As mentioned in last week’s post, I won the opportunity (via Chapters/Indigo) for a meet & greet with the author of the Sookie Stackhouse series, Charlaine Harris. Today was the day! I brought along the first novel in the series, Dead Until Dark, to get signed – even though her latest book, Dead Reckoning, was part of the prize.
My friend and I got there just about 6pm, and met with the organizer of the event. We were told to wait by the side staff room door at around 6:30pm. There, we met one of the other 2 winners, and we waited anxiously for them to let us in to meet her. We were handed our copy of Dead Reckoning, with sticky-note to have the proper spelling of our names, and the first winner + guest went into the room to meet her. I looked at my friend, not realizing we were doing this on an one-on-one basis! Got a little nervous… but it was quickly our turn. We shook hands and she signed our books – which I brought a “blood” red Sharpie for her to sign with 😉 (tho my name was spelt wrong.. 🙁 ), posed for some pictures and then gave us a hug. She is SUCH a sweet woman. So friendly and nice.
We were then ushered to our front-row seats for the Q&A, where probably at least a hundred other fans were waiting for her further in the store. If, for whatever reason, there was any doubt about it, Charlaine Harris is as funny and witty as she comes across in her novels. There’s a reason that Sookie Stackhouse is equally feisty and humourous. She got quite a few questions regarding the TV series, and at one point when she finally got a book question, she made a comment, something to the effect of “Oh good! A question about the books!” When asked if her writing about the vampire rights was intentionally mirrored on the gay rights issues, she answered that of course it was intentional, or else really lucky it worked out that way! LoL…
Other things I found out during the Charlaine Harris Q & A (uh, maybe spoiler alert):
- Pam is her favourite character
- She regretted killing off Claudine
- All Together Dead is her favourite of the Sookie Stackhouse series because it let her write Sookie in another location, and the research she did for it
- She didn’t necessarily want to set the stories with an actual moment in time, but felt like she wanted to pay respect to the people affected by Hurricane Katrina, and therefore mentioned it in one of the books
- The character of Bubba was inspired by her watching Men In Black, and seeing the scene where they show all the people in the world who are actually aliens, upon seeing Dennis Rodman, she thought Yes. Elvis is a vampire! To her, it made sense at the time, and has spun off an entertaining character in the books
- The name Sookie is a popular Southern nickname, and was the name of her grandmother’s best friend
- She likes the differences between the books and the TV series
- The storyline of Jessica from the TV show is her favourite that is not from her books
- Of all the (gorgeous) men on the show, she is closest with Joe Manganiello (who plays Alcide Herveaux)
- She is currently working on a graphic novel with Christopher Golden entitled Cemetary Girl
At the end of the Q&A, a line started forming for book signings. Myself and the other contestant managed to get our other item signed (which the event coordinator passed over for us). I explained that my name was spelt wrong in the first one, so I’d really love the one I brought signed if possible. And she did! (I did have a momentary worry that this second one was going to have my name spelt with 2 Ls again…)
Anyway, a big thank you to Charlaine Harris for coming to Toronto. A big thank you to Penguin Canada for bringing her here, and a big thank you to Chapters/Indigo for picking me as one of the 3 winners for the meet & greet! 🙂