True Blood may have many years left to it, but author Charlaine Harris has announced that the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels (a.k.a. the Southern Vampire Mysteries) on which the hit HBO series is based will conclude with the thirteenth volume (volume 12 is due out next year). I recently sat down with Harris for an extensive interview, which I'll be presenting in three parts. The next two parts will focus on Harris's thoughts about True Blood and on her upcoming graphic novel Cemetery Girl. But after the jump, you can read the first part of our conversation, in which Harris discusses her approach to writing, her influences, the creation of Sookie Stackhouse, the character's upcoming final adventures, and what she might do next.
You just finished writing the twelfth Sookie Stackhouse novel…
The penultimate book, because I'm going to finish with the thirteenth.
Is it tough to finish this series, to let it go?
It's tough to walk away from the money. [Laughs.] Yeah, it is going to be tough.
But you don't have to.
No. I don't have to. But I just felt like I'm finishing the story. I don't have anything left. That's what I've got. I don't want to keep writing when I'm running on empty. I think we all know writers who have continued to write the same characters when they run out of gas apparently. I just don't want to be like that.