Despite being stuck between the eras of classic and postmodern vampires, Charlaine Harris still managed to carve a niche not only for her vampires but also for the other supernatural creatures she has created—by giving them a Southern kick.
Writing has always been something that Mississippi-born Harris did. She started out with ghost stories and poetry in her teen years and then moved on to plays while she was at Rhodes College in Memphis. She decided to focus on novels afterward, publishing Sweet and Deadly in 1981.
Harris published a mystery novel called Real Murders in 1990. The novel was nominated for one of the most prestigious awards of the genre, the Agatha Awards. Real Murders became the first in a series called the Aurora Teagarden books. Harris also published a Shakespeare-inspired mystery series that lasted from 1996 to 2001.
Once she was done with the mystery genre, she moved on to urban fantasy with the Southern Vampire Mysteries. The series revolved around Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic human in a town where humans live with supernatural creatures, such as vampires and werewolves. Stackhouse works in a bar in the fictional town of Bon Temps and wants to try interspecies dating. Dead until Dark, the first book in the series, was published in 2001. The series ended with the thirteenth novel, Dead Ever After, in 2013. The Sookieverse had amassed several supernatural creatures by the end of its publication. Some of these creatures include shapeshifters, fairies, and witches. Other than their superhuman abilities, these creatures also brought their politics and various personalities, making Bon Temps even more complex than it already was.
True Blood, one of HBO’s earliest original series, was a television show adapted from the Southern Vampire Mysteries. The series premiered in 2008 and aired for seven seasons, with a total of eighty episodes. Sookie Stackhouse was played by Anna Paquin. She costarred with Stephen Moyer, who played the 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton, whom Stackhouse falls in love with. The series received nominations and wins in both the Golden Globe and Emmy Awards.
Between writing her mystery and vampire series, Harris also started a fantasy mystery series about a young woman named Harper Connelly. After being struck by lightning, Connelly gains the ability to locate dead bodies and sees their final moments before their deaths. The series’ first novel, Grave Sight, was published in 2014. However, the series is currently on hiatus.
Harris also started a graphic novel series called Cemetery Girls. This was cowritten with Christopher Golden, with illustrations by Don Kramer. She is set to return in 2018 with a new novel called Texoma. The speculative fiction is set in an alternate America where Roosevelt was assassinated.
Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers league. She has three children and two grandchildren. She also rescues dogs.
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