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Laurell K. Hamilton
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Laurell K. Hamilton   Laurell K. Hamilton is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series, which now totals 17 books and several Marvel comic books. Anita Blake has been greenlighted to become a TV series on The Independent Film Channel this coming summer. Laurell has also written the Meredith Gentry series, which is about a private investigator who happens to be a faerie princess. In all, sheís got over 7 million books in print in 16 languages.

Buy Laurell K. Hamilton's Books at the following locations: (downloadable audio books) (independent bookstores)
  Related Links:
Laurell K. Hamilton's Homepage
Anita Blake Marvel Comics

This episode originally aired on 11/19/2009 with the following authors:
Note: The following interview has been transcribed from The Author Hour radio show. Please excuse any typos, spelling and gramatical errors.

Interview with Laurell K. Hamilton

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Bonus Question(s) that Didn't Air on the Live Radio Show

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Matthew Peterson: Let me ask you a bonus question. And this is not about books or anything. I just thought this was an interesting thing. I went to your website and I noticed that you do a lot of charity work, dealing with animals and helping them. What got you interested in doing charity work?

Laurell K. Hamilton: Well, I think that if you are doing well, that one of the things that youíre supposed to do is take care of the people around you and see if other people arenít doing as well, youíre supposed to do that. Thatís just what a responsible human being does. You help others if you can.

The reason I work more with animals is those were the charities that came to me first and also, to be honest, Iím very much an animal person, always have. I have a degree in biology. And if youíre having a bad day, you can go to almost any shelter in this country and you can save a life because we have animals being put down by the thousands everyday across this country. So I work with rescues and everything, trying to help support them as they take care of abandoned animals. Because, you know, I lost my dog of 17 years last year. Iíve lost several dogs and it just breaks my heart that people get them and they give them away if they get too old. They give them away if they move. They give them away if they have a child. And nobody puts any planning into this live creature that is your responsibility. That just drives me nuts.

Matthew Peterson: Many of them have like a mentality of a like a three year old. I mean, they have feelings. [laughs] Theyíre very loving.

Laurell K. Hamilton: More than that, yes they have feelings, but I just donít understand being able to treat another fellow creature on the planet that badly.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Laurell K. Hamilton: Some of the abuse stories have been absolutely heart breaking.

Matthew Peterson: Oh. I live in Arizona and we are getting, itís like every night, on the news, theyíre finding a dog in a gunny sack, or something. I cannot believe people abuse animals like that.

Laurell K. Hamilton: Well, actually, Missouriís one of the worst states for puppy mills. And with the economy being the way it is, a lot of puppy millers are dumping their dogs on the breed rescues. If they kill them they could get arrested, they could get in trouble with the law, not a lot, but some. So theyíre dumping them on rescues. I know some of the pug rescues, Ďcause thatís my breed, are getting six new dogs a week, and some of them with tremendous medical problems. Some people are giving up their dogs because they canít afford the vet bill, which is really sad. But I mean when times are tough, one of the things that goes is people stop donating to the animal charities as much. All the charities are down, though, both the people charities and everything else. One of the charities that we support that is not for animals but for people, and that is children with diabetes.

Matthew Peterson: Hmm.

Laurell K. Hamilton: So what Iím hearing is all the charities are down. So if youíre doing well this year, then, I know this sounds really old fashioned, but I think itís really your responsibility to try to see if you can help out. I know that on a day that I was very frustrated with my writing, I would get on PetFinders, or one of the places, and see if I could find one of the dogs with a medical problem and if their medical bill could be paid, and especially if itís a young dog, then they go on to have a healthy life and find an owner. Even if youíre having a bad day, you can donate a little money and . . . I go, ďWell, the day sucks, but at least Iíve helped someone, another living person.Ē

Matthew Peterson: Iíve helped someone. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. My wife and I, weíve been in the habit of every month we do a little bit of charity. We donate to the poor or to some sort of thing. I totally agree with you. I mean, even when times are tough, and they are tough, there are people that probably have it worse than you. And you can help them.

Laurell K. Hamilton: You know, I am very blessed. I am doing really well in a time when a lot of people arenít, and if youíre doing well, one of the ways you show the universe at large, or deity, that youíre grateful for this, is you share. You share. You help other people. Help animals. Help people, because youíre supposed to take care of. . . especially with animals that canít take care of themselves. Itís just what youíre supposed to do.

And some people donate their time. I donít have a lot of time. But some people donate their time. I know some people that go down to the homeless shelters; you donate to the food pantry. Thereís a wonderful program, Iím going to be--totally blanking on what itís called--where foster kids, kids in the foster program, they have something they want for Christmas. And you can buy them a gift so they get a gift on Christmas, even though they are in foster care.

Matthew Peterson: Thatís a great idea.

Laurell K. Hamilton: Thereís all sorts of wonderful charities out there.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Extra Material That was Cut from the Show Because of Time Constraints

Note that you can also listen to this while you read it (you'll need to fast forward past the bonus questions).

