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Author Q&A: Charlaine Harris on the end of Sookie Stackhouse

Author Charlaine Harris (phoby Sigrid Estrada)

Author Charlaine Harris (photo by Sigrid Estrada)

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‘Dead Ever After,” the 13th novel in Charlaine Harris’ paranormal series about the telepathic Bon Temps, La., waitress whose story inspired HBO’s “True Blood,” has come to an end. Harris, 61, spoke with USA Today about Sookie’s final chapter and what’s up next.

Q. The Sookie series has so many fans. Why end it now?

A. I’ve just come to the end of that particular road. I didn’t have a complete story arc in mind, but probably by the second book, I had an idea where I wanted the books to end. I began to feel the creativity of the series was wearing thin and I hate to keep on writing characters when I’ve lost my love for them.

Q. You haven’t fallen out of love with Sookie, have you?

A. Oh gosh, no, but I just don’t want to ruin her by keeping on writing her when the thrill of it is gone.

Q. Do you think the ending of “Dead Ever After” will please fans?

A. I hope they will be, but there are a lot of real strong partisans for one or the other of the possible endings. I just realized a few books ago that there was no way I could make everybody happy, so I just had to settle on doing what I thought was right.

Q. Do fans let you know how they feel when they don’t like what happens to the characters in your books?

A. Oh boy. That’s the fun thing and sometimes the scary thing about being me. Like all other writers I want everyone to tell me every book I’ve written is just great. I know that’s not going to happen. I just think it’s such a credit to the characters that people are so invested in them. I really see that as a wonderful thing, though sometimes it seems like people maybe aren’t even reading the same book I wrote.

Q. What are you working on post-Sookie?

A. I’m working on my next book. I’m about 200 pages into that [a spring 2014 release is planned]. It’s about a pawn shop in Texas, and I’ve signed a three-book contract. I don’t usually talk a lot about what I’m in the process of doing, but it is paranormal.

Q. What’s on your reading list this summer?

A. I just read my friend Dana Cameron’s new book, “Seven Kinds of Hell,” and I loved that. I’m looking forward to reading Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life.” She just can’t write a bad book. She’s just so fabulous. And I’m looking forward to the next Dexter book [“Dexter’s Final Cut” by Jeff Lindsay, Sept. 17].

Q. HBO’s “True Blood” returns for its sixth season on June 16. Will you continue watching?

A. Oh sure, although the show doesn’t have anything to do with the books. The first season was pretty close to the books and then after that it began deviating more wildly.

Gannett News Service

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