Deadlocked: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
Deadlocked: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
Sookie Stackhouse 
Ace Books (2012)
It’s vampire politics as usual around the town of Bon Temps, but never before have they hit so close to Sookie’s heart…
Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she’d rather not know. And now that she’s an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she’d rather not see—like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one.
There’s a thing or two she’d like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet—Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town. It’s the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric’s front yard—especially the body of the woman whose blood he just drank.
Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s set out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.
A conversation with Charlaine Harris, best-selling author of Deadlocked, and Laurell K. Hamilton, best-selling author of Kiss the Dead
Question: Did you ever imagine that your series would run as long as it has?
Charlaine Harris: I was just glad to sell the first book. It took two years of my agent sending it out to get a bite. I never even dreamed that Sookie would be so popular, that I would find so much to say about her and her world.
Laurell K. Hamilton: No. I had over two hundred rejections for the first Anita Blake novel. They were the nicest rejections, with editors suggesting other publishing houses to send it to, but they, themselves, couldn't figure out how to market it. When I got that first three book contract, I remember thinking, "Well, at least I'll get to write three of them." I actually did think I had at least ten books in Anita and her world, but I don't think anyone can plan to write twenty-one novels in a series and still be excited about starting the twenty-second.
Did you ever dream paranormal would be this hot?
LKH: I remember being told that mixed genre didn't sell, before the term paranormal became a genre. I was also told that no one wanted to read about vampires. More than one editor told me that particular monster was dead and gone. I thought there was life left in the old legends, but I never saw this level of popularity coming.
CH: Yes, even my agent didn't expect Dead Until Dark would be an easy sell, maybe especially since my books contained a lot of humor. Vampires were passé, and books that crossed genres (Except for yours: I think you had three or four books out when I wrote the first Sookie, and I was so glad to discover them!) were called "unshelvable.’ I could never have anticipated shelves and shelves of cross-genre books.
Does fan response play a part in your planning process?
CH: Not in the sense of changing plot direction in my novels. This is my story to tell, and I have to write it the way I see it. But every now and then when reader response to a character is unexpectedly enthusiastic--or the opposite--I'll take a second look at that character to see why he/she is coming across in a way I didn't expect or anticipate.
LKH: I don't change plot direction for fan reaction either. My story, my world, my books, my stuff, my way. The only people who can change the direction of my novels are my characters. It's their life, after all, so if they're really insistent on a different plot, then they win. I agree that reader response to a character can make me puzzle over them more, but it doesn't usually change how often the character is on stage, or how big their role is, because weirdly if the fans are interested, then I'm already intrigued. Best example is Edward who started out as this cold blooded assassin, almost a bad guy, and now he's one of Anita's best friends, and he's a U. S. Marshal. So, not what I had planned for him.
Have you ever had a character totally surprise you with their choices?
LKH: A lot of my characters have minds of their own. Edward went away on his own and got himself engaged to a woman with two children from her first marriage. Edward-- assassin, ex-military, current police officer, taking a six-year-old to ballet lessons with all the other moms both amuses and
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