I’ve not only snatched up Lindsay J. Pryor to tell us a little more about Caitlin Parish and the bad ass (and let’s not forget sexy) vamp, Kane Malloy, but I get to interview both of them too!
Blood Shadows is the first Book in Lindsay’s Blackthorn Series featuring dangerous ‘third-species’ in a futuristic world where vampires, werewolves and other nasties live amongst, and separate from, humans.
We’ll kick it off with Lindsay’s take on Caitlin and Kane…
What was it like to work with Caitlin & Kane? I can’t imagine they made your life easy.
Caitlin was really good to work with. She kept her head down and got on with what she needed to do. She did have her moments winding Kane up or exacerbating the situation, which had me sighing with despair or worrying for what that would evoke Kane to do, but she knows her own mind so it’s inevitable I guess. And Kane does tend to push her buttons.
Kane was a handful from beginning to end. He took on such a personality of his own that half the time I didn’t know what he was going to do. I’d plan out scenes and then he’d say something or do something that would evolve into a whole other conflict or confrontation. He changed the whole end of Blood Shadows from the original plan.
As a couple, they were effortless. I just left them too it most of the time. They spark off each other so easily and even during the silent moments they’d be sussing each other out. It really was a lot of fun writing them.
I can imagine Kane changed the story to suit himself, but that’s why we love him!
Can you give us five things you like about Caitlin?
I like her tenacity, her drive and her refusal to be intimidated. I admire the way she worked her way from shadow reader to securing a place in the VCU. Obviously I know much more about her background than what appeared on the page and she had some tough moments trying to prove herself in the past. A lot of her colleagues didn’t want to give her a chance. She’s got a good heart and has the best intentions, even if she is a little naïve at times. But I respect the fact she knows her own mind.
Where to start with Kane… His loyalty. His ability to see things as they are. The fact he’s not ashamed of who he is. I like how upfront he is. And he has a genuine tenderness about him under all that raw sexuality.
What annoys you the most about them?
I think Caitlin doesn’t help herself sometimes. She’s lucky Kane is the vampire he is or I think she could have met a tragic end already. Sometimes her refusal to be intimidated does mean she’ll walk into situations that on occasion (in her past) she’s been lucky to get out of intact.
As for Kane, he can be so stubborn. And he can’t let things go.
I know Caitlin believes she can handle Kane, keep control of any situation between them, but do you think she can?
Hmm. I tried to equip her that way, but Kane is quite a force to be reckoned with. Obviously Caitlin will never be able to handle Kane physically, but very few can. Intellectually I think she gives as good as she gets and I think she handles those situations with Kane exceptionally well. Emotionally it’s a constant one-upmanship there so I’m never quite sure who’s in control – whoever is less vulnerable at the time, I guess! I don’t think Caitlin keeps control of many situations but there are plenty of occasions when I think she manages it as best she can.
And Kane’s very self-assured, almost like he believes nothing and nobody can touch him. Do you think that’s a front?
I don’t think it’s all a front, no. He’s a survivor. He learned to look after himself from a very young age, let alone his sister (who was quite a handful, by the way!). He’s got a lot of life experience, he’s smart, he can handle himself physically, and emotionally he’s developed quite the tough shell. He’s trained himself not to show weakness and self-assurance is the first step in that direction. Caitlin had him worried on a few occasions though and he didn’t like that, so I think he does know he has a vulnerable side.
Did you always know the spark between them would lead to something more?
The moment I put characters on a page, I can tell if they’ll work or not. It’s a technique I use when I’m trialling new stories. I have characters in mind, think of a core conflict that’s integral to the plot and lock them in a room alone together and see what happens. If the dialogue sparks, I know they’re a match. Add sexual attraction and I know I’m onto a winner. I basically speed date my characters. Kane and Caitlin hit it off from the moment they met in that corridor (or down an alley as I wrote it in the novella version). It was instantly as if I wasn’t even there and I think that always makes the best stories.
What a fantastic idea, and I could feel the sparks on that scene in the corridor.
Who do you think changes the most during their time together, and is it who you expected?
I think they both do. I won’t say too much because of spoilers, but I think they both become more of who they are when they’re together. I think they liberate each other in a good way.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Kane and Caitlyn way back when. Thought I’d save this interview for a special occasion though I’ll admit, Kane had me shaking in my Jimmy Choos. Still, I was tempted to slip behind the vamp-proof glass…
We’ll start with Caitlin, since she’s the one with the obsession ;)
*adopts Jeremy Kyle’s persona*
Q) When did you decide you wanted to join the Vampire Control Unit?
Caitlin: The moment I was old enough to understand what my dad did for a living. I used to listen to him talk to Rob – that’s my ex – about the job. I always admired what they did. It’s tough enough out there on the streets of Blackthorn, but the VCU take on aspects of third species management that you wouldn’t want to wish on your worst enemy. My dad was a brave man – one of the unsung heroes out there doing their best to safeguard us all. I guess I wanted to continue his work. I believe strongly that the only way we’ll ever find neutral territory with the third species is by taking out the anarchic first.
Q) Do you think that’s a decision your parent’s would support if they were still with us?
