83 | Supernatural | Sucker Punch by Laurell K. Hamilton With Interview!
Weirdo bookworm unite we want to share our love of genre fiction with you. Some readers out there may look down on you for your love of horror, sci fi and fantasy, but not us. So stop by as we discuss what we've been reading. I under Junkies Sandra this is Scott stitches over there and we are ready to talk to you tonight about a very exciting author interview we had. We got to talk to Laurel K Hamilton which is pretty big deal. Big Deal it is a big deal. I was excited Sandra was very, very excited and. This was my first time reading one of her novels, and so I'm excited to talk about my experience with that as the first time reader. So we'll talk a little bit and then we've got our interview with Laurel. It is spoiler free, and then we'll come back and do the spoiler section Kinda same as always hope everybody's been doing as well as possible during this absolutely insane time to be a high. Had Our. We had our first Cova. Scare I guess you'd say an air quotes. Yeah. Like a work related possible contamination Sich situtation not not too bad for either of us. But of course, we took our tests passed with flying colors but at least now we've had that experience. Yes you've had that experience. So if you think you have to do it, get it done your honor junkies have they lived to tell the tale don't be scared Jonah Junkie So something else that was like really really exciting three. Sorry. I just want WanNa. Talk a little bit. John Related is we finally fine the Lee was true detective season one? Yeah, we did and. That was a huge deal for me. That was a huge deal so I will say. This the first couple episodes. It took me a while to really get into it and really like like the characters. But after after the whole season was done, I was very happy with it Sandra. I'm completely obsessed with it. I can't wait to watch the other T. seasons. It was one of those things like I described season one is like I feel like somebody made it for me somebody crafted it for me and like molded it and like shaped it and made it all Mason and pretty like clay and they fire baked in the oven and a glazed it and they're. Like here you go here I, made you this made you the season of television just for you and absolutely adored it. Of course, no spoilers for those who haven't seen it. All three seasons are anthology but this one has to do with a lot of stuff that ticks myi boxes of things that I like and it is kind of a procedural though be all tradition untraditional one. Just like the book we reviewed this week. Procedural, however nontraditional. So a little bit of background on our book. This week I think that most readers are going to at least be familiar with Laurel K Hamilton is she's responsible for two series of books the Anita Blake Vampire Hunters series and the Merry Gentry This is obviously in outing in the Anita Blake vampire hunter novel so this newest book is called Sucker Punch. So this was first of all book is frigging gorgeous like if you get a chance to eat some really pretty cover oh my gosh, it's got like you know kind Of like our our leopard on the front and it's lots of blues and blacks in a big gorgeous like aquamarine Gold I. There's like a blood drippy thing and like when you shift the cover to and fro, you get like Shiny Shiny bits I can't I don't know it's gorgeous. Super pleased in its when you open it up to when you open up, it's a beautiful hundred green and black with like blood red on the spine. It's definitely a departure of from the the covers that I am familiar with seeing for the series Oh. Yes. So I I could look up exactly what it was but a number of years ago the book switched covers from kind of like what a lot of us knew to these much more. Beautiful. Dare I say serious covers. I. Don't want to say that in the sound insulting but. We're there more artistic and not just here is a book cover. That kind of vaguely represents the story inside. There's definitely an artistic style when it comes to the covers of books when it comes to you John Re related books particularly fi supernatural were you know where you have like the hero or heroine on the cover and? That kind of art you all know what we're talking about and this new trend towards kind of a more more subtle cover while still being just beautiful. I'm a big Fan of Oh. Yeah. No at least covers have been great for years and years. So this was no exception it's such a treat. So let me tell you a little bit about, Anita Blake, the series, my my history with it, and then we'll talk about the book more specifically. So Anita Blake Vampire Hunter is a series of novels and some short novels also comic books of which I have quite a few of. Those that way. That mislocate Hamilton has been writing since hundred ninety three when guilty pleasures came out. So this is an urban fantasy series in that it is contemporary it is basically our world. Only there are supernatural things. Everybody is aware of them but other than that, there's a lot of things that makes it exactly like the world we live in there is the character of Anita Blake who starts out the series as basically known as the executioner known as war. She executes Vampires and Super Naturals. She raises the dead as an animator where she raises zombies. And that goes into a whole whole bunch of stuff. She gets into some romantic entanglements with supernatural characters in that grows leaps and bounds throughout the series Her love life is very fascinating and prolific and vary entertaining. And you need a flow chart, these are. In case, you couldn't tell these are one of those books where adults can into adult situation kids how just know that? A lot of the books we read our like that we don't usually give a warning for that, but you know just saying. So my history with the books. History. With the books is I started reading them not in one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty, three of a little young. But I started reading when I was a teenager let's say about fifteen to be safe and my friends read them and I read them and I really enjoyed them and I continue to read them and continued to stay at least somewhat involved in the series as best as I possibly. Could like I said I love the comic book run when that was coming out and I got some of those, these books were very, very key part of my teen and early adults and into my adult reading it's when you've been reading character Carrick Durr's but especially one character for this lawn you get very, very involved emotionally it just becomes a big part of you I guess I could say I mean. So obviously, she's been writing these books for more than twenty five years. This is the twenty seventh novel in the Series Laurel K Hamilton is a bestselling writer, New York Times Bestseller. People all over the world. Love Love love these books and have for very long time I. See a lot of myself in the character of Anita lot of ways were super. But in a lot of ways were really the same I've always appreciated that she was an assertive strong female that spoke her mind that she was very capable as the books have gone. On in the series of gone on, she's opened up a lot and she's more vulnerable and she's embraced her insecurity. She's embracing her mental health really really incredible stuff. She's found love as she's found love with multiple people. Her character is poly-amorous, which is really cool. You don't get to see that a lot I. it's not common books to see that that viewpoint no and. She is in love with people who are not. You know fully human there where people like him thrope. Big. Word. I cannot say empires were wills. On all that stuff and I. I'm not poly-amorous Scott's poly-amorous. We don't know enough to say that like Oh this is just the most wonderful representation of polly emery but I like the way it is depicted in these books. It makes me feel a lot of love for these characters and I want them to be happy and be happy with each other and I think that's what really matters at the end of the day. Right? I agree yeah, I. Think you know coming into this fresh I knew some stuff about the series. Because of you and then going into this book, I did spend a little bit of time on Wikipedia kind of catch up on exactly who these characters were. Yeah. But not a lot of time on that and I I have to say wikipedia doesn't do her relationships justice when you read the Quick Synopsis, Synopsis Sees No any wicky you find out there. It's like it'll be good to Kinda like give you a crash course. Yes. Yeah. But you know wikipedia makes it sound kind of Harem Ish. And there is a bit of a fun level of Hamish of Harem this this in it, but it's not it's not the the complete harem fantasy that the wick the wikipedia kind of makes it sound like it actually is very sweet and the characters are very honest and open and trust each other and I think that that's really really powerful to see and it's it's it's nice. Yes. Very very cool and as the series has gone on. Anita has you know collected all these people and characters in her life and enemies, and she's developed other sorts of powers as time has gone on one it's really really interesting is called the door which is kind of hard to describe. But for the most part have been found only in vampires until Anita kind of developed, it caught it I don't know what exactly to say but it's A sexual power that allows her to feed from other supernatural creatures and humans, and of course, that's going to make her relationships and the you know kind of sexual erotic scenes way more interesting frankly. And supernatural I'm not a huge romance reader as you guys have probably noticed even when like I mean it's not really one of our Jonah's that we focus on here John Junkies and so I'm Kinda like picky about my romance that I like but I like the way Laurel K and her characters handled their romance. It's it's fun Romp Times. But make no mistake a lot of the books including Sucker Punch really really focus on the mystery, the fantasy, the horror, the creepy nece at May I just say to these books have gotten even funnier time have gone on I just I. Love How much of her sense of humor she's putting into these books fantastic. Yeah. So Anita job is a martial she's a she's a supernatural Marshall. Now I don't know if I even said that there's so much to recap. Well, let me say this because I am not as privy to all of the changes that have happened but this book does a really good job of catching you up without it being a whole bunch of exposition. You know she talks about her her history is being originally one of the vampire hunters and being one of the four horsemen and how things have changed, and now she's her job is I guess quote