Tuesday, March 20, 2012

In ROCCO's hotseat to welcome in Spring....CHARLAINE HARRIS!


Today I am honored to welcome in Spring with a very special guest…Ms. Charlaine Harris!

For those of you not in the know, Charlaine Harris is the creator of Sookie Stackhouse!  She is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing  mysteries for over twenty years.  She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League, in addition to being a member of the board of Sisters in Crime.
As noted above, Harris created  The Southern Vampire Mysteries, a 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 abroad in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Spain, Greece, Portugal, France, the Netherlands – and that’s just a few!

“Deadlocked” – the 12th Sookie Stackhouse mystery – will hit bookstore shelves May of this year.  Charlaine was good enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for moi, so, now, dear readers, without any further preamble – Ms. Charlaine Harris!

R:  Welcome, Charlaine. It’s an honor to have you in my “hotseat”

C: Thank you Rocco.

R: You had success writing conventional mysteries before delving into the world of urban fantasy with the Sookie Stackhouse series.  Which do you prefer to write and why?

C: There wasn't such a thing as urban fantasy when I began writing the Sookie novels about fourteen or fifteen years ago. To my mind, I was writing mysteries with a supernatural twist. That's what I'm still writing, so I love both.

R: What’s your favorite type of supernatural creature to write about?

C: I'm not much on either/or questions. The werewolves are fun because of their strength and their human side; the vampires are fun because they have so many limitations, but they're also very strong and very political. The fae have never been human, so that's a special challenge.

R: Can you share any details about upcoming releases?  What’s next for Sookie?

C: DEADLOCKED will be out in May, and it's the twelfth book in the series.  I'm going to begin work on the thirteenth and last Sookie sometime this week. I have a lot of threads to draw closed.

R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?

C: I have no idea. Readers have some strange ideas about what I'll be like, in their heads. Actually, I lead a pretty normal life. My time is consumed by the usual stuff: laundry, bills, writing, reading, letting the pets in and out.

R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done? 

C: That's a poser. When I was in college, I was walking through a hall in a classroom building, and it was totally empty. It seemed like the setting for a musical; so I danced down the corridor. It was fabulous.

R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?

C: I hope that they'll think about the underlying message of tolerance in my books, but if they miss that, I just hope they've a little vacation from their lives. I'm not a preacher. I'm an entertainer.

One last thing, gotta know:  Cats or Dogs?

 C: I love both. (R: Good answer!)  I had cats my whole life until I married my husband, who is allergic to them. (Please don't send me a list of suggestions for getting around this, because we tried everything.) So is my daughter. So now we have four dogs. We've had ferrets, too. They were very entertaining!

Thank you, Charlaine, for taking the time to chat with us today.
Folks, don’t forget to pick up your copy of DEADLOCKED, which hits bookstore shelves (and Kindles and Nooks) on May 1, 2012!

Also:  next week, March 27, DEAD RECKONING arrives in paperback! Mark your calendars!

To learn more about Charlaine and her works, visit her website: http://www.charlaineharris.com/

Photograph of Ms. Harris courtesy of C. Radish

Don't forget our Dark Shadows giveaway still going on until midnight Friday...leave a comment about the new DS movie on our previous post and you could win a copy of Kathryn Leigh Scott's RETURN TO COLLINWOOD. (Winner chosen using random.org - open to US residents only)

More interviews and guest blogs coming soon! In the meantime, be good.  And if you can’t be good….aw heck…BE BAD!



  1. What a great interview. Love Charlaine and Sookie Stackhouse books. Can't wait for May 1st. Sad to see the series end, but all good things must come to an end. Plus she has other books and series out. Thanks again Rocco and keep up with the great interviews.

  2. I just picked up "Must Love Hellhounds",(it looked too interesting to pass up), but I have not gotten to read Charlaine's work yet. I am very curious now.
    Rocco, how sad is that that cats cannot be part of her life?I know she must love her doggies,(I love my big fella). My neighbors had ferrets that would escape and come to my house..they answered to their names...very smart little critters!
    Nice interview!

  3. I met Ms. Harris at RT Con 2006 and heard her speak on panels. She is beyond gracious and charming. So it doesn't surprise me that the craziest thing she ever did- dancing down an empty hall- is filled with charm that brought a huge smile to my face. I think that's the vision of her I will now always carry. Great question, my feline friend!

    Oh, and btw, no matter how much you love the Southern Vampire books, you absolutely MUST listen to them as audio books. The narrator, Johanna Parker, brings Sookie and company to Southern fried life! In fact, it's an "audio only" series for me because of Ms. Parker's performances.

  4. I'm late to the party, but want to add....Ms. Harris, I already liked you, but the "both" answer to "cats or dogs" puts you on my "best unmet friends" list. Thanks for all the hours of fun reading - keep it up!