Vivian is African-American with Irish genetics, and is very pale but with a dark coloring. She makes Anita think of a delicate beautiful doll and feel protective of her. Anita believes she is the most beautiful woman she has ever met, perfect in proportion with brown eyes.
Anita meets Vivian when the Vampire Council comes to St. Louis and The Master of Beasts takes over the wereleopards and makes Vivian his pet, promising her riches for the injuries she can survive. Throughout the mid and later novels, Vivian has been dating Stephen, a werewolf and Gregory's twin.
In Kiss the Dead, Stephen and Vivian are still dating. The novel misprints her name as "Vanessa," which the author has stated to be an error and it should still be Vivian. Hamilton has tried to get this corrected in later editions.