Laurell Kaye Hamilton (born February 19, 1963) is an American fantasy and romance writer. She is best known as the author of two series of stories. Her New York Times-bestselling Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series centers on Anita Blake, a professional zombie raiser, vampire executioner and supernatural consultant for the police, which includes novels, short story collections, and comic books. Six million copies of Anita Blake novels are in print. Her Merry Gentry series centers on Meredith Gentry, Princess of the Unseelie court of Faerie, a private detective facing repeated assassination attempts. Both of these fantasy series follow their protagonists as they gain in power and deal with the dangerous “realities” of worlds in which creatures of legend live. Hamilton is generally considered one of the most influential writers in the history of paranormal fiction. Several media outlets, including USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, and Time, have identified her works as significant contributions to the development of the urban-fantasy genre. Laurell Kaye Hamilton was born Laurell Kaye Klein in Heber Springs, Arkansas but grew up in Sims, Indiana with her grandmother Laura Gentry. Her education includes degrees in English and biology from Marion College (now called Indiana Wesleyan University), a private Evangelical Christian liberal arts college in Marion, Indiana that is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church denomination. She met Gary Hamilton, whom she married, there. They have one daughter together, Trinity. Hamilton is involved with a number of animal charities, particularly supporting dog rescue efforts and wolf preservation. Hamilton currently lives in St. Louis County, Missouri, with her daughter Trinity, and husband Jonathon Green whom she married in 2001.