Thursday, December 18, 2008

Charlaine Harris Signs for More Books

Charlaine Harris Charlaine Harris writes more than just novels featuring Sookie Stackhouse. In fact, she just signed to writer the fourth Harper Connelly novel for Editor Ginjer Buchanan at Berkley Prime Crime, for publication in fall 2009.

Not only that, but she’s teaming with Toni Kelner to edit Death’s Excellent Vacation, a cross-genre anthology. Stories will play mix and match with the science fiction, fantasy, mystery and paranormal genres, with each story revolving around death and a holiday. Such blended anthologies have occurred before and may become a new trend. Buchanan will produce this for the Ace imprint, due out in spring 2010.

Dead and Gone
, the eighth Stackhouse book, will be out in May 2009.

Speaking of vampires, the mother-daughter team of P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast' have signed to write three more books in their House of Night series, plus an illustrated companion with award-winning artist Kim Doner, for Jennifer Weis at St. Martin's Press.

Last blog entry for Charlaine for 2008

This is my last blog of 2008. From now on out, I’m going full-tilt like so many of you. I have a book to finish, lots of cooking to do, a trip to make, and children to enjoy. That’s more than enough to last me until the end of the year.

Looking back over 2008, there are so many pleasurable professional moments to relive. I can only marvel at the year I’ve had. With the publication of FROM DEAD TO WORSE, and the short story anthology Toni and I edited (WOLFSBANE AND MISTLETOE), to the appearance of my short stories in BLOOD LITE and UNUSUAL SUSPECTS, I’ve had an incredibly busy time of it. Of course, the most dominant event of the year was the debut of “True Blood.” From the premiere to the last episode, I was in a whirlwind of activity. I’m delighted all the hard work so many people put into this show has paid off so well for them, and I hope “True Blood’s” second season is as much of a hit as the first.

Personally, it’s been a good year too. My family is all well, all happy, and all moving forward with their busy lives. We were glad to welcome home Second Son after two years in Alaska, and Youngest Child is well on her way to picking a college. Maybe. We hope. Soon?

We’ve lost some friends along the way, but that’s a part of our time on earth, too.

I can’t imagine another year as wonderful as this one has been.

As I prepare for 2009, let me tell you what I hope for: financial stability in the world’s markets, peace in the Middle East, and safety for our new president. There are lots of other worthy causes, but these are the ones at the forefront of my worries when I think of the coming year.

Thanks to all of you, especially my moderators and Dawn, my web maven, for supplying each other and me with hours of entertainment on this board. Thanks for keeping it civil, and obeying the rules. I’m delighted some of you have made friends here, and I hope this board continues to introduce like-minded people to each other. Happy reading, everyone! Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy.

--Charlaine Harris

If you don't like it - you can just bite me ! (2)

This is the bite marks from one of the character in True Blood.

Do you know who this is ?

Do you know who the vampire was that did the biting ?

Yes, it is Bill !

Trueblood Superfan(g)s' Choice Awards

Vote now HERE

What do the inhabitants of Bon Temp like to read ?

What's this underneath the "Inquiry" ( National Inquirer) on the coffee table at Lettie Mae's ?
What True Love will survive ?

Here is a better view of it flipped around...

Two more articles this week on pending SAG strike vote

Two more articles on the strike from the news this week.

More than 130 Hollywood stars oppose strike vote

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - More than 130 Hollywood stars including Oscar winners George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Charlize Theron, Morgan Freeman and Sally Field, joined on Monday in opposing a strike authorization vote by the Screen Actors Guild.

The A-list performers registered their opposition in a letter that circulated on the Internet as union leaders, including SAG President Alan Rosenberg, met in New York City with rank-and-file members to seek support for a strike authorization.

The letter marked the latest sign of sharp divisions within the 120,000-member union over tactics employed by Rosenberg and his allies to squeeze a better contract offer from major studios, especially for pay from work put on the Internet.

A smaller group of stars including Mel Gibson and Martin Sheen on Friday voiced support for a strike vote, while board members from SAG's New York division came out against it.

Discord rises within SAG over strike vote
Union leaders face mounting opposition from members who question the wisdom of holding a strike authorization during a recession.
By Richard Verrier and Matea Gold December 16, 2008
On the cusp of a crucial strike authorization vote by members of the Screen Actors Guild, Hollywood's biggest union is wrestling with rising discontent among its members over the prospect of an imminent showdown with the studios.

The union representing 120,000 actors is spending more than $100,000 on an "education campaign" to muster support for a strike authorization vote, which union leaders say is necessary to give them leverage in negotiations with studios that have gone nowhere for months. The sides are sharply at odds over how actors should be compensated in the digital era.

