She may take great joy in writing death scenes, but American writer Charlaine Harris says she misses her characters after killing them off.
Speaking at The Dominion Post's Write Stuff event yesterday, the writer of the Southern Vampire series shared the inspiration behind the characters that have been brought to life in the hit TV series True Blood.
Harris began writing the series in 2001, and in 2008 her character Sookie Stackhouse and her vampire-inhabited world were brought to the small screen by screenwriter Alan Ball.
Harris, who is based in Arkansas, said she felt incredibly blessed that her books were still being discovered by people who had become hooked after watching True Blood.
"I love when people find my books through it, because they often get led into my other series as well, or find that they come away with a different understanding of a character."
While Harris' biggest success has come from the Southern Vampire series and its television adaptation, she has written more than 30 books and has more on the way.
With her books never short on bloody endings for much-loved characters, Harris said writing big death scenes was fun.
"I do miss my characters sometimes, but when you write a great death scene it really makes up for it.
"I do feel like I should apologise to my readers for killing people off sometimes, though."
Despite the success of the series, Harris confirmed that the 13th book in the series - to be released next year - would be the last.
"I've got other stories I want to tell, and I am so excited about it."
Based on Charlaine Harris' series of fantasy novels The Southern Vampire Mysteries, the Alan Ball-produced HBO series True Blood follows the adventures of telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse as she learns to co-exist with her southern town's vampire residents.
Starring New Zealand actress Anna Paquin, the award-winning series premiered in 2008 and is in its fifth season.
- © Fairfax NZ News