True Blood is a dominant presence at Comic-Con, and while author Charlaine Harris has little to do with the HBO series, she has plenty to say about its characters. Today she revealed what's next for Sookie.

Harris is the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse, Bill Compton, and Viking hottie Eric Northman in her Southern Vampire mysteries. For the first time at Comic-Con, Harris was honored with her own panel to answer audience questions-largely about the show-and tease the next book in her series.


As expected, several audience members wanted to know about the TV adaptation of Harris' books. "It's always amazing for me what they're doing," said Harris, who revealed that she watches some of True Blood's more explicit scenes with her hands over her eyes. "I think everyone involved with Alan is amazingly talented."

But those who have read the Southern Vampire Mysteries and watched True Blood know that the series diverges far from its source material. "The show has its own world and its own writers, and some of the characters are sort of the same but sometimes they're very different," Harris noted. "And that's OK, because I think you're getting two entertainment experiences for the price of one."


Besides, the series has made some great additions to the universe. "I love Jessica, too," Harris confided, "and I definitely wish I'd thought of her first."

Of course, Harris' focus remains on her writing. She revealed some tidbits of the book she's currently working on, the 11th in the series. Among the sneaks: fan favorite Bubba will appear, and Eric will attempt to seduce Sookie into a life of vampirism. Rest assured, Harris' protagonist is no Bella Swan. "Sookie will never be a vampire," she insisted. "Never."


In addition to the next novel-length chapter in Sookie's saga, Harris continues to write short stories. She teased one about Sookie, Pam, and a stripper pole-a winning combination if ever there was one. Harris also contributed to a Sookie compendium, featuring frequently asked questions, a novella about Sookie and Sam attending his brother's wedding, and recipes (not her idea). The companion book, set for release in February next year, will also contain secret messages between Bill and Eric. Given Harris' penchant for the homoerotic, that can only be a good thing.

But what of the rivalry between the two vampires, both of whom have laid claim to Sookie's heart? Harris explained that she's neither Team Bill nor Team Eric: "I think the division into teams is counterproductive to what I'm trying to do with the books." OK, but what about that other vampire series-is Harris Team Edward or Team Jacob? Her response to that question may have been the panel's best. "OK," she scoffed. "You're joking, right?"


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