Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recap of lunch with Charlaine Harris

My birthday was last week, and my BFF took me to lunch with Charlaine Harris to celebrate! Just the three of us....and about 200 other people, lol :) Murder by the Book in Houston puts on a great event - the lunch was at the Briar Club and it was wonderful.

She did a Q&A session before she signed books. Yes, I'm a nerd and took notes, right there at the table. She was very funny and self-deprecating. She laughed a lot and took compliments from the audience very graciously.
  • The original title for Dead Until Dark was Southern Fried Vampires but her publisher didn't like it. She says it took her two years to sell it - the only other UF at that time was Laurell K Hamilton, and publishers didn't know where to put these kinds of books. She'd been writing her mysteries (Lily Bard, I think she said) and said she decided to write a new series: She'd take her 10 Lily Bard readers with her, throw in some mystery to grab that audience, throw in some blood/gore to grab that audience, and throw in some sex to grab the rest!She's surprised that people are so wrapped up in Sookie's love life, she says the romance is not the main theme for her.
  • After Dead Reckoning there are only two more books left. She's had the key scene in the last book written for 10 years.
  • Sometimes real people do inspire her characters.
  • Her favorite Sookie book to write? All Together Dead - She loved writing about the trip and the hotel.
  • Her favorite (any) book to write? Ice Cold Grave from her Harper Connelly Series; she says she's done with this series. She doesn't believe in extending a series beyond where it should go.
  • I asked (okay, I made my BFF ask) if there were any characters she regretted killing off - she said Claudine. She was in a "clear the decks" mood and killed off a lot of characters in that book - she still feels bad she killed off two pregnant women in one book. States the murders seemed like a good idea at the time :)
  • Someone asked who Niall was talking about when he said "he's a good man" - Ms. Harris states she won't tell us (probably not, anyway), she likes to make her readers do some of the work.
  • She loves her covers - states "It's not a chick in black leather with a gun or knife" Lisa Desimini is the artist.
  • Where did she get the name Sookie? She says it's an old Southern name - her grandmother's best friend was named Sookie. (So is my cat, lol)
  • Was she invited to Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin's wedding? No (she playfully acted indignant)
  • She loves writing Pam - she's fun and sarcastic. States Kristen Bauer does a great job even if she does get the accent wrong - she's supposed to have a British accent, not a Southern accent. She says the actress looks like Pam and the character and writing are consistent.

What's coming up next? She's got an anthology coming out in August: Home Improvement, Undead Edition, with Patricia Briggs, James Grady, Heather Graham, Melissa Marr, and others:

She's also got The Sookie Stackhouse Companion coming out August 30. There's an original novella, interviews with Ms. Harris, Alan Ball, character interviews, a timeline, recipes, and a secret Eric/Bill conversation (<--I'm guessing that has a lot of hissing and "Sookeh is mine" in it, lol).

All in all it was a fabulous lunch - our table mates were super nice and I met another blogger who will be in NOLA for the ALA conference in August. We also sat next to the cutest couple - both in their 70s, I would guess, who were absolutely adorable. They didn't stay for the book signing, they just wanted to see Ms. Harris and hear her speak. BFF and I both said later we hoped our marriages would be like that when we were their age (awwww!!!).

Thank you BFF Hannah for the tickets and going with me; Thank you Hubs (for sending me off for a fun birthday weekend and bankrolling the crazy), and Thank you to my son and mother who watched my two Littlest Book Addicts so that I could go to Houston and have a wonderful grown-up (relatively speaking) weekend!


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