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Tag: Vampires (21-30 of 40)

Q&A: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter author Laurell K. Hamilton

Bullet-book-HamiltonAlmost two decades after her first appearance in Guilty Pleasures, Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter returns with her 19th adventure. Out today, Bullet brings back characters from the past, as well as the usual intrigue. Author Laurell K. Hamilton spoke with EW about the music that helps her write (it’s hardcore!), what she hears from fans on the road, and how Anita became a role model.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Can you give fans a little teaser about the new book?
LAURELL K. HAMILTON: I’m so bad at this! I don’t want to give anything away. This is the book in many ways which some of the fans have been waiting for. When I came to this book, I’d been making notes on it for a while, some of this plot. One of the things that really helped me come up with it is the fans wanted to know certain things. They wanted to know where Monica Vespucci, who was in the first book, went. Where did she go? What happened to her baby? They wanted to have Asher have a relationship. Is such and such going to date? Leave town? They had all these questions that I never seemed to have time to put onstage. This is the book where I answer a lot of these questions. I bring everybody out and we take a deep breath. In the beginning of the book Anita is actually not solving a crime; she’s trying to have a quote unquote normal life.

You’re on book 19 in the Anita Blake series. How many more do you see yourself writing?
When I sold the first Anita book, I sold it as part of a three-book contract, so I knew there’d be at least three. I hoped that it would have legs, as they say in the movie business. But to get to number 19 in a continuing series, especially with the audience growing with each book still, you can’t plan that. I can’t imagine saying, ‘Oh yeah I’ll make 19.’ The next book will be 20; that’s amazing. I hoped I would be able to write this far into the series, but I didn’t dare plan on it in the beginning. READ FULL STORY

Louisa May Alcott attacked by werewolves and vampires

louisa-may-alcottJust when you thought it was safe to go back into the bookstore…here come more literary monster mashups! You can drive a stake into its heart, shoot it full of silver bullets and bury it under six feet of dirt, but this publishing trend Just. Won’t. Die. Now it’s Little Women, Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale, that’s getting monsterized. And not just once, but twice. Available now, Little Women and Werewolves by Porter Grand and Little Vampire Women by Lynn Messina take the well-known tale of Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy and add in a healthy serving of the unknown. Last week, Grand and Messina held a discussion with Alcott scholar and Pulitzer Prize-winner John Matteson about the book, the supernatural and mash-ups in general.

Both authors said they were impressed with how much the original text stood up to their fiddling. “When writing it, the biggest thing was realizing how strong the book was on its own,” said Messina. “I thought that adding vampires to it was going to change everything, but I was amazed at how little it actually changed.”

Grand spoke at length about Alcott’s own supernatural and blood-and-guts proclivities. Writing under the nom de plume A.M. Barnard, the otherwise demure author published a number of adventurous and murder-filled novels and stories, although these weren’t discovered until years after her death. “My goal when I was writing Little Women and Werewolves was to stay true to Alcott,” Grand said. “I really wanted to write it the way I think she would have written it if she had decided to insert werewolves into it.” While she admits that some rabid fans may take umbrage at their work (Matteson recounted a story of his own in which a certain Little Crazywoman sent him an 11-page letter calling him a heretic and threatening to burn him at the stake), Grand thinks Alcott herself would be “flattered, amused and delighted” at these tweakings of her most famous tome.

Messina admitted that she knows the mash-up craze won’t last forever, but she’s happy to get while the getting’s good. “It’s going to run its course,” she said. “I thought it was going to eventually tap out with Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, but I Googled it and it was already a movie!”

Exclusive: First look at Vampire Academy trailer-and scoop from author Richelle Mead

Spirit-BoundRichelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series has been a hit since the first book was released in 2007. The fifth and latest installment, Spirit Bound, comes out May 18. We have an exclusive first look at the book’s trailer, which will air during Thursday night’s season finale of the Vampire Diaries and as a preview before this summer’s highly anticipated movie Eclipse.

Mead spoke with about the trailer, what fans can expect from her new book, and she’s doing next.

What can you tell us about  Spirit Bound?
Spirit Bound takes place almost entirely outside of the school that gives the series its name, so that’s kind of ironic and funny. The characters are sort of on their own now, so we get to see what they do when they’re not within the confines of teachers and school rules. It’s less of a tearjerker; the other ones had these big sudden shockers that tended to leave people crying, so I would get email for weeks after the books came out that with people telling me how I left them sobbing. I don’t think there will be quite as much as that, but I can’t always tell that. This is going to be more twists in the story of the ‘Oh my God’ variety. People will still be surprised, and there’s still a cliffhanger, buy I think it will be less emotionally traumatic.

