The Sookie Stackhouse Companion
A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
Charlaine Harris has topped the bestseller charts and become a nationwide phenomenon, thanks to the unconventional, and otherworldly, life of Sookie Stackhouse. Now take a closer look at Sookie and at her family, friends, enemies, adventures, and—of course—the lovers who set her world on fire....
Visit Bon Temps, the small Louisiana town that Sookie calls home, with a detailed map created by Charlaine herself, and learn the characteristics of the supernaturals who live there: vampires, two-natured, and fae. Examine all the branches of Sookie’s family tree. And eavesdrop on the private conversations between rival vampires Eric and Bill.
Also, enjoy the compelling novella “Small-Town Wedding,” in which Sookie accompanies her shapeshifting boss, Sam, to his brother’s wedding in Texas, where happily-ever-after seems very far away....
Exclusive interviews with True Blood creator Alan Ball and author Charlaine Harris—compiled from fan questions—will satisfy your craving for all things Sookie, as will trivia questions, recipes (including Caroline Bellefleur’s famous chocolate cake!), and a concordance to the Sookie Stackhouse novels.
Sookie and I go back a long way. We're practically sisters. Many years ago, when my mystery career was languishing, I thought it might be a good idea to shake up my writing style by trying something new. It might be fun to write a book that contained all the elements I loved: mystery, the supernatural, bloody adventure, and a dash of romance. And since people had told me for years that I had a great sense of humor, I thought it would be interesting to try to include that in the book, too.
Without a contract, without a soul being at all interested, I began to establish the character of my protagonist. My grandmother's best friend's name was Sookie, and since it was a fine old Southern nickname, I thought it would do well for my heroine. And "Stackhouse" just flowed right after it. I wanted to write from the point of view of a human, not a vampire or other "supe," and since I have to live with Sookie, I wanted to make her as interesting as I possibly could. I decided she would date a vampire, as the entrée into a completely different world, and I had to establish a reason for sensible Sookie to do such a crazy thing. After a long thinking session, I came up with telepathy, which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
Up until then, most vampires in fiction had exotic, sexy names. My vampire, I decided, would be named "Bill." Instead of setting my books in the picturesque, touristy part of Louisiana, I'd make do with the distinctly unromantic northern part. Instead of being angsty brooders, my vampires would be trying their hardest to be in the forefront of business; they'd be hard workers, and they'd have their own internal system of checks and balances.
I finished Dead Until Dark and turned it in to my agent, the great Joshua Bilmes. It took Joshua a long time to warm up to the Sookieverse, but he dutifully did his best to sell my favorite book. After two years of rejections, Dead Until Dark seemed likely to live up to its acronym. Then a young editor at Ace, John Morgan (now at DC Comics), decided to take a chance, and his boss, Ginjer Buchanan (my present editor), okayed the deal.
We've never looked back.
Readers seemed to want more details of the Sookieverse, and the website (www.charlaineharris.com) has always bubbled and seethed with questions. How do you make Caroline Bellefleur's chocolate cake? What about that pesky fairy genealogy? What book contains the famous shower scene? (I'm just kidding on that last one; everyone knows the shower scene.) How do the short stories fit into the chronology of the books?
We've assembled The Sookie Stackhouse Companion to answer all of these questions and hopefully a few more, to give readers a thorough look at the world of Bon Temps, and to provide extra snippets of interesting information about Sookie's world and the people who live and die in it. Though this book is about the books, we also give a nod to our favorite television show, True Blood, by including an interview with one of my favorite people, Alan Ball.
Lots of people helped me assemble this companion, and I'm going to try to thank all of them in the acknowledgments. But let me just say here that without the help of my assistant and best buddy, Paula Woldan, I would have torn out my hair and cast myself upon the floor in despair at a few points. So thanks, Paula, and I think I had some of the most fun ever drawing the map with you.
I'm sure the second The Sookie Stackhouse Companion is on the shelves, I'll think of something I should have included, but it's time to let this project go. I hope you all find something in the book to entertain, enlighten, and engross you.
See you in Bon Temps.
Life in Bon Temps
To: Eric Northman,
With the permission of Sophie-Anne Leclerq, Queen of Louisiana, I will be returning to claim my ancestral home in Bon Temps.
To: William Compton
Long time no see. As you know, the vampires in my area pay their fealty by working at Fangtasia. Please contact Pam to set up your schedule.
To: Eric Northman,
I understand that your vampires may offer a tithe as an alternative to working at Fangtasia. I have other obligations and fear I will not have the time to dedicate to your club.
To: William Compton
A tithe is acceptable, but I would much prefer your time at Fangtasia. As a former Confederate soldier you would be quite a draw. I understand that you have work to do for the queen, but surely you can spare me, your sheriff, some of your valuable time as well.
To: Eric Northman,
Please find enclosed my certified check for six months' tithe.
What's Cookin' in Bon Temps
Antoine's Fried Pickles
Time: 20 minutes
This is a variation on a recipe that became famous after its use at a restaurant close to Tunica, Mississippi.
Sift together all of the dry ingredients. Add the milk and the beer in equal amounts until the mixture is the desired consistency. Slice the dill pickles into round 1/4"- to 3/8"-thick chips. Dip the slices in the batter until batter is gone, and fry in deep oil. Turn once or twice to brown evenly.
Tip: Enjoy them with cold beer.
By Charlaine Harris
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