Charlaine Harris Blogs About Book 10

October 2, 2009 by  

large_trueblood-charlaine-trublood-bevThe 10th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, entitled Dead in the Family, is scheduled for release in May 2010. On her Web site, author Charlaine Harris shared a bit about her writing process and all the work that goes into bringing the next part of Sookie’s story into the eager hands of the fans.

Charlaine praises the value of her first readers for making suggestions on how to improve the books before they are published:

“A first reader is someone you trust to tell you the truth, not someone you know will tell you comforting lies. An ideal first reader is intelligent, consistent, conversant with your other books and with the laws of the language and diligent. When I say ‘diligent,’ I mean someone who’ll drop everything to plow through your book if you say, ‘This was supposed to be on my editor’s desk three days ago.’ “

Charlaine is grateful to have two friends who serve her well as first readers. She also has continuity readers to help her keep track of the multitude of details — character and place names, etc.

“Now, by the time my overworked editor sees the book, I think it’s in much better shape. This saves time and worry — at least for me! And I think the reader comes out ahead, too.”

She knows, however, that there are still occasionally slight errors in continuity:

“Though I can’t carry the whole series in my head and refer to it all the time, I ought to be able to, I tell myself; and it’s very upsetting for me when I make a mistake. It’s not from lack of caring; it’s from lack of brain room. My memory is so full after my long career (at least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it) that I don’t have room for more facts.”

In the past couple of years, her books have gone through the continuity expert phase so that the reprints are much more error-free.

Even though not every plot development can please all the readers, Charlaine offers this as a kind of quality assurance notice:

“I’m doing the best I can to deliver the best book possible.”

And we as fans certainly appreciate her hard work and the care she puts into the lives of Sookie and all our friends in Bon Temps. I can’t imagine how many people have tried to tell Charlaine that she got something wrong, but they ought to remember that this is the product of her imagination! The handful of meaningless continuity glitches don’t compare to everything she has gotten right in creating this world. We’re lucky to be able to read and share in such a wonderful story. Who else can’t wait to find out what will happen in Dead in the Family?


(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)