RT BOOKLOVERS CONVENTION Guest Blog: Caridad Pineiro

RT BOOK LOVERS convention vampire track captain Caridad Pineiro guest blogs about the Wednesday morning panel "Buffy and Female Empowerment." 

“Our show is gone, but our obsession doesn’t end.” New York Times

Obsession. That word totally describes what happens when you get together bestselling authors Vivi Anna, Cathy Clamp, Angela Knight, Jeri Smith-Ready and over 50 fans to discuss the cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its effect on female empowerment in modern paranormal romance novels.

Cathy and Vivi first fell in love in Buffy not with the hit television series, but with the original campy motion picture featuring Kristi Swanson and Luke Perry. Cathy enjoyed seeing the transition of the character from a clueless cheerleader realizing she has superpowers to a woman who accepts that empowerment and decides to protect those around her with the gift she has been given.

Vivi loved that Buffy was not only kick-butt, but also a woman who was still a woman who liked girly things, proving that you can be feminine and still strong. Or in other Vivi’s words, your kick ass heroine doesn’t have to be “a man with boobies.” (A word of warning here – don’t mention SMG to Vivi!)

Jeri and Angela, on the other hand, totally loved the small screen version of Buffy. Jeri first got caught up with the depth of the characters and didn’t realize at first that Buffy had super powers. What drew Jeri was that Buffy was perky and witty and somehow managed to do that while slaying the demons.

Angela noted that Joss Whedon had decided to use the character that always got killed in horror movies – the blonde cheerleader – and give her the opportunity to stop being a victim. As Angela pointed out, that was very important since women are often victimized in our society in so many ways. Like Vivi, Angela also enjoyed that Buffy could be feminine, have real teenage angst and still fight the demons with her super powers.

The panel continued with even more detailed discussions about the writing, dialogue and one of the elements that all of the authors thought was one of the best aspects of the show – the humor!

Jeri noted that although the show was quite dark, the bright spots of humor kept the show from being a total downer. Angela likewise agreed that the humor not only kept the show from becoming too depressing, but made the villains even more scary. Think Angelus and how sinister he was even when he was smiling and being witty.

But Vivi cautioned that while humor is important, it doesn’t fit every story and so it’s important not to force humor where it isn’t appropriate so as to not jump the shark.

Finally, all the authors shared their favorite and most touching moments related to Buffy. From the poignant, “Mom.  Mom.  Mommy. . .” in Season Five’s THE BODY to Buffy stabbing Angel at the end of Season Two to save the world, everyone chimed in with what made Buffy so important to each of them.

The attendees also joined in during the panel, asking questions about how the authors felt about the growth of the characters, shared their much loved moments as well as information on the ongoing Buffy Season Eight which is being released as a series of comics.

All in all, it was a wonderful and enlightening discussion about a favorite kick-ass heroine and how Buffy has helped shape today’s modern heroine in paranormal romance!