- Sweet and Deadly (1981)
- A Secret Rage (1984)
- Real Murders 1990
(First Aurora Teagarden)
- A Bone to Pick 1993
(Second Aurora Teagarden)
- The Julius House (1994)
- Three Bedrooms, One Corpse
1994 (Third Aurora Teagarden)
- The Julius House (Fourth Aurora
Teagarden) June 2008
- Dead Over Heels The fifth Aurora
- A Fool and HIs Honey (The sixth
- Last Scene Alive (Aurora Teagarden
Mysteries, Book 7)
- Poppy Done to Death (Aurora Teagarden
Mysteries, Book 8) 2003
- Dead Over Heels
- Shakespeare's Landlord
(1997) Lily Bard Mysteries, Book 1)
- Shakespeare's Champion
(1998) The Second Lily Bard Mystery
- Shakespeare's Christmas
- Shakespeare's Trollop
2000 (The Fourth Lily Bard Mystery)
- Shakespeare's Counselor
2001 (The Fifth Lily Bard Mystery)
- Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard Mysteries,
Book 1) 2005
- Dead Until Dark (2001) (Southern Vampire Mysteries,
- A Fool and His Honey
- Living Dead in Dallas
2002 (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 2)
- Club Dead (Southern Vampire Mysteries,
- Dead as a Doornail (Southern
Vampire Mysteries, Book 5
- Definitely Dead (Southern Vampire
Mysteries, Book 6)
- All Together Dead (Southern Vampire
Mysteries, Book 7) Mar 25, 2008
- From Dead to Worse (Southern
Vampire--Book 8 of Sookie Stackhouse)
- Last Scene Alive
- Grave Sight 2006
- Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly
Mysteries, Book 2)
- An Ice Cold Grave (Harper Connelly
Mysteries, Book 3) 2007
By Thea Wright (SHS)
Charlaine Harris, born on November 25, 1951, grew up in the
small town of Tunica, Mississippi,with her parents and
one brother. Her parents, Robert and Jean Harris, were
her strongest influences as a child. Ashley Robert Harris III,
Harris's brother, died just a few years ago. Her parents still
live in Tunica (Harris).
the local high school, Harris could share her thoughts with
very few people and saw herself as an outcast. However, she
now admits that this was only her opinion (Cresent Blues). After
graduation, Harris headed to Memphis, Tennessee, to attend college
(Brown). Although her parents thought she would make a good
teacher, Harris went through college without knowing what she
wanted to do afterwards (Cresent Blues). In 1973, Harris graduated
from Southwestern at Memphis with a Bachelor of Arts degree
Once Harris graduated from college, she went to work. From
1973 to 1974, Harris worked at the Bolivar Commercial
in Cleveland, MS as an offset darkroom operator. After she left
Cleveland, Harris moved to Clarksdale, Mississippi, to work
as a typesetter for the Clarksdale Press Register. Harris
then found work at the Delta Design Group in Greenville, Mississippi,
where she was again a typesetter. Harris lived in Greenville
until 1977, when she moved to Memphis to become a typesetter
for Federal Express Corporation. Harris worked at Federal Express
until 1978 (Brown).
Harris met her husband in 1978. He proposed on their second
date (Cresent Blues). On August 5, 1978, Harris married Hal
Schultz ("Charlaine Harris, 1951-"), her second husband (Cresent
Blues). Although Harris did have some fertility problems (Cresent
Blues), she and Hal now have three children: Patrick, Timothy,
and Julia (Harris).
Since the fourth grade when she began writing poems about ghosts
(McBride), Harris wanted to write (Cresent Blues). She wrote
her first book, Sweet and Deadly, when her husband
Hal gave her an electric typewriter as a wedding present.
A Secret Rage, her second stand-alone book, was
about rape (Cresent
Blues). Harris currently writes three series: the Aurora Teagarden
series about a crime solving librarian, the Lily Bard series
about a cleaning woman, karate expert who also does detective
work, and the Sookie Stackhouse series about a mystery-loving,
telepathic waitress. The heroine of the Lily Bard series, a
rape victim, reveals Harris's own obstacles she has had to overcome
as a surviving victim of rape. In an interview with Cresent
Blues Harris said, "It's not like you can pull your socks up
and get on with it. It's not like that. It's the death of something,
and you have to cope with that in different degrees, off and
on, for the rest of your life." She continued, "I think rape
survivors see things from a much different perspective from
people who haven't had that experience." Harris also said that
she uses writing to clean out her dark places (Cresent Blues).
