Charlaine Harris

The cover of Charlaine Harris' new book, "A Longer Fall."

Former Magnolia resident and author Charlaine Harris will return to the for a book signing on Wednesday.

Harris will be at Books-A-Millions for most of the day.

She will be signing her latest novel, “A Longer Fall.” It is the second book in a series featuring Harris’ newest character, Gunnie Rose.

Harris is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for more than 30 years.

She was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area. Though her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and teenage angst, she began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis. She switched to novels a few years later, and achieved publication in 1981 with “Sweet and Deadly.”

After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris launched the lighthearted Aurora Teagarden books with “Real Murders,” a Best Novel 1990 nomination for the Agatha Awards. Harris wrote eight books in her series about a Georgia librarian. In 1996, she released the first in the much darker Shakespeare mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses. “Shakespeare’s Counselor,” the fifth—and final—Lily Bard novel, was printed in fall 2001.

Her husband’s job brought Harris to Magnolia. By then, Harris was feeling the call of new territory. Starting with the premise of a young woman with a disability who wants to try inter-species dating, she created The Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series before there was a genre called “urban fantasy.” Telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse works in a bar in the fictional northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps.

The first book in the series, “Dead Until Dark,” won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each subsequent book follows Sookie through adventures involving vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. The series, which ended in 2013, has been released in over thirty languages.

Alan Ball, creator of the HBO television series “Six Feet Under,” took the Sookie Stackhouse novels into a new HBO series based upon the books He wrote and directed the pilot episode for that series, “True Blood,” which premiered in September of 2008.

Harris’ Gunnie Rose series is set in a fractured United States, in the southwestern country now known as Texoma.

It is a world where magic is acknowledged but mistrusted, especially by a young gunslinger named Lizbeth Rose. Battered by a run across the border to Mexico Lizbeth Rose takes a job offer from a pair of Russian wizards to be their local guide and gunnie. For the wizards, Gunnie Rose has already acquired a fearsome reputation and they’re at a desperate crossroad, even if they won’t admit it.

They’re searching through the small border towns near Mexico, trying to locate a low-level magic practitioner, Oleg Karkarov. The wizards believe Oleg is a direct descendant of Grigori Rasputin, and that Oleg’s blood can save the young tsar’s life.

As the trio journey through an altered America, shattered into several countries by the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression, they’re set on by enemies. It’s clear that a powerful force does not want them to succeed in their mission. Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie who has never failed a client, but her oath will test all of her skills and resolve to get them all out alive.

Professionally, Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the American Crime Writers League, Sisters in Crime, and the International Crime Writers Association. She is a past member of the boards of Sisters in Crime and MWA, and she has served as president of the MWA. She is also a member of Science Fiction Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and Romance Writers of America, just to make sure she’s covered.

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