Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Bitten by Charlaine Harris

To be fair, I, myself, wasn’t bitten by the wonderful author Charlaine Harris. As far as I know, she hasn’t actually bitten anyone. But her Sookie Stackhouse series has bitten a lot of people.

In an age where vampires run amok in books, her series is running ahead of the pack, er, coven, er, flock. What do you call a group of vampires? Never mind. Back to Harris.

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg interviewed Charlaine Harris. I can’t get cable where I live, but the HBO series, “True Blood,” is based on Harris' “Southern Gothic” series. The latest in her Sookie Stackhouse series is called Dead and Gone, and Ace Books has issued 400,000 copies. According to Ace Books, “there are more than 8 million copies of the nine-book Sookie Stackhouse series in print.”

Trachtenberg asked Harris what she thought about the show’s racy material.
The sex scenes startled me very much. There are sex scenes in the book, but not as many as in the show. The books are all written in the first person, so when Sookie's brother leaves a scene [for a romantic encounter], you don't see what goes on. But you do with the show, and that took some getting used to at first.
Harris said that once Sookie became a hit on TV, her own life changed. Her sales went through the roof.

When Trachtenberg asked her to define the appeal of genre fiction, she said:
I think we enjoy seeing the familiar become unfamiliar. Also, it's an escape, which people need, especially now. They need to get away from the very real troubles and confusions of everyday life and they need to escape to a place where justice triumphs.
It’s an interesting interview, so pop over and read the full article.

It seems to me that there is almost an overload of vampire books. But that means the door is open for some new twist on the protagonist. What do you think the next big theme will be?

After you leave a comment here, zip over to The Blood-Red Pencil where I'm talking about cutting the bland and mundane from your manuscript. I mean it, Cut It Out!
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  1. I read an article recently that said zombies are going to be the next rage. Personally I'd like the trend to go toward contemporary fiction instead!

    Jane Kennedy Sutton

  2. Maybe it's a "gaggle" of vampires? Just kidding.

    I'm not into vampires as much as I was as a kid. I've heard mixed things about the Sookie Stackhouse series, too. I'll probably give it a shot, though, someday. Gotta read the "Twilight" series first.

  3. I'm not sure I'd want to read about zombies. But, who knows.

    Christina, I've got one more to read in the Twilight. For me, it's OK. But I can see why teen girls love it.

  4. Interesting article and subject in general. I'll have to check out your BRP post - I'm a big fan of "Cut it Out!" myself.

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Marvin.

  6. I haven't read any of the books, but I did see watch all of season 1 of TRUE BLOOD, the (naughty) HBO series based on the series. Some of the lore is really intriguing, though I though some of the vamps were a bit of a bore. Maybe the "book is better" adage holds true here as well. I should check them out.


  7. Thanks Lisa. You're the first to say you've seen the series!


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