I don’t consider it terribly spoilery, so I’m not even putting up a warning! But Entertainment Weekly spoke with Charlaine Harrisabout the end of the Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse mystery series, coming this May. First they played a video — which you must go to their site to see! — which is a promotional for the book and based on the familiar cover art by Lisa Desimini:
The interview is a bit longer and you need to go to the second page of the EW article to read it, but this is the part that I was intrigued by:
Are you satisfied with the ending?
It’s the ending I had planned all along, maybe from like the second book on. There will be people who are super happy and there will be people who will not be happy, but you have to stay true to your own vision.
So you never felt the urge to change anything in the series based on the readers’ feedback?
No. I’m sorry, this is the universe I’m the queen of. The readers can get pretty angry and tell me I’m writing the characters wrong. I hardly see how that could be possible. They’re my characters! [Laughs]
I feel like Eric is especially a source of controversy. I have a friend who told me to ask you, and I quote: “Why did you decide to create a character that everyone fell in love with and then rip him from are our nimble little page-turning fingers?”
When I created Eric, I felt I’d created a complete person, with both a very attractive side and an unattractive one. Of course, no one’s perfect, human or vampire or Were! There’s no perfect “happily ever after.” But I get a lot of indignant feedback from a small but vocal group of readers whenever the narrative requires that one of Eric’s less lovely characteristics play into the story.
Honestly, if the ending is Sookie with anyone other than Eric, I have a hard time imagining more than a fraction of the readers being “super happy” with that outcome, but maybe I’m wrong. It is also clear that Charlaine has some issues with at least some Eric lovers, although it sounds to me as if the issue may be those people who feel the reader should always take Eric’s side and that Eric is always right, something I sometimes see in fanfiction. I wonder, is it possible for her to have written a pro-Sooric ending that still might piss off some Eric lovers? I imagine if Eric is made human — and realistically, that’s the only way to resolve the differences between him and Sookie long-term since Sookie will not be turned — she might be worried that people who loved Eric as the Vampire Viking Sex God will be pissed.
Of course, she may just put Sookie together with Sam, which I would find kind of disappointing, but, as CH says (basically) her story, her rules. And if I end up unhappy with the final book, well, rewrite! That is what fanfiction is for. 🙂