>Bestselling author Charlaine Harris shares a bit about Sookie’s Louisiana…and a giveaway!


Charlaine Harris is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for 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.

Since then she has released many bestselling series including the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, Lily Bard Mysteries, Harper Connelly Mysteries, numerous anthologies and the super popular Sookie Stackhouse series set in Louisiana.

Harris has said before that when writing Sookie’s Louisiana she wanted the world to be the opposite of Anne Rice’s vampire’s in New Orleans. That being said she opted for the less sexy Northern Louisiana. Obviously, that worked out well for her, and we wanted to touch base with her and discover a bit more about our favorite fictional Louisiana town…Bon Temps.

Q: Aside from the characters you’ve created, the world is the most amazing and oddly believable – at least for three hundred or so pages – factor in the series. You could have easily made do with any northern Louisiana town, why Bon Temps?

The Sookie Stackhouse Companion (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood)A: Sure, I could have picked a real northern Louisiana town, like Minden or Arcadia , both of which share some credit for Bon Temps. But I needed Bon Temps to work just like all the other characters, and gradually the geography and people of the town took shape in my mind. Paula and I had a lot of fun making a map for the Sookie Companion, out later this year. I discovered I’d made some mistakes when I was giving directions in the books, but in general everything is where I wanted it to be.

Q: Is it difficult to create a fantastical, fictional setting out of a real factual place (at least in Shreveport ‘s case)? Did you make any road trips to the area to get a lay of the area?

A: I live pretty close to Shreveport and I do some shopping there, so it wasn’t hard at all. Shreveport is pretty prosaic, and that made it all the more fun to set places like Fangtasia and Hair of the Dog there.

Shreveport Louisiana skyline
Q: Even though Northern Louisiana isn’t as popular as Southern Louisiana and New Orleans , there are still plenty of spooky tales of haunted forts and plantation homes. Have you ever visited any of the haunted places in Louisiana ?

A: I’ve certainly been to Saint Louis Number One in New Orleans plenty of times; it’s one of my favorite places. And I’ve visited all the old homes in Natchez , Mississippi , which are certainly haunted.

Goat Castle- Haunted house- Natchez Mississippi
Q: Are there any Louisiana hot-spots or definite places you’d tell someone to check out while visiting the Bayou state?
A: Yes, the aforementioned cemetery. There are regular tours through it; it’s really better to have a tour guide than to walk through on your own, and do take a camera. I can believe anything would happen there. There are other cemeteries just as evocative, but that’s my favorite.
Saint Louis Number One

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 11)Q: As far as the Sookieverse goes, do you have plans for Sookie to travel outside of Louisiana in the future or is her character pretty much grounded where she is at the moment?
A: The answer would have to be, “I’m not sure.” In DEAD RECKONING, which will be out in May, Sookie stays in Louisiana . I’ve started the next book, and so far she’s on her home turf. But there are pages to go.

*Special thanks to Charlaine Harris for answering a few questions for us, we appreciate her taking time out of her very busy schedule. DEAD RECKONING, Sookie Stackhouse book 11, is due for release May 3, 2011 and The Sookie Companion Book with all the ins & outs of Sookieverse (including a map) is due out August 2011.

Visit Charlaine Harris Official Website for more news and information.

*~*~*Passport Louisiana Giveaway*~*~*

Want a chance to win this Bon Temps T-Shirt and a copy of A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris? 

A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse: The Complete Stories)

All you have to do is Comment! Have a favorite character from a Charlaine Harris book? Discuss! Or tell us about your favorite Louisiana locale!
Contest ends April 1, winner to be announced Sunday April 3.


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