Back in 2005 when my first book had just come out, I met Charlaine Harris. She was one of a small group of Sisters in Crime who were having dinner together after a book sellers convention and I, new to the mystery world, asked her what she wrote. "Well, I have a new series about vampires," she told me, as I gave her a ride back to her hotel.
I hadn't a clue that this soft-spoken, pleasant lady from Duck Pond, Arkansas was just on the verge of becoming a major bestseller with her Sookie Stackhouse novels -- novels which became the very popular TV series 'True Blood.'
But as time went on, Charlaine's fame and popularity grew and grew -- and still, by all accounts, she remained just as sweet and just as hardworking -- turning out book after book with clockwork regularity.
This month, DEAD EVER AFTER, the 13th and the last in the series hit the shelves and the you-know what hit the fan. Many long time readers were outraged -- not so much that the series was ending but at which of three romantic interests Sookie, the telepathic waitress, ended up with.
There's an article HERE detailing some of the really awful things readers have said and supposedly Ms. Harris has decided not to go on tour with this book because of the violent reaction there has been to the novel.
Folks, I find myself wanting to say, get a life! This is FICTION! These are not real people.
Of course it speaks well for an author's skill that she can create characters her readers feel so passionately about -- but it turns out to be something of a double-edged sword, in this case.
It's happened before -- Conan Doyle tired of writing about Sherlock Holmes and tried to kill him off in what was meant to be a final book but reader clamor forced him to resurrect his detective.
As a reader, I'm still a little annoyed about some of the characters Patrick O'Brian killed off though, as a writer, I think I understand his reasons.
Have any of you had characters you cared for so much that you were angry when things didn't go as you wished?