'True Blood' author Charlaine Harris will launch a new fantasy series set in a fractured America

Charlaine Harris, whose Sookie Stackhouse books inspired the television series “True Blood,” will release the first book in a new trilogy next year.

Harris' novel “Texoma” will be published in fall 2018 by Saga Press, a science fiction and fantasy imprint of Simon & Schuster, the publisher announced in a news release.

The first installment in the trilogy is based on Harris' short story "The Gunnie," which first appeared in the 2016 anthology "Unfettered II: New Tales by Masters of Fantasy."

"Texoma" will be a work of speculative fiction that takes place in "an alternate history of a broken America weakened by the Great Depression and the assassination of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

In the novel, what was the United States is now five territories, including New America, an area of the Pacific Northwest under the control of Canada, and the Holy Russian Empire, formerly the states of California and Oregon.

The novel takes place in Texoma, a territory in the American Southwest. It focuses on a mercenary named Lizbeth Rose, who is "hired on a manhunt by Russian sorcerers in a Mexican border town."

"All writers love ‘what if.’" Harris said in the news release. "I became fascinated by the idea of writing about an alternate America, seen through the eyes of a professional gun for hire who happens to be a woman."

The prolific author is best known for her Sookie Stackhouse series about a telepathic waitress in a north Louisiana town populated by vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures.

The 13-book series formed the basis for the popular HBO show "True Blood," which starred Anna Paquin as Sookie, and ran from 2008 to 2014. The final book in the series, "Dead Ever After," was published in 2013, to the horror of many of Harris' fans.

Harris' most recent literary project was “Midnight, Texas,” a three-book series about the secretive residents of a town with a reputation for paranormal activity. The first book in the trilogy, “Midnight Crossroad,” was published in 2014, with “Day Shift” following in 2015 and “Night Shift” in 2016.

That series is being adapted as a television show, starring François Arnaud and Dylan Bruce, and scheduled to premiere on NBC on July 25.

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