Ward, J.R.

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Ward, J.R.

PERSONAL:

Married. Education: Graduated from law school.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Louisville, KY. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Previously worked as chief of staff for an academic medical center in Boston.

WRITINGS:

"BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD" SERIES

Dark Lover, New American Library (New York, NY), 2005.

Lover Eternal, New American Library (New York, NY), 2006.

Lover Awakened, Signet (New York, NY), 2006.

Lover Revealed, New American Library (New York, NY), 2007.

Lover Unbound, Signet (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

J.R. Ward began her career as a lawyer, working in the health-care industry in Boston prior to moving on to work for a major academic medical center. However, writing was her first love, and she eventually began to write fiction seriously, breaking through with her series of erotic paranormal romance novels about vampires, in a series that revolves around the Black Dagger Brotherhood. The books became extremely popular almost immediately upon publication, and the series has made both the New York Times best-seller list and the USA Today best-seller list. In an interview for the Authors Abode Web site, Ward explains the origins of the books: "The Brothers just showed up in my head. All at once. And the world was fully formed, from the language to the mythology to the Brothers' characteristics and challenges. It was the oddest thing. One minute it was relatively quiet, the next—BOOM! Two thousand pounds of male vampire talking to me."

Dark Lover, the first book in the series, sets up the universe that Ward has created, in which vampires are hunted by slayers. This premise in itself is not new, as it has been used in countless other books, films, and television programs, but Ward adds a fresh twist to the concept, making the vampires the victims, and the slayers the unscrupulous hunters. Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, is the protagonist for the story, and the only pureblood vampire left standing after a centuries-long battle against the slayers. Wrath's mission is to destroy the slayers who killed his parents, but other duties get in the way of his goal, including the innocent girl orphaned when one of his fighters is killed. Despite the overnight popularity of the books, reviews have been mixed. Regarding this first installment, a contributor for Review Stream.com remarked: "A definitely good read and I humorously think this is the best perspective from a vampire." Vicky London, writing for Vampire Genre, commented: "The vampires of the brotherhood have names that are fairly cheesy like Phury, Wrath, and Tohrment. More like professional wrestler names than vampire names."

Ward continued the series with Lover Eternal, in which Rhage, the next member of the Brotherhood, must deal with an age-old curse that has him seeking nothing but sex and violence, until he meets a woman who seems to bring him peace. In a review for Booklist, Nina C. Davis wrote of this installment: "Ward wields a commanding voice perfect for the genre."

Lover Awakened, Lover Revealed, and Lover Unbound are the next volumes in Ward's series, each addressing the plight of another vampire in the Brotherhood. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted: "In just two years, the first three books in the series have earned Ward an Anne Rice-style following, deservedly so."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 2006, Nina C. Davis, review of Lover Eternal, p. 54.

Library Journal, August 1, 2005, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Dark Lover, p. 63.

Publishers Weekly, January 15, 2007, review of Lover Revealed, p. 37.

ONLINE

Authors Abode,http://interviews.authorsabode.com/ (September 19, 2006), Alan Morgan, interview with J.R. Ward.

J.R. Ward Home Page,http://www.jrward.com (July 18, 2007).

New American Library,http://nalauthors.com/ (July 18, 2007), author biography.

Paperback Reader,http://www.paperbackreader.net/ (March 12, 2007), review of Lover Revealed.

Review Stream,http://www.reviewstream.com/ (July 18, 2007), review of Dark Lover.

Vampire Genre,http://www.vampiregenre.com/ (January 12, 2006), Vicky London, review of Dark Lover; (March 26, 2006), review of Lover Eternal; (August 1, 2006), Vicky London, review of Lover Awakened; (March 10, 2007), Vicky London, review of Lover Revealed.