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News Amber Benson Talks About Her New Book and The New "Buffy" Movie

Kean

Professional Bangel
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Sineya
She may be best know as Tara Meers on the series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," but Amber Benson (left, with Sarah Michelle Gellar) has since become an accomplished writer. She has written and produced her own films, written several comics and she and co-writer Christopher Golden created the popular BBC series "Albion." Now, she's taking her first solo-flight as a novelist with "Death's Daughter," which is book one of a trilogy.

During a book signing at Midtown Comics in Times Square, we had the chance to about her new book and its interesting protagonist, a sarcastic young woman named Calliope Reaper-Jones. Amber told Hollywood Crush, "Basically, it's about a girl who's father is Death. [Death as a force] is run like a corporation. He's the president and CEO. And he gets kidnapped and [Calliope] has to come and run the company and find out what happened to her dad. But she's like a normal girl and she doesn't want any part of the supernatural world."

Despite coming from a powerful family and inheriting the title of Death itself, Calliope is quite self-conscious when she meets handsome men and so, much to her frustration, she winds up having a lot of trouble dating. This, of course, is part of what makes her a character young girls can relate to.

"She's kind of a geek," Amber said with a smile. "Kind of a dork. A little whiny at times. I wanted to create a character that was flawed. I wanted her to go on the hero's journey. Very rarely do you see a female protagonist who isn't already in control of her super-powers, in control of her destiny. I wanted a character who is given the call and says, "˜no, no, I don't want to do this,' and is kind of forced into her fate.

"Having worked on "˜Buffy,' that sort of prepared me to write Calliope's story. Because she's another aggressive girl out there in the world "¦ We're doing a trilogy and I think as the story progresses she grows and learns and changes. Who wants somebody who's perfect? I don't."

But unlike Buffy, Calliope has the companionship of a very special dog. "Runt is one of Cerberus' puppies. Only the boys have three heads. She's SO cute!"

A lot of Indian and Greek mythology are used in this book, but as the first of a trilogy, what other mythologies can we expect in the next two? "The second book is going to deal more, primarily, with Egyptian mythology. And I'm working on the third right now so we'll see what happens with that one."

Comics aside, we also had the chance to ask the star about the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" film, which is currently in the works sans the vampire slayer's original creator, Joss Whedon. "I hate to judge things before they happen," she admitted. "I like to let them be and then when I see it I'll make a judgment on it. It definitely won't be the same "˜Buffy' as the TV show, it will not have Joss' voice. And I think that [Joss' voice] is what draws people into Buffy€™s world "¦ [But] it COULD be great."


Hollywood Crush Movie
 

Lindsey McDonald

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Ok, that was incredibly badly written. And, seriously, "Tara Meers"? IMDb is your friend MTV!

It's interesting to see Amber's take on the movie. I like to see her remaining loyal to Joss, but still remaining diplomatic about the whole thing. This interview does make me want to finish Death[and this is Death as a person this time, not as a force, in case you're too stupid to figure it out. Which no normal person would be, but I'll just put this here to make sure, just in case you can't read things in context.]'s Daughter though.
 
C
charmingslayer
WTF! she marries Warren!?!?!?! wth? is this one of Buffy's dream or something?
D
david4wt
[No message]
SlayerFest
SlayerFest
haha even if that was meant to be warren's last name...it's mears! ;)

Willow-Tree

Your Childhood Trauma
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Ew, Tara Meers? Are they really using the last name of Tara's killer? *eye roll emotion*
 
L
Lindsey McDonald
Didn't you see the bit in S8 where she came back from the dead and married Warren? No? Did I just spoil you? Oops.
Joined
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What the... okay, aside from the crappyness of this little article, I like what Amber says about the film. It's almost cute how she stays loyal to Joss, but also diplomatic. I think in this case it's a good stance to take.
 

Revolver

Sir Douche
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Hmmm, how many things are wrong with that Tara Meers thing?

1) He killed her.....he probably wouldn't marry a corpse but it is Warren we're talking about
2) She's a lesbian......he's not really her type although he does have the ability to brain wash girls.....presumably not dead ones though.
3) I can't think of two many great romance stories that begin with that words, "that's when my husband shot me."
 

AndrewCrossett

Satsu Otaku
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Sineya
Hmmm, how many things are wrong with that Tara Meers thing?

1) He killed her.....he probably wouldn't marry a corpse but it is Warren we're talking about
2) She's a lesbian......he's not really her type although he does have the ability to brain wash girls.....presumably not dead ones though.
3) I can't think of two many great romance stories that begin with that words, "that's when my husband shot me."

4. It's MEARS, not Meers.
 

anyalover17

Scooby
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Apr 22, 2009
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Canada
Tara MEERS?
Wow. That's dreadful.
I love Amber, and her book was amazing. Probably the best book I've read next to Harry Potter.
 

Lindsey McDonald

Spirit Boy
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charmingslayer agrees: WTF! she marries Warren!?!?!?! wth? is this one of Buffy's dream or something?

I have been advised by my lawyers at Wolfram and Hart to take back the statement aforementioned. Our client Mr Mears would never marry a lesbian witch.

(I made that bit up. ;))
 

bigneil

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Jul 21, 2009
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is her book worth reading? i don't really like reading very much but i adore amber!!!
 
