Let's take a break from all the "Eclipse" hysteria (breathe, breathe, it's in theaters today) to focus on our other favorite vampire phenomenon: "True Blood." Vanity Fair ran a really awesome interview with Sookie Sackhouse scribe Charlaine Harris about the "current vampire epidemic" (their words), and she made some interesting points.
“Maybe there’ll be a few less writers in the genre if the public’s fancy passes on,” she told VF about the infatuation of our "youth-obsessed, perfection-obsessed culture." “I think that’s just a thing that will happen because there are always people who write what’s current. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; there’s nothing wrong with being commercial.”
Though the Sookie Stackhouse books are different than what Alan Ball has brought to the small screen with "True Blood," Charlaine said that her characters are still markedly different than some other popular vamps: namely, those in "Twilight."
“My books are just aimed at adults. There’s not the fairy-tale aspect in my books that there is in [Stephenie Meyer's],” she said. “Her books are very 'Romeo and Juliet'; I think mine definitely aren’t.”
But she's not starting a spitting contest. When VF asked for more, she said, “You can talk to Stephenie Meyer about her books. I’m not her critic. I’m glad she’s been successful.”
One famous vampire authoress that Charlaine did get inspiration from was Anne Rice, whose novels took place in the southern part of Louisiana, namely around New Orleans.
“My thinking was that Anne Rice had done such a great job with Southern Louisiana, that I would take the part [of Louisiana] no one wanted,” Charlaine said. “Her works were groundbreaking and very innovative and I thought it would be fun to kind of rappel off of them.”
Still, there's one important aspect of Charlaine's writing that does set her apart, and has contributed to the massive success of Sookie even before "Twilight" blew vampires out of the water.
“I didn’t want to write about being a vampire,” she said. “I wanted to write about people who were interacting with vampires. I thought it would be fun to write about a woman dating a vampire, so I imagined what kind of woman would do such a stupid thing. It’d have to be a woman who couldn’t date humans for another reason.”
“They’re just like everyone else,” Charlaine added. “Some of them are good; some are bad… I wanted to kind of anchor them in reality and make them unromantic, since I just thought that would be funny.”
What do you think of Charlaine Harris' take on the vampire phenomenon?