Tuesday, April 6, 2010

True Blood' scoop: Meet Merlotte's new

Merlotte’s is adding yet another wackadoodle to its payroll: Lauren Bowles has been cast in the major recurring role of Holly, an oddly prescient single mom who gets hired as a waitress at Sam’s watering hole.

Look for Bowles, whose credits include Watching Ellie, Seinfeld, and The New Adventures of Old Christine (she’s the half-sister of Julia Louis-Dreyfus), to debut midway through True Blood’s upcoming third season and possibly return as a series regular in season 4.

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University conference sinks its teeth into vampire fiction

Robert Pattinson has a lot to answer for. Ever since his lanky frame immortalised Stephenie Meyer's Twilight character Edward Cullen with an American twang, all the vampires of the world seem to have lost their British passports. Those populating Bon Temps, the fictional town in Louisiana that is the setting for TV drama True Blood, have a southern American drawl. Meanwhile Mystic Falls, Virginia, where The Vampire Diaries is set, is a long way from the London and Whitby homes of the most famous vampire of all: Count Dracula.

But watch out, bloodsuckers: the Brits want to bring you home. Academics at the University of Hertfordshire are organising a conference that will serve ketchup-smothered food (it's tastier than blood) from coffins, all in the name of putting British vampire fiction back on the map. It's the brainchild of Dr Sam George, a lecturer in English literature at Hertfordshire who is fascinated by vampires and keen to use them to make literature exciting.

"British actors have traditionally been cast as vampires on screen, but recently they're all American, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Twilight. I aim to turn the focus back to the texts, which are mainly English, and what they say about our society," George explains. "I wanted to put them in the setting of a rigorous academic conference on vampire fiction to prove that you can study popular literature in a serious way.

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Charlaine Harris talks about 'Sookie' series, new releases

Critically acclaimed author Charlaine Harris spoke before a large audience April 1 in Reynolds Performance Hall.

Harris, who has been writing for 27 years, is best known for her Sookie Stackhouse novels, which have served as the source for the hit HBO series "True Blood."

A resident of Magnolia, Ark., Harris has over 30 published novels, many of which have been released in over a dozen countries.

Many of Harris' novels contain strong-willed female protagonists who have overcome great physical or emotional trauma.

Answering questions Thursday night, Harris said that as a rape survivor she writes her characters this way to inspire others who have been through those situations. She also said the Sookie Stackhouse novels, also known as the Southern Vampire series, are less about vampires and more about a woman's journey through life.

Harris also gave advice to the aspiring writers in the audience, "What you study is less important than what you read and that you write every day."

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True Blood Music Video of the Day: Broken by Seether