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‘True Blood’ star co-authors new book in character
by David-Elijah Nahmod
“I’m not gay, but I’m a big supporter,” says Michael McMillian, who played antigay preacher turned gay vampire Steve Newlin on HBO’s mega-hit True Blood. “I’m not a fundamentalist Christian or a vampire either, but I played them on TV!”
Now, after the demise of his colorful television character, McMillian returns to the True Blood fold. Together with Gianna Sobol, he’s co-authored a new book that offers more insight into the mind of Steve Newlin. Steve Newlin’s Field Guide to Vampires (and other Creatures of Satan), available at Amazon, is a diary “written by Newlin” while he was still a preacher. Pastor Steve offers his insightful knowledge about all the evil supernatural creatures that haunt the town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. He explains what makes them tick, and how to destroy them. Unfortunately, vampires Pam and Eric stole the diary, and wrote their own snarky commentary in between Newlin’s lines.
“It’s such a fun idea that fits into the world of the show,” McMillian told OutSmart. “It has the same sense of humor that the show has. I think it’s a must-have for True Blood fans. It’s written and created to be an artifact from the show. You are reading Steve’s actual journal, when he did his research on vampires. It could have been a prop on the show.”
For McMillian, who has also written for the True Blood comic book, being part of the TB universe is a dream come true. The actor/writer is a lifelong comic book and horror movie fan. He’s attended San Diego Comic Con both as a celebrity guest and a fan. “I’m a fan disguised as a professional,” he said. “I’ve been going to Comic Con since before I started doing True Blood. I get the way the fans feel about things. When I go to cons, I like to mingle. These are my people.”
“I grew up reading comic books in the paper,” he recalled. “To me it’s another avenue of storytelling like film and TV. I’m a big fan of Spiderman and Marvel Comics, and I was surprised that not all the kids read comics.”
The rising star is also partial to vampires. “I’m working my way through Buffy,” he said. “I’m up to season four, and I’m loving it! I’m addicted to X Files, and I loved Lost.”
So what’s it like to actually work in the genre you love? “It feels great!” he said. “Being a fan of a genre, it’s exciting to work in that genre. It was not a secret on the set: it was known that I’m a True Blood geek! But everyone is a geek now—you can’t find anyone who’s not a fan of something!”
As much as he loved his time on True Blood, he’s fine with the show coming to its natural end. “It’s going out at the right time,” he observed, “before it runs too long and grows stale. I’m sad that Steve won’t be there at the end, but it’s fun to watch the show as a fan and to get that True Blood feeling!”