Charlaine Harris who? You may not think you know her, but if it wasn’t for Charlaine Harris and her creation of Sookie Stackhouse, we wouldn’t have HBO’s True Blood. Charlaine sat down with us at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia this past weekend to answer a few questions that we were dying to know.
“Well of course, Sookie is my favorite,” Charlaine told us when we asked her favorite character, but she quickly added, “I like writing all of them because they’re all part of me.”
When asked who her favorite character was other than Sookie, she replied gleefully that it was Amelia Broadway and Vampire Pam played by Kristin Bauer. Amelia Broadway is a novice witch in the Sookie Stackhouse novels that has yet to be introduced on True Blood. So when can viewers see this character on True Blood? Well, that’s not a definite yet.
As Charlaine explained, HBO’s Alan Ball is initially aiming to shoot one Sookie Stackhouse novel per HBO Season. “That was the basic plan,” she said. “But he has said that eventually the show will take on a life of its own.” Alan Ball explained to her that because Sookie wouldn’t be able to carry the entire series on her own, other characters would have to become more developed. Hence Lafayette not being killed in season one, even though he was killed in the first novel Dead Until Dark. This also explains why the character Jessica Hamby played by Deborah Ann Woll was created and why Tara Thorton played by Rutina Wesley has become a main character in the True Blood series.
When asked who her favorite character in True Blood was, Charlaine praised the entire cast. “I know all the actors, with a few exceptions,” she said. “It would be really hard to pick when you know them personally. It’s really hard to separate them from the characters.”
However, she eventually settled on Nelsan Ellis. “He’s just brilliant as Lafayatte,” she said. Charlaine went on to say that she felt Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin were a perfect fit for their characters William Compton and Sookie Stackhouse. Charlaine had mentioned in a panel earlier in the weekend that she couldn’t believe how tall Alexander Skarsgård was who plays Eric Northman. Alexander Skarsgård, who stood at 6’4”, towered over Charlaine Harris. She said that he was one of the nicest actors she’d met. Charlaine also went on to say that she didn’t think that Stephen and Anna’s relationship outside of True Blood would affect the characters storyline in the series.
Charlaine didn’t name or suggest anyone who should be cast as future characters on True Blood, but did say that she was very excited to see who would be cast as Debbie Pelt, a central character that is introduced in the third book, Club Dead. She also went on to say that she can’t wait to see what Alan Ball does with Club Dead and that the book was one of her favorites. When Charlaine was asked if the third season of True Blood would be closer to Club Dead than the second season had been to her books, she replied that she wasn’t sure.
“In the third season, we’ll see the introduction of the werewolves,” she said. “And I am looking forward to that very much.”
Unlike Stephenie Meyer with the Twilight series, Charlaine Harris and Alan Ball do not regularly consult with each other about the True Blood series. However, when asked if she and Alan Ball had a communication method available to them, she advised that they do communicate occasionally via email. Charlaine also went on to say that she is OK with the liberties that Alan Ball has taken with the True Blood series because she looks at True Blood as its own entity.
“I have been fascinated with what he’s done,” Charlaine said. “It’s like a separate experience, and that can be a lot of fun for everyone.”
The differences between the books and the series may explain any confusion that Charlaine’s fans are having with HBO’s True Blood. For example, when we asked Charlaine about what the “egg” was in True Blood, Charlaine said with a smile “I have no idea.”
One thing that fans of Charlaine Harris will be very excited to know about, is her upcoming appearance in a True Blood episode. Charlaine will appear in Season Two’s final episode on Sunday, September 13th as a patron in the bar Merlotte’s. Look for her talking to Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell).
Charlaine appeared at several other panels during the Dragon*Con weekend and we asked a question to Charlaine Harris for all of her avid fans of the Sookie Stackhouse series. Charlaine had mentioned on her website that Sookie would not become a vampire, so when we asked her which vampire she would end up with (implying Eric Northman or William Compton), Charlaine replied with a devilish smile “Who says it’s going to be a vampire?”
To learn more about Charlaine Harris, and her other novels and appearances, visit her personal web site at CharlaineHarris.com.
For more information on True Blood, visit HBO’s True Blood web site.
Special thanks to our roving Dragon*Con correspondents, Kelly Carr and April Cloud, who conducted the interview and were so kind as to send it in to us.