Vampire hunter Anita Blake is called on to raise the dead-while trying to suppress her ever-growing feelings for a certain wereleopard.ampires have been used as vehicles for everything from romantic novels to erotica to humor to the expected tales of terror. However, very few writers have combined all of these facets of the never-say-die vampire quite the way that Laurell K. Hamilton has. Hamilton has not always been under the spell of undead things that go bump-and-grind in the night. When she was a young girl, her literary tastes were a bit more on the traditional side. I wanted to be Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women, because I had never read any science fiction, fantasy, or horror, she confessed in a podcast on Mayor Slay.com. Then at 13 or 14 I found Robert E. Howards short story collection Pigeons From Hell. It was the first horror, the first heroic fantasy, the first science fiction Id ever read, and the moment I read that I knew that not only did I want to be a writer, but this is what I wanted to write. Furthering Hamiltons burgeoning fascination with the fantastic, she discovered Anthony Masterss The Natural History of the Vampire at her high school library. Coupled with the ghost stories her grandmother had told her when she was a child and heavy doses of Hammer Horror movies from Great Britain, Hamilton was well on her way to creating a character that would only be rivaled by Buffy in the field of vampire slaying. Hamilton first introduced vampire huntress Anita Blake in her third novel Guilty Pleasures. Blake is an unlikely combination of action hero, federal marshal, necromancer, and lusty dame. Her exploits between the sheets and in the graveyard won Hamilton a rabid following hungry for something new in the well-traveled vampire genre. Along with the kinds of scares normally associated with vampire stories, Hamiltons books are notable for their unflinching eroticism. Vampires have had a sexual lure since Stoker, but Hamilton particularly draws that aspect to the surface of her work as one of her creatures might draw blood from a victim. I want a kiss to be so believable it gives the reader shivers, she says on her website. Two things I do well are sex and violence, but I dont want gratuitous sex or violence. The sex and violence is only as graphic as need be. And never included unless it furthers the plot or character development. Another unlikely trait of her books is humor, vampire tales classically being of the more solemn sort. However, a writer weaned on a book titled Pigeons From Hell is not likely going to shy away from wit. Consequently, her books have been consistently entertaining and fun, as well as creepy and sexy. Hamilton has also brought her delicious combination of sex, humor, and frights to another series, this one more ingrained in dark fantasy than horror. Her faerie princess/P.I. Meredith Gentry made her debut in Kiss of Shadows in 2001 and has since sparked her own crowd-pleasing sword and sorcery meets pulp series. Increasingly, the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry books have added more sexual content to their story lines, classifying both series in a new hybrid genre that blends romance, erotica, and paranormal fantasy. To judge from Hamiltons consistent appearance on the bestseller charts, readers find the mix spellbinding.
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One thing you will never find in a Hamilton novel is a cliffhanger. She believes that cliffhangers unfairly tease readers who would then have to wait six months to a year to have some sense of resolution. As she said during an interview with Bill Thompson of Eye On Books, Every book is a full meal. All the way from the appetizer to the dessert, so that you come away feeling that youve had an experience... and at the end you have that satisfied, full feeling. Before Laurell K. Hamilton made a full-time career of blood, guts, murder, and mayhem, she had more humane pursuits — she volunteered at an animal shelter where she played with unwanted pets. In our interview, Hamilton shared some fun and fascinating facts about herself with us: I am incredibly stubborn. Telling me I cannot do something, especially if you cite the fact that I am a girl, will make me want to do it more and do it better. I am not my characters. We have some of the same traits in common, but we are very different people. Everything inspires me. Getting up in the morning, walking the dogs, watching a music video. Inspiration comes from everywhere. I love animals. I own four dogs, two of whom are rescues. In fact, Jimmy is with us because they were going to gas him if we didnt take him with us. As an older dog his chances of finding a home were fairly slim. But he has been a wonderful addition to our home. I like spending time with my family and friends. Something I often feel I do not do enough of. But there are only so many hours in a day. I like to read other peoples works. I love reading cozy or historical mysteries when I can. I enjoy interacting with fans at planned public events. I enjoy talking to them and have met many wonderful people.