unquote a little bit more legitimate. Yeah. It's a little bit more of like a like a really A. Government arm, but it's you know I. Think I. Want to say this because I have read none of the other books if you're interested in this at all by all means, you can start at number one, but don't be afraid to go ahead and jump in at at Sucker Punch I, think that this book stands R- up really well on its own and like how rare is that in a series this in depth there's like sway shorter series where you can't do that. So it's actually really inclusive and cool that she writes her book that way and we talk about it in the interview we do. So I WANNA, talk about my experience with this with the book. This was an absolute page Turner from me Injury Really Long Book. Like it's almost six hundred pages in its hardcover edition, which for me is is an epic novel. While at first looking at it I was I was. Ethical intimidated blew I blew through this book guys it is such a fun fast paced read and it's that kind of fast paced where you know when you're reading a book and you just you're you're just devouring it ends and you're like I want I want like two hundred more pages of this. This gives it to you and it doesn't really ever let up and I really I was really impressed and surprised by that. I think. That is so cool to hear. You say that for me, this was absolutely a page turner solid solid page Turner, and I was super happy with it. It's wonderful to get to see old friends, which is what it's like when you have been with the series for so long is these are old friends of yours and my favorite character in the Book Edward He's Imas Book. So that was like, yes, I was super stoked to see him. Yes. She does a great job of giving you a lot of back story but like what's relevant like is there are lots of characters and lots of moving pieces in the series. So it's like okay and another book that has more these folks in it should give you a little bit more oh this has. References to a pass case of hers. Cool. We'll tell you about that case from that other book and it's like it's really really nice because you're like just kind of waiting into the water like okay I'm comfortable. I'm comfortable here even though I'm a new person. I could totally see bat and those references don't feel too inside baseball. There's somewhere that need to be explained that are for the for the for the plot of this story, and there's some things that are just kind of references to things that have happened in the past which they actually the they're more than just a wink wink to regular readers. To kind of your appetite to read more I WanNa know about some of those stories. Yeah. You want to know about those stories, those cases, those characters everybody's very in depth and none of them. The men none of the women supernatural human in these books are paint by numbers they're really -ther. And I should say to one thing I always really admired about these books. Now, we have the poly-amorous connection, but there's been a lot about sexuality and sexual orientation and gender. Really really cool stuff. That I really love to read about you guys know we talk about stuff on the show all the time, and especially for me having read these characters for so long when I first started reading them when I was in my teens there was not a lot of books that were talking about You know so many different types of people and way to ways to identify and ways to have sexuality, and it's really really cool that it's like something that was kind of foundational in that sub genre. And also urban fantasy in general. Let's just kind of kind of categorize it as that they're really you know we hate to be to contrite about any John Rica's things blend, but she is also one of the pioneers of that and if you like a bad ass woman detective who can execute supernatural naturals and navigate crazy worlds and all of that stuff you you definitely have to thank Laurel K Hamilton for that she was foundational in having that energy in books. So can I tell you a little bit about sucker punch sure. So just Kinda give everybody you know what are what are we going to get you here with the story? One of fellow US Marshal Asks Anita Blake to fly to a tiny community in Michigan's upper peninsula on an emergency consult she knows time is running short when she arrives there's plenty of proof that a young wear leopard killed his uncle in the most gruesome and bloody way possible as the mounting evidence to him a warrant of execution is already underway, but something seems off about the murder and Anita has been asked for her expert. Opinion on the crime scene despite escalating pressure from local cops and the family's cries for justice for their dead. Patriarch Anita quickly realizes that the evidence doesn't quite add up time is against Anita as the tight knit community is up in arms and it's fear of supernatural is growing she races to uncover the truth and determine whether the marshals have caught the killer or about to execute an innocent man all in the name of justice it really is a murder mystery I was not expecting that we like I said, usually the books there's. Something, like that, there's a murder mystery. There's a there's a, there's a body in town or something like that. There's a really good plot, but a lot of her books are centered around really good mystery. You can't beat that. We love mystery we do love mystery. So for our readers who have not been introduced to Laurel K Hamilton and the to Blake, who do you think should be picking this up of our listeners to read it. I'll man that's a toughie because it's obviously going to plug it. My Heart Street is a little bit. A series that I've been with for so so long You know, honestly, I think that these books do have quite a mass appeal I think that men would like them. Women would like them. Non Gendered folks would like them human supernatural. So Everybody I mean jump in. Now jump in at the beginning you know like figure out where you WanNa get in and just give these books at try and being credibly entertained and I for a lot of people they love it when a series has a lot of books for them to devour and why not try one. That has you know twenty seven novels. There is something to be said about falling in love with a series and already having a whole lot of stuff to dig into. It's hard to give an appeal score to a series. That's successful. That's this this big. I think that this has a broad appeal I think that for for those who are not into anything supernatural at all the you know this, this might not have it but man if you like supernatural at all. Yeah. Out here normal supernatural. into creatures and there's so many great I wish I could say the word can. I. Say the word if you're like me stupefy can't say it either. But if you're like me, you should and you have you're like me, you haven't picked up the series even though you've probably heard about it for decades just pick it up, give it a shot and I don't hurt. It's not GonNa hurt you and you don't have to. Start from the beginning if you don't want to really as someone who's only read this book, Go ahead and pick up this book. I. Think I think that you will I don't think that you'll regret it. Now I can flick could hurt can't hurt anything can only help you and just look at where we've come to. Since one thousand, nine, hundred, eighty, three you know like people who've been readers for a long time like us. An older you know things were different books were different in the nineties and the eighties in the seventies, and especially as someone like me who's other favorite authors Stephen. King Anne Rice you know you see cultural shifts and it's a little bit of time capsule when you read books that by authors that stretch such a huge period of time. But if you like paranormal supernatural creatures at all and especially when I was gonna say it was with the with the like throats the where people there's better words for this I mean th th rope Syrian throats is now the politically correct term we use in the books. There's all the different big cats, lions there's hanging is there's rats there's there's a wear animal for you. There's a wear animal for you are maybe being an animators more your styling, you WanNa, raise the dead perhaps you vampires fuel of Vampires why the hell have you not read any Anita Blake books. Alright. So I think without further ado, we've got to get into this very, very exciting interview with Laurel K. Hamilton. The we are so humbled that she graciously did a little call with, US. Scott. What talk a little bit about there's some tech stuff if why we had a few technical difficulties with this interview, you will notice a change in audio about halfway through. The audio quality is still good but I apologize for the for the degradation in audio in the second half I mean the world's an imperfect place and you know sometimes it just is what it is. But like we said, it's still as good in the content is frigging fire. So that's all that matters. Without much more further further ado the Johner junkies are proud to present Laurel K Hamilton. Enjoying, the show leave us a review. You can find us on Instagram at johner junkies will as genre junkies don't calm. And now back to the show. With us today needing really no introduction is Laurel K Hamilton author of the Anita Blake series good. Morning. Hello. Hey. Good Morning. Hi Scott Hi Sandra it's good to be here. Oh my gosh. This is amazing to have you. This is so exciting. So I wanted to go ahead and start as a first time reader of the series I was surprised by how little previous knowledge I actually needed to become invested in your characters and your world what is your method to making your books approachable to those who are just coming in? Well I try to treat every book as much as possible where you can pick it up and come in and that you know. That gets harder harder with more books more background you build up, but I really do set down and I think you know all right the first draft because you don't edit as you do for staff that that's that'll stop in your tracks every time but then subsequent drafts I look at it and go Kay I had never picked the series up this was a brand new book if I was in a bookstore or in the airport and honest picking this book up and I was reading it would this draw me in in would this be enough information so that I didn't feel loss I really do I really do try to bear that in mind It is it is quite a challenge at this point but I really do think about I because I still hear from people that say just that like you said your first Ruder I actually do still get a lot of people and I just found you. I'm so excited so many books and people are reading at home in he