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Videos 1-4


[Link: HERE]

Q: I had a really good panel on counter-culture, feminism, queer, and trans. Your characters -- you have characters in both series that cover that kind of culture. How do you feel that your voice is driving the quality for such things?

LKH: I'm a firm believer and -- okay I'm just going to say that I really do not understand and I'm never going to understand this, you can't explain it to me, I've had people try, they're best friends of mine. We've had non-heated, very reasoned discussions about why, for some people, God seems to be the sex police. I don't understand that. I don't understand why God cares. As long as...and I'm secure--as long as no one is trying to force me to have sex with them when I don't want to, I don't care what they're doing in their own bedroom as long as nobody's being harmed and it's...everyone's of age and everyone's a consenting adult. I don't--I don't understand why anybody has any trouble with anything else. So that's almost an alien concept for me. So it's been very hard for me to understand how strongly and very vehemently people genuinely have issues with this. It...I try...and I want to respect everybody's opinion, everybody how...everybody feels, but I want people to be happy. Whatever that means for you. And one of my messages -- accidentally, it wasn't on purpose, it gradually came as the series went on -- was that I had so many people talking to me and saying this is the first time where I've read a character that isn't...isn't, you know, straight, white, whatever you consider normal. And the more people said well this is great, the more people got mad at me for it, the more I did it because if you get mad at me and tell me "no," then you're likely to get just the opposite of what you want. My grandmother would say I was contrary. Oh yeah.

And, I...I'm happy to say, to send the message that whatever you wan--whatever you want, believe, whatever makes you happy, as long as it harms none and everybody's of age, there's nothing wrong with it. You're okay.

And that's not just a message about sex, that's a message about your dreams, your hopes, your fears, what you want out of life. Whatever it is, even if you're surrounded by people that are telling you this is not gonna happen. Maybe you're a little girl in the middle of farm country and you've never met a living writer and they're all dead white guys and people are telling you that you can't be a writer, this will never happen -- yes it can. I'm proof of that. Whatever you want, whatever hope and dream you have in your heart, it's okay. Believe in yourself. It's okay. That seems to be one of the tenets of my writing that has become whatever it is that makes you happy is okay. And I didn't do it on purpose but that seems to be an important message that a lot of people need to hear.


[Link: HERE]

Q: I was wondering, as a long time fan of the series, how many strains of lycanthropy are you intending for Anita to have?

LKH: I don't know. I actually never intended her to have multi-strains of lycanthropy and I'm fascinated by the fact that she has them. And people keep asking also if she'll ever change completely? I don't know. We came very close, we've come very close a couple of times and I thought, "Oh great, my job has just gotten harder." So I don't even know as a writer, as a writer make my job was so much harder and it's complicated enough, isn't it? But I don't know, I can tell you...I can tell you as a spoiler? Everybody, there's a spoiler in Crimson Death, that we acquire another one. But I won't tell you what kind.


[Link: HERE]

Q: Hi, so I'm a huge fan of the Anita Blake series. So that's what I want to ask you about -- out of all of the different...for a lack of a better word, enemies and villains that she's come up against, of all the master vampires with all the different powers, which one was your favorite, personally?

LKH: My favorite villian...I don't know what my favorite villain is. It's like, I can tell you the...the one that...the first one, Nikolaos, was one of the scariest. She is delightfully evil and she is delightfully crazy and, uh, because it was the first book and we were gonna need a good villain and I thought yeah, she is. I'm...I'm glad she's dead. But I miss...I actually occasionally miss the mayhem and the craziness of Raina. She's earned her death, she earned it really, really, really, super hard to get it. And we were happy to help her after a while. And I miss Gabriel. I think...I now know with the powers Anita has that she could have totally converted him and made him a tame bad guy like she did with Nicky. But that was books away, we had to kill him now, so. Um, out of the others, I think...I think those because they're really odd and hadn't figured out what I wanted to do with it all. So, yeah, Nikolaos still creeps me, and Raina and Gabriel were favorites and earned their deaths. But every once in a while, I go...I think what we could do with them now. Everybody else we've killed in the books? Dead is good.


[Link: HERE]

Q: Um, so....sorry I'm a little nervous.

LKH: It's okay. Deep breaths.

Q: So Anita and Meredith are both polyamorous, and I think I read that you are as well. And if so, when did you know that?

LKH: Good you. I was waiting--see I won't answer unless you make it a question. I wasn't entirely certain she had to make it all the way through either.

