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A Special Message from Charlaine Harris on the publication of DEADLOCKED

Gollancz is thrilled to be able to share with you a very special publication day message from Charlaine Harris! Happy Deadlocked Day!

DEADLOCKED, the twelfth Sookie Stackhouse novel, was as much an adventure to write as I hope it will be to read.

Sookie’s world is so complex, and the cast of characters has grown so large and complicated, that working out the general course of events was quite a challenge. In the last few Sookie books, I’ve tried a new method. Before I write “Chapter One,” I work out what must happen in the separate threads. The vampires, the Weres, the Fae, and the humans have distinct storylines that must intersect in the life of my telepathic barmaid.

Beginning the separate threads at the right time, so they’ll all culminate in a satisfying conclusion, is like orchestrating a dinner party so that all the dishes arrive at the table at the appropriate moment.

The process is fun and rewarding: it’s never easy. You’d think that in the twelfth book the characters would simply dance across the pages, making love and biting and fighting and scheming, getting married and breaking up, but that didn’t happen. As usual, I had to put in some imagination and some concentration.

I’ve written thirty books, more or less. I don’t follow the same method with every attempt; I’m always trying to improve on the way I do things. I’ve come to accept that progress will not be easy, that the procedure will be difficult every single time, but that still seems horribly unfair. I am prone to sneer in a grumpy way (but inwardly!) when enthusiastic readers tell me they want to write their own books someday. “Just try it,” I think. “You’ll be surprised.”

Despite my moaning about how hard my job it, it’s the greatest job in the world. I try to give readers the best book I can write, every single time. I believe DEADLOCKED is an exciting and essential passage in Sookie’s history. I hope you agree. I’m delighted about this book and the way it came together in the end, what it says about Sookie and her life and future. Read and enjoy.

Charlaine Harris