The creator of some of our favorite vampires, werefolk and crazy humans, Charlaine Harris, has been on a whirlwind tour of Australia recently and I was lucky enough to sit in on one of her Q&A sessions in Brisbane.
She told us about how she had a fangirl moment when Anne Rice messaged
her on Facebook and how her kids are going to be in Season 5 - she has previously had a teeny extra part too. Her
Harper Connelly books are finished, but have been optioned for a tv
show - twice. She started writing conventional mysteries and has had mild success, but wanted to try something different and went down the supernatural route.
Does she have any say in the cast of True Blood? She has zero say in anything to do with the show, but she does enjoy some of the things they have done, including not killing of Lafayette. She's very grateful for what the show has done for her book sales and she respects the writers. She does watch the show.
Does she have an opinion on fan fiction? She said she doesn't really like to read it because she can't really think of her characters any other way, but she's glad it makes other people happy. The thought of Bill and Eric being intimate is not for her.
Will she be sad to be leaving Sookie's universe? she thinks that story
has finished and heart just isn't in it anymore, but she's very happy
about her new work.
Is she working on anything new, seeing as she's told everyone the next Southern Vampire Mystery novel will be her last? Yes, she has a new series coming out that she hopes everyone is excited for and will read.
Has she ever doubted her ability to be a good writer? Being a writer is a compulsion and she's not really good at anything else. It took 2 years for the first Southern Vampire Mystery book to be picked up as most publishers had no idea what genre to publish it in, but it was an instant success.
How difficult was it to write about a post Hurricane Katrina New Orleans? It was hard as it was the first thing to solidify the time that the Southern Vampire Mystery books were set, but she felt that she couldn't leave it out.
Does she use real life friends as inspiration for characters? She joked not to cross her...but she would never use a whole person's characteristics.
When writing, does she plan her stories ahead and what has she learned from writing the Southern Vampire Mysteries? No she doesn't plan, but she might try and do that now. A continuity proof reader was hired part way into the Southern Vampire Mysteries and fans are very quick to point out mistakes in that area. Also, she wrote herself into some corners she would have preferred not to, so planning is definitely something she'll look into.
How does she schedule her day? Approximately 7hours are put aside for writing, but she has many appearances, tours, lectures and paperwork to do. Her team keep her on track.
Did she regret anything she's written in the Southern Vampire Mysteries? Yes, killing off Claudine. Killing off way too many characters.
What is the basis of her fairy mythology? Primarily Irish, but she made a lot of it up.
What vampire mythology did she use and/or ignore? The Southern Vampire Mystery vampires were made up to fill a niche in her books. She ignored the religious aspect 'What relevance would a cross have on someone like Eric?' and she said she deliberately doesn't reference her vampires having or not having a soul.
Her lovely sister was chatting with us whilst we were waiting - I was there for over 1.5hours - and she was scared about all of the photos that were being taken that she was probably going to be in.
If you have any questions you wish to ask me about the night, contact me @JadeAODradio on twitter.
Newspaper excerpt from The Courier Mail, Brisbane, Australia.