Best-selling author Charlaine Harris knows just how fascinating vampires are to readers, TV viewers and moviegoers.
Her Sookie Stackhouse series, about a telepathic barmaid in Louisiana who befriends vampires and other supernatural creatures, inspired the hit show True Blood , which premiered on HBO in 2008.
"Everyone involved is so enthusiastic and so talented," Harris said of the TV series. "It's just been amazing."
The author will visit the Columbia County Library Saturday for a book signing and question-and-answer session. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the program starting at 7 p.m. The book signing will take place from 8-9 p.m.
In addition to the Sookie Stackhouse novels, Harris also has written books in the Aurora Teagarden, Lily Bard and Harper Connelly series. She said she's signed a contract to write three more novels in the Sookie Stackhouse series.
Harris is capitalizing on an upsurge of popularity for vampire-related books, television shows and movies like the Twilight novels and films, and the The Vampire Diaries novels and show.
"I think that people are almost pathetically concerned with remaining young now, and I think the interest in vampirism has a lot to do with that," said Harris, who describes herself as an urban-fantasy writer.
This recent fascination with vampires is nothing new, said Dr. Melissa Powell-Williams, an assistant sociology professor at Augusta State University. However, the way the public views vampires has changed over time, she said.
"The relationship between the vampire and the human becomes more complex and interwoven in these stories," she said. "It's more like a soap opera now."
Harris, who lived in Orangeburg, S.C., for about 10 years, said she's visited the Augusta area many times.
The Mississippi native now lives in southern Arkansas, and most of her work is set in the South.
"I just wanted to be sure I set it somewhere I could write about with conviction," she said.
The library's Winter Chills program featuring Harris is free to attend. A bar will be set up inside the library's lobby, and hors d'oeuvres will be served during the event.
"I think she just appeals to all kinds of ages from the young adults, the teenage kids, all the way up to the adult level," said Mary Lin Maner, the county's library director. "She's got that little bit of humor in the books, too."
The Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center, located inside the Evans library, seats 300 people and the lobby will hold 150. A maximum of 450 tickets will be distributed, starting at 6 p.m. the night of the event.
"If people can't get into the auditorium, they can still see and hear the program by watching the TVs in the lobby," Maner said.
Leading up to the event, book discussions on Harris' work have been held at each county library branch this month.
Evans resident Wilma Wade joined in on a discussion at the Harlem library. Though she hasn't seen True Blood , she does enjoy reading Harris' work.
"They're easy-read books," she said. "They make you want to find out where these characters come from."
As for Harris' upcoming visit to the Evans library, Wade said she plans to attend.
"I hope to keep them entertained," Harris said. "I'll be glad to meet them and listen to their questions."
For information, call (706) 863-1946 or visit www.columbiacountyga.gov.
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