Charlaine Harris the author of the Southern Vampire series sits down with an interviewer from the Wall Street Journal to talk about the differences between the books and the series.
Interviewer: Over the past few years, pop culture has seen a resurgence in the super natural, Vampires, werewolves fairies, witches, audiences can’t get enough of anything that has a touch of the paranormal. I’m here with a definitive contributor to that revival, Charlaine Harris, author of the best selling Sookie Stackhouse novels which formed the basis of the HBO hit show True Blood. Ms. Harris just had her most recent book in the Sookie series come out this May. Charlaine, that you so much for being here.
Charlaine Harris: Oh well thank you for inviting me
Interviewer: So congratulations on the publication of the most recent book. Tell us a little bit about it. We see that Sookie is drawn further into vampire politics, werewolf politics, what can you tell us?
Charlaine Harris: Poor Sookie, I’m so mean to her. Well of course it’s really more of the same adventures she’s been on though in this books she reaches kind of a moral nadir when she has to decide whether or not to act on her practical conviction that is necessary to dispose of someone who is trying to kill her and her vampire lover Eric. Whether that is the right thing to do or not, she feels compelled to do it.
Interviewer: What number book is this?
Charlaine Harris: This is eleven.
Interviewer: This is eleven, so there are multiple characters who Alan Ball simply does not have time to put into his.
Charlaine Harris: Right
Interviewer: Are there any you wish had made it onto the tv series?
Charlaine Harris: Well, I uh yes. Well saying that, I don’t know what season four will bring for Allan. I had always hoped to see Sookie’s great grandfather Niall on the screen and we may yet. We may yet.
Interviewer: Yeah, the show has been flirting with the fairy world.
Charlaine Harris: Yead
Interviewer: So will see if that comes to pass. Now especially in the book the relationship between … so back when I started reading the books, I immediately said that Sookie and Eric need to be together. I have no patience for Bill
Charlaine Harris: (laughs)
Interviewer: And then seeing it on screen, I think a lot of readers have transferred those hopes to the screen and we haven’t really seen a relationship bloom between them yet. Are you anxious for the series to catch up with the books in that regard?
Charlaine Harris: No I’m not, because I have no idea what Allan’s goal is. I’m sure he has one. He’s taking things at a different pace and he is introducing certain elements earlier than I did, so I’m gonna wait and see what he does. He’s a great storyteller. He may not be telling the same story I am, so we’re just going to wait and see.
Interviewer: Let’s talk a little bit about – I mean the natural disaster that just occurred in Joplin for example. I know the book makes very good use of incorporating Katrina and its after effects and I was fascinated because New Orleans has this wonderful magical lore and I wanted to know, the intersection of modernity and folklore for you and how are you going about doing that with Katrina and also with other elements like Bill or Eric using a cell phone for example? I mean the collision of modernity is just really fun.
Charlaine Harris: You know, I thought that was the most interesting part of writing these books, ancient creatures having to constantly adapt because heretofore they’ve had to remain invisible to the human world. So that means that they have to constantly adapt. They have to change their language, they have to change their clothes, they have to change their technological knowledge to keep up with the world so that they can blend in. Now that’s so necessary in some ways and yet it is more urgent in others. If they want to be citizens of the modern world they have to compete successfully with humans for business and other things. They have to adapt human tactics.
Interviewer: Right, especially in an instance of a natural disaster. That seems to effect queens
Charlaine Harris: that’s right
Interviewer: and vampire servants equally.
Charlaine Harris: Equally it causes disaster to the vampire structure of Louisiana as well. I didn’t really feel that I could write a book about Louisiana without mentioning Katrina. That would have been a terrible disservice to the people of Louisiana even though it pegged the series down in time.
Charlaine Harris: Which I had been trying not to do.