Charlaine Harris

The author of Living Dead in Dallas comes to Houston, where the living ain’t dead (at least not that we know of)

Charlaine Harris, the woman behind HBO’s True Blood, the megahit vampire series, is making just one appearance for the reissue of Living Dead in Dallas, and it’s here in Houston. The author of the Sookie Stackhouse books has, along with a few cohorts like Stephenie Meyer and Houston’s own Dean James, made fangers both cool and funny. She’ll discuss her popular 2002 title, now released in hardback for the first time, at today’s edition of the An Evening with… author series.

Living Dead in Dallas features everyone’s favorite telepathic cocktail waitress, Sookie, and her vampire boyfriend Bill, who are living (well, technically only Sookie is) in a backwater Louisiana town. Sookie’s hit a bit of a rough patch. Her friend has been killed, but nobody seems too interested in solving the murder. Sookie and Bill owe the local vampire sheriff a few favors, so she agrees to be their psychic snitch and go to Dallas to help them find a lost member of their crew (yes, vampires roll like that). But before Sookie and Bill can get out of town, she has a much too close encounter with a monstrous creature that poisons her. Vampires come to her rescue — kinda. They suck the poison out of her (though we’re pretty sure they take a few extra licks while they do). Finally, the unlikely lovers set off to Big D, with Bill riding in a coffin in the cargo compartment. Once they land, well, things just get worse.

If you usually aren’t into fangers and the undead, check Harris out. What sets her apart from the gazillion other vampire novelists out there is her humor. She’s created a world where vampires are trying to mainstream and pretty girls fall in love with dead men, to no one’s real surprise. At its essence, that’s a horror story, yes, but it’s horror with a sense of down-home humor. (When her friends think Bill has gotten Sookie pregnant, they wonder how she’s going to breastfeed a baby with fangs.)

After 25 years in the writing business, Harris knows her stuff, and she’s got The New York Times best-seller numbers to prove it. She’ll talk about Living Dead in Dallas, the launch of True Blood and how she created Sookie. Just don’t expect her to give away any secrets. You’ll have to buy Sookie novel No. 9, Dead and Gone, in May to find out what happens next. 7 p.m. Houston Public Library, 500 McKinney. For information, call 832-393-1313 or visit www.houstonlibrary.org. Free.
Tue., Jan. 6, 7 p.m., 2009

 
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