Thursday, May 9, 2013 |
Charlaine Harris's bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels, the basis for the hugely popular HBO TV series True Blood, has inspired a legion of devoted fans, but some of those fans have turned on the author -- even threatened her life -- after the ending of the final book of the series was leaked.
Dead Ever After, the 13th and final novel in the series, was released this week, but one reader in Germany managed to receive an advance copy and posted major spoilers on Amazon in April. We won't repeat those spoilers here, but some fans were angered by Harris's ending, hoping for a different outcome for lead character Sookie. Some disappointed readers even cancelled their pre-orders.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Harris said she won't be participating on a press tour to promote the final book given the current level of emotion out there.
"I've been getting death threats," Harris said. "It's ruining the experience for people who don't want the experience ruined. I think it's pretty unfair to judge the book without having read it."
The first of Harris's southern vampire mysteries was published in 2001, after it was initially rejected by several publishers. The series, along with Twilight, revitalized interest in the vampire literature, and grew into a literary/TV juggernaut with countless fan-fiction and reference websites. However, the intense passion -- and scrutiny -- for Sookie and her supernatural frenemies has been stressful for Harris.
"I'm very fortunate that people are so invested in the series. At the same time, it can be a source of some anxiety to get emails that say, "If Sookie doesn't end up with Eric, I'm going to kill myself."
Harris said she will no longer continue to write this series or develop spin-offs with the characters, so upset fans will have to live with her vision.
"I hear from a lot of people who, I don't know why they think I'd be interested in hearing their thoughts, say, "Oh well she's going to be sorry when she doesn't get that big pay check, I bet she'll write another." I like to think I have some integrity. If I was just doing it for the money, I would keep doing it. I'm not saying I don't enjoy making that much money. I do. Golly, who wouldn't?"