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  • I'm a writer, journalist, and the editor of The Gambit, the alt-weekly newspaper in New Orleans.

    Journalism: My work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Globe & Mail (Canada), The Times- Picayune (New Orleans), The Oregonian, and Willamette Week, as well as in magazines including Details, Vogue, Publishers Weekly, and Portland Monthly.

    Publishing: Tight Shot, my first novel, was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Its sequel, Hot Shot, was roundly ignored by everyone, but was a far better book. I'm also a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

    Stage: I was a member of the Groundlings and Circle Repertory West in Los Angeles, and am a playwright (see "Stage" in the right-hand rail).

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February 24, 2008

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Samuel John Klein

That's not the only author whose world we've experienced gets way too top heavy after the stories have been told too often and too long. On a slightly more pedestrian level (our opinion only, YMMV) Laurell Hamilton's "Anita Blake" series started out okay (according to my wife, who likes that sort of thing) but, after five or six iterations fell way too in love with itself.

So odd has the fan-crit debate over her work has become, indeed, Laurell calls the disillusioned fans who still critique her work "negative fans" – like a negative number, they contribute to the whole even though she doesn't feel they contribute to her in the way she'd like them to. Sort of like an "any publicity is good publicity" POV.

Kevin

Not familiar with Laurell Hamilton - is she a SF or fantasy writer?

I will never understand those authors who become successful and then refuse to accept any but the most cursory editing (or refuse an editor at all). Were I in that position, I'd friggin DEMAND the best editor at the house...and not someone who was spending all her/his time in marketing meetings, but someone who was charged with going through my ms with a blue pencil as her/his job. Yaknow?

Jil

I absolutely adored "Interview with the Vampire", was less impressed with the next couple I read, and a third of the way through "Cry to Heaven" gave up on her completely.

I'm in full agreement on the editing. Two who come to mind are Stephen King and J.K. Rowling. After a while you've gone well past telling the story and now you're just into wasting trees.

Samuel John Klein

Laurell Hamilton writes what I'd call supernatural/gothic/romance/suspense fiction. Her "Anita Blake-Vampire Hunter" series is set in an alternate present where vampires and werewolves and such are real and some of them need ... well, someone to hunt them sometimes. The title character is kind of a hot sexy gun-for-hire with a liberal slathering of Mike Hammer - but not so much that she quits being hot and sexy.

I'm not interested in such things myself except in a sort of detached technical way - I fancied myself a budding author once and find the way authors build and sustain the worlds and characters they construct dead fascinating, so I view it vicariously through my wife, who lurves them stories sometimes.

From her reviews, Anita Blake started out interesting and sexy, but Anita has really kind of evolved into a Mary Sue for the author whose primary goal seems to be having as much sex as possible with various hot undead characters. The series is really in love with itself and has largely lost its point.

Kate

I've not read any Laurell Hamilton, but damn her books still seem to sell.

And Kevin, I absolutely agree - give me the editor hooked up to coffee via IV and a well-inked blue pen. I can't fathom doing without, and anyone who thinks they don't need them must be mad. Elizabeth Kostova comes to mind, Jil, when you mention wasting trees.

Reading the link, it sounds like Lestat struggles with spiritualism, and I'd bet gets converted (yawn). I particularly love how she justifies dusting off her vampires after finding God and swearing off them. Money talks.

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