We recently caught up with Charlaine Harris on her book signing tour in the UK to find out what’s next for the Sookie Stackhouse series author. Harris wrapped up the 13-book saga this year with Dead Ever After, but inevitably there were still some characters’ fates left hanging. In a bid to give closure to fans, she will be releasing After Dead (released 31 October, published by Gollancz).
“It’s not a novel, but an alphabetical listing of all the characters in the series, or at least most of them – I couldn’t get everybody in – with what happens to them after the series is over,” she told SciFiNow exclusively.
“So there will be Sookie, Sam, Eric, Tara and JB and just about everybody else will be in there with just a little line or two to say this is what happened to them afterwards because I don’t want to keep getting those questions for five years after when I have a bad habit of forgetting what I make up at one point so I make up a whole different answer!”
After Dead will not only set the record straight but – steady yourself – it will kill off some of the characters. “The entries are quite brief and some of them include characters that have now died and how they died,” Harris continues. “If Alan [Ball] got inspired by my books, I got inspired by Alan’s ending for Six Feet Under, where he shows all the characters when they die. But this isn’t all about death, they’ve had a happy life and death is the end of that, inevitably.”
After After Dead the author will be sinking her teeth into an entirely new series of books, the first of which is titled Midnight Crossroad. It was originally called Midnight Palm, but the British publisher thought we might mis-hear and think the title was something to do with ‘porn’! It’s set at the titular crossroads in Texas, with a group of people who “have all settled for various reasons”.
“There aren’t that many inhabitants there and they’re all there for a particular reason, though they don’t all know everything about each other,” she revealed. “And there’ll be characters from all the series I’ve written in these three books. It won’t be as heavily supernatural as the Sookie books, there are certainly supernatural elements but it won’t be as dependent on them.”
And as for vampires? Don’t expect any of the ones from Bon Temps to relocate. “It’s more of a human cast, or at least people who can pass for human most of the time,” she clarified. “There’s only one vampire and he’s pretty unusual… He’s gonna be a new character; I’m not ever gonna retread any of those vampires.”
Readers can expect the first installment to surround a big mystery, which is familiar territory for Harris. What’s different, however, is that she’s no longer writing entirely in first person. “I’m writing in the third person and from multiple points of view,” she says. “And some of my first persons are men and I’ve never written from a male perspective before. I hope I’m getting it right. I think about my husband and my sons and wonder ‘What would they say?’ I even read some of it to them to see if I’m getting it right.”
It’s currently in the process of being written and slated for a May 2014 release. “I’ve had several revelations about it recently” she said, “so I’m really looking forward to going back home and finishing this sucker off.”
Dead Ever After is out now, pick it up for £9.50 from Amazon.co.uk.