And who did Mrs Wright date, again, exactly?

Dating the Monsters

The beautiful and talented Mrs Wright, whose maiden name is also her nom de plume of L Jagi Lamplighter, authoress of PROSPERO LOST, PROSPERO IN HELL and PROSPERO REGAINED now has her essay for an Anita Blake anthology (in my opinion her best essay) entitled “Dating the Monsters,” up this morning on smartpopbooks.com. It will remain available until Wednesday at 12:00 AM

Time was when the Romance section of the bookstore was a safe and cozy retreat from all things unfrivolous. Sure, there might be an occasional gothic or mystery romance with a terrifying moment or two, but one could basically rely on the fact that any book you took off the shelves would be like eating spun sugar. Going to buy a romance novel was like visiting the confectionary section of a bakery.

Not anymore! Where once dwelt only roses and Almack’s, now live vampires, demons, werewolves, Greek gods, and yes, even robots. Though, most of all, it is vampires. And not all these books are sugar sweet, either. It’s like heading down to the confectionary and finding yourself in hot spicy foods instead!

By now, you are probably asking yourself: How did this happen …

It started on television with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it was Laurell K. Hamilton and Anita Blake who brought stories of girls and monsters to the world of popular books. Though paranormal romance is now a booming business, Anita Blake still leads the way, a giant striding amongst her younger sisters. Anita both kills the monsters and dates them. It’s like having your cake and shooting it, too.

The question naturally arises: Why monsters? What is it about vampires and werewolves—once only the stuff of horror stories—that makes them the ideal modern romantic hero? To find the answer, we must first examine the age old war between culture and drama.

 

Throughout history, a tug of war has existed between the desire to use stories to teach and the desire for them to entertain. [….]

The desire to use stories to teach, I shall call for the purpose of this essay “the needs of culture.” Proponents of this idea hope to use the medium of entertainment to lead people to make the choices necessary for a moral, law abiding society. […]

The problem is that, most of the time, the more pleasant a culture is to live in, the less interesting it is to read about. A really fine writer can make anything interesting, but few writers achieve this pinnacle of brilliance. It takes a superb writer to make the process of painting a landscape interesting to an outsider. It only takes a writer of ordinary skill to bring excitement to a chase scene with a thief and a Company assassin on ski mobiles in the midst of the Winter Olympics.

In our entertainment today, the needs of drama often outweigh the needs of culture. We would like to teach our children to be peaceful and chaste, but violence and sex sell.

Read the whole thing at http://www.smartpopbooks.com/dating-the-monsters/.

And if you really like it, you might consider buying the book in which it appears: ARDEUR — 14 Writers on the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter (sic) Series. Laurel K Hamilton herself was the editrix.

Makes a great gift! Saint Valentine’s Day is just past, therefore it is too late to get any gifts for your true love, but today is the feast day of Saint Onesimus the Slave, so get this as a gift for anyone you’ve manumitted recently.

ARDEUR

So why is Anita Blake a “Hunter” rather than a “Huntress”? Betrays a startling lack of sensitivity for Miss Blake to call her a boy’s name, if you ask me.

And we all know that to promote true equality and mutual respect between the sexes is to use certain terminology in a certain correct way. So the word “Huntress” will automatically make readers grant a dignity to women which would NEVER regard them as mere pout-lipped zeppelin-breasted cheesecake models displaying their shapely fannies, right?

Indeed! Anita Blake, icon of femalist empowerment, would never be depicted as some dewy-eyed twentysomething babe in a tight outfight, merely pretending to be feminist-compliant by showing her armed to the teeth, right?

Sex and Violence? Show a Showgirl with a Smokewagon

I mean, vampire-hunting dames, what we in the biz called Van Helsingettes, would never be depicted as mere luscious eye-candy for fanboys, right?

Non-exploitive School Girl Vampire Huntress Image ... In Fishnets

Hmmm. Strike that last. Maybe the needs of the culture are different from the needs of drama after all.

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