Friday, November 12, 2010

Charlaine Harris at New England Crime Bake: News!

Charlaine Harris
So you thought yesterday's question about whether the Harry Potter books could be seen as mysteries had an open-and-shut answer, right? Hey, today at the New England Crime Bake volunteers session (stuffing registration bags in the morning), everyone who described themselves as sci fi/fantasy readers said H.P. is NOT in the mystery genre -- and everyone who was a die-hard mystery reader instead said "Well, yeah, those books fit into mysteries, of course!"

Which is a good platform for what happened this evening: Charlaine Harris is the guest of honor at the 2010 New England Crime Bake, and the after-pizza entertainment was a viewing of Episode 9 from TRUE BLOOD, Season 2: "I Will Rise Up." For those who don't view HBO programs, True Blood is a series featuring vampires, werefolk, the fey, and as central protagonist, Sookie Stackhouse, a sweet Southern girl with enormous courage and loyalty (and sex drive). She's featured in one of Charlaine Harris's series of books.

Harris is probably best known among "cozy" mystery readers for her murder mysteries featuring librarian Aurora Teagarden. The Sookie Stackhouse series has been renamed the Southern Vampire Series -- and one day when producer Alan Ball was early for a dentist appointment (said the author this evening) he picked up a Sookie book at a Barnes & Noble store -- and the next day, bought all the rest of the series, developing TRUE BLOOD as the sequel to his earlier TV series Six Feet Under.

And I would have said it's absolutely sci fi/fantasy -- with its mixture of beings -- and yet, here's the author with her series, headlining a truly fine little (250 people) mystery conference.

So ... I'm stretching my mind this evening.

A few tidbits from Ms. Harris's answers after the TRUE BLOOD airing: When she watched the first episode on screen, "It was so much beyond anything I'd ever seen or expected -- it was like seeing myself translated into another language." To the woman who said "I love the books more," Harris replied cheerfully, "Thank you! Loving the books more is absolutely acceptable, especially if you love them more in hardback." She acknowledged that she's under contract to write two more Sookie books (numbers 12 and 13) but doubts that she'll go further than number 14.

And the big news of the evening: She's inking a deal with CBS to translate onto the screen her Harper Connelly books.

More notes tomorrow ... and photos when I get home. I failed to bring the cable that transfers the good camera's images onto the computer ... so here's a nice fuzzy cell-phone snap of Charlaine Harris with pen in hand at the Crime Bake:

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