in doing more books now as things gone on 'cause you know. Online has become harder everybody's kind of hunkering down so. I get. I'm getting lots of Preston, readers. and. They say the same thing. They usually get back to the beginning after they they read up to but but I really do try because I know that in the airport there's going to be delayed That's it. They just don't have shelf room for everybody's whole series. That's that's awesome and I mean I'm so happy like that. Scott found that to be so true for your books all All have gone into more detail on this, but I am not a first time reader. I. Am a long reader. So it was really really exciting to get to have a different. From him as a longtime reader versus new reader. That is really cool. Yeah. It's you know we do what we can hear. Jonah Junkies. Anita is a strong assertive female character just like me. How does it make you feel when your readers talk to you about how much Anita has inspired them it. When it first started a low these. I started out. I was puzzled by how many people said you know she helps me strong because honestly my grandmother race, there were no. and. So I was Rai- I. I wasn't raised to be the girl because that wasn't an option is made heavy had to be lifted when I got big enough. You're talking to it. Wasn't like we had help from anybody else to go to. So I didn't know the Anita was so strong. I didn't know that wasn't option to be anything else it took me quite a few years to go. Okay I understand it now I love the fact that so many people tell me needed has inspired them to be stronger and that it's okay to be stronger, it's okay to stand up for themselves I. Was Not socialized to be to be the girl not in any way I I, was not I was I was told to I had to take care of myself. No Man is conducive for me and that if I wasn't stronger to take care of myself, my way I was at that was how I was raised though. So that's how neat is. That's how I am. I honestly did not there was another option. In and but I'm meet so many women that I really thought would be passed us to be honest. We are still socializing or girls boys so differently. and. And girls are still being socialized to be nice and I love hearing from women saying you know I spoke up I listened to that little voice in the back of my head. I knew it wasn't a good idea. So I said no, because I knew Anita wouldn't do it. I had women that have left abusive relationships and they stay is put up and I I mean that is that is such such a gift to be able to share strength. In a way I, get to share my own upbringing. I share the strength that I was taught and raised with everybody I you know I also get I also get min. The also say that needs help them be strong in a different way that that that they're all different kinds of strength. And just like gives me chills. It is a really. Holy unlooked for on my part and it's been a real gift to share with everybody that was. That must be why like rings so true is it's just what it is is just natural. Yes. I I grew up with my grandma for a lot of my years too. So I always like to hear another raised by grandma type of person, and of course, she was old school old schools. Oh Yeah. Very old school and. An. People's Graham was not all the same but. I do not think my grandmother ever were makeup day in her life. She was raised in farm country. So she didn't have any time. She had no patience radio that followed the all stop that that you know nobody cared what I looked like it was. Could you list this? Can you do this for me? And so I really I. Really you know people will say you know early interviewer said you know and love she said this off camera I love Anita but I bet her closer so awful what made you think to dress like that? In the early. In the this this woman is dressed, this woman was dressed in in very high enclosed top to bottom. I mean, she looked abuse and I I dressed up for the interview but I just didn't have the heart teller of that I just look down at what I was wearing. Eh, needed wear that right Didn't occur to me. The more I, the more I go out and meet people that are more into fashion in more into the whole indoctrination I didn't get about appearance is so important the more I realized that I'm really have no since bashes I really off and I, I that's not a bad thing. It's just it's just I just don't think about it. It's it's just I'm gonNA go Amnuay cupboard. Is By. 'em I covered is everything covered is worried shoes appropriate to the day? Can I walk the dogs in these guy? I. Go outside without tripping on something is it raining or these waterproof do I need? To the practical list that's how I. Joked John is the one who taught me how to wear high heels. because. I couldn't I didn't know how to wear high heels. I. Really. Didn't and. Rightish on Claude his great fashion sense. He's the one who got me watching fashion TV and things like that trying to figure out how to dress him and and so for John Call that I were the really high heels and learn how to rock in because I I wanted to know how that feel felt. Sometimes I write very much like a method actor I will get into the. Of the character in that kind of thing and so. It was only half joking Sean Claude taught me how to wear high heels. Oh, I love that so vital all doesn't awesome sir. I've noticed that one of the things when you introduced characters a lot of times you do describe a lot of what they're wearing where do you get the inspiration for those outfits then? I don't think about close. But what I've learned is that I do I can't design clothes I can't. So but I I can look at things together I I can design clothing. And I didn't know the everybody could do this until. So many people asked I. Know I. DO I get inspiration from different things and Oh, my goodness like the the I have to say that that instagram is wonderful for visuals. You can go through and see things. But also by the time I found instagram to the degree I have. Now I don't even dressing him for years. So I really wasn't in fact I begin to go their dressing election Claude not the other way. I think part of his inspiration came from. Some of the early. Early Hammer Vampire films not the Chris. Really ones but like a One that I saw I was saddened inverse time. His creature feature late, our and my uncle fell asleep staying with those kids. So you know you get to watch anything new adults was awake. And I did not seat again until I was in my twenties I didn't realize that the lead vampire has the long flow blood flowing white shirt and he's got long curly black hair and I went. Oh, Jeez only. He was there in your early childhood memory just of waiting here apparently so that that movie. Back by subconscious and just waited. and. You never know you never know is a child. What's going to stay with you and what's not? And I've learned from my own childhood and now is a is never know what's going to make a lasting impression. Who Know that one viewing of one movie when I was seven point who of all this year slavery go here I am yeah. Exactly. But I didn't know that until after right and I saw the movie later and I just went. How so that's we used to seed of physical I love that you referenced Hammer Horror I'll I love love me some hammer horror fantastic only to absolutely I actually I. loved it with that actually brings me to question. I've been kind of dying to know for a long time. Now, what is your favorite character to write other than a Anita if she is your absolute favorite? Well she's easiest her her voice in after writing her so long it's like it's just instantaneous I can like. Go right into her revolt favorite character right It's really going to depend on the day. Edward is one of my favorites too right because he's dysfunction. Cool. Cooler he's cooler than now I'm sorry. He just he just comes in in Stop I love the repartee between and John is is strangely not where my favorite right because he he is so far from my voice that sometimes it's hard and that's one of the reasons I will get into close. Feel Soak feel waste will help me in a channel. On, better acre Jason Jason favorite character, right? He's just fun. Paper. So. There's so many I mean I I really enjoying really enjoy the large cast though sometimes it's burdensome as a writer has everybody's in my head going I wanNA turn I wanNA paper and I'm I'm starting to feel like a conductor going note that car. have. I have to say that there is a couple of in the middle. I tried to get everybody way tried to give everybody in stage in. It's just it's just too much. You can't do justice to them. So my new role is that you can be on stage, but if if you can't stay in a meaningful way, you just have to wait I'm sorry I can't everybody on stage and do them justice his. There's so many great characters and I want to explore them on. But I'm hoping to do more short novels like I did Mike Adjacent but I, I'm hoping to do more short novels were some of the characters that are not getting either as much time on stage or they're not getting all their stories told can have side books so that I can explore them without having is much. Pressure. Of the main plot of a book machine at me I like that that sounds really cool. I'd be down for more at those. So several of your characters are sociopaths and some of your fans like the one sitting across from me seem to love and be fascinated by them. Why do you think that is and what makes them so compelling to right? I. Think one of the things that. One of the reason I started writing Sydney sociopaths is one it interested me? The other thing is that I truly believe there are a lot more socio has out there than than we think because a lot of people that are sociopath actually don't know they are because what sociopaths are really really good at these high functioning says he pads that. Blend in. Is that they think everybody else doesn't feel empathy either they don't know that it's a thing. So they entertain everybody socially and they can be brilliant imitate socially because they're just entertain the outward manifestation of about all the depth of it. They are some of the best akers because they have to be because they don't feel the emotions that go with what they're doing. So I, I honestly, more research done more. I. Think that there are a lot of people out there. That actually are well behaved not because they will empathy but because the role socialize but that doesn't make them not sociopaths they just this is just Palais are. I was. I was really lucky enough to meet someone was about to be able to talk. At late and it was very interesting to me because this person was the first person to give you a Kleenex. If you're crying candy if your mouth is dry, they were very generous. You