CRIMSON DEATH is almost here (October 11, 2016) and we are very excited to share with you all this interview with author Laurell K. Hamilton. After 25 books, the Anita Blake series is still going strong and fans are anticipating this latest installment. Please help us welcome Ms. Hamilton to the blog today!
Readers have known the vampire Damian for years, but we didn’t know his entire backstory. Did you discover anything surprising about him as you wrote the book?
That he still believed in Valhalla and hadn’t committed “suicide” as a vampire to escape his tormentor because he thought it would cost him his place in the afterlife. He saw himself as having died in battle against the vampire that created him. The other surprise was that Damian talked more directly to me than ever before, up to this point he’s been a character that kept his secrets close to his chest. He’d never spoken directly to me as a writer, not the way Anita does, or even Jean-Claude can. Damian’s stronger voice is why I rewrote most of Crimson Death’s beginning, because he came into my head and said, “After all these years and you’re going to make me the damsel in distress?” He’d earned being a more active participant in his own story, so that’s what I did. When a character comes that “alive” in my head I honor it by listening.
What did you find most challenging about writing CRIMSON DEATH?
Researching a book that I was actually already writing and had committed to delivering to my publisher in the same year I was writing it. I will never, ever do that to myself again. It was a near Sisyphean task. Especially with a book that required a trip to another country that I’d never visited, it was just too much research to do while writing the actual book. The other issue was the length. Crimson Death is the longest book I’ve ever written coming in at 350,000 words rough draft and then cut to 250,000 words for sending to my waiting editor in New York.
Which characters in the Anita series do you find the most challenging to write?
Cynric (Sin), Rudolph (Dolph) Storr, Echo and Fortune, Wicked and Truth, are a few that I find difficult for very different reasons. Echo and Fortune are both newer characters and I haven’t quite gotten my writing feet under me with them yet. Wicked and Truth are underused. I love them, but I find it hard to do them justice in the books, because of how large the cast was when they first appeared on stage. They are such strong characters that I wish I had a larger part for them, but I don’t know what that would be. For Dolph, I believe that he and I had a misstep as character and creator a few books ago and I’m not sure how to recover from it. Sin hits so many issues for Anita that he hits issues for me, too, so it makes him difficult as a character for me, because Anita finds him personally challenging. One of the downsides to a first person narration is that my main character’s attitude influences mine so strongly, or can.
Why do you think Edward has become such a popular character in the series?
I’m honestly not sure, I never planned on Edward being that much of a continuing character. The fans understood how important Edward was to the series and to Anita long before I did. He was supposed to be a bad guy, or at best a frenemy. No one was more surprised than I was at how large a part of the world and series he’s become.
Available October 11, 2016!
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Released: October 11th 2016
Series: Anita Blake #25
Published by Berkley
The 25th Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novel—from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.
Now, in her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and zombie raiser Anita Blake learns how far she’ll go to save someone she loves…
When Damian—Anita’s sometimes lover, servant, and friend—is kidnapped, Anita heads to Ireland. There she must face off against the vampire who created him. M’Lady, Moroven, Nemhain…under every name she brings terror and destruction. But Anita brings her own weapon to the party: Edward, the man known as Death itself…
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