Feb. 09, 2011 | 3:28 p.m.
“Dead Reckoning,” the 11th installment in author Charlaine Harris‘ Sookie Stackhouse mystery series, is set to arrive this May — not long before the hit TV series inspired by the franchise, HBO’s “True Blood,” returns for a fourth season — but the novelist now is looking ahead to the conclusion of her long-running saga. [FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post misstated the numeric place of “Dead Reckoning” in the Harris series.]
“Truthfully, the next two books will probably be the last two books in the series,” Harris said last week. “I still love Sookie, but I’m beginning to want to write something else, and Sookie’s kind of taken over my life. I was able to write other things for the first few years I was involved in Sookie, but then after the start of the television show she took over so much of my time because of my increased publicity obligations that it’s been very hard to write other things, and I really need to do that.”
To satisfy her creative urges, Harris has embarked on a new endeavor, an online game called Dying for Daylight, that prominently features her vampire protagonist, Dahlia Lynley-Chivers, a ruthless, fashion-conscious vamp who has appeared in several of Harris’ short stories. “She’s one of my favorite characters,” Harris said. “Since HBO owns all the development rights to anything related to Sookie, Dahlia seemed a natural choice for this. She’s so visual, she’s so proud of the way she looks and she’s so adventuresome that it seemed like a really good match.”
In the game, available Friday at casual games publisher iplay.com (which previously has fashioned games based on the works of such other authors as James Patterson, Nora Roberts and Agatha Christie), Dahlia embarks on a mission to find a special potion that will enable her kind to spend some time in the sun. The venture was one that Harris had been interested in pursuing for some time. “I had been quite hopeful that someone would approach me about doing a game since some of my fellow writers had been involved in that,” Harris said. “I thought that would be neat. Of course we had to talk a little while to decide what character would adapt best to the medium. I-play just had such a good idea and they were so enthusiastic it was very easy to make the decision to go with them.”
Harris said the company was eager to collaborate with her on the project, and she consulted on the overall look and feel of the game. “They did show me the character drawings, and I had some input into how Dahlia should look and act and they did run the storyline past me,” Harris said. “We talked about several different storylines; I ended up saying that this one appealed to me most. But of course the design and everything has to be left to people who understand how to do it. I feel that way about everything I’m involved in.”
That doesn’t mean that she’s had an easy time navigating Dying for Daylight, though; Harris says she’s already gotten stuck: “To tell you the truth I’m not much of a gamer myself — I’ve got Dahlia dressed in a nurse’s uniform and now I don’t know what to do with her,” the author said. “The part I’m in takes place in the vampire quarter of New Orleans. Dahlia’s on a mission to find the sun potion which will enable vampires to go out in the daytime, and she is searching through all the grotesque parts of New Orleans to find clues as to where the sun potion might be in the first part of the game. That’s where I am, since I seem to be an endless loop. My assistant was helping me this morning.”
A screen grab from Dying for Daylight
Harris’ fiction, of course, has been enjoying increased interest from not only game companies but also television networks and comic book publishers; IDW has a series of “True Blood” comic books spun off from Alan Ball‘s series; and another of Harris’ characters, Harper Connelly, is going to be getting the graphic novel treatment soon. Also, the Connelly mysteries were optioned by CBS with an eye toward developing them into a prime-time series. Seeing her characters adapted for various media has, she said, “added more dimensions to how I view them. I see the game as a different way to approach what I’m trying to do. It’s so interesting to see my characters doing things I didn’t write them doing. It’s been a big learning curve for me, and really kind of fun to challenge myself with seeing what my characters can do in a visual medium. It’s always interesting, sometimes shocking, sometimes delightful to see them translate.”
In the case of “True Blood,” it’s sometimes very shocking: case in point, last season’s (literally) head-turning sex scene between Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Lorena (Mariana Klaveno). Harris says even though she’s a regular viewer of the show, she sometimes is surprised by how graphic it can be, particularly when it comes to the amorous adventures of Sookie’s brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten). “Of course, the television shows things that I only allude to,” Harris said. “I’ve had some moments where I have kind of covered my eyes a little bit. My gosh, there is a huge amount of skin. I guess I just don’t see that when I’m writing so much. In the books, you know Jason’s a horndog, you know that, but knowing it and seeing it are two different experiences.”
She was quick to praise the cast of actors, though, which, with Season 3, grew to include werewolves, shaman and the scene-stealing vampire king of Mississippi Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare). “I think all the actors are very fun,” she said. “I think Alan’s genius lies in picking the right person for the right role. They’re all talented and doing a great job. There are some plot lines that have surprised me, but I know that they know where they’re going — I just don’t know because it’s not where I went. So I can only wait to see what’s going to develop.”
