Thursday, May 3, 2012

Interview and Contest with Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris Interview Intro:

Hello everyone! Book Monster Reviews and LITERAL ADDICTION are incredibly honored to host the fabulous Charlaine Harris on our sites today.

Charlaine has a great press biography on her site so we figured we’d borrow it for her Event today:

“Charlaine is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for over thirty years.  She was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area.  Though her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and teenage angst, she began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She switched to novels a few years later, and achieved publication in 1981 with Sweet and Deadly.
After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris launched the lighthearted Aurora Teagarden books with Real Murders, a Best Novel 1990 nomination for the Agatha Awards. Harris wrote eight books in her series about a Georgia librarian. In 1996, she released the first in the much darker Shakespeare mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses. Shakespeare's Counselor, the fifth—and last-- was printed in fall 2001.
After Shakespeare, Harris created The Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series about a telepathic waitress named Sookie Stackhouse who works in a bar in the fictional Northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps. The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each book follows Sookie through her adventures involving vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. The series, which now numbers eleven titles, has been released worldwide.

Sookie Stackhouse has proven to be so popular that Alan Ball, creator of the HBO television series Six Feet Under, announced he would undertake the production of a new HBO series based upon the books.  He wrote and directed the pilot episode for that series, True Blood, which premiered in September of 2008 . It was an instant success and is now filming its fourth season.

In October 2005, the first of Harris’s new mystery series about a young woman named Harper Connelly debuted with the release of Grave Sight. Harper has the ability to determine the cause of death of any body. After four novels, this series is on hiatus.

Harris has also co-edited four very popular anthologies with her friend Toni L.P. Kelner. The anthologies feature stories with an element of the supernatural, and the submissions come from a rare mixture of mystery and urban fantasy writers.

Professionally, Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the American Crime Writers League, Sisters in Crime, and the International Crime Writers Association. She is a past member of the boards of Sisters in Crime and MWA. She is also a member of Science Fiction Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and Romance Writers of America, just to make sure she’s covered.

Personally, Harris is married and the mother of three. She lives in a small town in Southern Arkansas and when she is not writing her own books, she reads omnivorously. Her house is full of rescue dogs.”


For those of you not yet familiar with Charlaine’s library of literary excellence, we thought we’d give you the overview of each of the series and the synopses of a handful of books to show you what you’re missing.

HARPER CONNELLY

1.   “Grave Sight”
2.   “Grave Surprise”
3.   “An Ice Cold Grave”
4.   “Grave Secret”

AURORA TEAGARDEN MYSTERIES

1.   “Real Murders”
2.   “A Bone to Pick”
3.   “Three Bedrooms, One Corpse”
4.   “The Julius House”
5.   “Dead Over Heels”
6.   “A Fool and his Honey”
7.   “Last Scene Alive”
8.   “Poppy Done to Death”

LILY BARD – SHAKESPEARE

1.   “Shakespeare’s Landlord”
2.   “Shakespeare’s Champion”
3.   “Shakespeare’s Christmas”
4.   “Shakespeare’s Trollop”
5.   “Shakespeare’s Counselor”

SOUTHERN VAMPIRE/SOOKIE STACKHOUSE

1.   “Dead Until Dark”
2.   “Living Dead in Dallas”
3.   “Club Dead”
4.   “Dead to the World”
5.   “Dead as a Doornail”
6.   “Definitely Dead”
7.   “All Together Dead”
8.   “From Dead to Worse”
9.   “Dead and Gone”
10.                  “Dead in the Family”
11.                  “Dead Reckoning”
12.                  “Deadlocked” (Released 5/1/12)



“Grave Sight”
 HARPER CONNELLY Book #1:


Grave Sight (Harper Connelly, #1)





The "New York Times" bestselling author of "Dead as a Doornail" introduces a new supernatural mystery series featuring Harper Connelly, a woman who has what one might call a strange job: she finds dead people.










“Real Murders”
 AURORA TEAGARDEN Book #1:

Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden, #1)
Though a small town at heart, Lawrenceton, Georgia, has its dark side-and crime buffs. One of whom is librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden, a member of the Real Murders Club, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. It's a harmless pastime-until the night she finds a member killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss. And as other brutal "copycat" killings follow, Roe will have to uncover the person behind the terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime suspects-or potential victims.








