The third season of cult vampire show True Blood hits UAE screens next month.
Another presence on the ever-popular vampire bandwagon, True Blood is the TV adaptation of The Southern Vampire Mysteries, a collection of novels whose plot revolves around the life of Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress living in the small (fictional) Louisiana town of Bon Temps. The area is inhabited by both humans and vampires, the latter mingling in society, rather than shying away every time the sun comes out. Sookie soon finds herself falling in love with vampire Bill Compton, much to the dismay of her family and friends. For fans of the show who need a reminder of where we’re at, we were left on the edge of our seats at the end of season two as Sookie walked away to consider Bill’s marriage proposal, while her beau was kidnapped by unidentified assailants.
Charlaine Harris, the 58-year-old author of the books on which True Blood is based, was paid just US$5,000 for the original novel in the Sookie series, but has since commanded a seven-figure sum for the most recent three-book contract. Yet having written a total of 26 novels (not just about Sookie) across almost three decades, she has more than earned it.
In the past, Harris has unexpectedly named Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters as her first literary influences, and she’s a big fan, it seems, of karate and weightlifting – we can only assume the latter helps to inspire her action sequences. We caught up with the lady herself to find out what she makes of the equally adrenaline-fuelled TV adaptation.
What do you think of True Blood? I love watching it. It’s visually rich, the scripts are wonderful and the casting is intelligent.
Why was producer Alan Ball chosen to bring the series to TV? Alan understands the mix of blood, fear, love, humour and lust in the books. I knew that from conversation with him and from his track record.
How do you imagine ‘True Blood’ [a synthetic blood created to avoid vampires having to drink real blood] feels in the human body? I never thought of it… I guess it would be like licking your own blood when you have a cut; just another fluid, with a faintly unpleasant taste.
Do you believe there are vampires in real life? I know there are people who think they are vampires, though I haven’t got a clue as to whether they actually physiologically need blood or have persuaded themselves that they do. I doubt there are vampires like the ones in my books.
How are the worlds of True Blood and Twilight different? I leave that up to the readers to decide.
When did you first come across fictional vampires? Dracula, naturally. And then Anne Rice’s wonderful Interview with the Vampire, which changed the fictional world of vampires completely.
Bill aside, who is your favourite vampire in popular culture? Don Simon Ysidro, from Barbara Hambly’s Those Who Hunt the Knight.
How well has former Home and Away star Ryan Kwanten captured the character of Jason Stackhouse? He’s made an art form out of being stupid. Seriously, it’s hard to do ‘stupid’ well. Ryan manages the vulnerability, insensitivity and courage of the character wonderfully. Plus, he’s incredibly easy on the eyes!
What’s the weirdest request ever made to you by a Sookie Stackhouse fan? A teenager begged me to be sure not to die before I finished the series, because otherwise she wouldn’t know who Sookie picked as a mate.
How would your Episcopal Church welcome a vampire into its flock? They would all read up on the needs and habits of vampires so they wouldn’t be impolite, and they’d try to schedule a service or two at night so the vampire could attend. True Blood Season 3 airs on America Plus every Wednesday at 11pm from October 6.