would never no never known but their mother's brother resolve this issue. She grown up with, and so she sought an early age is able to explain your different most people and this is why how you hide it. How Yeah Yeah it was it was fascinating to me absolutely fascinating and so fascinating that I knew I put onstage I knew ahead to, and then I also meet other people that. You know with Anita and Edward worry about the sociopaths help are are they but they're to touch their more. First and then there were made if you around of violence, it's not that you really become assistant that's not really not really the race but to my knowledge, there is no phrase for someone that is trained up in sent out to round enough violence where they have to fight for life in they are doing the balance of rules. It's okay to go kill somebody trying to kill you in war, and then you come home and suddenly you're supposed to genie back in the bottle. It. There is just such a disconnect between the two that it doesn't. It actually doesn't puzzlement RN, people have trouble coming back in putting themselves into society because it is just so different I mean really light normal society is so is so artificial in some ways compared to the district of being in a place where life or death on the war that that there's no pretense there you know what you're supposed to be doing and everything, and then you come back here and they release all these rules, all these things that bound you around that that really have nothing to do with greed. And a sociopath because they don't. It strays something in you. It doesn't always work her back and they function just fine. Let me just say that zero people from the from the social forces community said, would you please write somebody? Who has his background? Isn't associate pat on I have. That's actually why there are. Now some some former seals in other special forces in the body guards in the book to have families and talk about the fact that that their wives, the wives really happy that they're now working for some arm. A NIETA because they stay in one place, the money's good danger levels burly low and gets home at night. And one of the reasons they exist is because so many people special forces could you please write one percent are background that isn't the sociopath and so guys this one's for you and that's that's why we have a lot of. Military that are just really regular guys with special special But so sweet a fan service a little bit. Yeah. I I've been really lucky in how many people who from these kinds of had talked over the years in told me stuff that that didn't go in the books of course, just to background had I not talked to real police officers had I not talked military Anita would not have had a trajectory of a character that she did because I wouldn't have known to to get it to her. She's easy about ten about ten years in between ten and fifteen years in mostly officers gets the court where they know where they know they're not going to be able to save the world anymore. They know that that's not how it works and you just get to where you want to go home. You want at the end of the day, and if you get out alive in and get to go home, then that's that's your victory and and. Socio. But I am fascinated with the fact that that someone who finished so well and not be you wouldn't pick them out because they just they just imitate what they see. Really really well, and then you have of course characters. Edward. Edward is the perfect actor. Now, most people his background or not he really could oscar-winner warning performance there. Between his alter ego. Ted Forced her US Marshal. Edward. A assassin to anything more dangerous than he is. But. I I love Edward in his growth as a character because honestly he was greatest sort of a bad guy. I had no idea. You would become a new best friend. I had no idea that that he had that kind of growth in him is a character So I in rituals characters it goes off does his own thing than shows up with done? I don't even know what he's doing. He goes. Oh. What really? Okay. Like like. I did not know he'd gotten engaged you anybody until like one page low needed coming down the escalator airport in meeting Donna. Oh my and then we both we both went. Oh I mean it was just like my mind was blown is like this can't be real I'll like. I love that I love that so much and. Well Edward is my favorite character in the series. South I love that he is still surprising you throughout the book still that Little Devil Oh my God Edward surprises me a lot of Edwards always been like that he's been one of the characters that goes off does his own thing comes back in it's a done deal. Yeah he doesn't ask permission. Debate you just like claw. This is what I've been doing. Well, I've been gone. How are you? Oh I love it, and that actually that brings me to our next question to you kind of touched on this a little bit. But in this book especially I talks about the importance of mental health and therapy is that a message that you're kinda trying to convey to readers these days? Absolutely. Absolutely. I started it started with a certain with annual going into therapy and talking about his time where he was he was running away and he got on the streets and he was addictive drugs and got claim because where leopards put let him in and we'll see got off drugs. And then even after became that, he's still not healthy not and he's been going to therapy and getting better in finding a happiness that works for him and I have so many readers. So many readers that have said that faneuil going to therapy had led them to go to therapy solves. The annual thought a clean stay. Clean had their sobriety. and. Once I heard that from the fans I thought you know I'm a big believer in therapy I've been in therapy. Often on by twenties I honestly you know every says, oh I wish I was my twenties again. Why do you offer? was like a man I barely survived my twist. What I want to go back. On. Your lucky. So in thirty two, begin to figure out who in what you are in or your forties done your work. Then suddenly you're new, you subtle in forties is was my favorite decade and so you begin to fill out your owner's manual each decade. And I love it. I love knowing myself more. I love not sitting around going I have no idea what's going on and you have to fake your grownup. Nobody tells you how to be a UP. there. So few rules I mean I am led the things have moved on. I, really am researching the past I do especially as a woman but at the same time I, think we throwing the baby out back bathwater and we have reached this thing where is to black and white everything's gray and You know a little bit of like here's how you be a grownup. Here's what you do. These are the things you do things you don't do it all agree on it but of course, we can't you know. I like. Brennan talking to her daughter and about a boy, she was seeing high school before last year. Said said Oh. You're going steady and she says what action a new study was just. That's when your exclusive each other and they usually extend your pin or did your classroom and you know you weren't gauge but you were steady were each other's and it was you know she says, introduces that would be so great. All I. Wish we had something like that. Because you know. Because I'm. Because I'm poly-amorous that means I dated across decades much more than most people and May. I say that the people in their twenties and thirties now it's it's much harder today it's easier to hook up than it was when. I was there I was in college out of college, but it is it is much harder to date i. think now especially, if you want a permanent relationship because they're so few rules of how view right now that's a really good point. Actually I really feel for people in the in the younger decades because it is it is there fewer rules and though one-handed screen on the other his confusing and and because are no rules. You don't know what rules the other person's using. So if you're talking to your your your your kids and trying to tell them how you dated, I, it is changed a great deal and. The advice may not be as good as you think it is. It's it's kind of the wild west out there is to help people are doing it beginning of how much things have changed, and he struggles through the book to come to grips with new terminology for the. Supernatural creatures in the book can you talk about that? Yes I did the new terminology for Anita I. decided that. I do politically correct speech to the book. and. Because cancer really just means technically just means being wearable it's just wolf face the Canterbury that's it. So somebody decided somewhere that you needed to be socially correct and have a term that is for old wearables and I did have a lot of fun coming up with different names and I thought. Is there a term that means shape change in general and by Golly they're is It is not fair in floppy T. H. E. R. I. A. N. T. H. R. O. P. Y. They're not there and off. Really. Just. Tongue. Oh my God I'm so tongue twister. It's much harder to say it's harder to spell and but but it does encompass all turning shape from human to animal does cover it all and you get to hear the words or cat which in and you have to use it correctly and people are these already gotten written up once by another Marshall because she didn't use the. Later. For the correct terms. It is it was it was fun to go back or in have needed who's very old school trying to remember all the new socially conscious vocabulary and know eat even some of the other marshals go back with it and by form for you know you can't say where you can't say Wolfman or lead that's for sexist right and so to be gender neutral, it's it's by form one of the alternatives. To they're saying. Polite term or half man half. Happy's. And it was it was. It was really fun and one of the things that led me to do it. Was the fact that that we are trying to read our vocabulary socially conscious it I kind of a little ahead of the curve I did not know how much vocabulary we would have to be changing watching in. So it was really fun to do it on paper and also. Need, just having to change the times or the other marshals because you don't WanNa see sexist and you don't WanNa be species. Any I guess theseus. Speech of yeah all right. It was it was very fun to have her go back and forth it is really fun to watch her. Change and adapt to the current times as a longtime reader. So that was super super enjoyable of it's kind of a silly question but I just wanted to know if you could have any of your character supernatural abilities such as vampirism shape shifting, reenacting, etc. What would you pick and why I wouldn't be a damn? I wouldn't be