Charlaine Harris Talks About “True Blood” and the Future of the Series

May 3, 2010 by  

Charlaine Harris recently sat down with The Trades for a casual interview and discussed topics ranging from upcoming plot changes to her reaction to “True Blood,” HBO’s adaptation of her books. Two things are immediately noted,  that Charlaine is not like one of the characters from her books, but is a Southern belle from Magnolia, Ark., and her books take place close to this region in the South.

The interview begins on what could be an awkward foot, but Charlaine immediately dismisses the idea that focusing her series in the South is an “audacious move” by discussing her decision to use northern Louisiana as a setting:

“I loved Anne Rice’s books, but she had already used up the southern parts. So I thought it would be funny to set my books in the northern part, and to bounce off of her brooding romantic vampires and be a little more prosaic in my approach.”

Of course, Charlaine’s depictions of brooding romance do differ from Rice’s, especially in the HBO series “True Blood” where romance is accompanied with graphic sex scenes. When asked if she was surprised by how much more graphic the show was than her books, Charlaine laughs and says, “Oh boy was I surprised!” This is in part because the books are told from Sookie‘s first person perspective, which could not be easily translated into television.

“Alan [Ball] and I had discussed [the differences] extensively ahead of time. For one thing, the books are in the first person, and obviously you can’t film a television show that way. For another thing, I knew it was HBO, and I also knew that things I had said in the books, but the reader hadn’t seen them … It’s just a completely different experience. I mean, you know Jason is a horndog in the books, but that’s very different from seeing him do it! So I was very startled at first, until I thought, “You know, that’s really the truth of the character I’m seeing.”

Of course, a lot of the attention has gone to fan favorite Eric Northman, played by Alexander Skarsgard, which was definitely a surprise to Charlaine.

“Eric turned out to be more popular than I expected, but the books are still going the way I planned on them going, regardless of the popularity of one character over another.”

Although Eric’s popularity wasn’t expected, Charlaine claims that the show hasn’t influenced her writing. Because she is eight stories ahead of the televisions how, Charlaine says that any influences would have to be purely unconscious.

But, despite the wishes of some hopeful fans that Sookie and Eric will remain together, Charlaine remains somewhat elusive, noting that she does know how the series will ultimately end and who Sookie will be with, but will it be a vampire or not remains to be seen.

With two more books in the works, and the possibility of extending the series, Charlaine is tightlipped on who, or what, Sookie will be with at the series close.

In the meantime, Charlaine is considering pursuing a few different writing projects while also editing an anthology of short stories this year that she and Toni Kelner have been working on for the past three to four years.

Charlaine Harris‘ 10th book, “Dead In The Family” comes out tomorrow, Tuesday, May 4, 2010 so get ready to hit your favorite bookstore!

SOURCE: The Trades

(Photo credit:
Edited by: April Lollar