Charlaine Harris on her Sookie books, ‘True Blood,’ Bill vs. Edward
Charlaine Harris is pretty much everywhere these days. The author of the Sookie Stackhouse series, which HBO is basing its TRUE BLOOD shows on, is working on her 10th Sookie book (due out May 2010), keeping an eye on the TV show as well as appearing at big fan shows such as Comic-Con. We caught up with her right before Comic Con to ask her a few things about the latest book out, DEAD AND GONE, and a little bit about the show! (Thanks to fellow Sookie book/True Blood fans at www.sookiestackhouse.com for their book questions!)
Q. Do you think Eric has grown because of his relationship with Sookie?
A. I think parts of Eric have surfaced that he thought were buried for good.
Q. What will it take for Sookie to understand the blood bond? (It seems as if she is losing her ability to distinguish between her own feelings, Eric’s feelings and those generated by the blood bond.)
A. This is an issue in the next book.
Q. How would you compare the strengths between the bonds of vampire and sire, a vampire and his/her king or queen, and a vampire and his/her sheriff?
A. The vampire/sire relationship is the strongest.
Q. In one podcast interview, you said you didn’t see Sookie turning into a vampire or even winding up with one — in the sense that she would lead a normal life and be with a human. Do you still think she will be able to do that — settle with one person? Not a vampire?
A. I said that Sookie will never become a vampire. And a vampire can’t give her what she’s always thought she wanted; a regular marriage with children. But that doesn’t mean Sookie will end up with exactly what she wants. I see no reason why she couldn’t settle with one person.
Q. What did you want readers to take away from DEAD AND GONE?
A. I don’t know that I had a specific goal; I had several themes, though. The ruthlessness and inhumanity of the fae, the outrages we commit in the name of love, and the loneliness of those who simply can’t fit in and are doomed by their own nature . . . those were all elements of the book.
Q. Do you have a good idea of how the series will eventually end? If so — have you ever changed your mind about the ending?
A. I do know how the series will end. And I have never changed my mind.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your cameo at the end of season 2!!!!
A. I’m sitting in Merlotte’s at the bar talking to Sam. I’m wearing a striped shirt. I have a line. I almost hope they cut it. I’m not an actor.
Q. Alan Ball has certainly developed the HBO show differently from the books. Does his vision of the show make you think about how you’re writing your current book? Have you ever gotten an idea from the show to build on in the book series?
A. I keep them separate in my mind. The book characters have been living with me for a long, long time.
Q. Do you and Alan Ball talk before, during, after the season?
A. We email back and forth from time to time, more frequently before each season. We are both very busy people. If I’m in Los Angeles, we usually have lunch together or something. And we have some good conversations when we’re doing publicity for the show.
Q. To you — what’s been the most interesting/surprising or creative storyline(s) that HBO has developed in the series?
A. Jessica, without a doubt.
Q. Which parts of the TV series most visually match what you envisioned when you wrote your book series?
A. Sookie’s house is perfect, though it doesn’t have the same layout. But the rooms are just right. In Sam’s office, the desk is turned in a different direction, but other than that it’s wonderful.
Q. Do you know ahead of time what is on each episode? Do you watch each Sunday?
A. I do know ahead of time. And I do watch each Sunday.
Q. OK — gotta ask because it’s everywhere! Bill Compton vs. Edward Cullen?
A. There is no contest.
What’s next for Charlaine this year? Three releases.
* A Sookie short story compilation A TOUCH OF DEAD (October)
* GRAVE SECRET, the next Harper Connelly novel (November)
* MUST LOVE HELLHOUNDS, which contains a Britlingen novella (September)