Genre: Paranormal fiction
What it's about: In this ninth in a series, telepath/cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse turns sleuth when a "werepanther" (shape-shifter) is found murdered behind Merlotte's, the bar in Bon Temps, La., where she works. Meanwhile, Sookie is dealing with her mixed feelings for the sexy vampire, Eric.
Why it's hot: Harris' readership has skyrocketed thanks to HBO's hit series True Blood, starring Anna Paquin as Sookie. Season 1 is out on DVD May 19; Season 2 premieres June 14.
On sale: This week
Quick bio: Harris, 57, lives in Magnolia, Ark., with her husband, Hal. Mother of three: Patrick, 24, Timothy, 21, and Julia, 18. She first made USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list in 2003 with Club Dead, third in the Sookie series.
On being a best-selling author: "The best thing about it is that I can appreciate it. For many years I was Charlaine Harris, the poorly selling and midlist author. It's not that I rocketed to overnight success. I don't take anything for granted."
First book published:Sweet and Deadly, a stand-alone mystery, in 1981.
On the appeal of vampires and other supernatural creatures: "We are so obsessed with youth that the idea of creatures that can remain eternally young, never have to worry about wrinkles or arthritis, is the ideal in our culture."
The other reason: "They're sexy."
Fun fact: Harris' blood type is B-negative.
First supernatural thrill: "I read Edgar Allan Poe at an early age, and that left an indelible impression."
Pet cause: Animal rescue. "I'm a big believer in adopting from shelters and a huge believer in spaying and neutering your pets." She lives with three rescue dogs.
On her summer reading list: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley and Winter Duty: A Novel of the Vampire Earth by E.E. Knight, out July 7.