So awhile back I was crowing over some super sekrit exciting news that, finally, is SEKRIT NO LONGER.
The news is this: I was picked to write a Sookieverse story for an anthology, edited by Toni Kelner and Charlaine Harris herself, called DEAD BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. It’s coming out as an audiobook first (on May 13th, 2014), then in hardcover and kindle (Nov. 25, 2014).
For those who’ve been following me for a while, you know how much the Sookie books mean to me. I was inspired to write Jane while reading Dead as a Doornail somewhere over the Atlantic. It was the first non-literary fiction I’d read in forever, and reading that book made me remember how much I loved popular fiction and why. I FELT the whole way through that plane ride, a surge of affective response that I’d forgotten about after years of intellectually rigorous reading.
I also remembered how powerful and how worthy a pursuit is granting people such escape. At the time, I was going through a lot of huge changes–leaving the country I’d lived in for six years, leaving a long-term partner, graduating from my PhD program and interviewing for jobs back in the states. But on that long plane ride back to Edinburgh after a job interview (in Shreveport, LA of all places), I didn’t think about any of my worries. I just read, and lived Sookie’s life, and I got away from all my sorrows and stresses for a little while.
That’s what people pay millions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies for, and I bought such release for $7.99 at a Barnes and Noble.
During that flight, my little PhD brain was also analyzing everything I read and it told me, “you could do this. You could write one of these.” And, much to my own amazement, I went home and I did. Three months later I had a rough draft of Tempest Rising; about three months after that I had an agent; and about three months after that I had a book deal.
My life changed utterly, and I credit a lot of that to Charlaine. This explains why I geek out on her so hard every time we meet, much to our mutual consternation.
So to say I was pleased to be invited to take part in this anthology is an understatement. I ugly, if joyfully, cried like a woman whose boyfriend popped the question at a baseball game, all tears and snot on the jumbotron. And I ugly-cried for like three days, in all honesty, to anyone who would listen and could ignore the mucus.
That was a while ago, but now it’s even more exciting to see what everyone else has done, and to be a part of the buzz surrounding the antho. Here’s one of the official write-ups from Audible’s publicist:
Charlaine Harris’ smash-hit Sookie Stackhouse series may have reached its conclusion, but the world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, lives on in this all-new collection of 15 stories. Written by a killer lineup of authors, including New York Timesbest-sellers Rachel Caine, MaryJanice Davidson, Jonathan Maberry and Seanan McGuire, and with introductions read by Charlaine herself, Dead but Not Forgotten puts your favorite characters center stage.
The stories included in Dead but Not Forgotten are:
“Nobody’s Business” by Rachel Caine (featuring Kevin Pryor & Kenya Jones)
“Tyger, Tyger” by Christopher Golden (featuring Quinn)
“The Real Santa Claus” by Leigh Perry (featuring Diantha)
“Taproot” by Jeffrey J. Mariotte (featuring Andy Bellefleur)
“Knit a Sweater Out of Sky” by Seanan McGuire (featuring Amelia)
“Love Story” by Jeanne C. Stein (featuring Adele Hale Stackhouse)
“The Million-Dollar Hunt” by Jonathan Maberry (featuring Mustapha Khan)
“Borderline Dead” by Nicole Peeler (featuring Desiree Dumas)
“Extreme Makeover Vamp Edition” by Leigh Evans (featuring Bev & Todd)
“Don’t Be Cruel” by Bill Crider (featuring Bubba)
“What a Dream I Had” by Nancy Holder (featuring Alcide Herveaux)
“Another Dead Fairy” by Miranda James (featuring Claude & Claudia Crane)
“The Bat-Signal” by Suzanne McLeod (featuring Luna)
“The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars” by Dana Cameron (featuring Pam Ravenscroft)
“Widower’s Walk” by MaryJanice Davidson (featuring Eric Northman)
Dead but Not Forgotten was edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner.
And here’s the Audible cover. We should have cover art for the books soon.
So yeah, I’m really proud to a part of this anthology. I feel like it’s brought me full-circle, somehow, and that I get to honor Sookie in an act of homage that fills me with both joy and pride. I’ve loved the opportunities that writing has given me, and I can’t tell you how good it feels to receive letters from fans who tell me about times that they’ve been hurting, and during which Jane’s helped them get by.
That feels like magic. Beautiful, humbling magic that I’ve been so grateful to experience, on this side of creation.
So thanks, Charlaine and Toni, for letting me share Sookie’s magic. And I hope you all like getting to know Desiree Dumas, and my version of what a regular girl might do in a world populated by the supernatural.
And before you go, please to enjoy another of my favorite homages to Sookie….Snoop Dogg’s. “OHHH SOOOKEH”