Caitlin: Mum never wanted me to go into it – I guess because of what happened to dad. They didn’t even want me to take up the shadow reading but they had no choice in that. Shadow readers are under obligation to train and use their skills – those who make it through the training, that is. When I told mum I wanted to transfer to the VCU she wasn’t happy at all. Neither was Rob. I know they were just worried for me. I know my dad wouldn’t be happy either as he knows exactly what the job entails. I think he’d be proud of how well I’ve done though. I guess sometimes you’ve got to find your own way in life and do what you feel is right for you.
Q) Caitlin, we all know how hard you’ve worked to get where you are in the Vampire Control Unit, but why choose Kane Malloy as the project as so many have failed?
Caitlin: Because so many have failed. Kane Malloy needs to be brought in. He’s got too much power on the streets of Blackthorn. He’s building up to something and we need to know what. If others can’t bring him in, I will.
Q) Aren’t you worried you might end up in the missing person’s database?
Caitlin: I can handle myself. I can also handle Kane. I’m not going in cold. I’ve spent years studying him. I think the only person who would know him better is his mother, and I know things about him I’m sure even she never knew.
Q) Well, I hope for your sake you know what you are doing. I didn’t think being a shadow reader makes you a fighter. What is your plan for bringing in Kane, or is that confidential?
Caitlin: As a shadow reader, you’ve got to be a fighter. Some of these third species’ shadows are dark places. I’ve seen things I’d rather forget. It’s also showed me just what they’re capable of. As for Kane, I have ways and means of bringing him in. And once he’s in, he’s staying in. I’ll see to that.
Q) Is there more to this than doing your job, Caitlin? It seems to go beyond what you do. Like you’re obsessed with him in some way…
Caitlin: I’m obsessed only with doing my job to the best of my ability. And I don’t appreciate the insinuation to anything to the contrary. So if you’ll excuse me, there are things I have to do.
Hmmm, I think she’s fibbing a little…
*hides behind vampire proof glass*
Q) Have you always lived in Blackthorn, or were you born somewhere else?
Kane: I was born elsewhere. Where exactly is my business. I’m here now and I have my reasons.
Q) *holds hands up* Okay, next question. I’d like to know if the rumours are true. Are you the most feared vampire in Blackthorn, and if so, can you tell us why?
Kane: *smirks* You’re the one behind vampire proof glass, you tell me.
Q) True, though I’d have to even if you weren’t Kane Malloy. Just a precaution, you see. Anyway, let’s move on. People believe you’re cold and heartless, but I don’t think that’s completely true. Losing your sister must have been hard. Do you want to talk about it?
Kane: Do I look like I want to talk about it? Maybe if you come around this side of the glass, I’ll be more tempted to share my feelings.
Q) No, you don’t look like you want to talk at all. *grinds teeth together*. I’ve been hearing whispers of a vampire prophecy. Are the rumours true?
Kane: It depends what rumours you’ve heard. How about we discuss what you know somewhere more private?
Q) I’ll pass, thanks. Let’s move onto something safer. Why do you fight so hard against the VCU, why not respect the law like most third species? Do you have a God complex, Kane?
Kane: Their laws – not mine. God complex, huh? Thanks for the compliment. I’m sure he’ll be flattered.
Q) I’m sure you’ve heard about the new agent they have on your case. Do you think this one will succeed?
Kane: Agent Caitlin Parish – the VCU’s golden girl. Yes, I’ve heard she’s on my case. She’s the one who likes to think she’s in control, right? Needless to say we haven’t met. Yet.
Well, thank you Kane for being here. I’m sure the effort wasn’t as painful as you make it seem.
Now I’m going to gush. Blood Shadows is a really amazing story. I pre-ordered it the first day I could. The second it plopped through my letterbox I devoured it, all in the space of twenty-four hours. But it wasn’t just the sexy and elusive Kane, or the feisty and determined Caitlyn which held my interest.
Blood Shadows has sexual tension that rivals the best erotic stories (and the love scenes are explosive as a result), but the anticipation, the speed at which the plot twists and turns away from the predictable left me breathless. Add to that the strong emotions that develop between the two, the inevitable doom every page seems to bring and two deep, well-rounded characters and I think I found my favourite book of 2012. Also, I’ll say very little on this but the twist in the end of this book left me gobsmacked (in a good way). I couldn’t believe I missed that!
If you’re still not sure Blood Shadows is the book for you (the mind boggles), Lindsay has excerpts on her website, here.
Here’s the back cover copy:-
Gifted with the ability to read the shadows of ‘third species’ beings, Caitlin Parish is the Vampire Control Unit’s most powerful agent. Despite that, her mission to hunt down Kane Malloy – a master vampire – comes with a death wish. Many have tried but few have survived.
For Caitlin, tracking Kane is about more than just professional reputation. With her parents both mysteriously killed seven years apart to the day, Caitlin knows that without Kane’s help she is next.
She has four days to make a deal with the wicked, the irresistible, the treacherous Kane Malloy.
The vampire who despises everything she stands for.
One of many...
You can buy Blood Shadows on Amazon in paperback or for the Kindle. I have to warn you though, it’s not for the feint hearted! ;)
Thank you for agreeing to come on my blog today Linds. It has been a ball getting to know these two better. Can’t wait for Blood Roses to be released.