A year ago I attended a writer’s conference in Anchorage—the annual Sisters in Crime meet. One of the panelists caught my attention by her just-regular-folks attitude and humor. Her name is Charlene Harris, and she lives down south some place where hurricanes re-arrange the furniture whether you want it re-arranged or not.
According to her bio, she writes a best-selling series of books about a cocktail waitress named Sookie Stackhouse, who has the ability to read minds. Sookie falls hard for a vampire named Bill. (Hey, stick with me here—you’ll be glad you did.) The wonderful invention of artificial blood has led to the general population allowing vampires to come out of the closet, so to speak, and live in the real world as long as they mind their fangs and don’t partake of the general population.
At the conference one day, I went downstairs to the book bizarre and bought the first in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I read it that night, went back and bought every book available in that series. After I got home, I ordered the rest of them off Amazon. They are hilarious. Not as crazy and impossible as Janet Evanovich. More believable, more true to life, but funny nonetheless. Okay, once in a while you have to remind yourself we’re talking vampires and waitresses who can read minds, here. Sookie and Bill team up to solve little and big mysteries. And, like Stephanie Plum, Sookie is always in trouble and needing a long-toothed version of Ranger to save her.
Then! I read a review of new TV programs in a Time magazine article. Today HBO is premiering the series based on the Sookie Stackhouse character. It’s called “True Blood.”
I hope they do it justice. Check it out. If you don’t have HBO, try one of Mrs. Harris’ books if you’re in the mood for some light reading that will leave you smiling.