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Little Willow

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Author Spotlight: Christopher Golden

For years, as I would assist kids in the bookstore who enjoyed fantasy, sci-fi, and horror novels, I would think, "These kids will love books by Christopher Golden . . . in ten years."

Golden's first novel, OF SAINTS AND SHADOWS, was released in 1994. This dark horror story about a vampire named Peter Octavian contains what Buffy Summers would describe as "violence, strong language, adult content." This and the subsequent Octavian novels - referred to collectively as THE SHADOW SAGA - were not written for kids.

Golden continued to write stories shelved in the fiction/literature department (or sci-fi/fantasy or horror, if the bookstore or library has genre breakouts) until he became involved in the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER line, which was in teen series. He was one of the first authors on board with the BtVS books. He authored or co-authored multiple original novels based on the television series as well as companion books such as the first volume of THE WATCHER'S GUIDE and THE MONSTER BOOK. Then Simon & Schuster started an adult line of BtVS novels, shelved in sci-fi/fantasy series instead of teen series. These books were longer and meatier than the teen BtVS line.

BODY BAGS, Golden's first novel in the BODY OF EVIDENCE forensic murder mystery series, came out in May 1999. (Note that this outdates CSI by nearly a year and a half.) BODY BAGS and the books that followed it were shelved in teen fiction and featured a college-aged protagonist, the intelligent and quick-thinking Jenna Blake. BoE offered ten books which I in turn offered to teens and adults alike. In fact, when a new book came out, some parents and teenagers who would teasingly fight over who got to read the book first!

A few summers ago, Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski released a quartet of juvenile fantasy novels entitled OUTCAST, starting with the book THE UN-MAGICIAN. Finally, finally, I could give Golden books to eight year olds. In fact, due to the timeless nature of this fantasy series, I put these books in the hands of kids, teens, and adults alike.

Golden has continued to write books for adults. His novels and series range from urban fantasy to Victorian ghost stories and everything in-between. He has brought mythology into contemporary settings (THE FERRYMAN, THE VEIL), dabbled in dark magick and time travel (THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN), even re-told Peter Pan as a coming-of-age story set in 1981 (STRAIGHT ON 'TIL MORNING). These and more are the titles you'll find in the sci-fi/fantasy or horror sections of the bookstore. Mature older teens gobble up these stories just as quickly as adults, while other parents hold on to the titles for their kids to read when they are older.

Christopher Golden has successfully written for adults, teens, and kids. If I can claim the same too someday, I'll be a happy girl.

Here is a quick rundown of his most popular works for different age groups. Click the series or book title for more information.

Adult Series
The Veil
- The Myth Hunters
- The Borderkind
- The Lost Ones

The Shadow Saga
- Of Saints and Shadows
- Angel Souls and Devil Hearts
- Of Masques and Martyrs
- The Gathering Dark
- Waking Nightmares

The Menagerie (with Thomas E. Sniegoski)
- The Nimble Man
- Tears of the Furies
- Stones Unturned
- Crashing Paradise

Ghosts of Albion (with Amber Benson)
- Accursed
- Witchery

The Hidden Cities (with Tim Lebbon)
- Mind the Gap
- The Map of Moments
- The Chamber of Ten

Adult Novels (Stand-alone titles, without series or sequels)
Wildwood Road
The Boys are Back in Town
The Ferryman
Straight on 'Til Morning
Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire (with Mike Mignola)

Young Adult Series aka Teen Series
Body of Evidence (with Rick Hautala)
- Body Bags
- Thief of Hearts
- Soul Survivor
- Meets the Eye
- Head Games
- Skin Deep
- Burning Bones
- Brain Trust
- Last Breath
- Throat Culture

- Prowlers
- Laws of Nature
- Predator and Prey
- Wild Things

The Secret Journeys of Jack London (with Tim Lebbon, illustrated by Greg Ruth)
The Wild
Sea Wolves
White Fangs

The Waking (using the pseudonym Thomas Randall)
- Dreams of the Dead
- Spirits of the Noh
- A Winter of Ghosts

The Hollow (with Ford Lytle Gilmore)
- The Horseman
- Drowned
- Mischief
- Enemies

Young Adult Novels aka Teen Fiction
Force Majeure (with Thomas E. Sniegoski)
Poison Ink
When Rose Wakes

Juvenile Series
OutCast (with Thomas E. Sniegoski)
- The Un-Magician
- Dragon Secrets
- Ghostfire
- Wurm War

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Original Novels for Teens
Halloween Rain (with Nancy Holder)
Blooded (with Nancy Holder)
Child of the Hunt (with Nancy Holder)
The Gatekeeper Trilogy (with Nancy Holder)
- Out of the Madhouse
- Ghost Roads
- Sons of Entropy
Immortal (with Nancy Holder)
Sins of the Father
The Lost Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Original Novels for Adults
Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row
Oz: Into the Wild
The Wisdom of War
Monster Island (BtVS/Angel crossover with Thomas E. Sniegoski)
Dark Congress

BtVS Non-Fiction / Companions
The Watcher's Guide, Volume 1 (with Nancy Holder)
Sunnydale High Yearbook (with Nancy Holder)
The Monster Book (with Stephen R. Bissette and Thomas E. Sniegoski)

Wondering where to start? Check out Where to Start Reading: Christopher Golden.

Visit Christopher Golden's official website to learn more about the man, the myth, the legend.

Browse through my Golden-related posts at Bildungsroman.

See my other author spotlights.
Tags: articles, author spotlight, books, buffy the vampire slayer, christopher golden

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