Even though I am a huge Anita Blake fan, I admit that when I read the plot for Bullet I was a bit disappointed, I was hoping for something a little different. But, I recently read Laurell K. Hamilton’s interview with Entertainment Weekly on the new book and damn, now I can’t wait to pick Bullet up! It turns out that a lot will be revealed in this book! On top of that, she also discusses the current vampire craze, what Anita means to women and more. It’s an excellent interview, check it out:
Can you give fans a little teaser about the new book?
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.
Are you afraid the way all these vampire series keep popping up, there will soon be a fatigue? Do you think it’s already set in now?
Everybody keeps waiting for the boom to bust, because it is one of the few areas in publishing right now that’s still doing very, very well and where beginning writers can break in if the idea is part of the paranormal thing. Eventually it will have to reach its crescendo and then go down, but I think, knock on wood, those of us who have been here from the beginning and have our audience and track record, I think you will find the people who survive once the bust goes boom, this is what they wanted to write. This is something they had a new voice for, and they could bring something fresh and new to the genre rather than people who jumped on the bandwagon because what they wanted to write wasn’t selling. Nothing wrong with making money or doing what you need to do to sell, but I think it shows when you’re writing something to pay the bills and when you’re writing something because it’s really your version of the world.
Going back to the role of women in books like this, do you hear a lot from fans who say they appreciate how strong Anita is?
Yeah, I do. I have now lost count of the number of women who tell me that reading Anita helped them realize they could be strong. I have now also lost count of the women who will lean over at the signings and speak low to me and say they’ve left an abusive relationship because they knew Anita wouldn’t take it. When your imaginary friends literally help people in their real lives with something like this, that is certainly something you don’t plan as a writer, but it doesn’t get much better than this. Some of the people break my heart. I’ve had people tell me that reading my books have helped them get through real tragedies in their lives. Anita has a rule that there’s no flinching; if somebody can endure some kind of pain or horror and she can’t save them, then the least she can do is watch and not look away. I’ve had a handful of parents say that getting their kid through a terminal illness, they remembered that. Those are the ones that make me tear up.
Apparently a lot of people don’t have strong people in their lives, especially strong women. I didn’t know there was almost an absence in a lot of people’s lives of strong women, because I was raised by my grandmother, and there was nobody, a man did not appear to lift something heavy for us. We didn’t have any male help in the house; we did everything. It never occurred to me that this was unusual, and it never occurred to me that there was an option for women. It was just you had to be strong, and if you weren’t strong you’re a victim and you’re not going to make it. That was the reality when I was growing up.
I’ve had men say they left abusive relationships because they knew Anita wouldn’t take it. Male abuse in a relationship is probably one of the lowest reported crimes in the country, but it happens. I think that people need to know that it’s ok to be strong, especially women. It’s OK to disagree with people; you can do that without being a bitch. You can own your power and own the ground you stand on, as my grandmother used to say, without coming off as harsh. I talked to one person who does counseling for trauma victims, and she said she’s had a lot of women tell her that they knew something was wrong, but they didn’t want to be rude. I really thought we’d gotten past that.
Full interview HERE.