The most influencial books for Harris are Jane Austin's Pride
and Prejudice, and The Fourth Wall by
Barbara Paul, which changed Harris's opinion of what a woman
should be. Other influential authors include Laura K. Hamilton,
Katy Munger, Dennis Lehane, Andrew Vachss, and Harlan Coben
Harris has been nominated for both the Dilys Award and the
Edgar Award She s currently lives in Arkansas where she relaxes
by lifting weights and reading (McBride). She is also a student
of goju karate (Brown).Another
interesting fact about Harris is that she has her own vampire
teeth.“Once I knew it was possible to get such
a thing, I couldn’t rest until I had my own fangs, Harris
told Cresent Blues during an interview. Her
fangs are lateral incisors and were especially made for her
by the Count of Montrose (Harris). Her book, Last Scene
Alive, was available in July of 2002.
2008 UPDATE: Her 1981 book
Dark and Deadly (published under the name
Charlaine Harris Schulz) was re-issued recently as have numerous
others. Grave Sight, a new Harper
Connelly Mysteries, Book 1, was published in 2006,
True Blood is HBO series which
will be based on her Sookie series (Southern Vampire series).
Anna Paquin wil play Sookie, Sam Trammell will play Sam, and
Ryan Kwanten will be Jason.
A Review of Dead
by Thea Wright (SHS)
Welcome to Bon Temps, Louisiana; a world of vampires, shapeshifters,
and telepathic waitresses. Charlaine Harris's Dead
Until Dark is a wonderfully-written, Southern vampire
mystery with a twist of romance and humor.
Sookie Stackhouse, the main character and quirky
telepathic waitress at Merlotte's bar, finds her life turned
upside down when she rescues Bill Compton, the new resident
vampire, from a vicious couple trying to drain his blood.
The following weeks throw Sookie into the dark world of vampires,
romance, and murder. When Sookie and Bill fall in love,
it may be more than anyone bargained for. As the town's
waitresses begin getting murdered, Sookie finds herself next
on the list. It becomes clear that the murderer has a
venegence for women who date men of the vampire persuasion,
and all the evidence seems to point to Jason Stackhouse, Sookie's
own brother. But not only does Sookie have to balance
waitressing and her detective work on the murders, she is also
called in by the head vampire, Eric, to investigate the recent
embezzeling at Fangtasia, the vampire bar in Shreeveport.
When Bill leaves town on vampire business and the murderer begins
closing in, Sookie is left with only a bumbling vampire
named Bubba, who strangely resembles Elvis, to protect her.
Dead Until Dark gives its reader a fascinating
look into a world where vampires and fang bangers (vampire groupies)
walk the streets at night. But the unnatural does not
end there, it also gives an inside view into the mind of Sookie
Stackhouse, a telepath who has not been able to date because
of her "gift." For those who like the supernatural, this
is a great read.
Although murder, death, and vampires all have large parts in
the book, humor does take its place. Dead Until
Dark portrays the author's witt and sense of
humor through the characters, dialogue, and a not-so-bright
vampire named Bubba, who appears to be Elvis, and, strangely
enough, hates to hear that name. However, the humor in
this book may not appeal to everyone, especially younger readers.
Although I would recommend
Dead Until Dark to anyone who likes a good mystery,
romance, the supernatural, or just wants to have a good laugh,
I would not recommend it for younger readers as there is some
adult language. There are also some graphic adult scenes.
I throughly enjoyed Dead Until Dark. Harris's
characters seem to come to life to tell their story themselves.
Not only are her characters interesting and full of verisimilitude
(well the human ones at least), they are very easy to relate
to. The dialogue and plot are easy to follow and hold
you until the very last page. I highly recommend Dead
The sequel, Living Dead in Dallas, will be available
April 2002. Harris is working on a third installment, which
will be available in the future.
UPDATE: See major works above for all books
published to date.
Charlaine Harris 2001
by Thea Wright (SHS)
Who influenced you the most as a child?
"The strongest influenced on me as a child; hmmm.
My parents, I'm sure."
Did you want to write as a child?
"Yes, I have wanted to be a writer since I could hold
a pencil in my hand."
What is the best advice you can give to aspiring writers?
"The best advice I can give aspiring writers is: read,
read, read. Read everything and anything. Tead
bestsellers and old classics, read science fiction, mystery,
How did you start writing?
"Perhaps you mean, "How did you get published?"
Because I started writing by just doing it. I've been
writing since I was in the fourth grade. It just poured
out. I got published because (during the one year I
lived in St. Louis) I took a creative writing class at a community
college, and the teacher happened to be a woman who'd just
quit working at Houghton Mifflin. She thought my work
was good enough to recommend to her former colleagues, and
that book was my first published novel, "Sweet and Deadly."