P

Perny

Guest
I think the book sounds good. I'll give it a try. Deffo..
But come on! It's Mears, not Meers.
 

laianna

Potential
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Jul 1, 2009
Messages
203
I just finished her book. It was a fun read, but some things were very predictable and I don't think the pacing was very balanced. Other than that though, it was quite interesting and funny, some parts making me laugh out loud (in an intentional way though, of course). I'd recommend it. :)
 

Jules

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Black Thorn
‘Buffy’ star Amber Benson turns a page with ‘How to Be Death’

Amber Benson is best known for Joss Whedon’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and her role as Tara Maclay, the shy witch who made up half of a lesbian couple considered pioneering in its portrayal. But now, the actress, director and comics writer is making a name for herself in the world of young adult fiction. Benson’s latest novel, “How to Be Death,” is the fourth installment in her Calliope Reaper-Jones series, which follows a young woman forced to take over the family business: Death, Inc. Hero Complex caught up with Benson, who talked about her writing career and project on the horizon. She was also pleased, as you’ll see below, to hear that the reporter was named Noelene Clark.

HC: How did you make the transition from acting to writing? Have you always wanted to write novels?

AB: I got into prose writing via comics. I actually was approached by Christopher Golden to write some Willow and Tara comics for “Buffy.” They did really well. Terry Moore actually did the art for some of them, and they’re just beautiful. They’re real women, too, which was nice. They have real bodies. They’re not, like, skinny, anorexic-looking characters, which drive me nuts. Willow and Tara, the comics look beautiful and real. And then the BBC approached us about creating a show for them, so Chris and I wrote this thing called “Ghosts of Albion,” which was an animated show with Emma Samms and Anthony Daniels, who was C-3PO in the “Star Wars” movies, and then we novelized that universe for Random House. I was terrified, because I had never written full-blown prose before. I’d only written really weird little short stories and bad poetry. Really bad poetry about flowers dying and blood flowing. But Chris was like, “You have to write prose now.” It was sort of like going to Chris Golden University. I learned how to be a prose writer from him. Then I wanted to write something on my own, and I came up with this Calliope Reaper-Jones series. And then we have to talk about the fact that you have “Noelene” as your name! That is the name of the character from my middle-grade series “Among the Ghosts.” Noleen-Anne. It’s really awesome. It’s a ghost story that takes place at a boarding school, about a girl who can see the ghosts of all the kids that have died while attending the school, and she has to solve a mystery, and she’s really cool and smart. They call her “Noh” for short.

HC: Can you tell us a little about Calliope? What sets her story apart from others in the genre?

AB: I wanted to create a character who was flawed. Because I feel like especially with urban fantasy and paranormal romance, there’s a lot of characters, a lot of protagonists who are given these supernatural powers, and they immediately accept the call to duty, and there’s never a question. And that was what was so great about Buffy is that she was sort of like, “I don’t know if I want to do this. I think maybe I just want to be a normal girl.” And so I wanted to bring that into my character. I wanted a character who was like, “I don’t think I want to, like, be death. I don’t think I want to run a giant supernatural corporate entity. I want to be like a normal girl. I’m interested in fashion and shopping and boys and food. And I don’t want to be immortal and see everybody I love that’s mortal die around me as I stay alive for the rest of eternity.”

HC: A corporation is an interesting take on death.

AB: There’s this sort of fear of death that we all have as human beings, the loss of self. I wanted to address that in this book, also. Because there are all these different religions, and all these different ways of living, and maybe they all can exist together, and that’s what the books are kind of about. All these sort of realities and these mythological characters and religions coexist, and they’re all right and they’re all wrong at the same time.

HC: Is there a common thread between the characters you play and the characters you write? A common characteristic that you feel drawn to?

AB: People who don’t fit in. That’s what I want to write about. Because I’ve always felt like I don’t fit in. I’ve always felt like that odd man out. I feel like the missing piece, looking for the whole. I think that’s what’s engaging for me when I write. I want a character that’s searching for something. ‘Cause I think we’re all looking. And I feel like we all don’t quite fit. Even though there are people out there who say that they fit, I don’t know if they actually do, or if inside, they really feel that they do. So I wanted to talk about that with my characters. My characters are always on the lookout for their crew.

HC: And that’s very much Calliope.

AB: That’s very much Calliope, and that’s Tara from “Buffy,” too. She was looking, and she was open to finding her family and finding friends that treated her with respect and liked her for who she was, and they weren’t looking for anything other than what she was. That was what was appealing about that character and playing that character, and writing those kind of characters. Because I think we can all identify for that search for finding other people like us.

HC: What else do you have coming up?

AB: I’m working on a Web series right now with ["Buffy" actor] Adam Busch. He and I co-directed it. It’s called “Girl on Girl,” which I know sounds like pornography, but it is not. It’s about a couple of girls who live in Los Angeles, and they’re trying to meet men. It’s very much in the vein of “Absolutely Fabulous.” They sort of are a mess and their own worst enemies. They undercut themselves and they never quite get to hook it up with the dudes they want to hook it up with. It’s really cute.

Source

I;ve not read these books but they seem to be doing well since the series was originally just meant to be a trilogy and this is now the fourth book.
 
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