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Amber Benson

Amber Benson - "Death’s Daughter" Novel - Ifmagazine.com Interview Part 2

Thursday 30 April 2009, by Webmaster

The conclusion of iF Magazine’s exclusive Amber Benson interview has her comments on Internet social networking, her favorite parts of her debut solo novel DEATH’S DAUGHTER and what she’s doing now. iF: You’ve recently gotten very into Facebook, Twitter and blogging. Is this to promote DEATH’S DAUGHTER, or are you fascinated by social networking?

BENSON: Well, I just felt like, to really connect with the base of people that I became friendly with because of BUFFY, that the social media outlets were a really good way to get the word out that I was writing and that the book was coming out and that DRONES would be coming out. And a friend of mine, Hal Lublin, and his father have a company called Buzz Builders. He’s in the THRILLING ADVENTURE AND SUPERNATURAL SUSPENSE HOUR [a monthly stage production at the M Bar in Hollywood in which Benson sometimes performs]. Hal [said], "You really should incorporate social media networking into your publicity plan. You reach a lot of people that way." He was so right [laughs]. I’ve always been fascinated with blogging. He [said], "Don’t just blog, Twitter, do Facebook, do it all." So many people [say], "I didn’t know you were writing, I didn’t know you wrote books." I think I’ve gotten the word out in the way that you wouldn’t be able to get it out any other way. This is a new thing and I’m trying to use it in the best possible way. I’d always been kind of leery of it, because I’m very private, and I didn’t want to share things that I didn’t want to talk about. And then I just realized, I can do what I want with it. I don’t have to talk about private things. I can use this as a way of doing business and letting my fans know what I’m up to and engaging them. I feel a lot better about [doing book signings than convention appearances based solely on acting], because I feel like I’m not just saying, "Hey, I’m an actor and here I am, come see me." I’m like, "Hey, I’m writing something, come get the book, meet me, I’ll sign it," and we have this give and take. I’m selling you a product, rather than just saying, "Hey, here I am." I feel like I’m asking you to come chat with me about my book. And that’s a totally different thing. I’m really proud of the book. I want to hear what people have to say about it. I’ve been blogging, "People, if you’ve read it, let me know what you think. Give me your reviews." I’m very curious.

iF: Are you looking to go between writing novels and filmmaking and acting?

BENSON: Yeah. I just did an episode of PRIVATE PRACTICE. It’s fun. I love being on sets, I love working, but filmmaking is just awesome. When you’re in control, when you’re in charge, when you’re large and in charge, it’s so much fun. And then books are the best, because you have total control over everything you do. There’s nobody to say, "Nope, you can’t …" I have Ginjer, who’s helping me make it better, but she’s not [saying], "No, stop. That character would never do that." She’s just so supportive and lets me do my thing.

iF: Do you have a greater satisfaction writing novels or writing a screenplay that you’re going to direct?

BENSON: I don’t know – I don’t feel like it’s more or better or I get more excited about it because it’s going to become a film. I think just the act of creation itself is kind of intoxicating and enthralling. Because I see it all in my head when I’m writing prose anyway. It’s like I made a movie with DEATH’S DAUGHTER. Because I see everything, I know what everybody looks like, I know what the world is, I know how it smells and feels and tastes. I play the whole movie in my head.

iF: What are your favorite parts of DEATH’S DAUGHTER?

BENSON: Oh, the Gopi. They’re my favorite. I love them so much. Traditionally, they’re Krishna’s milkmaids. They go and have sex with him possibly, they’re his followers, they love him so much. And I thought, "Wouldn’t it be fun if they were like attack Gopi, they could go and kick some butt and they were assassins, almost?" I just love them. I love all the stuff with the Gopi. It just makes me so happy every time – I get giddy when I think about the Gopi. They’re just awesome. [laughs]

iF: What are you doing next?

BENSON: I’ve got to finish the third book and then I’m going to be without a job after this third book is done. We’re finishing DRONES and Adam and I cowrote a script called SMILE that we’d like to do. It has a little indie music component to it. But [working on] the book’s right now.

iF: How do you define yourself now – are you a writer, or a filmmaker, or an actress, or someone who does all these things?

BENSON: [laughs] I am Amber of the Many Arms – like Ganesha, with an elephant head and lots of arms. [laughs] I never forget anything and I can grab anything [gestures illustratively].

iF: It’s a great pity we don’t have a camera.

BENSON: I’m just continuing to do whatever interests me.