— Gina McIntyre
More in: Games, TV, Gina McIntyre, True Blood, Vampires
|Charlaine Harris Schulz|
(1951-11-25) November 25, 1951 (age 66)
Tunica, Mississippi, United States
|Pen name||Charlaine Harris|
|Notable works||The Southern Vampire Mysteries|
|Children||Patrick, Timothy, and Julia Harris|
|Relatives||Robert Harris (father)|
Jean Harris (mother)
Ashley Robert Harris III (brother)
Charlaine Harris Schulz (born November 25, 1951) is an American New York Timesbestsellingauthor who has been writing mysteries for thirty years. She was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area of the United States. She now lives in southern Arkansas with her husband and three children. Though her early work consisted largely of poems about ghosts and, later, teenage angst, she began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She began to write books a few years later. Her later books have been in the urban fantasy genre. She is best known for The Southern Vampire Mysteries series, which HBO later adapted for its dramatic series entitled True Blood.
Life and career
Harris was born in Tunica, Mississippi. After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris began the lighthearted Aurora Teagarden books with Real Murders, a Best Novel 1990 nomination for the Agatha Awards. Harris wrote several books in the series before the mid-1990s when she began branching out into other works. She did not resume the series until 1999, with the exception of one short story in a Murder, She Wrote anthology titled "Murder, They Wrote".
In 1996, she released the first in the Shakespeare series featuring cleaning lady detective Lily Bard, set in rural Arkansas. Harris "lives in small-town Arkansas", according to a New York Times interview. The fifth book in the series, Shakespeare's Counselor, was printed in fall 2001, followed by the short story "Dead Giveaway" published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in December of the same year. Harris has stated on her website that she has finished with the series.
After Shakespeare, Harris created The Southern Vampire Mysteries series about a telepathic waitress named Sookie Stackhouse who works in a northern Louisiana bar. The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each book follows Sookie as she tries to solve mysteries involving vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. The series has been released in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Spain, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Argentina, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Portugal, Iceland, Czech Republic, Romania, Estonia and Israel. Harris wrote thirteen novels in the series. The thirteenth and final novel in the series, Dead Ever After, was published in May 2013, with a supplemental book, After Dead, released in October 2013.
Sookie Stackhouse had proven to be so popular that Alan Ball, creator of the HBOtelevision seriesSix Feet Under, undertook the production of a series based upon The Southern Vampire Mysteries. He wrote and directed the pilot episode for the series, True Blood, which premiered on September 7, 2008 on HBO. The television show was a critical and financial success for HBO running 7 seasons through the 2014 year.
October 2005 marked the debut of Harris's new series entitled The Harper Connelly Mysteries, with the release of Grave Sight. The series is told by a young woman named Harper Connelly, who after being struck by lightning, is able to locate dead bodies and to see their last moments through the eyes of the deceased. In October 2010, it was announced Harper Connelly's series had been optioned for a television series named Grave Sight.
2014 marked the debut of the Cemetery Girl series, a graphic novel series co-written with Christopher Golden and illustrated by Don Kramer.
Professionally, Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League. She is a member of the board of Sisters in Crime, and alternates with Joan Hess as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance.
In her personal life, Harris has been married for many years. She has three children and two grandchildren. She is a former weightlifter and karate student, she is also an avid reader and cinemaphile. Harris formerly resided in Magnolia, Arkansas, where she was the senior warden of St. James Episcopal Church, and currently lives in Texas.
Aurora Teagarden Series (1990 - Present)
- Real Murders (1990) ISBN 0-8027-5769-3.
- A Bone to Pick (1992) ISBN 0-8027-1245-2
- Three Bedrooms, One Corpse (1994) ISBN 0-684-19643-3
- The Julius House (1995) ISBN 0-684-19640-9
- Dead Over Heels (1996) ISBN 0-684-80429-8
- A Fool And His Honey (1999) ISBN 0-312-20306-3
- Last Scene Alive (2002) ISBN 0-312-26246-9
- Poppy Done to Death (2003) ISBN 0-312-27764-4
- All the Little Liars (2016) ISBN 1250090032
- Sleep Like a Baby (2017) ISBN 978-1-250-09006-5
Lily Bard (Shakespeare) Series (1996 - 2001)
- Shakespeare's Landlord (1996) ISBN 0-312-14415-6
- "Shakespeare's Landlord - an interactive game" (January 2018) Video game adapted from Charlaine Harris' novel of the same name, developed by One More Story Games
- Shakespeare's Champion (1997) ISBN 0-312-17005-X
- Shakespeare's Christmas (1998) ISBN 0-312-19330-0
- Shakespeare's Trollop (2000) ISBN 0-312-26228-0
- Shakespeare's Counselor (2001) 0-312-27762-8
Sookie Stackhouse Series (The Southern Vampire Mysteries) (2001 - 2014)
- Dead Until Dark (May 2001) ISBN 0-441-00853-4
- Living Dead in Dallas (March 2002) ISBN 0-441-00923-9
- Club Dead (May 2003) ISBN 0-441-01051-2.
- Dead to the World (May 2004) ISBN 0-441-01167-5
- Dead as a Doornail (May 2005) ISBN 0-441-01279-5
- "One Word Answer" in Bite (December 2005) and in "A Touch of Dead" (October 2009) ISBN 0-515-13970-X.
