Friday, September 4, 2009

Dragon * Con : An Interview with Charlaine Harris

Dragon*Con 2009 welcomes Charlaine Harris, the author of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern vampire novels (from Dead Until Dark through her latest novel, Dead and Gone, a recent New York Times hardback #1 bestseller) as well as the Harper Connelly, Lily Bard, and Aurora Teagarden mysteries. Readers beware: the Sookie Stackhouse novels and the HBO series True Blood, based on Ms. Harris’s “Sookie-verse” books, are just as addictive as “V-juice,” the street name for vampire blood. Continue at your own risk.

Daily Dragon (DD): Like Sookie Stackhouse, your character who is both a barmaid and friend-sometime-lover to vamps and other “supes,” you live something of a double life: writer of exciting, sexy books and mother of at least three kids with family and community obligations. Do these roles ever present conflicts?

Charlaine Harris (CH): I think all writers live double lives. Not many of us can live up to the drama in our books (or down to it, as the case may be), and most of us don’t want to. I feel I have the best of all possible worlds; I have thrills and chills through the books, and I have the peace and pleasant chaos of my family life.

DD: Your current home state of Arkansas is not generally known as a hotbed of liberal thinking. Do you ever get negative feedback locally (or otherwise) due to the titillating and/or horrific content of your books?

CH: It’s been interesting. After True Blood debuted, I expected a lot of backlash . . . but that didn’t happen, for two reasons. One, some of the more sensational scenes in the series weren’t in the books. Two, people here are mostly too polite to upbraid me publicly, and they’re proud of my achievements. The local people who read my books simply dodge the Sookie novels and read the others, which are less . . . everything.

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