NPR conducted an interview with Alan Ball on leaving True Blood. You might want to listen to the actual 6-minute interview. What I noticed is that his voice as the interview goes on is still rough. I haven’t seen it discussed in the media, but I have this theory that the main reason Alan Ball is stepping down as TB showrunner is because he has a health issue connected with his throat. If you look at the photo by Gage Skidmore taken at SD Comic-Con 2012, I kept thinking that the dark line in his beard along the left side of his face looked as if it might be stitches.