Laurell K. Hamilton: Iíve just gotten into the techy stuff pretty seriously in the last few months. And itís amazing to me how many people you can contact so quickly.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, I know. I havenít gotten on to twitter yet. Thatís like the last thing and Iím like, ďOh!Ē Itís very time consuming doing all the things.

Laurell K. Hamilton: I actually like twitter because itís only 140 characters. And I find that other sites have no limit to characters. Iím a novel writer, not a short story writer!

Matthew Peterson: [laughs] Yeah.

Laurell K. Hamilton: So, if Iím not careful, I will write these huge long blogs and I have to really limit myself. On twitter it limits you anyway.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, yeah. I know my brother does twitter, he has like thousands of follower.

Laurell K. Hamilton: Yeah. Iím 8,000 something.

Matthew Peterson: Uh huh. He does it for his business. So, heís like, ďYeah, Iíll make ten thousand dollars just by posting a twitter thing.Ē Iím like, ďOkay. Wow!Ē [laughs] ďThatís pretty cool.Ē

Laurell K. Hamilton: We have actually had people find a signing, or an event, from twitter, ďI was just down the road so I came in.Ē

Matthew Peterson: Wow.

Laurell K. Hamilton: So, it actually does work.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. That is cool.

* * * * * * * * * *

Laurell K. Hamilton: ĎCause I was trying sell this two, three years before it ever hit the shelves. Everyone loved it. Nobody knew what to do with it. Finally, of course, someone took a chance, and suddenly there was a new sub-genre: paranormal thrillers, is what I call them.

* * * * * * * * * *

Matthew Peterson: Just reading online, After Dark Films, Lionsgate and the Independent Film Channel, at least are the companies that Iíve read, that were involved in this. So hopefully weíll be able to see something there.

Laurell K. Hamilton: Hopefully. Itís been very educational learning how the business works. I mean, itís a creative business, just like publishing, but as with publishing itís also a business, business.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Laurell K. Hamilton: So itís always very interesting when you have something thatís very creative and at the same time, the bottom line is itís a business, it makes money and you have people that are depending on it. So itís just that interesting mix of art and finance.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. Itís like a puzzle piece. I mean thereís so many pieces that need to fit in for it to be completed and work. I agree.

Laurell K. Hamilton: I actually had no idea how many people would be involved with just one movie or one episode or anything. Itís been very interesting research.

* * * * * * * * * *

Matthew Peterson: Like in the Anita Blake universe, the Gentry Universe, the society is aware of these people, right?

Laurell K. Hamilton: Well, see, what always interested me from the very beginning with Anita and then with Merry, is I like to take the real world. If we woke up tomorrow and fairies or vampires or whatever were real and modern society had you deal with them. Thatís what I like. Thatís what Iíve always liked. Iím not interested in this secret society kind of thing, where people donít know they exist. If you have a zombie shambling down your street, I want the police to be able to come and help you. If you were out dancing in a club in L.A. and you see somebody whoís more beautiful, even than the stars around them. You can sit there and go, ďOh! Itís one of the fairy.Ē You know, I love that juxtaposition of the fantastic with the mundane, so for me that is what interests me. I had Merry, at one point, she helped with a political campaign. And it was off-stage, but she was helping them get the younger vote.

Matthew Peterson: Huh. Interesting.

Laurell K. Hamilton: Because, itís cool to be a fairy princess.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, yeah.

Laurell K. Hamilton: I mean, not having to actually survive it.

Matthew Peterson: Thereís gotta be some perks to it. [laughs]

Laurell K. Hamilton: The men, probably, the royal guards, are probably the biggest perk.

Matthew Peterson: Well, youíve created these best-selling worlds. Do you have any plans on creating a new world, a new series?

Laurell K. Hamilton: I have some ideas, but I honestly canít possibly do more than two series at one time. I think I would lose whatís left of my sanity. And you know, Divine Misdemeanors comes out November 8th and thatís book 8 for Merry. And well, the next Anita book comes out February 2nd. So, Iím already making notes for the next book.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Laurell K. Hamilton: I mean, Iím always finding new things to do in my worlds, that interest me, things I havenít been able to do before. New ideas.

* * * * * * * * * *

Matthew Peterson: And you have a lot of characters, fun characters, to play with, so that helps tremendously.

Laurell K. Hamilton: I love Anita and her crew. But it was fun to take her out of town, away from Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of St. Louis. It was very fun to have her just out there with Edward and having the other U.S. Marshals, the Preternatural Branch of the U.S. Marshals out there hunting a serial killer as a unit. That was very interesting.

* * * * * * * * * *

Matthew Peterson: Is Wolverine actually in the comic book with her?

Laurell K. Hamilton: No.

Matthew Peterson: No, okay. I didnít think so. I was thinking, ďThatís a stretch.Ē [laughs]

Laurell K. Hamilton: No. It was one of the specialty covers. But it was very fun watching the pencils come through. And, I donít know, itís just, as a little kid you read the Marvel Comic Books and you never think that when you grow up that your gonna have a job that letís you play with Marvel and letís one of your imaginary friends play in the Marvel universe.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

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