But the campaign is facing mounting opposition from many of the union's own members, who question the wisdom of holding a strike vote in the midst of a deep recession that has forced widespread layoffs and cutbacks across the entertainment industry. Others fear that a strike would give only a leg up to the smaller actors union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which has already negotiated a contract with the studios and has been signing more shows in prime-time TV.

read on latimes,0,4614088.story

More tidbits from Charlaine Harris website

Some more tidbits from the Charlaine Harris chatrooms I find it interesting that she is no longer is thinking she will end the series after bk 10.

1. Sookie will never be a vampire

2. Sookie will have a normal life span.

3. Reading Vampire minds is completely random. Doesn't have anything to do w/Vampire blood.

4. Eric is not psychic

5. Vampires cannot make anyone pregnant

6. Sookie and Bill's relationship will never be the same.

7. Eric's curse will be talked about in Book 9

8. Telepathy has nothing to do with being part Fae

9. The ceremonial knife will have significance in later series

10. Eric will be around until the end of series

11. Likely will never be dragons in Sookie's world.

12. Charlaine knows how Sookie will end up

13. Sookie may or may not find true love at end

14. No set of# books, Book 10 is not the last one

15. The blood bond between Sookie and Eric could be weakened without killing Eric

16. Eric started as minor character

17. Charlaine knew Sookie would end up with before LDID.

18. Charlaine does not do much plotting out in advance.

from Sandlapper at charlaine harris site

True Blood Music Video of the Day

Talking in your sleep by the Romantics

A West Virginia werewolf in L.A.

* Sam went to Brown University and studied French philosophers, quantum physics and linguistics...he sure is a smart puppy !

Charleston product talks about life as a shapeshifter in HBO's 'True Blood'
Charleston's Sam Trammell says it's a dog's life for him. The actor is playing a central character on HBO's vampire drama, "True Blood," which ended its first season in November.
By Bill Lynch

Charleston's Sam Trammell says it's a dog's life for him. The actor is playing a central character on HBO's vampire drama, "True Blood," which ended its first season in November.
"True Blood," for those who haven't caught the show, is produced by Alan Ball ("American Beauty," "Six Feet Under") and based on the popular Sookie Stackhouse book series written by Charlaine Harris. Trammell plays Sam Merlotte, the mysterious owner and bartender of Merlotte's.
Actually, Trammell only plays half the role. The other half is played by a dog. Keeping with the supernatural feel of the show, Sam Merlotte is a shape-shifter.
Trammell has been a very busy guy, with guest appearances on other television shows, such as "Law and Order," as well as the occasional daytime talk show. He's busy, but not too busy to talk to the gazz to let people back home know he's doing just fine, even if the crowd he's been seen running with lately are a bunch of bloodsuckers.
"'True Blood' is definitely the biggest thing I've ever done," he said. "I love working with Alan Ball. He's one of the best writers for television, and it's fun. The show is set in an edgy, swampy gothic world. It's scary and bloody, but there's a lot of dark comedy."
That's not even the best part.
He laughed, "The studio where we shoot 'True Blood' is less than a mile from where I live."
Getting to be a shapeshifting, Southern bartender, predictably, wasn't an easy path. Trammell grew up in Charleston, went to Overbrook Elementary, John Adams Middle School and graduated from George Washington High School. He went to Brown University, where he studied physics and philosophy.
"I loved the idea of quantum physics and cosmologies," Trammell said. "I liked dealing with the smallest things in the universe - particle physics - but then I got to college and realized it was just too hard."
It was a tough decision, but he didn't feel like he had what it took to do the work. Instead, he took an easier course of study: semiotics, the study of communication. He took classes on psychoanalysis and linguistic theory. He studied French philosophers and even went to the University of Paris for a year.
After he returned, he said he was pretty burned out on the subject, but he still planned to go on to graduate school. He was ripe for some kind of change. Then a friend suggested he audition for a play.
Trammell had never been in theater, not in college, not back home in Charleston, not even in school plays.
It was a real lightning bolt for me," he said. "It was intense and fulfilling and inspiring. I was hooked."
A few more plays later, he decided he didn't really want to go on to graduate school. So he hopped on a bus and went to New York. He went from casting agency to casting agency with headshots, stood in line and took different jobs to pay the bills. He went to acting classes and "weaseled his way into the scene."
He was a working actor. He did Broadway and off-Broadway shows. He did little television projects, was nominated for a Tony for "Ah, Wilderness!" and even had parts in feature films.
"It was something I was driven to do."
Trammell says he stays in close touch with his family, but he doesn't get home very often. It's hard to, with what he does for a living, but his extended family is spread out all over the country. Often, he meets up with his parents wherever they're visiting, but he says he misses home. It's always a treat to get back.
"You get a real perspective being outside of West Virginia for a while," he said. "Every time I do get back, I realize how beautiful Charleston is."
He's not likely to be returning any time soon. Filming for "True Blood" will pick up sometime in 2009. Meanwhile, the show has been nominated for two Golden Globes, including Best Television Series in the Drama category.
Trammell says he's focusing on the show, but like everything else in an acting career, every role is a steppingstone to the next role.
"But now I don't have to have side jobs," he laughed.

