Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 2nd 2013 Contents B11
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Fans of the Sookie Stackhouse novels and the TV
spin-off True Blood were unhappy that Sookie
Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) didn't end up with the
vampire Erich Northman (Alexander Skarsgard).
PHOTO COURTESY FANPOP.COM
The final book in Charlaine Harris best-
selling series about telepathic waitress
Sookie Stackhouse provoked such an out-
cry that some fans sent death threats and
But after spending the last 15 years writing
about the intrepid small-town Southern girl
whose adventures have featured a host of
supernatural beings, Harris says she has no
"I had to be true to my own vision for
the books otherwise, what kind of writer
am I? Not a very good one," said Harris,
adding that fan reaction to the end of the
series was distressing. Harris said she knew
it was time to end the Sookie books, which
inspired the hit HBO series True Blood,
when she wasn t approaching each new
addition with excitement.
"And I thought, You know, this is the
time to end it, when I still have something
to say. "
She released her final nod to Stackhouse
and her world this week with After Dead:
What Came Next in the World of Sookie
Stackhouse, an illustrated book that lists
the myriad of characters that appeared in
the 13-book series and tells readers what
happens in the ensuing years.
But, Harris says, don t expect any revi-
sions. "I wrote the ending the way I wrote
it and I m not going to change it."
The uproar over her Dead Ever After start-
ed when an online review appeared about
two weeks before its official May release
date. (A reviewer obtained a copy from a
"I thought I had two more weeks to brace
for it, but I didn t, and it was just over-
whelmingly awful," said Harris, 61.
The most vehement were angry that
Stackhouse didn t end up with the vampire
Eric. Harris said she d been steering readers
to that eventuality.
"Not only is who she ends up with not
the point of the books, but I said all along: She loves
the sun. She doesn t want to just be able to go out
at night, " Harris said.
"And I said in every interview I gave when someone
would ask me: Sookie will never be a vampire. And
still: shock, horror, amazement, accusations that I d
sold out. I thought, If I would have sold out I would
have written the ending you wanted. "
Ginjer Buchanan, editor-in-chief of Ace Books,
which published the series, said it was a credit to
the books that fans were so passionate. "What wasn t
good was that they just went totally overboard," she
said. But as fall approached, Harris said the reaction
calmed. And she even got some apologies.
Harris published her first book in 1981. After years
of writing conventional mysteries, she wanted to try
something different, something supernatural.
It took two years to sell the first Stackhouse book,
but it wasn t long after Dead Until Dark was released
in 2001 that Harris knew she had a hit.
Buchanan said it was published at a time when
urban fantasy was becoming popular. And, she said,
Harris set herself apart by basing the series in the
fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisana.
"This is a series that once readers found it they
were fans for life," said Kaite Stover, director of
readers services for the Kansas City Public Library
in Missouri. "Charlaine Harris actually crafted in
that first book a wonderful blend of romance,
women s fiction, Southern humor and urban fantasy."
Harris next series is set in Texas. She and her
husband settled into the countryside outside Fort
Worth about two years ago after living in Arkansas
for about two decades. So far she s signed for three
books in the series.
Stover predicts that those fans upset by the ending
of the Sookie series will be happy. "They will remem-
ber when the new book comes out what they love
about Charlaine Harris," she said.
Midnight Crossroad, to be released in May, is about
"a mystical crossroad in a little dead Texas town,"
Harris said. "It s at an old town that s partly derelict
but there are a few homes and businesses still in use
there. A town called Midnight. And there is a reason
the people who live there are living there."
"I didn t really intend it to be as supernatural as
it s turning out to be. It s like I just can t help myself."
Will there be vampires?
"Well, there might be one vampire," she said, eyes
Charlaine Harris looks to new series after Sookie
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