How did you create the series?
I’d been writing adult books sort of in the same genre, the paranormal urban fantasy realm, before that. I had two series, one about demons and one about fairies, and at the time I had extra time on my hands and I wanted to try something for young adults. I was kind of running out of paranormal creatures, so I thought, ‘Well, let’s do vampires,’ little knowing what I was getting into at the time with teen vampires. I had no idea it was about to become a phenomenon unto itself. READ FULL STORY

Charlaine Harris: Sookie Stackhouse series author takes our book quiz

Charlaine-Harris-Dead-in-the-familyTrue Blood fans, you have Charlaine Harris to thank for the highly addictive series; it’s based on her wildly popular Sookie Stackhouse novels. The latest edition, Dead in the Family, is out May 4. We gave the Southern native a quick quiz on some of her favorite books — including the one she wishes she could read again and again.

What’s a book you’ve faked reading?
Moby Dick. I gave it a tremendous try, but I don’t think I ever finished. Oh, The Magic Mountain, too.

What was your favorite book as a child?
Jane Eyre.

What’s a book you’ve gone back to and read over and over?
Pride and Prejudice.

What author (living or dead) would you most like to meet?
I know most of the living writers I’d wanted to meet, which is one of the great things about my job. I would have loved to have met Shirley Jackson.

What’s a book you wish you could experience again for the first time?
Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston.

What fictional character would you most like to marry?
Ha! Hmmm. Mr. Rochester? Darcy? Nope. Oh, I know! Bones, from Jeaniene Frost’s books.

Stephenie Meyer's novella, 'The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner,' and the Red Cross

This morning Little, Brown announced a first printing of Meyer’s  novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Bree figures prominently in the movie version of Eclipse, opening June 30 (and director David Slade was able to read an early copy of the novella). But as fans remember, she does not appear in the book until page 569, in a pivotal scene where Bella and the Cullens encounter some of Victoria’s wild vampires in the forest: “The girl was curled into a small ball beside the flames, her arms wrapped around her legs….Her eyes were focused on me, and the eyes were a shocking, brilliant red.” Of Meyer’s decision to donate money from the sale of each book to the Red Cross, Little, Brown deputy publisher Andrew Smith says,  “The plight of folks in Haiti and now Chile has been so much in the media, and very much on Stephenie’s radar,” pointing out that Meyer has been talking about the subject on her website for some time. (On January 27, she wrote, “I’ve been very impressed with the world in general and the Twilight fansite in specific in the support and love everyone is giving to Haiti.”) The website dedicated to the new book, — which will feature the book beginning June 7 — will provide a Red Cross link tied specifically to the novella. “We’ll be able to track how much Twilight fans are giving,” Smith says.

EW Exclusive: First Look at Melissa de la Cruz's 'Misguided Angel' cover

Melissa de la Cruz fans, here’s the exclusive first look at the cover of Misguided Angel, the fifth in the Blue Bloods series, which is slated for Oct. 5 publication. (Fans who can’t wait until fall for their Blue Bloods fix, fret not: de la Cruz has written an in-depth guidebook of sorts, Keys to the Repository, due out in June.) The author recently talked to about Misguided Angel’s cover art, her non-fiction past and being a self-proclaimed “sci-fi geek.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, what do you think about the cover? Did you have any say in it?
: I had a huge say in it. I really wanted it to be otherworldly, very beautiful. I like it because the girl’s face — to me she could look Asian, or Latino, or Italian. I just thought it was kind of nice that she had this universal look where you couldn’t really tell what race she was. It’s great for an angel to look like that.

This is the fifth book in the series – how many do you plan on releasing? Did you think it would last this long?
I had a very ambitious program when I first outlined this; I definitely planned a big series. From the beginning five years ago, I said I had a plan for nine or 10 books and they said, ‘Whoa! OK! We’ll buy two and see how it does!’ And then they kind of took off. I had a plan if it didn’t work out how to end it on book three, but if it did work I definitely had this big overreaching arc that I wanted to explore. I dream big! (laughs)

Can you spill a little something about what happens in Misguided Angel?

It was a really fun book because my idea was as the books continued, there would be little arcs every three or four books. I feel like books one through four really dealt with Bliss and Lucifer, and then Schuyler and Jack kind of discover a new threat and they uncover things that happened in the past that is affecting the present: a deep, evil secret that the Blue Bloods have kept. In New York, Mimi kind of deals with this new thing, so there’s this evil that happens in several places in the world that they all have to deal with that all kind of ties to one thing, and they have to find the root of it. READ FULL STORY

'American Vampire' comic book: New twists on the vampire genre, with a little help from Stephen King

The first issue of American Vampire (Vertigo/DC) goes on sale today, and it’s something rather rare: a non-super-hero comic book that does something new with the vampire genre. Created by writer Scott Snyder and drawn by Rafael Albuquerque, the debut introduces us to Skinner Sweet, a low-down, rattlesnake-mean vampire. Forget the neurasthenic, elegantly neurotic, aristo vamps of so much popular literature. Skinner is more like crossing Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul with a young, slim, undead Ronnie Van Zant from Lynyrd Skynyrd: a tough little cuss who wants to bite for the blood, for the class-revenge, and for the pleasure of it.

