Author Laurell K. Hamilton Says the Zombie Porn in Her Books Isn't Symbolic

Laurell K. Hamilton, the author of Dead Ice
Laurell K. Hamilton, the author of Dead Ice
Photo by Ma Petite Enterprises

Charlaine Harris's paranormal characters, she's said, are symbols for othernesses.  We asked paranormal author Laurell K. Hamilton if her vampires, zombies and other other-worldly beings were sometimes symbols for otherness and we got a surprising answer.

"One of my degrees is in English literature so I pretty much hate symbolism," she told us. "Having had to do so much poetry and literature analysis in college, it left me with a permanent dislike of it. Actually, one of the frightening things that ever happened to me was when a woman at a convention raised her hand and started analyzing my books – she was a Freudian, a pure Freudian she said. That's what her doctorate was in. Having her analyze my characters from a Freudian point of view was terrifying."

Hamilton's latest book, Dead Ice, is the 24th entry in her Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. This time around U.S. Marshal/vampire hunter Anita Blake is combatting zombie porn. (You knew zombie porn was a thing, right?) Blake is especially disturbed by the zombie porn she’s been tasked to investigate. Not only are the undead women being forced to engage in otherworldly sex, the women in question still have their souls trapped in their rotting corpses.

Zombie porn. That's got to be a symbol, we tell Hamilton. Zombies. Porn. Come on, that's symbolic, right? No, she insists. The zombies are just zombies and the porn is just porn. 

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"I know the characters mean certain things to other people; fans have told me that my characters mean something to them, speak to them. But for me, I see my characters as imaginary friends. For me, they're not symbols for anything; they're people.

"They don't represent otherness to me because everyone is other. The more people I meet, the more I know that is no such thing as a normal person. There's just people. There are people that fit within the confines of the norms of society, but that doesn't mean they're comfortable there. There is no us; there is no them." 

While she denies any symbolism in her writing, she's quick to tells us her books certainly have a message. "There is certainly a message, that whatever makes you happy, it's okay. If something makes you happy and it harms no one, it's okay. You're okay. That's my message."

Hamilton surprised us on another front. It seems she's a bit of a matchmaker, well at least her characters are.  Several of her readers, which range from young people in full goth regalia to middle-aged executives in three-piece suits, have struck up relationships while waiting in line to meet Hamilton and get books signed. A few have even gotten married. 

"People in line make friends. You see somebody standing next to you in line and it might seem you have nothing in common, but you both read the [Anita Blake] books so suddenly there's something you can relate to. And if you share that interest, maybe you have some other things in common.  There are six couples that met while they were waiting to get their books signed. Two of those couples have had children."

An Evening with Laurell K. Hamilton is a bit different from most book signings at Murder by the Book. Hamilton will make a short presentation, take some questions and then do a meet-and-greet with the fans who have purchased a pre-signed copy of her book. She will not sign additional books. 6:30 p.m. on June 11. 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit murderbooks.com. Free admission (signed books are additional). 

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Murder by the Book

2342 Bissonnet
Houston, TX 77005

713-524-8597

www.murderbooks.com


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