One of HBO’s most popular shows has a fan site run by a staff member at Emporia State. Melissa Lowery, administrative assistant of English, Modern Languages, and Journalism, helped start the Web site in March of last year.
It was the first “True Blood” site of any kind – HBO didn’t even have theirs up by that time.
“We ran a couple of other fan sites and we started them in 2007,” Lowery said. “We were looking for something else, with the new television series coming. I was a huge fan of the books. I saw that Alan Ball had optioned them for a series. I was a big admirer of his work and was excited that he was going to do it.”
“True Blood” also has a following among college students.
“I liked the first season,” said Zack Day, junior English major. “But I feel the second season focused more on the sex and it kind of got overbearing and over took the plot.”
In an untimely manner, the writer’s strike happened and the show was delayed.
“It finally got an air date and we started our site,” Lowery said. “It’s our biggest Web site. We had half a million visitors at one point.”
Lowery runs the site with her co-creator Liz and occasionally a few contributing writers.
“I do a lot of the technical side of things, designing the site, making the database, any technical changes we need to make, updating things,” she said. “Liz and I jointly write articles and interview people.”
They have a radio show Fridays at 10 a.m. that they post through blog talk radio.
“We air interviews when they have them,” Lowery said. “We talk about the show. We’ll do a recap about the last show and give spoilers and the latest news.”
Lowery said that she and Liz created the show because they were interested in the books that the show is based on.
“We wanted a place where we could discuss the show, because we were both big fans of the book series,” Lowery said. “We wanted a place of our own and thought we would maybe get a couple hundred people. It turned into be something bigger than that.”
She has met the cast and has interviewed a lot of people that have dealt with the show.
“You can’t even believe how nice the cast is,” Lowery said. “For as much gore and dark stuff that goes on in the show the cast from the top down is so nice. Alan Ball, he’s amazing, he’s very gracious he’s from the south and has that southern hospitality gene built in.”
Liz, Mel’s partner and resident of Chicago, gathers info and writes articles.
“My favorite cast member has to be Kristin Bauer,” Liz said. “She has so much to talk about and she’s a girl’s girl. She’s someone you would love to go shopping with and have lunch with.”
The two of them were taken to the set of the television series.
“It was so awesome,” Liz said. “The menus for the bar and grill were real. There were scratches on the tables to make them look more real and that people had sat on them before and eaten on them. The paint jobs they did made them look old.”
People seek out the Web site duo to help promote events.
“It’s really flattering to have them actually seek us out,” Liz said. “It’s flattering to be sought.”
““True Blood”” is a television series on HBO created and produced by Alan Ball. It is based on the book series The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris.
To view the site, go to www.true-blood.net.
Felix Ceradsky/The Bulletin