D.C. Magazine Editor in Chief Karen Sommer Shalett's first book project started with a call from a friend from New Orleans. Did she watch "True Blood"? She loves HBO's steamy vampire drama set in Bon Temps, La. Was she interested in writing a cookbook for the show? Shalett, a feature writer not a food writer, wasn't sure (especially since she doesn't cook), she but liked the idea of interpreting the characters' voices to contextualize the dishes. "You already have a sense of what that character sounds like," she explained. "That was the first time I had really written that way."

The book includes recipes for Stake in Eggs, Sloppy Jasons and a Totally Surprised Birthday Cake, topped with a berry drizzle that could double for blood. "From what I thought was a really quirky idea of having a cookbook based on vampires ... it translates exactly how it translates in Louisiana lifestyle," the former New Orleans resident said.

Shalett will be signing copies of the book at Writers on the Row in Bethesda on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.