Tuesday, May 4, 2010

True blood

When people find out that you like to write short stories (and novels) about monsters, they often give a puzzled half smile. And then they search through their experiences to try to make a connection; "Oh, like (insert name)" or "You must like (insert name)".

With the increased popularity of monsters in a certain cross-over genre...we'll call it...I don't know, horror romance...no how about paranormal romance.. well with the increased popularity of tortured vampire love interests (from Anne Rice's Lestadt to Stephanie Meyer's Edward) the 'insert name' name is less likely to be Steven King or Dean Koontz and more likely to be someone writing about tortured vampire lovers.

Well, one I've been asked about more frequently (especially after the HBO show True Blood came out) is Charlaine Harris. So, I finally knuckled under and gave one of her books a read. Or, in this case a listen (audio book). I picked up her collection of short stories A Touch of Dead.

Clearly not my cup of tea. But it wasn't bad. Paranormal, southern romance with a chick-litty chatiness. The character, Sookie Stackhouse, was believably likable, there was a chatty understated quality to her dialogue. It certainly didn't take itself too seriously and was fun. But she did disconcertingly dump every trope of supernatural horror and urban fantasy and swirl them around. And I just went through the 5 short stories. Vampires, elves, trolls, were creatures...telepaths, witches..even catahoula hunting dogs! My head hurt.

I would recommend with a qualified 'if you like that sort of thing'. And many many people do, as she spends a lot of time on the NY Times lists. Certainly smarter than...egads, Twighlight...but a bit of stretch otherwise. I wouldn't turn my nose up, but I'm not running out to buy the next book either.

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