- Definitely Dead (May 2006) ISBN 0-441-01400-3
- All Together Dead (May 2007) ISBN 0-441-01494-1.
- From Dead to Worse (May 2008) ISBN 0-441-01589-1.
- Dead and Gone (May 2009) ISBN 0-441-01715-0.
- "The Britlingens Go to Hell" in Must Love Hellhounds (September 2009)
- "Dahlia Underground" in Crimes by Moonlight (April 2010)—takes place during All Together Dead; a Dahlia short story
- Dead in the Family (May 2010)
- "Two Blondes" in Death's Excellent Vacation (August 2010)
- "Small-Town Wedding" a novella in The Sookie Stackhouse Companion (August 2011)—an anthology with interviews, FAQ, recipes, and more
- "A Very Vampire Christmas" in Glamour Magazine (December 2010)—a Dahlia short story
- "Dying for Daylight" (February 2011)—The first all new video game written by Charlaine Harris, released by iPlay Games; starring Dahlia
- Dead Reckoning (May 2011)
- Deadlocked (May 2012)
- "If I Had a Hammer" in Home Improvement: Undead Edition (August 2011)
- "Playing Possum" in An Apple for the Creature (September 2012)
- Dead Ever After (May 2013)
- The final Sookie Stackhouse novel
- After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse (October 29, 2013)
- Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse (November 25, 2014)
Harper Connelly Series (2005 - 2009)
- Grave Sight (2005) ISBN 0-425-20568-1
- Grave Surprise (2006) ISBN 0-425-21203-3
- An Ice Cold Grave (2007) ISBN 0-425-21729-9
- Grave Secret (2009) ISBN 0-441-01830-0; ISBN 978-0-441-01830-7
Cemetery Girl Series (with Christopher Golden)
- Book One: The Pretenders (2014) ISBN 978-0-857-38908-4.
Midnight, Texas trilogy (2014 - 2016)
- Midnight Crossroad (May 2014)
- Day Shift (May 2015)
- Night Shift (May 2016)
- Many Bloody Returns (September 2007) (co-editor with Toni LP Kelner)
- Wolfsbane and Mistletoe (October 2008) (co-editor with Toni LP Kelner)
- Crimes by Moonlight (April 2010)
- Death's Excellent Vacation (August 2010) (co-editor with Toni LP Kelner)
- Home Improvement: Undead Edition (August 2011) (co-editor with Toni LP Kelner)
- An Apple for the Creature (September 2012) (co-editor with Toni LP Kelner)
Her series of novels The Southern Vampire Mysteries was adapted into the show True Blood. The series lasted 7 seasons and totaled 80 episodes. It was nominated for dozens of awards. True Blood aired on HBO. The show was also the most viewed show on HBO since The Sopranos.
The second show to be based on Charlaine Harris's work is Midnight, Texas. The show premiered on NBC in 2017.
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- ^ abcdefgDeborah Solomon, "Questions for Charlene Harris: Once Bitten: The writer talks about her 10th vampire novel and the hit TV series it inspired," New York Times Magazine, May 2, 2010, p. 18.
- ^ ab"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-19. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
- ^ abhttp://charlaineharris.com/?p=256
- ^"TV News, TV Recaps, TV Reviews, TV ratings — From Inside the Box — Zap2it". Tv.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- ^Creepy, Uncle (2010-02-28). "True Blood Creator Comic Coming Along With Some Surprises". Dreadcentral.com. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- ^"Charlaine Harris, author of Sookie Stackhouse books, is born - Nov 25, 1951 - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
- ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-01. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
- ^American Crime Writers LeagueArchived September 28, 2016, at the Wayback Machine..
- ^"Charlaine Harris: Putting the Bite on Cozy Mysteries"Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., retrieved on 2009-10-27.
- ^Shepard, Martha Hunter (Fall 2007). "Charlaine Harris: Dead-On Author". Rhodes Magazine. Rhodes College. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
- ^"Charlaine Harris (1951–)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
- ^"OMSG announces deal with Charlaine Harris, #1 NYT bestselling author". Retrieved 2017-08-25.
- ^ abcdefgha Southern Vampire story without the character of Sookie Stackhouse
- ^"September 11, 2010 Wall Post". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- ^"August 15, 2010, August 21, 2010, and November 16, 2010 Wall Posts". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- ^"Dying for Daylight". Dying for Daylight. 2010-12-22. Archived from the original on 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- ^"Bibliography — Sookie Stackhouse". Charlaine Harris. Archived from the original on 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- ^"Story Behind Cemetery Girl by Charlaine Harris". Upcoming4.me. 2014-01-02. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
- ^"February 6, 2009". Charlaineharris.com. 2009-02-06. Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- The book "Dead and gone", "which vampire he meant", just like the Alien and Alopecia progeria.-H.H.Li March 16, 2017.