vampire because of Miss Daylight too much. and. I don't know I would miss sued. I speed able to me and and I hope to do more than on stage where neither can. Were Sean contaced through other people and we also haven't gotten to show that that Damien is also gained that ability through Through the annual end and Anita so I write about the fact that how much they miss you know food and drinking wine and things like that. So it had to be some shake shifter. I I. Don't know I I because I write so much available with annual in Mica and if I lived in a world where I wouldn't be ended down with guns because I changed the animal I would go with wear leopard if I had to adapt to animal that might possibly be not reported to the police ran around the neighborhood, it would be full years. Most people don't know the difference minute coyote wool. Most people down it's the closest I could come to into my environment quote unquote and we definitely have nothing that looks like a leopard around here. The you know we get an occasional cougar sightings and forty miles or so of me probably juvenile of Gwinnett looking zone territory but. So my head to blend, it would have to be wearable 'cause I would pretend there was a coyote but in the coyotes, right here we go. All Hell we're out of here. You smell that GONNA lead us. But if it was just I don't know. It would be weren't probably one of the Catholic anthropoids. There are not other the where rule. So there aren't a lot of dog basically cancerous. Will. Will. Because, we'll are are pretty much some kind of wool is the pinnacle of of Canine Creditor trail. and. You know every place you go in the world if they have hunted them to extinction, there is a lord predatory cap of some kind. So No. Eggs No. No well, that was clearly Scott's choice. Most of the La- can't mostly shifting to dogs is actually not a type of disease from the phone or that I can find it is not a Whit, some witches dogs, but that's rare lately two cats rabbits has gotten but dogs are usually inherited for the hanthropy are shape shifting and they are gardens like family guardians most of the dogs that I could go back to nas factor logs, totally different animal. condescended. They are more. Almost haunting and they also can be a family guardians over the centuries or they guard piece of road or whatever. Usually they're black with blazing eyes or something, and then of course, the wild hunt has the dogs the spectrum house that's more married Anita. So, you've been writing I needed for a long time. But before all of that, what's the first story you ever remember writing complete completed beginning to end maybe even even before that? Yes. Okay well, my first attempts at stories I was I tried to imitate a Louisa May, alcott little women little. They has. and. People go. The. Louise may offer surprised by that, and I say, well, she's the first woman that I read that. I found through dark in the library had supported for Entira family extended family and from her writing and just knowing that a woman in that time period could do that. Made me admire her even more I would not find out until decades later, the she actually wrote ghost stories and horror stories and made some of her money before the more homey stories took off a writing for pulp fiction magazines. So I look. So my early attempts were. Attempts like that. Very. Louise May alcott baby. Ireland that kind of thing, and then I walked into a drugstore versus store Combo near near my home whereas raised and they had on the little tern. Wire timetable where the paperbacks were. they had a short story Pacheco Pigeons from Hell. Robert E Howard short story by Robert Our creator Conan's which I'd never heard of at that time and it was first. Dark fantasy wrote fancy in horror. I ever read I was like thirteen fourteen it was the first outright that kind of dark stuff I never read, and from the moment I read those short stories I is a writer knew that not only did I want to be a writer for sure I wanted this I Hey I wanted to write I wouldn't rank four I wanted to write fostering. This is what I wanted to write and so before of team. So the euros fourteen I finished by for short story after reading this and I also found Edgar Allan Poe and lovecraft and. Andrea Norton for science fiction and. This was line gateway drug are gateway whatever to the genres, and so at fourteen finished first stories beginning to end it was it was completely were completely like almost splatter pump. It was. It was a family in a monster killed everybody. The only person survived was the baby kroll to the forest with implication would never be uninsured die. Era finished everyone died it was complete bloodbath and one of the best things that my my uncle. Uncle monk did for me is a is a writer in an artist. Is he read the story and he didn't want he didn't tell me I needed a psychiatrist. Pat Me on the head. So that's really good. Could have gone so much more pear-shaped you know. Do other parents that kind of story they go. Oh my God. What have we done? Wrong. But I love. My family just took it in stride and patted me on the Henson as. On an end because they didn't tell me, it was horrible. I was able to consider pursue in right the dark stories and. A horror straight horror for for years of I fifteen I'm raining vampire vampire story by and by seventeen I was submitting. Stories to professional publications to try to get them published and fat in for the Internet I was using writers, digest writers of in the writer to get addresses in things. To, send out and that helped teach me how to do professionally. I A wonderful teacher of. In. High School whose name I have now blanked on the love of God. Right. But she she. Library would get rid of magazines like for a penny a pop. When they were the throw them out while she got back copies of the Ryder and writer's Digest. She brought me an arm. Love. And that was how I learned what I needed to do professionally. Managers say that I realize as decades later, she may have meant for me to use them and bring the map or other students, but I didn't take. and. She didn't have the heart to ask for them back. Bless her heart. So either way you know really she she that's why I'm upset I can't I'm blanking on the name is A. I. Don't WanNa give the wrong name because that's I think I'm I'm I'm really bad. I'm only bad on names always have been a good on faces. On, remembering details a visit of face hair. If you change your here, I will not know you the next time I see. If you cut it too short if you cut short a wrote really long are colored differently or even a haircut that's too extreme for the last time I saw you. I will not know you until you introduce yourself to me Oh my Gosh Scott is feeling very seen. That's you guys have that same very, very much. that. Is. It's embarrassing. It's embarrassing especially somebody that he should know and they're talking to you and is somebody okay. I'm on the back of my books. So people will come up and talk to me that I really don't know right and and. talked me into of term I know I do this so Them for well because I don't know if I know them and they just changed their mirror. I love that a so great I love it. We're living in this strange pandemic. How has it affected your creativity and writing process? Will initially I just I finished sucker punch just before lockdown like a week we can happen for lockdown and so. I've been as the question for months doing the book, but I finally finished it enough to send to draft since New York. And then about a week later. So we were in lockdown we I ended this book while all the beginning the stuff is going on in this was before. The tragedy George Floyd this is before the protests. All says editing was done and it was a done deal for the year even weirder an awful. So The big on the editor was for my I think my editor in my in my managing editor probably had more of a problem in that because they could no longer be at their job into the publishing house 'cause close. They couldn't go they still can't go. And working from home working remotely. Thank. God for technology but for them I'm I'm pretty sure they had a hard time at least I was still in my office still where I normally work and they were on their own just isolated at home. They didn't have the staff they didn't have all the things around them that they normally do. So I would think the editing process was probably harder in weird on. On me after that. African has emails, people calling me texting me. So the got attention then I tried to go back to riding in that was when the news and everything else really muscled man I had trouble focusing. I had trouble hearing through you know I think we've all gone. We're all doing the grief process together where agree grieving what not just what's happening the news we're grieving what are ordinary lies were like and with her is good better indifferent. It is a change in changes perceived by most of us. In fact, we're all hardware that change equals grief that you that's what so many people will stay a massive. Change is actually sometimes more painful initially than a positive change. Our mind. So perceive it is is negative. There is on that One is any change in your environment back on our ancestors were were Helen around fire at night and short instead for than anything else to save them from the things that would eat them the change in your environment usually equal danger. So we're still hardwired as if you know the tires GonNa Jeff Out in. Even in Suburbia, and so any change kind of hits the visceral level. I had to make a rule rule is this I do not get on the Internet I do not get online I do not trust the news I do not. The only thing I'm allowed to check before I. Go to my desk is the weather. The weather. In because it messes with me, there's no way to look at these headlines and over these last few months and this down in get into a mindset to create there's just no way to do it. So I had to relieve eastern strict with myself ago. Have you made pages today than you cannot get online know took the news. You just can't a it's because it's twenty, four, seven, three, sixty, five I mean amid never stops thanks to the Internet. There's always news and thanks to six to or global news. There's always something wrong somewhere. It's it's insane, you. Can't touch a break even when things were normal, it's hard. But during this absolutely, not just just say stay off of the same way from it there's nothing I can do it doesn't. If I had a regular job, this support, my family, my job supports my entire Obama. As my for my daughter to go to college the whole thing if I had a regular job, I wouldn't get on the news and let that stop me from working the