Born: 25 November 1951
Birthplace: Tunica, Mississippi
Best known as: The author of the Sookie Stackhouse True Blood books
Charlaine Harris is the author of several series of mysteries, but is best known for the Sookie Stackhouse series of books that inspired the cable TV series True Blood. A 1973 graduate of Southwestern (now Rhodes) College in Memphis, Tennessee, Harris published her first book in 1981, the mystery novel Sweet and Deadly. She went on to crank out genre books at an impressive pace, starting with the Aurora Teagarden novels about a feisty librarian. That series began with Real Murders in 1990. Charlaine Harris then moved on to what are known as her Shakespeare books, mysteries featuring the character Lily Bard that began with 1997's Shakespeare's Landlord. Harris's biggest success came with the Sookie Stackhouse series, a modern-day soap opera about a telepathic Louisiana waitress who's in love with a Southern-gentleman vampire named Bill. 2001's Dead Until Dark, the first Sookie Stackhouse novel, was a little slow to catch on but eventually hit the right chord in the book market, blurring the lines between young adult themes -- humorously macabre supernatural adventures -- and very adult violence and sex. Over the next decade, Harris published one Sookie Sackhouse novel a year. Her popularity skyrocketed with the success of the True Blood cable series that began in 2008 (starring Oscar winner Anna Paquin and developed by Oscar winner Alan Ball), and several of her Stackhouse novels turned into bestsellers. In order, the novels are: Dead Until Dark (2001); Living Dead in Dallas (2002); Club Dead (2003); Dead to the World (2004); Dead as a Doornail (2005); Definitely Dead (2006); All Together Dead (2007); From Dead to Worse (2008); Dead and Gone (2009); Dead in the Family (2010); and Dead Reckoning (2011).
Extra credit: Charlaine Harris is her nom de plume -- her everyday name is Jean Charlaine Harris Schultz... A collection of Charlaine Harris short stories featuring Sookie Sackhouse was published as A Touch of Dead in 2009.
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