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Laurell Kaye Hamilton (born February 19, 1963) is an American fantasy and romance writer, and notably the author of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. More than 6 million copies of Anita Blake novels have been printed.
Hamilton is also known for her Merry Gentry series, an urban fantasy in which the world of fairy interacts with the "real world".
Life[edit | edit source]
Laurell Kaye Hamilton was born 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 (now Indiana Wesleyan University), a private Evangelical Christian liberal arts college in Marion, Indiana that is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church Christian denomination.
Today, Hamilton resides in St. Louis County, Missouri with her current husband Jonathon Green, her daughter Trinity, and her pug Sasquatch.
Works[edit | edit source]
Laurell K. Hamilton is the author of two series of stories:
- Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter is about a female necromancer and her relationships with vampires and wereanimals. The series runs to 16 novels as of May 2008, and a number of short story collections and other tie-in media such as comic books. More than 6 million copies of Anita Blake novels have been printed and it became a New York Times bestseller.
- Merry Gentry is an urban fantasy in which fairies live in the USA. Hamilton published the first book in 2000.
Both series focus in part on St. Louis, Missouri. The city is the home base for Anita Blake. In the Merry Gentry series, the home base for the fairies' Dark Court is at Cahokia Mounds, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.
Critical reception and fan reactions[edit | edit source]
Anita Blake[edit | edit source]
In Narcissus in Chains (book 10), the character Anita Blake becomes infected with the ardeur, a supernatural hunger making the victim feed it (via direct or vicarious sexual energy) and added metaphysical powers. The ardeur is essentially cited as being an unconvincing deus ex machina device, and even a metaphysical date rape drug, used to force Anita Blake and her partners into increasingly gratuitous sexual encounters as well as magically solve all problems through sex or lust. Some readers contend that these situations occur without the development of character or plot, and also force sex and dependency on a formerly independent female character.  Others have commented upon the exploitation of sexual abuse, incest, and rape through its casual use in later books.
Reviewers have also commented on the amount of sex in later books. A March 26, 2006 review in the Boston Globe of Micah was largely negative: "...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." Robert Folsom of the Kansas City Star wrote a critical review, stating: "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..."
Publishers Weekly described the 2008 16th book, Blood Noir, as "florid" but credits Hamilton with giving Anita "a case to solve between wild orgies with wereanimals." The review ends with a comment on the direction the series is taking: "Hamilton chronicles Anita's escapades with a growing air of ennui, which longtime readers can't help sharing as sex increasingly takes the place of plot and character development". Blood Noir debuted at the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list; by early July, it was at number 25.
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 "those 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 "few, if any, mainstream novels delve so deeply into pure, unadulterated erotica."
In a December 2006 post in her blog, apparently aimed at an ever-increasing number of participants on the Laurell K. Hamilton forums, Hamilton acknowledged readers who, disappointed in recent Anita Blake novels, have chosen to stop reading her work altogether. She added that "life is too short to read books you don't like," and acknowledged that the books are "not comfortable". She suggested that these readers would prefer to read "books that don't make you think that hard." Hamilton then asserted that, aside from this group, there exist a number of "negative fans" who, claiming to have made this decision, continue to discuss later books in detail; she suggests that these individuals are either "closet readers" or comment based on others' opinions. The appellation "fan" refers to her perception that "only a fan would spend this much time and energy on anything." However, Hamilton suggested that sales figures establish the increasing popularity of the series. She concluded by rewarding "positive people," as she describes those who are continuing to read the Anita Blake series, with information about her upcoming book. The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series has been translated into 16 languages and the sold over 6 million copies worldwide.
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
Meredith Gentry series[edit | edit source]
Marvel Comics series[edit | edit source]
(in Anita's chronological order)
Others[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- "Locus Online: Laurell K. Hamilton interview (excerpts)". Locus (magazine). September 2000. http://www.locusmag.com/2000/Issues/09/Hamilton.html.
- Interview at Flamesrising.com http://www.flamesrising.com/laurell-k-hamilton-interview-horror-author/
- Photographs of chartiy work from Hamiltons official website 
- "Amazon.com: Customer Discussions: Author tells fans to go away...". 2006-12-31. http://www.amazon.com/gp/forum/cd/discussion.html/?cdForum=Fx1OFHYU31CK06W&asin=0425217248&cdThread=Tx5LMD4TM9QNTM.
- "Amazon.com: Customer Discussions: I wouldn't mind all the sex, if...". 2006-12-08. http://www.amazon.com/gp/forum/cd/discussion.html/?cdForum=Fx1OFHYU31CK06W&cdItems=25&asin=0425217248&cdThread=Tx1G69CXA9IT5FO&cdSortDir=Ascending#Mx35MQAB9YDI8JG. et al.
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- Publisher's Weekly Fiction Reviews: Week of 4/21/2008 ©2008 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Accessed August 26, 2008
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- "Laurell K. Hamilton Forums". 2008-08-18. http://forum.laurellkhamilton.org/.
- Laurell K. Hamilton (2006-12-29). "Dear Negative Reader". LKH Blog. http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/2006/12/dear-negative-reader.html.
[edit | edit source]
Official sites[edit | edit source]
- Website: LaurellKHamilton.com (formerly LaurellKHamilton.org)
- Social media:
- Publisher websites:
Interviews[edit | edit source]
- 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)