SHE WAS TARA ON BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.
Now she’s the author of Ace’s hottest new series— killer novels featuring Calliope Reaper-Jones, who doesn’t want to be daddy’s little girl anymore…
View our feature on Amber Benson’s Death’s Daughter.Calliope Reaper-Jones so just wanted a normal life: buying designer shoes on sale, dating guys from Craig’s List, web-surfing for organic dim-sum for her boss…
But when her father—who happens to be Death himself—is kidnapped, and the Devil’s Protege embarks on a hostile takeover of the family business, Death, Inc., Callie returns home to assume the CEO mantle— only to discover she must complete three nearly impossible tasks in the realm of the afterlife first.
With that said…
The one thing I have always been curious about, as a reader (and now writer), was where did other authors get their ideas? From what I’ve read in my favorite writers’ memoirs and interviews, many of them say that their stories are literally crafted out of the ether that surrounds them; in chance meetings with old friends, things read or seen on television, experiences had as one goes about one’s day to day life. These small interactions somehow strike a chord inside the author’s imagination—and when properly marinated, then paired with one another like fine wine and meat—a novel or short story is born.
I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a very large component of this in my own story composition, but added to it, in an almost supernatural manner, is the creature I like to call ‘my muse’. I imagine her as a pert, blonde cherub of a thing, sitting on high somewhere as she sends me my ideas—most of them pretty surreal and strange. I guess, if I subscribed to Jungian theory, I would name my muse ‘the collective unconscious’, but somehow that just doesn’t appeal as much to me. I like the old Greek style of thinking, as they are much more romantic than Jung’s “my experiences are totally having an orgy with everyone else’s experiences” school of thought.
Now, I’m not quite sure what my muse was thinking when she sent me Calliope Reaper-Jones. The damn character popped fully formed into my head and started babbling at me, insisting I start writing her story as soon as humanly possible. At the time, I figured she was good for one outing, but thankfully, my editor, Ginjer, knew immediately that Calliope was special and deserved at least three books in which to impart her tale.
Boy, was Ginjer on the money. I can’t seem to stop Callie from getting into situations that just have to tales told!
But seriously, I have had a blast learning about Callie and all the eccentric friends and ‘frenemies’ that people her universe. I literally laugh out loud—to the bewilderment of the other folks sitting in the coffee house I like to write in—as my muse dictates Callie’s trials and tribulations. Of course, while my muse is pretty great, she does make me do some work, namely of the research variety. I’ve gotten to know more about mythology and religion than I ever thought possible—and I have to say that The Gopi are probably my most favorite ladies in the whole Hindu cannon. Even though I have perverted their true nature a little bit for the sake of my story. (Yes, Callie’s world encompasses many different myth systems. After all, Death is universal, so his daughter would be too!)
As you can see, I have an affinity for all things spiritual and supernatural, so I suppose you could say that Calliope’s world embodies all the things in life (and the Afterlife) that I find intriguing. I’m just lucky enough to have a muse who gets me and sends me the kind of stories that I enjoy curling up with myself.
So I hope you enjoy reading Death’s Daughter as much as my muse and I enjoyed writing it.