I think it’s very smart for Charlaine Harris to wrap up her Sookie Stackhouse books, and to know she needs to wrap them up. I’ve written often, and at some length, about how I think TV series in particular need to know what the conclusion of their story arcs are, and that more shows would benefit from announcing a set number of seasons or episodes and sticking to them. Of course, that’s true with books as well, and especially show for multi-platform blockbusters, where there are huge incentives, entirely independent of artistic integrity, for keeping stories going as long as possible.
For Harris, I imagine all of this is particularly true. She said to Hero Complex in the story I linked to above that Alan Ball’s show sometimes actualizes things she only hints at in a way that makes her slightly uncomfortable as a viewer. And I think the show hasn’t quite captured what makes Sookie appealing, rather than a hot piece of redneck ass, particularly her emphasis on self-education and economic self-determination. But because HBO owns all the development rights to Sookie-related material, Harris doesn’t have a lot of leverage to hope someone will get it better, or HBO will be forced to do it better. I can see why it might be time for her to move on.