Q. Are you finished with the Sookie Stackhouse series? When will the next book come out? 

A. The thirteenth Sookie novel DEAD EVER AFTER, will be the last one. It will appear in May 2013. I feel I’ve told Sookie’s story.

Q. How much input do you have on “True Blood”? Are you pleased with the casting/Alan Ball/ the production?

A. I chose Alan Ball to bring the Sookie books to the screen because I trust his vision, and I am sure he will be true to the spirit of the books. I am delighted with the talented cast, Alan’s scripts and direction, and the look and feel of the production.

Q. What’s the order of the Sookie books?

A. Look on the Bibliography page. The books are listed from most RECENT to OLDEST. All the short stories featuring Sookie are included. As with any other series, it’s probably more fun to read them in order, including the short stories if possible. Though each book is designed to stand alone, the backstory is now very extensive.

Q. What can I read while I’m waiting?

A. I’ve written a lot of other books, also listed on theBibliography pages. There are many writers discussed and recommended under the Other Writers heading on the Q&A Message Board. And I discuss books I’ve just read on the Book & Blog feature.

Q. Will Sookie ever become a vampire/ get pregnant by a vampire/be overjoyed when one of her vampire lovers turns human?

A. No. And it’s not possible for a vampire to impregnate a human in my world.

Q. Do you know how the series will end? Will you tell us?

A. Yes, I do. No, I won’t.

Q. Are you aware there are inconsistencies in the books?

A. Gosh, no, no one’s ever pointed that out before. Actually, yes, I do know that, and most of these inconsistencies were simply mistakes on my part as the mythology and cast of characters got beyond my control. I’ve hired a continuity editor to help the publisher catch those errors. Of course, some of them are deep, complicated, plot twists . . . well, a few.

Q. What’s the deal with the blood bond? Why do some people go crazy when they drink the blood of drained vampires? Why doesn’t Sookie get high when she takes blood from Bill or Eric?

A. Here goes: everything’s variable when it comes to vampire blood being ingested by humans. There is no formula that says, for example, that 2 ounces of vamp blood will make every blood junkie go nuts. Vampire blood is like any other street drug in that respect. The variables include the age of the blood (how long it’s been out of the vampire), the age of the vampire, and the mental condition and previous drug use of the imbiber. Blood taken straight from the vampire does not necessarily make the drinker high, unless he or she is already an addict. A blood bond may be formed when a vampire and a human exchange blood, though often it takes more than once. It also may depend on the emotional bond existing between them.

Q. When we hear about Cousin Hadley in DEFINITELY DEAD, it’s like we’re only getting part of the story.

A. Sookie’s cousin Hadley’s background is contained in the short story “One Word Answer,” originally published in the anthology BITE. Laurell K. Hamilton is usually listed as the main writer in this anthology.

Q. Do you plan to write any more Aurora Teagarden or Lily Bard books?

A. I am certain I’ll never write any more Lily Bard books, because I have nothing left in my head about her. I won’t say “never” about Aurora Teagarden, but it’s highly unlikely due to time considerations.

Q. Can’t you write any faster ?

A. Not if I want to produce a good book. Sorry.

Q. How can we get you to visit our store/convention/workshop/book group?

A. My publicist is Jodi Rosoff at Penguin Putnam. She arranges my tours and signings. I handle my own convention arrangements, for the most part. My appearances are booked from nine months to two years in advance.

Q. Will you be appearing in California/Nevada/Illinois on your next tour?

A. I’ll put my schedule up on my calendar when I know it.

Q. How can I get a signed copy of your book, if you’re not coming anywhere close?

A. There are several stores that have signed stock for a limited time after I’ve been there: Murder by the Book in HoustonPoisoned Pen in Scottsdale, and Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego. At most signing events, I signed a number of books for people who couldn’t come to the event: check my calendar and then email the store, if you’d like to see if they have any left.

Q. If I want to be a writer, how do I go about it?

A. Read everything you can cram into your head, for years. Research how to get a book published on the web; there’s an amazing amount of material. Start writing. That’s what it all boils down to. Joining a professional organization (Mystery Writers of AmericaSisters in CrimeScience Fiction Writers of AmericaHorror Writers Association, or Romance Writers of America for example) as an associate member, if that’s available. You can learn a lot from professionals that way.

Q. Do you read other writers? Who are your favorites?

A. Reading is my favorite pastime. I read widely in mystery, science fiction, and urban fantasy, plus a little romance and a little non-fiction. It’s impossible to pick a short list of favorites. I have so many! Again, please check the Book & Blog feature to see what I’m reading now and what I’ve read in the past.

Q. Can I post my cool story about Sookie on this site?

A. No, and I’ll tell you why. No fanfic can appear on this stepperbest website. Not only does it make me feel strange to have other people use my characters, but there are legal issues to consider.

Here’s an example:

Enthusiastic Reader: Wouldn’t it be great if Sookie adopted Hunter?

Would be okay.

TooEnthusiasticReader: Wouldn’t it be great if Hunter came to Sookie’s house and said, “Aunt Sookie, can I play in your attic?” And then Sookie let him, and Hunter came down and said, “Did you know there’s a ghost in your attic?”

This is NOT okay.