Charlaine Harris: Making Vampires Southern

by Jan Cottingham  on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 12:00 am  

Charlaine Harris

We’re very comfortable.

What has been more profitable for you, your Sookie Stackhouse books or the HBO series based on Sookie?

The books. The HBO series has been a benefit to me primarily because it has given the books greater visibility.

You’ve been quoted as saying you used vampires in the Sookie novels as a metaphor for “alienated minorities” and that you were “thinking specifically of the gay community.” Is that an accurate reflection of your intent? And have your views on vampires as a metaphor for the gay community changed?

That is an accurate reflection of my intent. No, my views haven’t changed. But you can take the comparison too far; I certainly don’t mean that gay people are blood-sucking murderers. I was going for something a little more abstract.

Is there something you’re trying to teach your readers through your fiction, or are your books entertainment for entertainment’s sake?

Both. I’m not teaching: I’m no teacher. But if I can point out a different way to look at things, I will. I’m well aware that if my books aren’t entertaining, no one will read them anyway.

Have you liked HBO’s adaptation of your novels and if so, what about the series has most pleased you?

I’m constantly amazed and entertained by Alan Ball’s creativity. The bigger themes of the books are there, but so many of the specifics have changed. I think the fans benefit by having two different versions of the same world.

Did living in Arkansas help or hurt you in your pursuit of writing success?

Fortunately for me, writing is one of those professions that can be pursued anywhere, and the Internet has made communication the same everywhere. I could live in New Zealand or Russia and do what I do.

Is there anything about Arkansas that you’ve incorporated into your fiction and if so, what?



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