Friday, June 27, 2008

An Open Letter to Laurell K. Hamilton

We interrupt the ongoing proceedings on Domesticity (since No Book Left Behind is also "getting some work done") to bring you this pressing matter of fashion in trashy pop literature...

Dear Laurell (should I just call you that?):

As a non-fan, I fully understand that the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels are supposed to exist in some sort of otherworldly underground where nobody shops at Emporio Armani. That's perfectly fine with me; I don't ask that all of my books exist on the same mortal plane, and I don't judge my friends for reading your books - even though I can't help but bang my head on the nearest desk whenever The Scribe takes a new copy of your work home from the Coventry library.


A few weeks ago, while I was at the laundromat with The Scribe, she began to read excerpts of The Harlequin out loud to me. Again, I'm not saying there was anything wrong with that - in fact, I did encourage her, and it's not like I actually had her declaiming all the dirty parts over the dryers.

That is, until she got to the descriptions of the outfits.

Look, I'm only showing my blog readers the pictures from the Marvel version of your books because at least these ones are safe for work. Never mind that Dorktastic Undead Dude on the right seems to have employed Prince's costume designer for Purple Rain as a personal couturier, or that Anita herself could use some Kerastase [TM Scribe's beloved hairdresser in Manila] to freshen up her hairdo, for the times when she's not engaging in ass-kickings and threesomes with questionable partners.

On the other hand... well, I also understand that you've done extensive research into the world of BDSM, which probably explains all that leather. And the lace. And the skimpy underthings.

And while I have nothing against leather, lace, or skimpy underthings, I do have a problem with characters who insist on wearing all three in the same outfit. Especially if said characters happen to be male.

Let's just say that, by the time Scribe uttered the words "knee-high boots" and "chartreuse G-string" in the same sentence, I basically ran out of that Laundromat screaming.

Again, maybe I shouldn't talk because I'm not one of your "positive readers," but... seriously, Laurell - from one writer to another, woman to woman - would it kill you to pick up a copy of Details every so often?

Just thought I'd put it out here once and for all,



Annastacia said...

Okay... I AM a Laurell K. Hamilton fan, but mmmmmm... I will have to agree with this assessment. I was just happy stopped Anita wearing the over sized bright blue tees, jeans runners and scrunch socks and cried hallelujah, when she mentioned using product in her hair.

charlie said...

I think your letter is funny and true. I love anita blake books, and am about half way through the series. I have always found the fashion choices to be very tacky but one thing you have to remember is that this Anita grew up in St. Louis. This might be controversial of me to point out but from my experience Midwest fashion is dated.
Also I am a gay man and I often find myself skipping over whole pages that become too graphic for my taste. The books have gradually included more sex scenes, and while this is because of Anita's experiences but I think they go a little too far for my taste. Definately cheapens it for me. However, I love these books because of everything else. Obsidian butterfly, which i'm sure you will never read, has been my favorite. There are really no sex scenes because Anita is away from St. Louis. Its all about her being a badass. I also like these books because they do not make all of the vampires good. They are brutal, even the so called good ones can be bad. Not like twilight in anyway, which I hate.

meimei said...

Hi all:

Thanks for the input. I'll have to admit that, more than three years after I wrote this entry, LKH still isn't my cup of tea (though I will take Charlie's word on Obsidian Butterfly and check it out) but I truly appreciate your comments and feedback on the Anita Blake series.

If it helps, I'm also not as fashion-forward as I used to be, either. Still and all, though: chartreuse G-string? Really? :D