The book spans decades. Snyder is launching American Vampire with his own story, about a Roaring Twenties version of Skinner, on the shady outskirts of the movie industry. Very smart, knowledgeable stuff. And Snyder gets an assist, and a little extra publicity, by having enlisted Stephen King to write a Skinner origin-story: A lean, mean cowboy Skinner in the Old West. As I’ve written before, one of the best ways King uses his popularity is to draw attention to the work of other writers and artists he admires, so his generosity here is matched by his cool storytelling.

It’s good to know that American Vampire will take its unique character and skip him across many different decades; the story possibilities are abundant. Add Rafael Albuquerque’s excellent art, which mixes shadowy action with bright sunlight and sketchy characters, and you’ve got one promising new series.

'Pride and Prejudice' updates: Enough!

Yesterday, as I was rifling through the mound of galleys that publishers oh-so-kindly sent our way, I came upon a book that made me sigh. No, not Heidi and Spencer Pratt’s How to Be Famous. That book made me scream. Instead, I became immediately fatigued upon finding a copy of The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy, by Sara Angelini — a 2007 novel (newly in paperback) that’s billed as Legally Blonde-meets-Pride and Prejudice.

Why, you ask? Because I completely, 100 percent supported the trend of Jane Austen mash-ups — until now. Can you say oversaturation? Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was hysterical, and wholly original. But the novelty has worn thin, with dozens of authors jumping on board to sell their updates of Austen’s work in every genre from romance to mystery to sci-fi. How many more supernatural remixes will we find (see: all those Prejudice-themed vampire books)? How many more chick-lit updates?

Because, really, there are hundreds of other identifiable, classic authors whose work could use an imaginative update. Let’s leave Austen alone for once. Why not desecrate the work of John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott, or, hell, even Dante? Tell me, Shelf Lifers, are you as tired of the Prejudice trend as I am? And whose work do you wish contemporary authors would update?

Are Edward and Bella in an abusive relationship?

I’m the first person who’ll tell you how important the Twilight series is — not from a literary standpoint, mind you, but more from a reading standpoint: These are books that get kids reading. And yet, as a feminist and the mom of teenage daughters, I’ve also got some problems with them — namely, their depiction of women and relationships. Why does Bella always need to be rescued by men? Can’t she rescue herself occasionally? Heck — can’t she even drive herself places? (In New Moon, whenever she’s in her truck with either Edward or Jacob, they’re the ones driving.) Why do all the male vampires have college degrees, medical degrees, and so forth, while — SPOILER ALERT FROM ECLIPSE AND BREAKING DAWN!!! — Bella gets married fresh out of high school, with nary a word breathed about higher education? And then, when she becomes pregnant, why does she emphatically refuse an abortion, even though the pregnancy is killing her? (Let me be clear: I’m not saying it’s wrong for a woman to choose marriage and motherhood, or wrong for her to decide against college. But Bella is still a kid, even in Breaking Dawn.)

So last week, in his excellent blog post, movie critic Owen Gleiberman compared Edward to a stalker. And yesterday, in “Is Team Edward Enabling Domestic Violence?”, GalleyCat’s Ron Hogan called my attention to a LiveJournal post describing how the Edward-Bella romance has all the earmarks of an abusive relationship as defined by a national domestic violence group: “Does your partner look at you or act in ways that scare you? Check. Make all the decisions? Check. Threaten to kill you? On their first date….”

Hmmm. what do you think?

Exclusive: Melissa de la Cruz on her new series

Hyperion has signed Melissa de la Cruz — whose Blue Bloods vampire books have all been huge YA hits —to a two-book deal for an adult paranormal series. The first, The Witches of East End, will go on sale in May 2011. “It’s about a mother and two daughters who move to town and shake things up,” says de la Cruz. “There’s already a family of warlocks living there who aren’t too happy with their arrival…It’s based on old Norse mythology.” She notes that characters from Blue Bloods will show up in the books — “some in essential roles; others more tangential” and says, of her switch to adult fiction, “I’ve been writing YA books for more than a decade. Many of my fans have grown up.  Now I can have more grown-up themes: One character works in a bar; another gets involved with the mayor. There are romantic entanglements that are not so innocent!”

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