May 18, 2012

Charlaine Harris drives a stake in the heart of her Southern Vampire series


Deadlocked, the most recent installment in the Southern Vampire Mysteries

Earlier this week, novelist Charlaine Harris confirmed on Facebook that the next installment in her bestselling Southern Vampire Mysteries series will be the last. The basis for HBO’s hit show True Blood, the books have come out every year since the first, Dead Until Dark, was published in 2001. The final chapter, Dead Ever After, will be out next May, rounding out the series at lucky thirteen.

Harris spoke to the Houston Press’ Art Attack blog about the difficulty of wrapping up a long-running series, particularly one with a fan following that has certain expectations for the characters and stories:

I’m generally pretty excited about trying to tie up all the threads and trying to leave the readers with something that they can say, “Okay, now I know.” … I find myself wanting to bring back random people, just so I can say, “Here they are. Here’s what happened.” And then I think, it’s not going to be a very cohesive book if I have all these guest appearances. I really have to stick to the core of the book; I can’t just throw people in there to give them a wave of the hand.

While the book series is coming to an end, people who need their Sookie Stackhouse or Eric Northman fix can rest easy knowing that the HBO series has only gotten to the fifth book, Dead as a Doornail, so they still have plenty of material to work with. Judging by this newly released trailer for the upcoming season, however, it looks like they’re departing significantly from Harris’ story, expanding the plot far beyond the mystery over a local sniper, a pirate-turned-vampire, and the competition to lead the area’s werewolf pack, moderated by protagonist Sookie, a fairy & telepath.

(YES, these are all real things from the book. Honestly.)

Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.