I actually didn't even know there was a word for polyamory until I was at a...I was at an event, actually, and the books had...had...already had people had, uh, first Merry books was out, first one or two Merry books was out, and I don't know if Anita had actually had...just barely, she had Micah, Nathaniel, and we're still kinda dating Jean-Claude, we're not sure how it's gonna work. And somebody stood and said, "thank you for being a positive role model for polyamory," and I said, "well, you're welcome! I don't know what that word means." And they explained it to us. And my husband and I have been polyamorous, though we didn't know that, or non-monogamous for all of our marriage. And we're about to celebrate fifteen years this year. And so, yes, so that long though I didn't know it was a word and I didn't know that other people were doing it. I don't know, you think...you think you've come up with this clever thing or something that works for you and you can't talk about it because it's so off mainstream. If you think it's hard to be...uh--my sister...my sister is...okay she says she's homoflexible, I say I'm hetero flexible. That basically means that we've both dated on both sides of the...line, or choice, or flavor, or something. But we still primarily go heterosexual for me and homosexual for her. Um, and...I have no idea where I'm going with this. Um...but, so polyamorous seems to be a good way, non-monogamy seemed like a good way but I didn't know there was a word for it. So initial question: fifteen years.


[Link: HERE]

Q: With Anita Blake, I can relate to the character on so many levels, and I was just wondering if there's any other characters that you have that you based on you and just, you know...[inaudible talking] or that's not really you at all?

LKH: Oh, most of it's not really me. You know, Anita is so much wittier and cleverer than I am because I have hours to be witty for her. I'm actually wittier at the end of an Anita book because I've been witty for weeks and months. But her tone of voice is closer to mine, but she and I have diverged. I mean, I married early, married my college sweetheart, and she's still Episcopalian, I'm Wiccan...became Wiccan, and so we've diverged as time has gone on. And...so....every little characters' kinda got a bit and piece of me. I'll tell you one character that I don't know who or where he came from as far as personality, that's Jean-Claude because I have no idea. I know where he came from physically, a movie called Circus of Vampires or Vampire Circus? Circus of Fear? Old Hammer vampire film? The main character at the beginning has long curly black hair, fluffy white shirt, I saw it years after... at seven, and then I saw it years later after I'd created the books -- oh yeah, five minutes? -- and I went, "Shit," That...there you go. But bits and pieces and bits and pieces of what you read, what you research, characters rub off on each other and create themselves. Nathaniel is based on some research I did at the BDSM clubs, that I was doing for the character of Nathaniel. [sigh] He's always so pushy. So, yeah, I think I've answered your question. We have five minutes, so... [points to someone in the audience]

Q: People talk a lot about how the polyamory and that kind of thing has freed them, reading that from you, but it seems to me that just as important, if not more, is the healthy setting of boundaries that you just set out. So do ever people ever approach you, thanking you for that? For giving--allowing them to do that? 'Cause if they don't, they should be because that matters just as much, it's just as important.

LKH: People thank me for talking about the polyamory, and they thank me for helping them set boundaries, but...and...I don't know. Polyamory is about...is about having romantic relationships, and actually dating more than one people. It is not swinging -- nothing wrong with swinging if that's what floats your boat. But it is literally trying to date, have romantic, have deep, personal relationships with multiple people. It is one of the most complicated things I have ever attempted in my life and one of the most fulfilling. So...uh, and you do have to have incredibly good boundaries because if you don't, it--you just can't sustain it. I don't really think somebody's asked--said thank you for boundaries, but they've thanked me for talking about alternatives, yes.

Do we have time for one more? We have the gentleman back there with the shirt. Yes. Yes you. Better be a quick question.

Q: Okay, regarding lycanthropes and the rules, do you just make it up as you go or is there some place that you've looked to for wolves or is it vampires sparkling in the sun? [rest of the question drowned out by laughter]

LKH: You had to go there. I actually have a degree in biology and I actually research real animals. And I try to give each different animal type a different culture like the wolves culture is a mix of Greek, Ancient Greek, and Norse. And I never get to see it on stage much, because they came from a pard that wasn't well formed, but if we ever find a healthy leopard pard, they come from India, parts of India, Ancient India. So I actually research history and real animals because real biology is way weirder than the made up stuff. So I do my research first. Do your research first no matter what you're doing and then you can jump off. Don't lie until you can tell the truth well.
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