Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Guilty Pleasures, Laurell K. Hamilton, 1993 (book 1 of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series)

My favorite quote: “Most hatred is based on fear, one way or another.” (That’s one of the things I love about Laurell K, Hamilton’s Anita Blake books, btw: the intelligent little insights along the way)

Notable characters: Anita Blake, the animator/vampire hunter; Nikolaos, the Master vampire of St. Louis; Jean-Claude, owner of Guilty Pleasures, a vampire strip club (and how can you turn away from a book about vampire strippers??)

Most memorable scene: For me, the most memorable scene in Guilty Pleasures was meeting Rafael, the wererat. I didn’t see that coming. I was like, WHAAAT?? A WERERAT!? In cut-offs!?!? I loved it. The Anita Blake books are full of good times like that and I like that Laurell K. Hamilton set that tone right away in Guilty Pleasures, the first in the series

Greatest strengths: The characters. For me, when it comes to Laurell K. Hamilton’s books, it’s always the characters that keep me going — and most notably in this case, her protagonist, Anita Blake. Anita Blake is tough, funny, and smart — the kind of character you want to follow into the next book — and if you read Guilty Pleasures I’m almost sure that’s exactly what you’ll do  

Standout achievements: Guilty Pleasures (and the rest of the Anita Blake series) blurs genre lines in a refreshing way, merging elements of horror, action, romance, and mystery to create a sparkling concoction that is all Laurell K. Hamilton’s own. Stylistically, the Anita Blake series reads a little like hardboiled detective fiction … but with vampires and murder and sexiness all around. The overall result is a mixture of scary/sexy/noir badassery that’s as fun as it is unique, and you get to see that right away in Guilty Pleasures

Fun Facts: Beginning in 2006, Marvel Comics and Dabel Brothers Productions released a a twelve-issue comic book adaptation based on the Anita Blake series

Other media: The graphic novel series titled, Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, is — of course — based on Laurell K. Hamilton’s series and it starts — of course — with book one, Guilty Pleasures 

What it taught me: Laurell K. Hamilton taught me the power of short, declarative sentences to help ramp up the action. It gives readers a bit of a breathless feel which further entrenches them into the story. I first noticed Laurell K. Hamilton doing this is Guilty Pleasures, and it continues throughout the Anita Blake series. It’s little things like that that make reading extra fun for other writers: seeing what other authors are doing and how they do it — and in the case of Laurell K. Hamilton, there’s a lot to learn for writers of just about any genre

How it inspired me: There are a handful of authors who truly compelled me to pick up the pen and write books of my own, and Laurell K. Hamilton was one of them. She still is. She has a few writerly superpowers, but specifically, I’m impressed by her ability to create a powerful, multi-sensory experience for the reader. You see what she wants you to see and feel what she wants you to feel. She makes it easy to forget that you’re actually just looking at words on a page, and when I first discovered her in my early twenties, I knew that I wanted to do the same thing. In that way, Laurell K. Hamilton (and her Anita Blake series in particular) helped shape my writing 

Additional thoughts: Guilty Pleasures is the first book of the Anita Blake series. I’ll be posting reviews of the other installments, but not necessarily in the order they were written

Haunt me:

Read Guilty Pleasures

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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