The novels sell like popcorn, and Harris cannot supply them at the rate at which her addicted readers, myself included, will read them.
The entrepreneurial Harris has found a way to feed her fans just a little more. Every year or so she co-edits an anthology of occult fiction in which she will tuck an original short story about Sookie Stackhouse that falls in between the narrative chronology of the actual novels.
These anthologies are produced by a kind of call for papers, on a theme, combining a holiday and an aspect of the paranormal. “Many Bloody Returns” surveyed vampires and valentines. “Wolfsbane and Mistletoe” took on werewolves at Christmas. “Home Improvement: Undead Edition” and “Death’s Excellent Vacation” explored, usually comically, paranormal remodeling and travel.
Harris’s new anthology, “An Apple for Creature,” explores truly multicultural education, where the schools are sprinkled with supernatural students and teachers. Published back in September, the lead story, by Harris, “Playing Possum,” has Sookie Stackhouse carrying cupcakes to her little cousin’s elementary school exactly on the day that a deranged ex-boyfriend of a school secretary comes to shoot her at work. A gun free zone of disarmed kids and teachers, everyone is only saved because one teacher is magically armed, in that she is a witch and is able to hex the shooter before he does more than wound the principal.
Fans of the genre will also appreciate a short story contributed by actress Amber Benson, who played the witch “Tara” on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and had a recurring role as a vampire on the series “Supernatural.”