend! xxx
I’m uber-excited to have found out today that all five Blackthorn books are currently in the Top 10 in Gothic Romance on Amazon UK! A huge thank you to everyone who continues to read, review, and spread the word about Blackthorn – I really appreciate it. <3