Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Great Charlaine Harris interview from ScriptSuperhero

Script Superhero does a really great interview with Charlaine Harris. I haven't posted it until now because it has been drizzling slowly out in 8 parts but now all the parts are out so go and read...

It's a rare thing for a blogger to land an interview with a published writer, and to land an interview with a New York Times bestselling author is even more difficult. Fortunately, has overcome the odds and landed an exclusive interview with just such an author, Charlaine Harris, best known for her Sookie Stackhouse novels that last year were transformed into the HBO original series TRUE BLOOD by Alan Ball, currently airing its second season.
Ms. Harris granted us an extensive, wide-ranging interview of nearly unprecedented depth in which she discusses not only her recent success, but her career as a whole and the craft of writing in general.
This interview will be published in eight parts, beginning today, with each successive part scheduled to debut at 11:59 PM Central Daylight Time until the interview is complete. In tonight's first installment, Ms. Harris discusses the benefits and pitfalls of sudden success.
Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over twenty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Now she lives in southern Arkansas with her husband, her three children, three dogs, and a duck. The duck stays outside.
Though her early output consisted largely of ghost stories, by the time she hit college (Rhodes, in Memphis) Charlaine was writing poetry and plays.
After holding down some low-level jobs, she had the opportunity to stay home and write, and the resulting two stand-alones were published by Houghton Mifflin. After a child-producing sabbatical, Charlaine latched on to the trend of writing mystery series, and soon had her own traditional books about a Georgia librarian, Aurora Teagarden. Her first Teagarden, REAL MURDERS, garnered an Agatha nomination.
Soon Charlaine was looking for another challenge, and the result was the much darker Lily Bard series. The books, set in Shakespeare, Arkansas, feature a heroine who has survived a terrible attack and is learning to live with its consequences.
When Charlaine began to realize that neither of those series was ever going to set the literary world on fire, she regrouped and decided to write the book she'd always wanted to write. Not a traditional mystery, nor yet pure science fiction or romance, DEAD UNTIL DARK, broke genre boundaries to appeal to a wide audience of people who just enjoy a good adventure. Each subsequent book about Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic Louisiana barmaid and friend to vampires, werewolves, and various other odd creatures, has drawn more readers. The southern vampire books are published in Japan, Great Britain, Greece, Germany, Thailand, Spain, France, and Russia.
In addition to Sookie, Charlaine has another heroine with a strange ability.
Harper Connelly, lightning-struck and strange, can find corpses. and that's how she makes her living.
In addition to her work as a writer, Charlaine is the past senior warden of St. James Episcopal Church, a board member of Mystery Writers of America, a past board member of Sisters in Crime, a member of the American Crime Writers League, and past president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance.
She spends her "spare" time reading, watching her daughter play sports, traveling, and going to the movies.

ScriptSuperhero: Ms. Harris, thank you for agreeing to this interview. In the past year, you have enjoyed quite a bit of success. You recently saw your ninth Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire novel, DEAD AND GONE, published, and the second season of the HBO series based on that series of novels, TRUE BLOOD, debuted in mid-June. Let's start out by talking about your recent success. How much has all of this attention provided an obstacle, if any, to your regular writing schedule?
Charlaine Harris: Success is its own obstacle, as it turns out. At times, I've done three interviews a day by phone and a couple more via email.
Sometimes reporters are scheduled to come to the house, along with photographers. With the best will in the world, it does get tiresome and intrusive answering the same questions over and over and over. However, I'm sure this is only a small sampling of what people on the film end undergo.
SS: To what extent are you consulted in the production process for True Blood? How much has Alan Ball brought you into the show's creative process?
CH: I'm not consulted at all. I wrote the books, and they're the basis of the show. That's a huge involvement, and one I'm comfortable with. They're the experts on producing television; I'm not. I picked the right person to trust, and for me that was the best choice I could make.
SS: Are you satisfied with your level of involvement?
CH: Yes. If I were more involved with the show, I'd have even less time to write the books.

read on


Rita said...

Great interview,you just have the best site.