Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Profile: Southern Vampire Mysteries Author Charlaine Harris

Kerry Lengel, writing for The Arizona Republic, recently published an interview with author , whose 7th mystery in the Southern Vampire series with Sookie Stackhouse was published this month. Harris is also the author of several other mystery series including one featuring Georgia realtor Aurora Teagarden, the "Shakespeare" series with housecleaner Lily Bard, and the "Grave" series with Harper Connelly.

In , Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has her hands full dealing with every sort of undead and paranormal creature imaginable. And after being betrayed by her longtime vampire love, Sookie must not only deal with a new man in her life-the shapeshifter Quinn-but also contend with the long-planned vampire summit in where Sookie must make a decision that may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe.

Harris sold the television rights to her character for an HBO series under development. Mystery Books News reported in February that Anna Paquin has been signed to play Sookie Stackhouse in the series, True Blood.

Lengel: One of the secrets to a successful series is a good name for your main character. Where did "Sookie Stackhouse" come from?

Harris: Sookie was my grandmother's best friend's nickname. It's a very Southern nickname. People use it as short for Susan or Sister. It just sounded like an old-fashioned Southern girl for me. Stackhouse is not an uncommon name in our area, and it just seemed to be euphonious with Sookie. It's all about the sound.

Lengel: What about your vampire myth is unique?

Harris: The more unique feature is that mine are funny. In fact, my agent was very skeptical when I first pitched the series to him. He said, "Oh, yes, everyone knows vampires are such a hoot." But I think what makes mine different is that it's a blend of that humor and a lot of gore and action - and a little sex.

Lengel: Do you have a taxonomy that spells out how many species of shape-shifter or bloodsucker are in your universe?

Harris: Every now and then I throw in something new because it's just a lot of fun writing these. I've got the werewolves and even a werebat, pure shape-shifters, fairies, a demon or two and a goblin.

Read the rest of the interview with Charlaine Harris on AZCentral.com here.

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