Charlaine Harris's Auto-Biography
Charlaine Harris (born November 25, 1951 in Tunica, Mississippi) is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing mysteries for over twenty years. She was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area of the United States. Though her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and, later, teenage angst, she began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She began to write books a few years later.
After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris decided to establish a series. She began the lighthearted Aurora Teagarden books with Real Murders, which garnered a Best Novel nomination in the Agatha Awards of 1990. Harris wrote several books in the series before the mid-1990s when she began branching out into other works. She did not resume the series until 1999, with the exception of one short story in a Murder She Wrote anthology entitled, "Murder, They Wrote."
In 1996, she began releasing her Shakespeare series, set in rural Arkansas. The fifth book in the series, Shakespeare's Counselor, was printed in fall 2001, followed by the short story "Dead Giveaway" published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in December of the same year.
After Shakespeare, Harris created an entirely new series for release in 2001. The Southern Vampire Mysteries is about a telepathic waitress named Sookie Stackhouse who works in a northern Louisiana bar. The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each book follows Sookie as she tries to solve mysteries involving vampires, werewolves, and other creatures of the night. The series has been released in Japan, Spain, Greece, Germany, France, Brazil, and Great Britain. Her sixth book in the series, Definitely Dead, was published in May 2006, and the seventh, All Together Dead was released in May 2007.
Sookie Stackhouse has proven to be so popular that Alan Ball, creator of the HBO television series Six Feet Under, announced he would undertake the production of a new HBO series based upon The Southern Vampire Mysteries. He also wrote and directed the pilot episode for the series, True Blood, which premiered on HBO on September 7, 2008.
October 2005 marked the debut of Harris's new book series about a young woman named Harper Connelly, with the release of Grave Sight. Like her past novels, the Harper Connelly books are mysteries set in the Southern United States.
Professionally, Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League. She is a member of the board of Sisters in Crime, and alternates with Joan Hess as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. Personally, Harris is married and the mother of three teenagers. A former weightlifter and karate student, she is an avid reader and cinemaphile. She is also a member of the vestry of St. James Episcopal Church.