Charlaine Harris Talks True Blood and the Sookie Stackhouse Books

July 24, 2010 by  

After being honored with the Inkpot Award for Achievement in Fantasy and Fiction at Comic-Con this week, Charlaine Harris participated in the Author’s Spotlight Panel.  Fans of True Blood have Harris to thank for our favorite television show and the author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels talked about upcoming Sookie stories, where she came up with some of the more random ideas like lemons being toxic to fairies, and the inspiration for “Bubba”.

Charlaine revealed that she joined Facebook because Anne Rice had been trying to get in contact with her and was a fan of the show.  Anne and Laurell K. Hamilton influenced Charlaine‘s writing and helped open the doors for her to give us Sookie Stackhouse.

A fan asked Charlaine how she came up with the name Sookie Stackhouse.  She revealed that “Sookie” is:

“An old Southern name that had fallen into disuse. I thought it was a good name for a girl with old-fashioned values but with a modern twist… I didn’t realize how difficult [‘Sookie Stackhouse’] would be to say with fangs.  You spit when you say ‘S,’ so maybe now I’d name her … Dora Dunce.”

While Harris really enjoys what Alan Ball has done with the show, particularly with introducing Jessica Hamby, she does not plan to bring the characters from the show into her books.  She likes that the books and the show are two separate types of entertainment although she finds it amusing when fans who watched the show first try to tell her she got things wrong.  One fan told her on her website that she was wrong and that “Eric‘s maker isn’t Appius Livius Ocella, but it was Godfrey.”

Fans of the novels hate the long interval between Sookie books but Harris, who admits to having no real writing style, says that she understands that it’s hard for fans but she wants to make the books as enjoyable as possible and that takes time.  So what can we do to keep ourselves occupied until the next novel is released in May 2011?  A new short story will be released on August 3rd featuring Pam, Sookie and a stripper pole.  In February 2011 a “Sookie Companion” will be released which will include an interview with Alan Ball, a FAQ section, a recipes section (Charlaine is quick to point out that this was not her idea), synopses of the books, secret emails between Bill and Eric, and a novella about Sam and Sookie going to Sam‘s brother’s wedding.

For fans of her Harper Connelly series, Harris revealed that she had finished writing that series saying that she felt she had written everything about Harper that she wanted to say.  Harper is going to appear in comic books and other projects are in currently in the works for Harper.  While Charlaine wouldn’t comment further, rumors have been circulating that HBO is going to be making a television show about this series as well.

One fan asked Charlaine how she thought Alan did in the casting department.  Charlaine responded Kristen Bauer van Straten who plays Eric‘s second in command Pam, and Chris Bauer who plays detective Andy Bellefleur were exactly how she pictured them.  One way she felt differed was the casting of Sookie.

“God bless Anna who’s so small, but Sookie [in the books] is definitely curvier.  Sookie’s a bigger gal than that.”

When asked about a few points in the books Charlaine stated that Sookie will never become a vampire, that Sookie can’t read vampire minds because their brain synapses fire differently, and that she is contracted for three more Sookie books.  She has said in previous interviews that it is likely that the series will be over after these three books have been written.  She also revealed that “Bubba” will be in the next book.  She got the inspiration for Bubba from the movie Men in Black.  When she saw how they made famous people “aliens” in the movie the idea just popped into her head.  So where did Charlaine come up with the idea of lemons being toxic to fairies?  Harris said she wanted the item that could foil the fairies to be

“totally ridiculous … Lemons are readily available. Why not make lemons the culprit?”

What does the future hold for Eric and Sookie in the books?  Charlaine says that for Eric the next logical step is for Sookie to become a vampire and he will tell her this in the current novel that she is writing.  And no matter how many times she is asked Charlaine will not reveal who Niall was referring to when he told Sookie “He really loves you Sookie.”  Harris said she is neither “Team Eric” nor “Team Bill“.  She finds the whole concept counterproductive to what she is trying to accomplish in the books.

Fans of the novels have a lot to look forward to.  We can’t wait to see what Charlaine comes up with in the next three books!


Photo Credit: HBO Inc.