Charlaine Harris Promotes Dead in the Family

May 8, 2010 by  

As the release week for Dead in the Family comes to a close, author Charlaine Harris is busy with promotion for the book, the 10th in her popular Sookie Stackhouse series. On Saturday, May 8, she will be signing copies at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego, CA, at 2:00pm.

In an audio interview with San Diego’s KPBS, Charlaine discusses vampires in general, her career, and her experience as a writer whose work has inspired the successful television show, HBO‘s True Blood.

She read plenty of vampire literature to establish the rules of her stories:

“I read a lot of vampire material, and I really had to adapt what I learned to suit my own world, which I think every writer has to do with folklore.”

The unique thing about the vampires in Sookie’s universe is that they are out in the open. Aside from that, they follow many of the conventional restrictions on vampire behavior–sunlight, fire, wooden stakes. But Charlaine’s stories are far from conventional. They provide that unique blend of comedy, romance, politics, religion, mystery, and many more elements, that make them engaging and appealing to so many readers.

One of the aspects that people focus on is the prominence of sexuality as part of the vampire lifestyle in the book series and on True Blood. Charlaine says that it made sense to her for vampires to have vast experience in that area after being around for hundreds of years:

“It was part of the world-building, when I had to think about what it would be like to have lived for so long. How would you feel about so many different things [like sex]?”

There are several attractive vampires and other supernatural creatures that cross paths with Sookie, but only Charlaine knows how the story will end. When asked if our telepathic heroine will find true love, Charlaine coyly responded, “Could be!” She seems to enjoy teasing the fans like this…

She goes on in the interview to discuss the adaptation process. She had fielded offers before from people in Hollywood interested in turning her books into a movie. Alan Ball was the one who made the best pitch for Sookie, and he agreed with Charlaine that an HBO television series would be a good match for the material.

She insists that her input is minimal and that she leaves Alan to do the work he is so excellent at, while she continues to write her books. She thinks the spirit of her story has been maintained by True Blood, even when the plot deviates to allow for a twist or to develop another character. Charlaine sees herself as just an excited fan of True Blood:

“I’m kind of a super informed and invested fan. I love to watch the show. I probably look at it with a little different eye than other people, and I’m really always amazed at the richness of the writing and the look of the show.”

When she does promotional work for True Blood, like she has done the past couple of summers at Comic-Con in San Diego, Charlaine says it is a lot of fun to see how enthusiastic the fans are. Although, with so many people around, it can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, as this interviewer remarks and as anyone who has had the pleasure to meet her knows, Charlaine always seems charming and composed. Those will be valuable traits in the coming months as she continues to travel and promote Dead in the Family, in bookstores now!


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