differences that if I had a regular job I probably go into see people I would have people asking me to do my job I would have customers I would have other people I would have other people to help me focus on the job at hand is lighter. Your office by yourself there's nothing but you to discipline yourself. There's nothing but you and your personal demons and your music to do get out, and if you bring in the outside world too much than it fuels the negative side, the point where there's no way we're past it. So yeah the big thing is that I've even gotten more off line. Is The book has come closer of you know I've gotten world twitter and started some threads. Asking about characters and stuff a survivor character thing because I am going to do more smaller novels. And it's interesting to see that the people that I had decided needed smalls. Their cells are the same people that fans are asking for and saying they would like to see them get more stage time which has been very fun. But yeah, that's the big thing. I really tried ivory tower myself. Once I step into my office even more than I normally do because otherwise it's very rare to create in and do my job. I is a writer on the weird thing about my job is that is that I take. I don't even know if it's just inspiration, but it's like is is a writer. You Soak a things around you and you never know what's going to hit you. Right or wrong or Burgundian or people were you writing is in your book's going will. Sit It's too soon I'm not a nonfiction writer I'm a fiction writer. So this year go in will perk the my subconscious I've got one short story idea that may come sooner in. If I do do that one, it will be directly from this year, but I got to let it. Through and make sure that I am is short story not just my emotional in paper his people are putting enough emotion out there I do not need to add. while I have something to kind of bring up the mood about your ivory tower. As you go your office, we love to visualize people's workspaces when they're creating what is your favorite item that you keep in your office in God one favorite. or or or or talk about just how how you how you build your office to surround yourself with things that inspire you and make you happy. We'll. Most for working is a good view. Eager Expansive Gray or I. You know I keep swearing. I'M GONNA. You know we we gone to the ocean and I've a couple of books with the oceans view and that's my favorite dude right to mountains. A good view having said that on days that I'm having trouble concentrating I have one computer. My may compete looks at wall because on days when my concentration is not good I can't even look outside and riot because I go Burr Oud. An world, there's I care not if the concentration is bad. If somebody walks past my view I'm thrown out of my book so. Any one blank wall. And then I won New Independent on my level concentration I will go back and forth I am blessed and I've worked really hard to have an office that I was able to help the architect design I had input on it. And I personally base my office on pictures of Roger Tory Peterson's. Or Studio I don't have a slate gout here but but I have skylights that have shades it can come and go up and down the mountain, which is Dallas. I have skylights this I like a lot of light everybody you know so many people may fans think I write in the dungeons, I like like, I'm. I'm a hawk I want to be on top of everything I. Want to end the best possible I want to seize many miles around I can I like to see people come in? And I want as much. Light is possible. That's really that's really a I. I'm kind of a light junkie when I create. Now, if the muses running good and horror I can write anywhere I really can but but to get into that mindset to slip into that mindset light do. I write really well around blue or green walls. and. That may be because the my childhood bedroom was pale-blue. So I, right. Well, around the collar that I was originally raised the first place I learned to read the first place. I wrote ever was blue blue walls, and so I really do pay attention to the color of my surroundings. I write better I tremendously better in a Pale Blue Room I I've lived in places rented we couldn't use color and it really does it really does impact me. So for me for me it is. It is I I need at least a blank wall interview if possible but. cluttering kind of person. Which means I like his Are I, like Erlich Cop Chalk Trust, Chomsky's. I. Like I like stones and crystals pretty things trending things. I'm a big fan of Likely Statues Stone Aminals so It is it is not a a niece process, Irish people that I know it's an all my stacks the only time I feel like I have to clean my office is when I look around stacks dust in I don't know what's in them. If lost traffic of insects this time to clean up the way I knew everything is don't touch my stuff. Love that's the litmus test. So this is I have to tell you. This is absolutely hilarious because you and Scott are sounding like the same person more with like everything you say like it is so funny you guys are cut from the same cloth. Well, you know I take take a compliment. We we. I don't know maybe it is. You know we don't faces while we know faces that he changed the outer appearance you know there actually the more studies I do in how how mine truly works Neuro Neuroscience I actually am beginning to believe that certain characteristics like that. Really do go together well, and obviously you guys are my type of people because I adore you both. So this is perfect. Will you know we are going to go ahead and let you go but thank you so much for joining us. We are humbled has been an absolute honor Oh so much. Thank you so much. So Much Scott it has been really fun. To to be on with you and. In just just talk and share. The view. This wonderful. Technology Park. Welcome to the spoiler section who, okay let's get into this book I'm. I'm excited because I had a lot of fun with it. I have a lot of things to say about it too. That sounds ominous. It's not ominous at all. You know when being dropped in the middle of a series like this. You know not having had conversations about a for what twenty years yeah I. You know I feel like there's so much stuff that I have to like get off my chest in disgust with people. You've got to go through that for so long. I haven't. Yeah. I've had a lot of friends that read these books and and we've talked about them over the years and yeah no, it's very true. Well I I. Don't know I. Feel like I should let you start. Well. Okay. First of all I. Love Anita Blake. I was not expecting her to be the I don't I. Don't know what I was expecting with her honestly maybe you had no expectations maybe that's was good I didn't really have expectations. I guess like I said reading through some of the wikipedia things I feel like it was a mistake i. had this I had this image in my head of this this image that I had was. Know a shallow bad, ass. Maybe a little bit vapid but strong character. That's the way that it Kinda made her sound. Oh No. That is not what she is. She is now readily smart, incredibly vulnerable but just absolutely so good at her job she's a complete complete bad ass, and she is good at her job and she's good at working the cases and all that cool stuff that you want in this kind detective eat you know sort of novel? and. She's just an absolute bad, ass very capable and now she has all of these enhanced Cana supernatural abilities to which just makes her character even richer as the years have gone on. I appreciate that twenty seven books in she still able to introduce a A moral dilemma. There's a lot like this book twenty seven. Books in. Introducing New Lord to the world new questions on how things work as well as introducing new moral quandaries to Anita and where she has to ask herself she doing the right thing absolutely because we have this whole issue with the warrant of execution and you know how she and Newman, and everybody you're supposed to handle this. And that's I mean it's it's kind of some stuff that's uncharted territory and Anita talks about that in here and is speaking on keeping it fresh to we brought this up in the interview and I really really applaud her for putting in. Some nods to mental health the importance of mental health with the characters in this book, the males and the females alike, the the tough bad ass people you know being like hey. It's okay to have feelings and to have to work through things really cool where all about normalizing mental health and it's really nice to see that Anita is still in therapy and the still working on herself to the writing is incredibly emotionally mature. The characters are not necessarily emotionally mature share by is approached from a from a from a level where the author is clearly very experienced in in navigating some of these these. Questions in these emotions. Yeah, and I think that's you know that's okay that we're feeling things with her and you know, Kinda going through all all those motions with her makes her very relatable I've forgotten how much I love the woman for the amount of cursing I feel so seen. So see because we all know that I curse just very naturally. It's not be trying to sound any sort of way I'm just. A salty old sailor and Sosa Nita and isn't it good news that they're swearing in the interview so that this is an explicit episode and you can say whatever you want. Yes, I love it. I. Love It. So I want talk all of the characters that are in this book because that is the one thing that there is a little bit of me feeling a little over my head I I, definitely felt for Duke because. Okay. So obviously, Duke is not a series regular. There's some other characters in here that that aren't part of the series. So so here's this this sheriff and he has a basically a murder suspect who is supposed to be executed. He can't do it. So you know the call on the marshals and then the marshal calls in another Marshall who calls in somebody else and eventually there's just this this clown car of where animals entering this town like all of a sudden the population has tripled because all of her friends that have showed up to help her out well, the collision boy yet. I'm being a little funny about it made sense and it was a lot of fun to introduce all the different all that different character dynamic. It's an especially important when it gets to the point when she's you know communicating with Olaf. About her sexual desires with a lot of her other partners I wanna talk about that scene. My point is there was a lot of there was a lot of introduction of characters that I wanted to know more about and I feel I did not feel any emotional attachment to because they didn't have a