Laurell K. Hamilton
|Laurell Kaye Hamilton|
|Born||Laurell Kaye Klein
February 19, 1963
Heber Springs, Arkansas, US
|Pen name||Laurell K. Hamilton|
|Alma mater||Indiana Wesleyan University|
|Genre||Fantasy, Erotica, Romance, Horror, Science Fiction|
|Notable works||Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter
Merry Gentry series
Laurell Kaye Hamilton (born February 19, 1963) is an American fantasy and romance writer. She is best known as the author of two series of stories.
Her New York Times-bestselling Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series centers on Anita Blake, a professional zombie raiser, vampire executioner and supernatural consultant for the police, which includes novels, short story collections, and comic books. Six million copies of Anita Blake novels are in print. Her Merry Gentry series centers on Meredith Gentry, Princess of the Unseelie court of Faerie, a private detective facing repeated assassination attempts.
Both fantasy series follow their protagonists as they gain in power and deal with the dangerous "realities" of worlds in which creatures of legend live.
Laurell Kaye Hamilton was born Laurell Kaye Klein in Heber Springs, Arkansas but grew up in Sims, Indiana with her grandmother Laura Gentry. Her education includes degrees in English and biology from Marion College (now called Indiana Wesleyan University), a private Evangelical Christian liberal arts college in Marion, Indiana that is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church denomination. She met Gary Hamilton, whom she married, there. They have one daughter together, Trinity.
Hamilton is involved with a number of animal charities, particularly supporting dog rescue efforts and wolf preservation.
Laurell K. Hamilton is the author of two major book series, spin-off comic books, various anthologies, and other stand-alone titles:
- Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter is an animator and necromancer who raises the dead for a living. She is also a vampire executioner and in later books a U.S. Marshal. Blake lives in a fictional St. Louis where vampires and were animals exist and recently gained some rights as citizens. As of November 2013, Hamilton has published 22 novels and 5 novellas in the Anita Blake series. As of 2009 more than 6 million copies of Anita Blake novels have been printed and several have become New York Times bestsellers.
- Anita Blake comics are the comic book renditions of the Anita Blake series. As of May, 2012, the comic book series has included her first three books, Guilty Pleasures, Laughing Corpse and Circus of the Damned. There was also a special prologue type of comic issued named, "The First Death".
- Merry Gentry is a Princess of Faerie and a private investigator. She is constantly dodging assassination attempts while juggling life in the "real world" where everyone knows faeries exist. As of November 2013, there have been a total of eight novels in the Merry Gentry series. The ninth Merry Gentry novel is scheduled for publication on June 3, 2014.
Reader reaction to the series's shift in tone from crime noir thriller to focus more predominantly on the sexual themes in the series has been mixed, starting with Narcissus in Chains when the main character of Anita Blake becomes infected with the ardeur. The ardeur is a supernatural power inadvertently given to Anita by her vampire Master Jean-Claude that gives her massive amounts of power but also demands that she have sexual intercourse with several different people through the course of a day, sometimes in large groups. Reception to these dynamics and to the usage of sexual abuse in later books has been mixed, with some reviewers commenting that the character of Anita spent too much time "obsessing about whether or not she’s a slut" while others remarked that the erotic themes enhanced the series. In response to these comments, Hamilton issued a blog entitled "Dear Negative Reader" where she addressed a growing number of readers on the Internet that were expressing disappointment in the series's changes. In the blog Hamilton told the readers that "life is too short to read books you don’t like" and that if they found that the current subject matter pushed "you past that comfortable envelope of the mundane" then "stop reading" and speculated that some of the readers were either "closet readers" or comment based on others' opinions. The blog entry was negatively received by some readers.
Critical reviewers have also commented on the amount of sex in later books, as in a 2006 review in The Boston Globe of Micah. The review was largely negative, stating "we were not impressed. Hamilton no doubt appeals to romance and erotica lovers, but it does not take long for the clichés and the constant droning about sex to become tiresome." Other reviewers for The Kansas City Star and Publishers Weekly also commented on the rise in sexual themes in the series. The reviewer for the Kansas City Star stated that "After 13 erotically charged books, boredom has reared its ugly head for the 14th novel in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, as eroticism becomes mere description..." and Publishers Weekly commented that Blood Noir had a "growing air of ennui, which longtime readers can't help sharing as sex increasingly takes the place of plot and character development".
In contrast, a Denver Post review of Danse Macabre took a more positive view of the eroticism in Hamilton's work. Although it noted that "[t]hose looking for mystery and mayhem on this Anita adventure are out of luck" it also stated that "the main attraction of the Anita Blake novels in the past five years has been their erotic novelty", and "[f]ew, if any, mainstream novels delve so deeply into pure, unadulterated erotica".
Merry Gentry series
Marvel Comics series
(in Anita's chronological order)
- McCune, Alisa. "A Conversation With Laurell K. Hamilton". SF Site. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Works by Laurell K Hamilton". Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- Benefiel, Candace (2006). Reading Laurell K. Hamilton. Libraries Unlimited. p. 110. ISBN 0313378355.
- "Locus Online: Laurell K. Hamilton interview (excerpts)". Locus. September 2000.
- "Laurell K. Hamilton Interview, Horror Author". Flames Rising. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "Laurell K. Hamilton". Archived from the original on Feb 24, 2009.
- "KISS THE DEAD". RT Book Reviews. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- Amazeen, Sandy. "Book Review: Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton". Monsters and Critics. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "Dear Negative Reader". Laurell K Hamilton. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- O'Gorman, Rochelle (2006-03-26). "Beware the Ringing Cell". The Boston Globe. p. C7. ISSN 0743-1791.
- Folsom, Robert (2006-07-17). "'Danse Macabre' by Laurell K. Hamilton; 'The Lies of Locke Lamora' by Scott Lynch". The Kansas City Star.
- Publishers Weekly Fiction Reviews: Week of 2008-04-21 2008 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Accessed August 26, 2008
- Shindler, Dorman T (2006-08-20). "7th Anita Blake novel builds on erotic aura". The Denver Post. p. F13. ISSN 1930-2193.
- Hamilton, Laurell K. (October 8, 2013). "A present from me to you, because our government is behaving badly". laurellkhamilton.org. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Gordon, Joan; Hollinger, Veronica, eds. (1997). Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-1628-8.
- Lennard, John (2010). "Of Sex and Faerie: Meredith Gentry's Improbable Code of Orgasm and Other Paranormal Romance". In Lennard, John. Of Sex and Faerie: Further essays on Genre Fiction. Tirril: Humanities-Ebooks. pp. 112–164. ISBN 978-1-84760-171-1.
- Benefiel, Candace, ed. (2011). Reading Laurell K. Hamilton. Colorado: Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 0-3133-7835-5.
- Riverfront Times (Nov 2008)
- Locus Online Interview (Sept 2000)
- Interview at SFFWorld.com(Nov 2000)
- The SF Site: A Conversation with Laurell K. Hamilton (Sept 2004)
- Interview with Bankrate.com (Nov 2004)
- Interview on Flames Rising (June 2006)
- Interview on wotmania.com (June 2006)
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