“Shakespeare’s Landlord”
 LILY BARD SHAKESPEARE Book #1:


Shakespeare's Landlord (A Lily Bard Mystery, #1)





When cleaning lady Lily Bard discovers the dead body of her nosy landlord, her plan of starting a quiet new life may end in her death.












“Dead Until Dark”
 SOUTHERN VAMPIRE Book #1:






Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana, but she keeps to herself and doesn't date much because of her "disability" to read minds. When she meets Bill, Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's the type of guy she's waited for all of her life, but he has a disability, too--he's a vampire with a bad reputation. When one of Sookie's coworkers is killed, she fears she's next.











“Definitely Dead”
 SOUTHERN VAMPIRE Book #6:









Spiked with a frothy fusion of romance, mystery, and fantasy, this bestselling series sends the supernaturally gifted cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse to New Orleans, where she has to deal with the legacy of one of her own family and a host of potentially dangerous characters.











“Deadlocked”
 SOUTHERN VAMPIRE Book #12:


With Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), in town, it’s the worst possible time for a body to show up in Eric Northman’s front yard—especially the body of a woman whose blood he just drank.

Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.


We know it’s not nearly enough but we hope that it was enough to show our new readers just what they’re missing.  We highly suggest that you go and find them from your favorite bookseller very soon, but for now, let’s get to the interview and learn some more about Charlaine and her wonderful books. 


******************************************************************


LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Hi Charlaine! We’re very happy to have you with us today and we’re hoping that maybe we can turn some new readers on to your work.  Thank you so much for taking time out of you busy schedule to spend some time with us and let our readers get to know you a bit better.   

CHARLAINE: Sure. I enjoy talking to readers.



LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: We always like to start out by learning more about our guest authors…

Q1): We know that you’ve graciously shared a lot with your readers and fans, but can you share 3 things about yourself that we couldn’t find out easily on the Internet (no matter how random)?

CHARLAINE: I’m interested in archaeology, I love dinosaurs, and I used to read a lot of true crime.



Q2): When you’re not writing or taking care of other author business, what are some of your favorite things to do?

CHARLAINE:  It’s hard to imagine such a thing, but of course I love to read, I watch some television, and our dogs seem to take up a lot of time.



Q3): What are 3 things that can always make you smile no matter what?

CHARLAINE:  Pictures of my children, Kathy Griffin, a compliment from another writer.



Q4): What’s a typical writing day like for you?  Do you have anything that you absolutely have to have with you to get the creative juices flowing or any interesting writing quirks, etc? 


CHARLAINE: I am really un-quirky. No. I just sit at my desk with a glass of water or a cup of coffee and start working. I get my social media out of the way first. Then I go back to what I wrote the day before,  I edit that, and I move on to new material. Unless I get interrupted.






Q5): If you could spend the day with anyone – alive, dead, fictional, etc – with whom would you want to spend it, and what would you like to do?

CHARLAINE: My mother passed away two years ago. I’d love to have another day with her.


Q6): Have you learned anything specific - about yourself, the career, your writing, etc - over the years that you don’t think you would have uncovered had it not been for the circumstances?

CHARLAINE:  I discovered I was a good public speaker. I don’t know how I would have discovered that if I hadn’t had to get up in front of crowds so often.



Q7): If you could have 3 of your characters in a room with a group of readers: 1) Whom would you want to be there, 2) What question would you want to ask them and 3) How do you think each of them would answer?

CHARLAINE: That’s a complicated question. I wouldn’t actually ask my characters questions; I know what they would say, since I created them.




Q8): Are there any authors and/or titles that you feel may have inspired you and/or helped you to become the author you are today?


CHARLAINE: Certainly. Elizabeth Peters was a huge influence on me, since she managed to be very funny while writing awfully good books. “The Fourth Wall” by Barbara Paul was a key book, for me. And the late, great Shirley Jackson is a source of amazement and awe to me.






LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews:  Since “Deadlocked” is the new release that we’re here to help celebrate and promote, we’ll focus the majority of our questions on the SOUTHERN VAMPIRE series but we do want to know about your other amazing work as well.


Q9): Was there any specific inspiration behind the creation of the SOUTHERN VAMPIRE series?

CHARLAINE:  I wanted to write about a  woman who was dating a vampire in modern society, and the problems she would face. It snowballed from there.



Q9): How are you feeling about the success of the True Blood TV series and both the similarities and differences between the show and your original work?

