New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris will hold a free lecture and book signing at the University of Central Arkansas’ Reynolds Performance Hall on Thursday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. The book signing will immediately follow the lecture. Harris, a Mississippi native who now lives in southern Arkansas, writes the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries novels on which the HBO hit series "True Blood" is based. Larry Burns, adviser of the UCA Student Government Association, which helped in bringing Harris to campus, said the author’s lecture would be exciting for the UCA community.

Harris has gained most recognition for her Sookie Stackhouse series about a telepathic barmaid who befriends vampires and werewolves in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps. Sookie falls in love with vampire Bill, much to the chagrin of her friends and coworkers. The series’ first book, "Dead Until Dark," won an Anthony Award for best paperback mystery of 2001. The series has been published in Japan, Great Britain, Greece, Germany, Thailand, Spain, France and Russia. The HBO show "True Blood," based on the series, begins its third season this year. Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League. She is on the board of Sisters in Crime and alternates with Joan Hess as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance.

Seating for the event is reserved. Free tickets are currently available to UCA students. Tickets are available for UCA faculty and staff beginning March 11 and the general public beginning March 15. Two tickets per person may be picked up at the UCA Box Office, open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Reserved tickets may be picked up during those hours or between 6 and 7 p.m. on April 1. Tickets not picked up by 7 p.m. on April 1 will be released and given away. UCA students, faculty and staff must show IDs when picking up reserved tickets. 

Harris’ appearance is funded by the UCA Student Government Association and the UCA Bookstore.

For more information, call the Office of the Dean, College of Fine Arts and Communication, at 450-3293 or e-mail smaiden.uca.edu