Writing three series at the same time must be hard. Which character
is the most like you? Any favorites?
"Yes, writing three series is very hard. I will
probably not write any more Lily Bard books. The heroine
most like me; well, half of Aurora Teagarden and half of Sookie
Stackhouse. Maybe a fifth of Lily Bard was like me.
No simple answers, I'm afraid. I like all my protagonists
Which writers have inspired you?
"What writers have inspired me; that's a difficult
question. There are so many I admire, but inspiration
is a different thing. Eudora Welty, of course.
Jane Austen. The Brontes. In the mystery field,
Barbara Mertz, who writes under a couple of names; Mary Roberts
Rinehart, who seems very dated now, but is still one of my
favorite comfort reads; James Lee Burke, of course.
There is so much excellence in my field, it's hard to narrow
I understand that you are a surviving rape victim. How
has this changed your life?
"I think being a rape survivor changed my life dramatically
and permanently. I understand the value of life now,
and that was something I took for granted before I was attacked
and almost lost my life. I also understand fear now,
and I discovered I had only the remotest idea of the nature
of fear before the rape."
Do your characters reflect yourself?
"Yes, of course my characters reflect myself.
All of them contain a bit of me, even the nasty ones.
That is why mystery writers are, as a whole, a very relaxed
group. We get rid of hostility and tension through our
Your latest book is filled with vampires. Where did your
fascination with vampires come from?
"Where did I get my fascination with vampires?
Gee, I don't know. I've always loved ghost stories,
and books with the element of the supernatural (which we in
the mystery field call "woo-woo" books). It seems a
natural step from ghosts to vampires; and vampires have an
added erotic thrill, which I find resonates with most women.
I can't speak for men on that."
I thought that Dead Until Dark was very funny.
Did you start out writing it as a comedy?
"Yes, I always intended that Dead Until Dark would
be a comedy. People told me for years I should try to
write a book as funny as I was as a speaker, so I decided
to go for it. Besides, the other books in the field
tended to be pretty solemn, so I thought I'd create my own
I hear you have your own pair of vampire fangs. Where
can you find those?
"I do have a wonderful pair of vampire fangs.
You can visit several websites that have options for getting
the fangs made. (The Count of Montrose made mine.) They
are quite expensive, and you can get four or five styles of
fangs. I have the lateral incisors, myself. You
have to send in a mold of your teeth and a picture of your
teeth close-up so the crafter can match the color. You
just slip them over your natural teeth. Voila! A whole
I was thrilled to find out that Living Dead in Dallas
would be available April 2002. Will there be any more
Sookie Stackhouse books?
"Yes, Ace has signed me for two more Sookie Stackhouse
books. I am working on number three right now.
Its tentative title is Club Dead. I hope you like Living
Dead in Dallas. The first in the series (Dead Until
Dark) has been nominated for the Dilys, given by the Independant
Mystery Booksellers Association, and the Agatha, for best
traditional mystery novel of 2001. I will find out in
the next couple of months if I win or not; I am very
excited. In addition, Dead Until Dark will appear in
Japanese in the coming year."
Can you give your readers a hint about what to expect in Living
Dead in Dallas?
"What you'll find in Living Dead in Dallas. Well,
Sookie and Bill
are still linked romantically, and Sookie is loaned out to
the vampires of Dallas to investigate the disappearance of
one of their kind. Before she leaves, she finds the
body of the short-order cook at Merlotte's, the bar where
she works, and she thinks no one will solve the mystery of
his death unless she does. It's a very lively book,
and I had a great time writing it."
an interview with Charlaine Harris.
and Noble lists all Harris's books.
Teagarden, a website for fans of Charlaine Harris's Aurora
Read a summary
of Dead Until Dark.
Read a review
of Dead Until Dark.
a message at the Charlaine Harris message board.
Brown, Bonny, Webmaster.“Did
You Know that Charlaine Harris.”Stop,
You’re Killing Me! A Website to Die for if You Love Mystery
You’re Killing Me! March 4, 2002. <http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/Bio/bio-Charlaine-Harris.html>.
“Charlaine Harris, 1952-.”Arkansas
2, 2002. <http://coe.uca.edu/ArkansasAuthorsIndex/harris.html>.
Harris: Putting the Bite on Cozy Mysteries.”Volume
4, Issue 4.1998, 1999,
2000, 2001.Cresent Blues,
Inc.March 2, 2002. <http://www.cresentblues.com/4_4issue/int_charlaine_harris.shtml>.
Until Dark.New York:
Ace Books, 2001.
Harris, Charlaine.E-mail interview. 2001