CHARLAINE:  I love the show. I love that I don’t always know what’s going to happen.



Q10): What were some of the challenges that you encountered while bringing the SOUTHERN VAMPIRE series to life?



CHARLAINE: The first book was turned down many times. There wasn’t urban fantasy then, there was no one doing anything like it except Laurell K. Hamilton. There was a huge question about where books like ours would be shelved.




Q11):  What about the series are you the most proud of?  Do you maybe have a favorite book of the series so far, a favorite plot twist, a remarkable fan reaction, etc?
CHARLAINE: I love all my books, and I find something in each of them to be proud of. There are scenes in each book where I feel I reached my goal, scenes I’m still proud of. The reaction to the discovery of Bill’s perfidy was exactly what I was aiming for, and I think the scene of Godfrey’s immolation was right. There are more, but those come to mind.








Q12):  Your FAQ’s stated that you’re pretty sure the LILY BARD and AURORA TEAGARDEN series are concluded.  What about your HARPER CONNELLY series; any more installments planned for that one?


CHARLAINE: Not at the moment, but I do hope I have a great Harper idea someday. For now, though, I’ve said everything about her I have to say.




Q13):  You’ve written a variety of different preternatural characters with passion and heart.  Do you have a particular favorite ‘supe group’ personally?  Why?

CHARLAINE: No, each one has its strengths and weaknesses, and a long list of imperfections. It’s fun to write about them all.


Q14):  Is there anything new in the works (even at just its brainstorming stages) outside of your existing works in progress that you can share with us? 

CHARLAINE: I’m writing a graphic novel with Christopher Golden, the fifth anthology edited by me and Toni Kelner will be out in August (AN APPLE FOR THE CREATURE), and I’ve signed a contract with Ace for three books in a new series.






Q15):  Is there anything special you’d like to say to your readers and fans while we have you here today?



CHARLAINE: I hope you all enjoy the new book and the 2013 Sookie. They’ll be action packed.



If you want to keep up with Charlaine, you can find him online at his Website, on Facebook, and/or GoodReads.







********************************************************

CONTEST (US RESIDENTS ONLY):

Charlaine’s publisher is offering up a copy of “Deadlocked” to a U.S RESIDENT winner from Book Monster Reviews and another US Winner over at LITERAL ADDICTION.


TO ENTER:
1)  Please become a member of the Book Monster Blog by clicking on the “JOIN THIS SITE” button at the top left hand corner of blog page.
2) Fill out the Rafflecopter form, follow the directions, take action, and mark as ‘Done’.
Make sure that your Rafflecopter email address is correct!

Don't forget to drop by the LITERAL ADDICTION website (http://www.literaladdiction.com/) and follow the directions and links to enter their contest for an extra chance to win!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

15 comments:

Victoria said...

This will sound strange but I've never read a full length Sookie book. Better figure out how to get them worked in :).

Tanya1224 said...

I entered =) I love your blog! About time there's another Sookie book...lol. I've read the series and I have all the True Blood episodes. Great series.

Tina said...

Would love to enter...but US only..really :(

Rebe said...

Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

Maria pronounced Mariah said...

I look forward to May every year to catch up with Sookie and the gang! It will be sad next year reading the last one.

Dina said...

loved your post!

Julie S said...

Such an awesome contest and post :) Charlaine is really cool. I really enjoyed meeting her when she came to Houston last year.

Bonnie said...

Thanks for the interview. This is one of my favorite series.

mandy saial said...

Charlaine , I cannot wait to dive head first into this book. I've been waiting forever ,
Waiting Sucks !!!!!
Thank you for the Interview and giveaway.

SdyLion said...

Excellent interview- Love Sookie! sdylion(at0gmail(dot)com

Jaime said...

have read all the sookie books except the last two...would love to win the new one...I LOVE TRUE BLOOD..i am a huge ALCIDE and ERIC fan!!

burbanette said...

Love Sookie and all of Charlaine's books! Would love to add this one to my collection!

Lori in Philly said...

Just want to say how wonderful BMR is I wouldn't know what to do without you. Don't want to be in the contest I have the book came in the mail today . JUST LOVE CHARLAINE HARRIS TRUE BLOOD addict here . Love BMR Have fun everyone take care. xo

cindy vinzant said...

Love her Books Thank you for the interview and giveaway

Jen B. said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I am always looking for new book blogs. I look forward to seeing what you post next.