Charlaine Harris’ Dead Reckoning marks the 11th novel-length appearance of telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse, star of the bestselling series that inspired the popular HBO show True Blood. As the book opens, an old enemy returns, threatening Sookie’s life and livelihood by firebombing Merlotte’s. Meanwhile, Sookie’s boyfriend Eric is chafing under the rule of Louisiana’s vampire regent, Victor, who’s seeking to provoke the Viking vampire into a fatal confrontation. And the apparently prosaic task of cleaning out the Stackhouse attic leads to some startling discoveries about Sookie’s fairy heritage and an unexpected legacy.
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Harris’ book tour begins this month, and she’ll also make an appearance at BookExpo America. Season four of True Blood debuts June 26.
In Dead Reckoning, we learn more about the relationship between Sookie’s grandmother Adele and her fairy grandfather Fintan than we ever have before, and you also apparently offer the last word on the source of Sookie’s telepathy. Are there any other startling revelations yet to come about her family?
If I think I need to offer more, I will, but it’s ground that’s been covered pretty thoroughly.
Will demon lawyer Desmond Cataliades start to play a larger role in Sookie’s life?
If the beasts haven’t caught him. I’m waiting to find out on that. They were pretty swift, and he’s tired. On the other hand, he’s mostly a demon.
Are there any spoilers you can divulge regarding the future of Sookie and Eric’s relationship?
How likely is it that Sookie and Bill will hook up again?
Not in the next book, anyway. I did have fun writing the crawl-space scene [in Dead Reckoning].
If you could be present for one of “Bubba’s” [aka vampire Elvis’] occasional performances, what would you want him to sing? Will he ever make an appearance on True Blood?
Weirdly enough, I’m going to pick “Blue Suede Shoes.” [Executive producer] Alan [Ball] says he won’t be on the show since an Elvis impersonator might simply come off as cheesy.
Anything else you can tell us about future books in the series?
There are two more. I’m working on the 12th book right now.
What can we expect from season four of True Blood?
Let me just explain that I don’t see scripts in advance and that the season is still filming. Alan changes the story as he and his writers deem best, which is exciting for me, but they don’t necessarily feel they have to tell me about it. So, while the fourth season will generally follow the fourth book, the differences may well outweigh the similarities.
Talk about The Sookie Stackhouse Companion. What will we find there that isn’t in the books?
The Companion is the product of a lot of work on the part of many people. I edited it all or approved it all, so the buck stops here, but I don’t think anyone’s going to be disappointed. There’s an exhaustive compendium of characters; an original novella by me, of course; interviews with Alan Ball and myself answering questions asked by readers; a map of Bon Temps; recipes from food served in the books; a timeline for the books and even more stuff.
What can you tell us about Cemetery Girl, your graphic novel project with Christopher Golden?
Chris and I have been talking about this forever, since I told him the basic plotline of the story when we were at Comic-Con together a year and a half ago. He would e-mail me from time to time, because the story had caught his fancy, and he said, “You know, this would make a great graphic novel.” It was really a light bulb moment. I knew that Chris would bring so much to the project. It’s about a very young woman who finds herself living in a cemetery. She has no memory, but knows she’s in danger.
You’ll be visiting New York twice in May for the Dead Reckoning tour and BEA. Do you have any plans outside your two appearances?
I did a lot of sightseeing when I brought my daughter to New York for the PFLAG [Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays] gala, but there’s always something to see in New York. And the food is so interesting. And the shopping! Never a lack of something to do!
What would Sookie Stackhouse want to do if she visited New York?
She would hate New York. Too many thoughts. She would like to see the Statue of Liberty though.