Amber Benson is a writer, director and actor. She currently writes the CALLIOPE REAPER-JONES series for Ace/Roc and her middle grade book, Among the Ghosts, came out in paperback this past fall from Simon and Schuster. She co-directed the Slamdance feature Drones and (co-wrote) and directed the BBC animated series The Ghosts of Albion. Her acting work includes the Steven Soderbergh film King of the Hill, and the indie feature Race You to the Bottom, for which she won the Best Actress Award at Outfest. She spent three years as Tara Maclay on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
HWA President Rocky Wood said, “Of course, Amber is well known from her time on Buffy but we are pleased to have her as our Media Guest as she is also a director and a writer rapidly gaining a strong reputation. All this, plus she is a vocalist and has been involved in producing graphic comics! We are pleased she has agreed to share her diverse background and discuss her current projects with the Convention and I know attendees will be looking forward to her Guest of Honor presentation.”
Over the course of the coming months leading up to the Bram Stoker Awards® Weekend Incorporating the World Horror Convention 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana, I will feature a series of interviews with each of the Guests of Honor.
Darkeva: In addition to your acting career, you’re also an accomplished film director, producer, and writer, but most people know you for your role as Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As urban fantasy and horror readers already knew you, how did that affect your transition to becoming a novelist?
AB: Well, I’d always written – mostly bad poetry and a few short stories and plays – but being on Buffy opened the door, as far as novel/prose is concerned, to a whole new world. It was through the show that I met Christopher Golden – who basically let me take Writing 101 at Chris Golden U! – and that’s how I learned I could write a book. Something I’d been scared to do up until that point.
Darkeva: Tell us more about your relationship with frequent collaborator, novelist Christopher Golden. How did that come about?
AB:As I was saying before, it’s all Buffy‘s fault. Chris had just done a Spike comic with James Marsters and he thought that doing a Willow/Tara comic might be fun. So he approached me about it and that’s how we ended up doing the Willow/Tara comics for Dark Horse, which then led us to writing The Ghosts of Albion for the BBC and Random House. It was a wild prose ride!
Darkeva: Who are some of the horror and dark fiction authors, past or present, whom you admire the most?
AB: Oh boy, that’s a good one. In no particular order: H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, Christopher Pike…there are many more, but these were the ones who popped into my head.
Darkeva: What part of being a Guest of Honor at the Bram Stoker Awards® Weekend Incorporating the World Horror Convention 2013 are you most excited about?
AB: Well, there’s being in New Orleans…which is hands down one of my favorite cities…but I’m also excited about getting to spend time with fellow creative ‘makers of things’. It’s all about taking what’s in your mind and sharing it with the world – and you need the support of your creative peers to make that happen.
Darkeva: What other projects do you have on the horizon?
AB: I’m directing/producing a web series called “Girl On Girl” and I’m writing my first book in a new series for Penguin about Witches in Echo Park. I’m very excited about both of them.
A huge thank-you to Amber for agreeing to be part of this feature. Be sure to visit her website here. You can follow her on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and her YouTube Channel. Just a reminder that the latest Calliope Reaper Jones novel, The Golden Age of Death is forthcoming February 26, 2013.