Charlaine Harris has had some weird fan experiences.
There was the time one female fan approached her dressed from head to toe like telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse. Harris greeted her with an "oh, how wonderful! You're dressed like Sookie!" - only to have the girl reply that she was actually dressed as a stripper.
But she's had some lovely, more "normal" fan moments too, from people who adore her books and would really love to inhabit its magical universe. Knowing of her infatuation with rubber duckies, one dedicated fan sent her 40 rubber ducks every month for a year.
Another mailed her a needlepoint in which she had painstakingly stitched every single house in the fictional town of Bon Temps. Harris has that up on a wall at home.
"I just figure they're sharing their art with me, like I have [with my writing]."
Meeting Harris in a hotel room in Auckland is a surreal experience. I have her so firmly connected in my mind with the supernatural that I probably wouldn't have been surprised had she revealed that she was actually a werewolf, a fairy or a shapeshifter. Vampire was out, as we met in daylight.
Being the author of the series, she naturally doesn't state any preference for Team Bill or Team Eric.
"I don't get why it has to be either one of those two. It could be anyone!" she says, a slight twinkle in her eye.
She's an old hand at interviews by now, so there are no accidental plot hints about how the series will end - the last book has been written and will come out next year. But one thing she has said many times before is that there will be no "happily ever after" ending for Sookie. This isn't a conventional "girl meets boy" romance, where the ultimate goal is seen as a white picket fence.
Harris warms up a little when talking about her personal life. Her daughter gave birth to her first grandson three weeks ago. She has been receiving photo updates by email while on tour, and already misses him.
"He doesn't have much of a personality yet, but he could absolutely inspire one of the characters in my future books," she says.
At a meet and greet event in Auckland, Harris had her first try of Tru Blood, the real-world blood-orange beverage based on the fictional synthetic blood - mixed with "lots and lots of alcohol". She enjoyed the night, she says.
Fans can be rest assured that even if Sookie's story is coming to an end, Harris doesn't plan to stop writing about the supernatural. On top of a couple of short stories and a graphic-novel collaboration, she's also working on her next novel - the first of a three-book series called Midnight Pawn, about a (what else) pawn shop set at a remote crossroad in Texas. And can she share anything about the new series?
"Nope," she says, with a smile. "Nothing at all."
Join the discussion on the first Sookie Stackhouse novel, Dead Until Dark, for your chance to win a copy of Deadlocked, the second-to-last book in the series.