L.A. Banks

L.A. Banks

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
October 3, 2005

Q.    Who is L.A. Banks?

A.    LOL... Dang if I know... a Mom, a crazy lady, a wife, a daughter... a person in the community with deep feelings about why some people have and others don't.

Q.    What inspired you to write the nine book series Vampire Huntress Legend?

A.    Watching the news, that scared me more than anything Stephen King ever wrote... and I wanted to do a tale that had hope, faith, love, redemption and also show that the good guys could win in the end. I was tired of evil always being able to win in all the movies and books, lately. Not this time (smile!) Plus, being a Mom, I was watching predators literally suck the life blood out of communities... it was time for a perspective change, and hence, a legend was born out of that.

Q.    How did you come about the title for Minion?

A.    Minion refers to minion of evil, legions of demons... all that mess after our heroine, Damali.

Q.    What type of research did you do to write the series?

A.    Wow... I researched all the major religions (in part)... read the Bible (in parts), excerpts from The Quran, the Kabballah, Tora, looked at science (astronomy, some physics, math), plus esoteric sciences, like astrology, numerology... locations, history, world cultures. A lot of stuff came together to build this "world" in the series.

Q.    How did you come about Damali's character?

A.    She's a blend of me, my sister, and all the young girls I used to teach when I had an after school high school program... she's urban, but also very intelligent and caring, fiesty, loving, she's a dichotomy that tells one not to judge a book by the cover. She also represents hope, to me... in so far as, you can't give up on all these young girls out here and say they are all gonna be Baby's Momma's. Not true. There's so much potential out here, and in them, and that's what I wanted to create--someone, who by rights, should have fallen victim to the stereotype, but didn't. [That was also me and my sister.]

Q.    How did you come about Marlene's character?

A.    Marlene is every older auntie I have blended into one... and many of my older girlfriends--now that we are forty+ and can look back on a long trajectory of mistakes and triumphs. But her ability to have second sight is my mother--Helen knew what we (as teens) were gonna do before we did it, even though the woman never claimed psychic ability. My mother didn't play and could fight, ha ha ha... and was as gentle as she was tough... she was my best friend.

Q.    How did you come about Carlos'character?

A.    Ahhh... Carlos... as I chuckle deep in my throat. Let me just say, in my misbegotten youth, I knew a brother or two like him. Complex. But to say more, I'd have to kill ya, LOL!

Q.    Have any movie producers offered to turn the VHL series into a movie?

A.    Yes... Gotham Beach Entertainment and Griot Entertainment have optioned both Minion and The Awakening.

Q.    How long did it take you to write Minion?

A.    Approximately two months of hard-down research, and about 3 months to write, another month to edit. That one took the longest in the series--since it was my first shot at horror/paranormal as a major effort.

Q.    How many genres do you write in?

A.    Paranormal/Horror, Crime, Romance, Women's Fiction, Non-Fiction (every now and then.)

Q.    How many novels and anthologies have you written?

A.    22 novels so far and 8 anthologies (but I'm contracted through 2007 for more.)

Q.    Will you give the reader a brief synopsis of the meaning behind the VHL series?

A.    The Vampire Huntress Legends Series is really about people who have been shown to be different, perhaps even cast off from society as throw aways and flawed (The Guardian Team), but who each have an innate gift that they use to help teach and guide the next generation. Prayer warriors and warriors of light. It's about redemption, family sticking together to close ranks against something insidious that's clawing away at the fabric of their community. It's about common people rising to do uncommon things in a time of great need, and finding their own inner light and truth. It's about responsibility, accountability, and justice winning out over deceit. It is also, at the very end, about love.... love of The Almighty, love of family, love of humanity, and a love between two young people that transcends even the grave.

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading Minion?

A.    I'd like them to see that every soul matters, and that what we battle within the material world is the illusion that covers the real spiritual battle each person must face to make positive choices. I'd also like folks to walk away with hope... hope that good can overcome evil in the end.