Friday, March 26, 2010

Q & A with Charlaine Harris

From --

Q&A with True Blood author Charlaine Harris --

March 05, 2010 --

AMERICAN author Charlaine Harris is best known for vampires-in-the-deep-south True Blood novels featuring heroine Sookie Stackhouse. On Wednesday, she's signing books in Nottingham.

What inspired you to start writing vampire/supernatural stories? Is the deep south really that spooky or did you grow up watching Hammer Horror films?

I had reached a crossroads in my career, and decided to write something different. It seemed interesting to write about a young woman who was dating a vampire. Any region of the US can seem creepy, I'm sure; I just specialise in the south.

You've created a world of "supes" although the fairies have gone. (I'll miss 'em, I love the way you gave them Irish names). Are there any new beings to come?

In the next book there's an incidental character who's of another race. And there are still some fairies hanging around. Hope you enjoy them.

What did you think of the True Blood TV version and were you able to have any input in the series? (They did seem to go overboard on the sex.)

I love the TV show, and I really enjoy seeing my work through Alan's interpretation. (Alan Ball, who created American series Six Feet Under, is creator and producer of the True Blood television series.) My input lies in writing the books the show is based on.

What did you think of our true Brit Stephen Moyer's performance as Bill Compton?

I admire Stephen. I'm so pleased he's in the series, and I think he's given Bill depth and great appeal.

What's in store for Sookie, as the next book is out in May? Will the FBI come back to recruit her?

You'll have to find out then. You'll be surprised.

Why do you think the world's gone bats over vampires?

In depressed economic times people turn to fantasy literature, and my books fit the bill. In our youth obsessed society, vampires represent the ideal in keeping their looks, never ageing, never getting ill.

You also write crime fiction with the Harper Connelly "grave" stories. Would you like to see Harper get the same small screen treatment as Sookie? The latest instalment, Grave Secret, seems to flesh out some characters, such as Manfred and Harper's sisters, aunt and uncle, so there seem to be plenty of cast members for a TV series. Was this deliberate?

No, I fleshed out the characters because they were an integral part of the story. But there has been TV interest in the Harper books, and it may happen, may not.

How do you divide your time between the genres, as we're told writers have to be very focused and disciplined?

It's like switching heads. It's a nice change of pace.

How do you relax?

I read. Sometimes my husband and I go to the movies. We watch my daughter play baseball. I e-mail friends.

You're only making three stops in the UK and Nottingham is one. Do you have a fan club here or is it a hot spot for sales?

As I understand it, it is a hot spot for sales. I don't book my own tours in the US or overseas, and I enjoy seeing different places and different fans.

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