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Alan Ball, Talking 'True Blood' and 'Towelhead'

First he created Six Feet Under, the HBO series about a family that runs a funeral home and is steeped in death. Now he's created an HBO series about the undead: True Blood, about vampires who've emerged from the shadows — thanks to the development of synthetic blood — to live among the rest of us.

Their presence is so new that no one knows what to make of them. Some people find them sexy, while many fear them — and some are just curious.

Ball's other new project is movie Towelhead, based on a controversial novel by Alicia Erian. The protagonist is a 13-year-old girl, Jasira, whose budding sexuality makes her an object of desire both for her mother's boyfriend and — after she's sent to live with her father — a predatory neighbor.

Both projects, as becomes clear in his conversation with Fresh Air host Terry Gross, tap into Ball's own fascination with "the intricacies of humans relating to each other."

And, like all of his projects, with sex.

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