A weekly(ish) series where I talk briefly about somebody who I think is cool for one reason for another.

Just because I like to shoot my mouth off about things, I've decided to implement weekly "columns" of a sort. Well, the goal is weekly, we'll see how often I actually get around to it! I just want this blog to have a bit more focus, I guess.

Friday columns will be about people I admire. I admit, I feel a bit lame doing this--it seems a bit cheesy. I'm going to try to make it at least somewhat interesting--no cop-outs like Mother Theresa or Lance Armstrong.

Today, I admire author Laurell K. Hamilton.

Who she is: author of 30 published novels, plus short stories.

What she's written: The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, the Merry Gentry series, and several others--including a Star Trek: The Next Generation book I read long before I ever heard of Anita Blake.

Why I admire her: She publishes two full novels a year, to start with--and not short ones. As somebody who likes to write, and used to write fiction for fun, I appreciate the work involved--both in terms of labor hours typing, and in terms of coming up with ideas, connecting the dots, keeping track of what's happened in all the books previous, etc. Plus, the first two Anita Blake books have been made into comics, so there's a lot of work there, and she's working on a screenplay for a movie of Guilty Pleasures, so basically it's a ton of work.

Also, I think what she writes about is amazing. I started out reading the Anita Blake books, and I love the details. It's modern-day St. Louis, but with a supernatural twist, and the little things that make it feel real are awesome--like a casual mention of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of the last witch burnt at the stake. A lot of the supernatural fiction is just supernatural beings plopped into our world, but the details in the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry books make it seem absolutely grounded in reality--even when dealing with something like a night hag being magically turned inside out.

It's also rare to find women authors, with women characters, that are as violent and sexual and self-assured as Hamilton's characters are. That's usually the territory of men. I think it's awesome to read a female character talking about her guns, and the way she arms herself, and the difference between Glaser Safety Rounds and regular bullets. I love Anita's snarky, sarcastic bitchiness.

As far as the sexual stuff ... people criticize that there's too much sex, some people are just terribly offended by it. I think it's awesome, particularly in the Merry Gentry series, because the character of Meredith is absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she's regularly having sex with a lot of men, usually more than one at once. I think there's too much shame about sex in our society (despite the media sexualization of everything), so I think it's refreshing that the characters are shameless and the author is unapologetic about what she writes. Is it perfect? No; there are some feminist issues I won't go into here.

But overall, I love LKH's books, and to sound like a total fangirl, I'm in awe of her creativity.

Next week: Your mom. Ha! Seriously, I don't know yet.

2 Responses
  1. vesta44 Says:

    I've only read the Anita Blake books, but I have every one of them, and love them all (as soon as I get a new one, it's read, can't put them down till I'm done with them).
    I like all the Twilight books too (my son has all 4 of them and loaned them to me, he likes them too), and the ones by Charlaine Harris (I have all nine of them, too).
    Too many books and not enough time to read.

  2. purplegirl Says:

    I like Harris' Harper Connelly series, but for some reason I just couldn't get in to her vampire series. I might give it another try sometime, after all I didn't warm to Anita Blake right away either!