Slayer Lit

Slayer Lit Review

Buffy : The Making of a Slayer

by Nancy Holder

A Review by Kelly Creamer

First and foremost, I am thrilled to be reviewing this book, as Nancy Holder truly outdid herself with this one!

The foreword by Amber ("Tara") Benson made me cry, just hearing how she explained what Buffy meant to us the fans and the world.

This book will hook any fan! The first chapter contains the beginning of the whole Buffy concept, from movie to television…including details of the casting, writing and directing that some fans may not have even know about. Joss himself just wanted that blonde girl who always died in a horror movie to have a shot at surviving! Salvaging the unsuccessful motion picture as a television series on the WB, Buffy begins the journey to a new school, new Watcher and now the friends she can rely on.

The book beyond a shadow of a doubt is a celebration of Buffy through the 7 seasons and crossovers with its spin-off, Angel. It has the depth that most fans of the show crave to know. The mythology, philosophy and the basic concepts of Buffy are discussed. Buffy lives and breathes in so many forms, like the Slayage conferences, the continuing saga in comic book form, and the charity work it has done. For some of us Buffy is a way of life, and Nancy shows how important Buffy as an icon really has affected us.

I love the book, the pictures and the sweet artifacts that were included. Even more so, the beautiful drawings and rare behind-the-scenes photos. This book is a treasure for any fan.

I would love to thank Nancy for giving the fans a book we can cherish, and employ to help spread the love of Buffy to others. If you don't have it, run NOW and get your copy!

"Buffy: The Making of a Slayer", Becker & Mayer Books 176 pages http://www.beckermayer.com

BONUS! Four Questions with Nancy Holder

SL: Hi Nancy, and thanks for speaking with us about BUFFY: THE MAKING OF A SLAYER. Can you tell us who has published this, and how you came to be involved?

NH: The book's creation company, becker&mayer!, came to me and asked me if would like to be involved in a tribute book to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Buffy the show. I already had some of their books—the ones on Pixar and Poe—and I was so excited that they thought of me. I remember looking at the Pixar book when I was at Disney World and I thought, “How fabulous is this? How do you get to write books like these?” And then it happened!

They sent me even more books as examples of what they were looking for, and I was DYING because it took about a year for them to firm up their deal with Titan UK. Titan UK showed a core group of fans my proposed outline and they made comments (wanting to make sure I covered “Hush” and “The Body”, if I recall correctly) and gave me the thumbs-up.

[The Titan UK version: titanbooks.com/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-the-making-of-a-slayer-the-official-guide-6460/]

Amazon (47 North) came in and wanted a more deluxe version, with the removables and packaging. I thought becker&mayer! really outdid themselves in response. When I received a copy in the mail, I welled up.

The undertaking was vast—how to show Buffy to people who might be curious about Joss and his work, now that he has really hit the mainstream, but how to make something that the fans who have always been there would also appreciate. For some of us (myself included), Buffy has always been more than a show. She/her world has that same kind of “real reality” as, say, Sherlock Holmes.

SL: Where would this rank on your list of 'Dream Projects'?

NH: I can't tell you how happy I was to have a chance to work on this. I also must mention my dream editor, Kjersti Egerdahl. Originally I was contacted by the wonderful Amelia Riedler, who championed the project, but she has moved on to another company, so we didn't work together. But Kjersti is so fantastic. As I write this, I'm in Seattle, and we had dinner together last night at the Triple Door. We're talking about other projects and I hope we work together again soon!

SL: In the course of compiling the information, did you learn anything extraordinary you hadn't known before about the show?

NH: One of the things that really hit home was what a sweeping narrative Buffy really is. I t's not surprising to me that Charles Dickens is Joss's favorite author. If you do a rewatch all of a piece, you get a sense of the scope and continuity that I don't think I fully appreciated until now. Now I've watched all the seasons so many times that I can kind of “take it all in” at a level not possible before. When I began writing this book, I would become so engrossed in an episode that it would be difficult to put it in context of the larger work. There were so many things I wanted to write about, but I had limited space. I tried to take a more birds-eye view of the entire “narrative,” as we say, and to break certain aspects such as special episodes and a tribute to the writers out into sidebars. It was difficult but I had a mission!

SL: When can we expect Volume 2? LOL NH: Happily, Becker & Mayer and I are talking about other projects. Willow is doing her mojo as we speak!

Kelly Creamer is the founder of the Slay-A-Thon, which has been in operation continuously since 2003. For more information on this charitable endeavor, please visit Slayathon.org

Nancy Holder may be found online at NancyHolder.com