Charlaine Harris Talks About her Sookie Stackhouse Series

October 30, 2009 by  

Charlaine_Harris_caroline_greyshockTake one look at Charlaine Harris with her three teenagers, her three dogs, and her duck and you would never think that she was the creator of a series of novels about a dark, sexy, and mysterious world of vampires and humans. Yet Charlaine Harris is that woman. She is one of the leaders in a new genre that has taken the world by storm. Over her career Charlaine has written over 30 novels and numerous short stories. She is currently working on the tenth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, “Dead in the Family”.

Now that Alan Ball has taken the spirit of Charlaine’s books and turned it into the phenomenon we all know as True Blood, Charlaine has really hit the big time. Recently Charlaine did an online interview talking about her Sookie Stackhouse series. Charlaine was asked if she ever felt like her characters took over her writing and took her to places she didn’t expect. Charlaine answered saying:

“The writer should always be in control. Those sudden moments when everything falls into place are the best reasons to be a writer. Of course it’s not the characters taking control; it’s another part of your brain, a part that knows the characters so well it’s suggested a plot twist.”

Charlaine was then asked if she consciously writes without taking into consideration current events. Charlaine said:

“Yes, because I didn’t want to pin the series down in time. However, with Hurricane Katrina, I simply couldn’t ignore its devastation out of respect to the people of the Gulf Coast, so I did incorporate it into the books.”

Charlaine was asked if she keeps track of plot arcs and character details for her novels in a database. Charlaine explained that a database had been created but as of yet was not finished. Charlaine doesn’t see herself as much of a plotter or outliner but admits that there are three main threads in each book. Charlaine was asked if she dresses up and works at it as a strict job or if she wears 3 day old pajamas while trying to make a deadline.

“Both. There’s a lot more to the business of writing than actually writing. Interviews, for example! I work at the job with regular hours, unless I have to do publicity stuff, which takes a huge amount of time. I never work in pajamas. I wear nightgowns.”

Charlaine was then asked what she thought of the television series inspired by her books, True Blood. Charlaine answered saying:

“It’s all good with me. I’m delighted with the show, and the time I’ve spent with the actors has been very interesting.”

Charlaine then discussed the fact that certain elements of True Blood differ from the storyline of her series and how she felt about that. “It’s more of an amplification of my story. In the books, we know Jason is promiscuous. On the screen, we see that, and it’s a very different experience. But of course a lot of plot developments were necessary to balance the screen time of the actors. Anna couldn’t carry the whole story.”

Well we all know that both Charlaine and Alan have done an amazing job with this series. At the heart True Blood would not be what it is without the inspirational series that Charlaine has so beautifully written.

SOURCE:  A Writer Goes on a Journey

Photo Credit:  Charlaine Harris