lot to do well, not in this burke began. That's kind of like I think the idea and I hope the idea is that they caught your attention and you want to know more they were just. They had something to do in this story, but they like a lot of the. Characters Anita's life are not a huge part of this particular story to be told I. Appreciate. Something that Laurel said in our interview about the cares wanting to be on stage and her basically having to tell him no, tell me no, this is not your time. There's not enough room in the car. There's so many points in this book as soon as she said, I realized where they have to be driving A. Car Only, so many people can fit in the car or duke says, Hey, they do not have badges they are not police they cannot be involved in this investigation. They can't be in this scene and I thought that was really smart. It was almost late in hindsight very funny. It's almost like Duke was helping her control, all these characters and their Luke Duke is an interesting. He is a bit of a bigot. But at the same time, a was able to have empathy for him which I appreciate. This is a really cool way that she wrote him like that I, like to Duke a lot because there are definitely a lot of points when you just really dislike him. Off So bad. But I actually do believe just like Anita kind of suspected that we not seeing him on his best day I think so too and that's always important and an exercise in compassion for us all. About the situations we meet people in. So I do kind of like I, want to kind of jump to that like a little bit of the relationship stuff. So off is one of my favorite characters in this series another sociopath sociopath, he's not he's not dead but I. Know Edward Ed. Ted Yeah you know you're in the spoiler section. So you know what we're talking about but. He is fascinating and I love that he is a fan favorite because I mean I. He's so bad and problematic and not a good person, and now he's also part lion. But I find him on ending Lee Fascinating and I just love reading the books where he shows up in it but I mean for girl like me that's not too surprising. But I love that all these other fans are like more of and she's like, okay. It's interesting to me the way that he was introduced in this book because I really disliked him from the very beginning and I was your of him from the very beginning, oh. Yeah and I still don't know how I feel about where I feel like their relationship is going because he seems even though he's trying so hard and apparently his word truly is that good yes he's so. I don't WanNa say evil because the the hard part about him is because he does not have the capability of having those like seeing the moral the he doesn't have empathy for other people. He doesn't have that capability so I. Of Not really a term that fits him. Here's the thing is sometimes sometimes in books, children sometimes in books, people, characters, situations are problematic. They're weird they're troubling. There's something that you would not engage in or promote in real life and everybody has to find their comfort level with characters and plots in situations like that for me I know all those things about Olaf and I still really adore reading about the character and I'm just kinda strapped in and down for the ride of wherever it takes us but it's Important to remember is sometimes you have to suspend the disbelief certain and and enjoy the ride, and just because there is a lot of like in this novels a great example, there's a lot of wonderful high points of morality and ethics doesn't mean that everything has to be perfectly clean cut. Am I making sounds like with what I'm saying I do relationships emotions are messy. Yeah and nothing is perfect and he is far from perfect. He is very, very far from perfect but is Magnetic. He's interesting Oh definitely, and attraction is obvious and now we have this side to his character since he's become a lion where he has something that he can give a Nieta that is beneficial and that doesn't mean that like all the sudden it's like, wow, all off all your sins are forgiven like and I don't think that anybody has painted it. That way everybody is really aware of how problematic he is. But again, this is not a situation that anybody's ever going to run into in real life. So it's okay. It's okay to have a little bit of of time with it and enjoy the journey at the ending of the book when it's clear that he is he's killed Jocelyn. I. Oh well, okay. He he does care about something. He does actually have a sense of justice and then I mean like kind of thought about it was like, well, no he. He's just kind of like a house cat bringing the mouse that they just killed their. To their to their person's feet like, Hey, I did this for you. Just like he has his you know they've imposed these sets of rules on him for who he can kill in staff. This is one of those cases where he kind of goes out on a high note for you because everybody loves a little step of vigilante justice when we know that somebody really really done wrong and Oh my God I was seething at Jocelyn I was seething at that character and I was look. Good somebody needs to take her out and thank God I love. Let's. Jump into a little bit of the relationships staff. So this book was not as heavy on the sexy erotic times as some of the other ones where there's a lot of sensuality in this book, which sometimes her are more about the sensuality than like. depictions of people actually having sex So you know that I. Guess We all know that you're the spoiler section. So there is more graphic sex and some of the other books. Yes. Okay. For sure. So that scene in the hotel room was. Like my favorite scene in the book. It was at times. Funny. It was at times intense. It was just it was all over the place in the best possible way a need is absolute humiliation. But like it not in a way where you felt anybody was like bullying or berating her. Ordering her and her inner dialogue was just completely like kill me. Like. It was so such a great example of all of that stuff in her writing playing off of each other. It's a balancing act because they're all talking about her in a way almost like she's not there but they're doing it to support her. This is a conversation that that she needs to be having that that they need to be having and she has the support group around her who know her and are helping her have that conversation that she is. Way Too uncomfortable to be having in that moments. That's it exactly, and these are all people that love her and care about her and a get into talking about kink a little bit because that is a part of the books as she probably picked up at a part of rata is Kinda like a little bit kinky be DSM type of stuff which is much more interesting than just to Hetero characters boringly going at it. I mean any of the League I Love I love the them trying to define vanilla. Oh. My God. I don't I, don't know if you know what my version of vanilla sex is. So we should probably define that tall my gosh. Perfect and kind of not even on the sex side. There was a part that I highlighted that just really touched me and it's when she's near the beginning of the book and she says I was marrying John Claude and Mica was married Nathaniel. They would be my intended forever and I would be there as we would intend to marry one indefinitely while we waited for the law to catch up with our hearts. And is like. Sue Sweet, and there's lots of depictions of how her poly group and her her people, how much they love and care for each other and it's just really it's just really really sweet. So I I have had some experience with poly-amorous people. We do not yet Paul em and I think that the idea of that is is the idea that when it's pure and win, it's and win. It's practiced is actually very beautiful and and is a wonderful thing for a lot of people not for me. I mean. Yeah and that's because everybody's different. Yes. But when it's done right when it's done honestly and truthfully it's beautiful. It really is well, of course it's I think that's exactly what she's trying to say it's just like monogamy is you know it's a beautiful thing. And It makes these characters a lot more interesting and it makes. The stakes a lot higher in some cases because there is multiple hearts and feelings involved So that's really really interesting stuff too. So there's some great like I mentioned the candidate vigilante thing. There's some great stuff where she talks about and I highlighted them you know with like people not getting their justice not getting you know served how they needed to be and I appreciated that it's a little bit of Canada a real world check in at points to not just makes all of those you know makes you feel much more passionate for Anita and everybody trying to do the. Right, thing, by Bobby Yeah, we've talked a lot of a lot about the relationships the plot itself is really exciting I. I was I was left guessing the entire time and not and not because it was too. It's like I definitely had some guesses and I don't know about three quarters of the way through I. Felt I guessed right on who was involved we we had a little conversation. You had a little conversation we were definitely on the same page. With Canada cracking this mystery and that's I mean that's not because it's a poorly written mystery. It's just gone. I have read so much mystery in our lives that were good at sloughing out clues and motivations was it was a good Mr gots a sign in my opinion of a good mystery. If you if you are able you, you don't necessarily have to. But if you're able to put the pieces together before the reveal I, think that that is a satisfying mystery. Crafted yes. Exactly and with like then leaving clues for us in the detectives to solve along with each other. And that's yeah. No, that's important because they have to be written in such a way that they're subtle or you know you catch somebody lying or whatever the situation is, and you know when Rico was just so sullen and really just like he was involved when when the aunts and uncle broke into the house, they called him to see if there was a deer up in the tree and he probably looked and saw that it was there and hit it. You know I was like some things up with that dude yeah. There was some there was stuff about him from the beginning that raises your hackles a little bit and it just Kinda keeps your going and going and going. We kinda talked about it just a second ago. I do want to circle back around to it. The justice for Bobby and bobby as a character just being someone that you feel a lot of sympathy for and that was I mean it was hard. It was hard summit to read some of the stuff he was going through. Wasn't it was a little it was heart