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On Annette Curtis Klause

Written by Harley Martin

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A Little About The Author
Annette Curtis Klause was born in Bristol England just before the start of WWII. She grew up listening to stories told to her by her father that were other than your normal bedtime stories. They were mostly science-fiction, but also included many of the American monster and even some gangster related tales. She quickly fell in love with books, the "Chronicals of Narnia" being among her favorite. It wasn't long after that she started writing her short, self-illustrated stories. At age forteen, Klause read "The Shiny Narrow Grin" by Jane Gaskell, Which would later prove to be a major influance.

By high school, Klause's family was living in the state's, and that is where she stayed. She hade taken up poetry as a means of writing expression in those year's, influanced mostly by boys and love. It gave her, in a later opinion looking back, a better grasp on writing and word use to be descriptive and ensnaring.

While Klause was busy earning her degrees from the University of Maryland and trying to establish a career as a librarian, she found little time for writing. That didn't stop her for long, however. Once she graduated, was established as a professional Mongomery County librarian, and got married, she turned back to her writing. She shifted from poetry to prose and then, after a writing workshop led by Larry Callen, to novels.

The Books
While there are only three published books, with one in the works, there are numorous short stories that you can also look for if you find an interest in Klause's writing. I've read two of the three at this time, with plans to reak the third and forth, when it's done.

The first book I read was "Blood and Chocolate," picked because I was trying to find a good werewolf story. I had at that time never heard of Klause while I myself was in high school. The book smoothly combines horror and romance in a way that I had never thought of or seen. It is a story about a young female werewolf that gets torn between her 'pack,' which is like family, and her love for a human boy as the whole pack is in a time of chaos. I was hooked throughout the whole thing.

I then picked up "The Silver Kiss," which was her first novel. It was a similar combination of romance and horror, but this time following two main characters. The first, a human girl struggling with life as her mother slowly dies from cancer. The second is a young looking male vampire with a conscience that has spent the centuries looking for his older, toddler sized, evil brother. Again, I was hooked. Both stories drew from my love of horror and then opened me up to the romance edge that was given.

At the time I read these two, I was not interested in sci-fi so much, so I avoided reading "Alien Secrets" when I had the chance. I regret now and plan to read it when I can find it again. I now own both "Blood and Chocolate" and "The Silver Kiss" and would recommend them to anyone, young adult or not. Even if you have only a vauge interest in either of the genres these books combine, they are certain to grip your attention.

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