Charlaine Harris Talks About Fan Reactions to DEAD EVER AFTER

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In an new interview with the Shreveport Times, Charlaine Harris gets blunt about the fans who hated on Dead Ever After:

Q: You’ve just wrapped up the series with “Dead After Dark” and gotten a lot of up and down feedback from that. I’ve seen a lot of anger displayed. Has that subsided now since it’s been over a month?

A: A lot of the hating has. There are some people who evidently have no life what so ever, that are evidently going to pursue this until they drop dead of old age, and I don’t know what to think about that. Are their lives so empty that they cannot get over a book series ending in a way they had not anticipated? The accusations have been really vile and disgusting. I can only think that these people would not say that to my face or hope that they wouldn’t because I just think the Internet is responsible for a lot of this overly invested entitled attitude.

One reader said “You should turn over characters to someone who can write them they way we want them.” I said “You know, you don’t get it. It’s not like going into a bakery and ordering a cake where you say ‘I want butter cream filling and chocolate icing and I want a decoration of pink roses.’ Writing a book is not like that. You don’t get to vote on how I write my books. They’re mine,” and they would have never have met any of those people if they hadn’t come out of my head. They say “You sold out” and I say “To whom?” To whom did I sell out?

After some painful painful days and thinking I might not ever come out of my house again, I’m kind of coming out of the other side of that. I’ve gotten an overwhelming expression of support and pleasure in the book from many more people than ever told me they hated it, and it’s in its fourth week on the New York Times best-seller list.

Q: Had you ever dealt with anything like that before?

A: Yes, on a smaller scale, but I had and I could tell the past two books especially when I said the thirteenth book will be the last one. I could tell which way the wind was blowing. I did everything but put a neon sign saying “This will not end the way you think it will” and I just felt like I made it very obvious and clear, more so than I wanted to. Nothing was going to stop this from happening.

We said pretty much the same thing in our podcast reviewing the book, but it’s a surprise to have her be so open about it in public. Charlaine also reiterates that she is not involved in True Blood and gives us a few more details about After Dead, coming in October:

Q: Can you tell me about the book you have coming out in October, “After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse”?

A: It’s not a novel, it’s an alphabetical listing of the major characters with additional art work by Lisa Dissemi who does all the covers. The artwork is charming. She’s just great, and the books are so distinct. This is a listing of all the characters, not all of them but a lot of them with what happened to them after the last book. It’s a fun addition.

Read the full interview here.

Fan of the Southern Vampire Mysteries since 2001, and co-admin of True-Blood.net since 2008. Team Sookie!

17 Comments

  1. Billie Doux

    June 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    It’s just too bad that some people think it’s okay to treat Harris this way. They’re *her* books, and she laid the foundation for how the story would end in the very first book! It may not have ended the way I wanted it to, but I’m an adult. I’ll deal. :)

  2. Tammie

    June 14, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I have to say I may not have liked the outcome of her book, some of what is being said is being misconstrued. I myself have not said anything to her about how she wrote her books, she is entitled to write them how she wants.I am however appaled at how she badmouthed fans, who for the most part just said they did not understand or that they did not expect or were not happy with the outcome. A author should be open to critism, and though I can imagine some took it overboard from what I have seen on the net most have not. I as a writer would never trash my fans, no matter their opinion. I am forever thankful to the wonderful series she brought us, I enjoyed It. I just cannot respect someone who has decided that all the fans unhappy with the ending must not have a life or whatever and as the post above said” One fan said” Yep one fan not all the fans. I wish Mrs.Harris luck in her future books, and hope she also learns from this.Two wrongs do not make a right.Just because some fans took it to a extreme not all did, some just merely voiced they did not like the ending, which is normal.It is not classy to do several interviews calling all unhappy fans things. Many unhappy fans are still respectful.Thanks

    • Madeleine

      June 15, 2013 at 12:15 am

      There’s a difference between criticism and hateful, vile accusations. Mrs. Harris doesn’t have to take those, she has the right to speak her mind.
      I don’t see her trashing her fans, she’s referring to those who “took it overboard”.
      What goes around, comes around, right?
      I have read reactions of so-called fans who stooped as low as insulting Mrs. Harris personally – over a piece of fiction that is her property.
      That’s got nothing to do with cricism.

      • Liz

        June 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm

        Exactly, thank you Madeleine. There were even “fans” who claimed they were going to commit suicide. Those are the fans she’s talking about. Also, Charlaine has been delighted with the fans who have taken some of her characters to heart. It’s a great compliment to any author and she recognizes that.

      • Alice

        June 25, 2013 at 8:48 am

        Well for the most part fans haven’t been saying hateful, vile things. Nobody has the right to make personal comments about the author. However, as paying consumers of a book, fans have the right to criticise plot points that don’t make sense to them.

  3. Sarah

    June 14, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I can only hope that this level of badmouthing is maybe directed at fans who were crazy enough to be sending her death threats, or something.. Because if not, it seems a little much ?

  4. Tracy

    June 14, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    I’d be more interested in reading what she thought about the actual criticism of the book instead of how she ended the Eric/Sookie relationship, but I guess that isn’t as exciting to read or as easy to answer for Ms. Harris.

    • Liz

      June 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Actually she has, many, many times. Perhaps you should take the time to read some of those comments too.

      • Rachel

        June 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm

        Perhaps Liz could point/link to some examples, because I have yet to run across any comments that weren’t basically, “Eh, thanks for reading, can’t please everybody,” which is a response but is hardly engaging with criticism. Not that she’s obligated to do this, but I haven’t seen any serious discussion along these lines.

        • Liz

          June 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm

          You’ll either have to Google that or search our own site for all our interviews with Charlaine. I’m remembering collective interviews throughout the years but I’m not going to do this research for you. As you say, she’s not really obliged to discuss something that would only stir up her fans in a negative way. Can’t see why it’s so important to you unless you’re not a fan.

          • RachelW

            June 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm

            I don’t see how “if you even care about this, you’re not a fan” is called for, or why being curious to read author engagement on the topic of the final book/complete story arc warrants rudeness. I simply thought that since you seemed to be aware of specific examples and I and the earlier poster were not, you might be willing to point to them.

          • Liz

            June 20, 2013 at 7:49 am

            Ok then, you’ve misquoted Ms. Harris and now me. It’s pretty clear to me that nothing that I say will please you so I won’t say anything more on this subject.

  5. Iona

    June 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I’ve read all her books, and was so disappointed with the last few. It’s clear she was running out of steam. Her writing just lost it’s snap. She’s taken to repeating herself, and the characters just aren’t as spicy as in earlier books. Sorry, but true.

  6. posh

    June 15, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Let us all hope the t.v series takes a mind of it’s own and that will soothe the disappointed book fans.

    • Mel

      June 16, 2013 at 11:29 am

      Oh, the irony! :)

  7. Bete

    July 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    I really felt sad, when I read the interview. I understand there are fun are too pissed of but, I think she should not say it for everybody. I am Erick’s team, and I really hoped she turned her mine and they finished together, but as they didn’t it is ok for me. Even for people who were over on their opinion, I still think Charlaine should be more careful in the way she expressed hersef here.

    • Liz

      July 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      You may want to read the interview again. Charlaine was not talking about all the fans. She was only singling out the ones who are extreme, and she gave examples.