wrenching. It was I really wanted bobby survive I was I was terrified for. Him I was sad for him because he was just so heartbroken his range of emotions when when you know at first, he thought it was him and then he started believe it wasn't him but he was still just. So desperately afraid that he was going to die will and he's the he's the only shifter around for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and everybody knows that he's a you know that he's Leopard and everything and. There's something about that. That's like makes you feel already compassion for him because he's an outsider. And that he is living in this small town and in this area where everybody knows everybody and everybody's in each other's business and he how's this thing about him? That makes him really different from everyone else and it's something it's something he can't control. It's something that just is who he is. I was kind of torn on how I felt the way that his family even treated him. Outside of you know. Well now, Jocelyn was working him for years. Yeah. But the way he was kind of treated like a house cat will he even says in the pictures I look like the Family Dog, right? Yeah he's he wasn't. Like. He was never. Fully fully into it because I don't know like I don't question it all that his uncle ray loved him dearly and did this and did the best that he could and you know maybe that's the best way to embrace the leper that's inside of him as is when the Leopard is forward is that's the best way knew how to treat. Yeah. To treat him as as family no excuse for Jocelyn she's not included in this conversation, but something about that just seemed sad. Yeah. Yeah you feel pity you feel empathy we feel you feel sad. You know his leopard. Well, it quote unquote not that powerful his lippard is a strong beautiful creature that's been reduced to a house cat. It is something about that. Just made me feel very sad for him. He was just never able to be fully strong. Yeah. To be fully himself and I mean obviously that can be applied to I think a lot of people have felt that way about many different aspects of themselves in their family life and I think that people could really see themselves in that character that kind of being ostracized. And especially, you know it's like we all know from the beginning as the reader we know that bobby didn't do this. We know it did anyway I was like totally did not do this I was I felt pretty sure but I was not I was not not expecting a twist where he was really behind it all I was thinking there's a possibility that this could be him and Jocelyn together and he just got it kind of got swept up in it somehow but then again, he was the one who is caught so I felt like Y-. The red herring kind of he wouldn't. He wouldn't have been able to rely on Newman being the out now, the Marshall that's assigned to them I just came across this one highlight that I had that I love so much and it's Anita's inner dialogue that said, I was not less just because you could out lift me in the weight room. We all had our strengths and weaknesses. Some people could do the math for astrophysics other people could drive. A stick shift no one person could do it all I love that there's a lot of that kind of vibe and hear about you know Cana being you and embracing you and like what your strengths are and stuff i. love that I love that kind of that kind of vibe and that was a perfect quote for it. She may not be able to do anything, but she can certainly beat the shit out of a wear leopard that says was so. Chance to subdue bobby. Yeah. Of course, it was horrible for Bobby and I was afraid he may have been dead for a while there. But so was she the imagery of him changing and her just just wailing on him even Duke says it's got a hell of a haymaker something along those lines. Yeah. No she can definitely, she has a lot of physical hand to hand combat training that's a ground throughout the books. So can I ask kind of a fun question kind of the floral as well? Oh, I know exactly what's coming go for it if you could be. A supernatural creature in this world for what you know of them right now and I know you don't know everything but would you want to be a vampire some sort of a shape shifter and of so what animal a animator? What are you think? So it's a little bit hard because I really haven't been introduced to the vampires in this world. They're they're very late Jean Claude is the king. They're very kind of like area hierarchy. Yeah I, definitely get. Just, say Yeah I get the impression that it's very much like the camera in the world of Darkness Sha. Yes. Ansa said a good similarly and that's the case I actually don't want to be a vampire because there's a whole lot about stabbing chickens. Yeah. Vampires come with politicking. Everybody always forgets that they want the funds sexy romantic. Children of the night vibe in it's like you know you're GonNa have to politic here. So I would have to be aware octopus. Stop I don't know if they exist but that's me. I would just go out to the ocean every full moon and just go swim around and catch fish and collect coconut shells and then. Well. You know. Let you gave me an honest answer. I can't fault you for that. Be a great where octopus. Great and I don't know maybe some will I mean you're not out of the politics could still end up as somebody's animal to call you know. But what are they going to have? You do slow you might they might have you steal things because octopuses are very sneaky. Now that's that's just analyst. At certain grief it's. Just an idea. Who says if I was aware octopus that I would have to be part of the coalition or they might. They might Cana Maki. Roll you if that's the case I, probably would like to be like Edward. Prior. To the end of this book I think I would just like to be a bad ass human. I feel you on that I would have no problem being yeah. Is that is that one of the creatures of this book a sociopath because there's a lot of them. For. True. Yeah. No. I would definitely be kind of a bad as human I. Think would be my preference as well. I've always loved the idea of the animators stuff and you know that goes into some epic places and some other books. But considering I'm you know like a vegetarian I'm not going to be sacrificing an animal every time I need to raise the dead. So that's like straight out for me. Unfortunately, I speaking of epic stuff. Apparently, there's a book where she raises a Zombie Army I wanna read that one absolutely a deal. But I mean of course I. Love Cats I. Love Shaped Shifter's I love like and terms of all strokes. So I would be down to be any sort of liken throat because I'm all about that life Pity Ya, I think. I. JUST WANNA kill bad people with Edward. 'cause love him. Well, I guess it's time to say good night good night. Yes. Sir. It is I I will say I think a lot of people who are listening to this section already love and adore these books. I would think so I I, just WANNA say at least with this one I'm with you now I get you now I understand you get this worldwide millions of copy sold phenomena. It's a lot of fun and it's also really meaningful and powerful it is and You know I kind of outlined it a little bit earlier. But I, of course, want to end on a little bit of a sappy note. You know that I just really appreciate the character of Anita and what? Laurel K Hamilton has done with that I'm the type of girl who speaks her mind and I mean I am very polite and I'm very considered of people's emotions Lisa try to be but you know I've been definitely called a ball buster bitch all all that stuff so many times and I don't mind because if that means I'm on the same caliber as Anita, then she sister will take it. All right, everybody. Obviously, we love this book. I don't think we're going to give it a star rating because it's a little little different than our normal flavors since it's part of a series like this but we obviously bolt had a tremendous time reading this book. Thank you Laurel for being on the show. Thank you for writing Sucker Punch. Fantastic read goodnight Scott good night Sandra. Please keep reading pasture bedtime. So Sandra was so nervous to talk to Laurel K Hamilton. She was so nervous. So I get nervous before every single interview and Sandra is so professional and so calm and she teases me. Nervous Bene- thing she gets nervous about nothing and Sandra was just so nervous to talk to her and I think I would be curious to hear why specifically. I think for me it's just because I've been reading these books for so long and I've been invested in the characters and in the world I don't want to not be anymore and if this author that I've been reading since I was a teenager. Was Mean Rude to? flippant not that any author has ever ever been that way that I've met on this show in verson every author I've ever met has been fricken lovely and at least professional if not warm and fuzzy, which most of them are just warm and fuzzy lovely to talk to. But I was worried that like what if she's awful and I have to throw in the towel of this? Incredible. Investment of. Books and characters emotional investment, not financial of since I, I mean for like twenty years or whatever. Okay. Not Quite twenty years that I've been reading the bugs but damn near you know and I was like what if I have to throw in that Tau because if somebody is awful I? mean. To me I would never wanna read their books again I'd be like, fuck you you know. And so it was like Oh God don't be a bad person that I have to give up now because I don't WanNa give it up. Give it up. It's so funny because you're right. Every author we've talked to has been wonderful and lovely. I in fact, this this this show in my mind has kind of evolved over time to be a celebration of the author's so much because I have fallen in love with authors so much I'm so fascinated and delighted by what they do and I'm so excited to to learn about them and and hear about them and talk to them. But This is kind of the first time where it someone that we that that one of us has. So. Much history with right like it's you know again, this is authors that I've been reading a long time are it's not a huge list. It's you know been reading her books for a long time been reading Stephen King and Rice for very very long time. At this point, I've been reading Joe Hill for a long time. You know it's it's not a huge huge list of authors an especially one that reaches this far back into my teens like that. It's like heart don't fuck this up. Don't fuck this up and make me have to throw out this. Characters and I didn't think that Laurel K Hamilton repeat lake that I really didn't. But you know it's like the stakes were high that I didn't want to be let down and I wasn't.