Reach Bill Lynch at

I'll be dead for Christmas -Charlaine Harris on True Blood, undead Elvis and teachings of tolerance

Like most avid readers, Charlaine Harris says she often has her own picture of what a character looks like, one that seldom matches up with what she later sees on the screen.
That dilemma becomes all the more complicated when the viewer also happens to be the character's creator. Unlike, say, Bram Stoker, who managed to die before his Dracula was brought to life by Max Schreck, contemporary authors are more likely to find their works in the hands of others, sometimes for better, often for worse.
So when Harris's most popular character - the telepathic, vampire-ridden Louisiana waitress Sookie Stackhouse - was optioned for an HBO series, neither the author nor her fans were entirely sure what to expect.
"The Aurora Teagarden series was optioned for a while, but nothing ever came of it," says Harris of her even longer-running series about a mystery-solving librarian. "You know, almost everybody gets an option sooner or later, but almost nothing ever comes of it!"
So how does True Blood measure up in the eyes of its birth-parent?
The congenial Harris, who shares Sookie's Southern upbringing, has nothing but praise for the actors. Small-town police detective Andy Bellefleur, she says, "looks exactly like Andy - it's just weird," while Sam Merlotte, Sookie's boss and part-time were-dog, is very close to the way she imagined him.
But even though Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are doing "a super job" as Sookie and Bill, her Civil War-surviving first love, the characters are significantly different from Harris' original creations.
"The television Sookie is written more confrontational than my Sookie; she mouths off more than my Sookie does," says Harris with a wistful maternalism. "But I find that kind of interesting and, you know, entertaining too. And the screen Bill is a lot smiley-er than my Bill. He makes a much bigger effort to be pleasant, which makes him very clearly the good guy."
For Harris, having a hit television series and a newly released box set (which collects the seven mass-market paperbacks, which were all concurrently on the New York Times bestsellers list) is a source of excitement and, to some extent, vindication.
"Yes, I was surprised it took so long to sell, because I knew that I had something with it," says Harris of the series' first novel, Dead Until Dark, which was repeatedly turned down and took more than two years to get picked up. "But of course this was 10 years ago, when paranormal or urban fantasy was nowhere. I think now, I'd probably sell it in the snap of a finger."
Anne Rice novels notwithstanding, the appeal of Harris' Southern vampire series both predates and transcends the current popular obsession with bloodsucking romance. Her story-telling is absorbing and addictive, her humor is brilliant, and her characters are as believable as vampires, werewolves and telepaths can be.
Harris even pays homage to Elvis Presley, turning him into a vampire whose drug-addled condition seriously complicated his transition into the realm of the undead. Infuriated whenever his human name is invoked - Elvis is now known as Bubba - he's monstrous albeit charming, with a low IQ and an unquenchable thirst for cat blood.
"I just had to think of something icky for him to like," says Harris, who nevertheless loves cats. Just not in that way.
Nor is Harris concerned that the Elvis-as-vampire theme has since been picked up by other authors.
"I'm not surprised. I think the evidence that Elvis is a vampire is overwhelming," she says. "Wouldn't that explain everything? You know, the sightings and all. I just think that seems so logical."
While they never get in the way of the humor and horror, Harris admits there are lessons to be learned in her books.
"Definitely, there's a subtext to the books about tolerance," she says. "I think the obvious parallel is between vampires and the gay community. I'm sure that any group that's experienced exclusionism could identify with that."
While Harris insists it's "a mistake to say that fundamentalism equals zealotry and ignorance and bigotry," her vampire-slaying Fellowship of the Sun is all that and more. Has she been taken to task for such depictions?
"I really thought I would get some backlash for it, but no," says Harris.
Then again, she adds, "maybe they're just getting ready to burn my house down. Maybe they're being real sneaky and quiet about it!"