Charlaine Harris recently (as of January of this year) talked to CFA Director Jonathan Santlofer as part of The Center For Fiction’s Crime Fiction Academy and I found some of her answers really interesting and enlightening. Of course,anyone how follows Ms.Harris and the interviews she gives would not be surprised at her answers as we have heard them before. The videos are long in the tooth but very worth watching indeed. I will just post the highlights of what I found relevant!
When asked about writing a series and how you keep it fresh she noted at one point that:
“I think you need to keep challenging the protagonist also with situations that make him or her uncomfortable, thrown off balance, fish out of water because that’s how you learn what they really have inside”.
This does not surprise me either because it is what has been happening to Sookie from day one. Sookie has learned a lot about herself and others over the course of the series. Gone is the somewhat naive little southern girl that never had a boyfriend or a real life due to her disability. I love how Sookie has grown and adapted to the changes in her life and accepts what she found to be unacceptable before. She has turned into quite the pragmatic one in terms of saving her own life. What is not to love?
I laughed when she said:
“planning a murder mystery around a woman who can read minds is not easy because you think well she should have known”!
In one part of the Q&A, she was asked what part of her characters is she most like, for instance Eric? I am paraphrasing on that part because it was hard to hear the person who asked the question. To which she responded:
“Well,there is a little bit of me in every character, which should make you kind of wonder about me! Everyone says, oh you’re so nice, you’re so sweet and I’m going (shaking head) not really! Yeah, there is a little bit or I could not write him, I guess. Of course, you know he’s just a big, bold brawny guy who is intensely political and with the books,a lot of romance readers lose sight of that intensely political character and go for the big and brawny, sweet young (not legible) Viking thing and they get pretty upset with me when I say you know he’s a political guy, he’s been a vampire for a 1000 years and that’s not because he lets himself get swept off his feet, you know he’s a player. But there is a little touch of me in all my characters”.
Well, we know that Eric knows how to survive for as long as he has, after all he is pragmatic. I think it is safe to say that most fans of Ms.Harris get this about her character Eric Northman. In the 1000 years, this vampire has lived, he has learned to adapt to the changes that go on in the world and roll with the punches. He could not have gotten to the point he is in today if he was not pragmatic and intensely political. It is in this way that Sookie and Eric make quite a good team because he has had to be this way for years and she is learning that this is the way she has to be.
What did you think of the vids? Sound off below!