a photo of Laurell K. Hamilton book Jason

Laurell K. Hamilton Is Sci-Fi, Romance and Fantasy All Rolled Into One

The paranormal writer might just be the perfect choice for someone looking for books including a variety of fantastical (and erotic) aspects.
December 5, 2021
6 mins read

Who else loves guilty pleasures? If you are anything like me, reading is one of your favorite pleasures. Books, books and more books of all different genres and styles. Of course, like anyone else, I have my favorite authors, but I also enjoy expanding my horizons. I first came across an impressive author named Laurell K. Hamilton through a yard sale. That’s right — a yard sale. I was gathering books in a bag for 50 cents apiece and came across this new author I had never heard of before. The back of Hamilton’s book sounded interesting with its references to vampires and killers. Count me in.

After reading the book, I learned that it was not a standalone but part of a series, and I am now on book five. Surprisingly, a friend’s girlfriend happened to have some of the other books. So, I borrowed them from her to read, and I quickly became invested in the series: “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter.”

The Author’s Story

Hamilton was born in Heber Springs, Arkansas, on Feb. 19, 1963, but was raised in Sims, Indiana, with her grandmother. Hamilton was dyslexic and not diagnosed, but she began reading at the age of seven and writing at the age of 13. It was then that she knew she wanted to be a writer. Unfortunately, Hamilton’s father left shortly after her birth and her mother died in a car crash when she was young. While she does not talk much about her mother, she does talk about her grandmother and how rough it was growing up with her.

Her alma mater is Indiana Wesleyan University. She started in the creative writing program; however, she was taken out of the program due to a professor who thought Hamilton’s erotic sexual scenes and portrayals of violence were not good influences on other students. She then chose to instead continue her degree in English literature, and she received a degree in biology, as well. Hamilton’s first novel got published when she was only 29 years old.

You Get What You Get

Her unique writing style made her book harder to market, since Hamilton did not fit into any category out there at the time. A new genre needed to happen. Finally, in 1993, “Guilty Pleasures was published.

Hamilton does not shy away from anything. If the scene calls for sex, you get sex, tension, domination, eroticism — whatever is called for to make that scene happen. Hamilton also writes about supernatural things, including vampires, werewolves, wereleopards, as well as other fantasy and witch-like things. Anita, the main character of “Guilty Pleasures,” is a necromancer herself.

Hamilton takes readers to a place they have never been before in a book. Yes, there have been authors who can transport you into their world through time and worldbuilding, but Hamilton does this almost better than anyone I have ever read. She makes the world a mystical, magical and horrifyingly exotic place. You cannot help but get sucked into it, especially if you like that type of reading. Things you only dream of happen here, in this world of vampires and necromancers — it is love, sex, war and violence all rolled into one.

A Look At The Works

Hamilton has two series out currently: “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter” and “Merry Gentry.” The Blake series contains over 28 books, and it chills in the genres of dark fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction and erotica. Meanwhile, “Merry Gentry” has 10 books. The first series stars vampires, were-animals and necromancers, while the other focuses on faeries. The “Merry Gentry” series falls into the urban fantasy, horror and erotica genres.

While I have not had a chance to read the “Merry Gentry” series yet, I have read all of the novels and novellas in the Anita Blake series. Yes, some of those books are on the hot and heavy side sexually, and Hamilton does not apologize for it at all. Because of this, some readers were not as enthusiastic to read her works. Hamilton wrote a blog addressing the concerns of these readers, saying that “life is too short to read books you don’t like.” She also stated that if you don’t want to be pushed “past that comfortable envelope of the mundane [then] don’t read my books.” I find this to be true; she is stating that she writes what she wants to write, and if you do not like it, do not read it.

Some critics have spoken out with the opinion that the eroticism has been overplayed by the 14th book and has become plain boring; meanwhile, others disagree and say they still enjoy her style of writing. Hamilton may include these graphic scenes to help others figure out what they’re looking for in their own sexual lives. So many people are confused and have so many questions about everything. Thus, when Hamilton came out as polyamorous, people had questions. She chose to try and answer some questions to the best of her ability on her website. Essentially, it is just her preferred form of love.

For some, a woman and a man is the way a relationship is. For others, it involves the same sex or is sharing that love with more than one person. It’s sometimes long term, sometimes short term or sometimes just for a night. It all depends on your preference. If you are not hurting the other person (unless they like it of course), then whatever happens in your sex life is not the concern of others. In the case of others, it may not be your thing, but all that matters is that they are happy. This is what Hamilton portrays in her Anita Blake series — a new way of thinking about sex and life in a world like no other that can turn you on or off.

If you are anything like me and enjoy reading all sorts of books from various genres, you should take a look at Hamilton’s “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter” series and dive into “Guilty Pleasures.”

Angelica Rovinski, Arcadia University

Writer Profile

Angelica Rovinski

Arcadia University
English with a concentration in Creative Writing

I am a single mother of three girls. I enjoy reading, writing, bowling, camping and spending time with my family. My kids come first. I made the Dean’s List last semester.

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