The Sookie Stackhouse Companion
An Excerpt From
The Sookie Stackhouse Companion

PREFACE

THE WORLD OF SOOKIE STACKHOUSE

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 Darkseemed 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.

– Charlaine Harris

Life in Bon Temps

The Secret Dialogues of Bill and Eric

To: Eric Northman,

Sheriff of Area Five, LA

Dear Eric,

With the permission of Sophie-Anne Leclerq, Queen of Louisiana, I will be returning to claim my ancestral home in Bon Temps.

Sincerely,

William Compton

--------------------------

To: William Compton

Dear Bill,

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.

Eric Northman

--------------------------

To: Eric Northman,

Sheriff of Area Five, LA

Dear Eric,

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.

Sincerely,

William Compton

--------------------------

To: William Compton

Dear Bill,

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.

Eric Northman

--------------------------

To: Eric Northman,

Sheriff of Area Five, LA

Dear Eric,

Please find enclosed my certified check for six months' tithe.

Sincerely,

William Compton

What's Cookin' in Bon Temps

A Selection of Down-Home Southern Recipes

Antoine's Fried Pickles

Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

· 1 cup self-rising flour

· 1 tsp. baking powder

· 1/4 tsp. paprika

· Dash of red pepper

· 1/3 cup milk

· 1/3 cup beer (any brand)

· Whole dill pickles

· Oil

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

ria[nrHp¢ ¢¢ -weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 20px; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); display: inline !important; float: none;">--------------------------To: William ComptonDear Bill,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.Eric Northman--------------------------To: Eric Northman,
Sheriff of Area Five, LADear Eric,Please find enclosed my certified check for six months' tithe.Sincerely,William ComptonWhat's Cookin' in Bon Temps
A Selection of Down-Home Southern Recipes
Antoine's Fried PicklesTime: 20 minutesIngredients:
  • 1 cup self-rising flour

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp. paprika

  • Dash of red pepper

  • 1/3 cup milk

  • 1/3 cup beer (any brand)

  • Whole dill pickles

  • Oil

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

The Sookie Stackhouse Companion

The Sookie Stackhouse Companion

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