Readers' Reactions

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Mrs. Rice expresses her deepest gratitude to these readers, who have so kindly agreed to have their personal words shared with others.

To send Mrs. Rice your thoughts on CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS, please e-mail her directly at

Posted 12/22/09

Good day Ms. Rice:

I recently read your book “Called Out of Darkness”.  It was a
wonderful autobiography with a very important and timely message.  I
was also happy to see your book in our local convent’s library!  I am
a convert to Catholicism and am very happy to read of your
reconversion to our faith.  Even as a convert I am finding that God,
who loves us all so much, makes sure to keep calling us out of our
constant lapse into darkness.  Being diligent followers of our faith
is key.  To have read about someone who had a foundation of faith,
left it and then returned to their faith is a welcome sign.  My
daughter and son-in-law, both being born to devout parents, are having
their own issues with their faith. This frightens me more than you can
know.  But, they are always in my prayers, and I know they have to
find their own way.  I like your statement in the book that basically
reminds us (especially me) to trust in Him who has the power, love,
and answers.

I am so glad that you listened to God’s call and decided to use your
God-given talents to write books about Christ and His life.  In a
world so filled with unbelief and a lack of faith, the time for your
message is now.  I have never read your books before, but after having
been introduced to you through “Called Out of Darkness” I intend to
read your two newer books on Christ’s life.

Thank you Ms. Rice.  God bless you, and my best wishes to you and your
family for a very Merry Christmas.

Wendy Porter

Posted 10/26/09

Dear Ms. Rice

Your wonderful recollections of your Catholic girlhood give real
testimony to the universality of Holy Mother Church. Although I am a
bit younger than you and grew up in N.J., so many of your memories are
mine,too. How long has it been since I even thought of Benediction!?
But you conjured memories of walking in the dusk with my tiny
grandmother to the "Italian church" (we are Scottish) for a novena and
Benediction. It was there I first encountered St. Lucy with her eyes
on a plate and met St. Anthony of Padua, all new and exotic to me.The
hymns, the incense and The Divine Praises will be with me always.

In my own church, my mother and I would sometimes go to the St. Jude
novena, and my dearest memory was how at the end we would sing
"Good-night, Sweet Jesus" as the lights were extinguished one by one,
until the only lights left were from the banks of votive candles. So
sad that these experiences are unknown to our juniors.

I share too the longing to return, and am in the process of working
that out. I was just a lazy Catholic- not practicing, but never really
doubting. Now I am back, and it is a struggle every week to overcome
the sloth, but I am rewarded- Communion is always a tearful grateful

You need to know that you are at least a little responsible for my
trip home; I have admired you since I first read Interview With the
Vampire in 1976 and admired you so much more for your conversion and
the joy with which you have shared it. I thought I should try,too. Who
knows how many souls you may help find their way back?

May God bless you, keep you and continue to inspire you.
Diane Lautenschlager

Posted 7/10/09

I wanted to thank you for giving me the courage to come back to Catholicism. I read your book "Called Out of Darkness" and it really made me think. I am 50 years old and I remember the Church before Vatican II, although it changed while I was still young. Your book made me realize how much I missed the Mass and the rituals and traditions that I grew up with. I had repressed my feelings for God and Jesus, going so far as to seek out other religions to find what I was looking for. Thanks to you I found it in my own heart, hidden away until I was aware enough to realize it. It's kind of like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz - going through all the trials to find out that there's no place like home! I have also lost a child to cancer at the age of 15. This prompted me to explore different religions and after I read your book I realized that to be Catholic is to be everything. Thank you again.

I'm currently reading Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and enjoying it immensely. I loved the vampire and witch stories and look forward to your new writings - I have always loved Angels!

Kimberly Walsh

Posted 6/30/09

Dear Anne,

I have recently finished reading "Called out of Darkness", "Christ the
Lord, Out of Egypt" & "Christ the Lord, Road to Cana" and I just have
to share with you how much I love all three of these books!

I am a "cradle Catholic" and like you, have had times when I felt
separated from the church, and regrettably as a result, separated from
our Lord.  "Called out of Darkness" touched me in ways I can barely
put into words.  The powerful story of your call from atheism to a
renewed relationship with Jesus is beautifully written, and it spoke
to me in a very personal way.  Thank you so much for sharing your
story and for awakening in me a deeper desire to "Go to Him".

As for the "Christ the Lord" books, I am awed at your remarkable
ability to create a believable explanation of the times in Jesus' life
where there is little biblical information.  You've made it possible
to imagine His fears, His human struggles, and His own self-discovery,
as well as to imagine His loving responses to people and situations
around Him. These books have really enhanced my appreciation and
understanding of the bible and our Christian traditions, by allowing
me to experience Jesus "first-hand".

I also love your insights into the loving and holy characters of Mary,
and St. Joseph, important figures for whom there is also little
biblical information. I feel a greater devotion than ever to them as a
result of your books.  When faced with the question, what would Jesus
do? (or Mary or Joseph), I only have to imagine them as they are in
your books.

Also, as a history channel buff,  I love how you've addressed many
modern-day questions, like did Jesus have brothers, (especially the
one called James)?  Your explanation is totally plausible, yet remains
faithful to the teachings of the church.  I absolutely love Jesus'
confrontation with Satan in "Road to Cana", as well as your vivid
descriptions of the daily lives and rituals of the Jewish communities
of the times.  You've really brought the story to life.

I could go on and on, but words just aren't sufficient.  Please tell
me you will be writing more "Christ the Lord" books!  I am hoping you
will carry the stories right on through the lives of the apostles and
the early Christian Church (especially St. Paul, a very interesting
character).  Have you considered writing more about Mary?

Thank you again Anne, for writing these books! I have been actively
sharing these books with family and friends, and  I am anxiously
awaiting your next installments!

Carla Belanger
Colchester, CT

Posted 6/30/09

Forgive my informality, but I feel l must call you Anne because of the intimacy you have shared with me for fifteen years.  During those years you walked with me through your books on my own journey away from and back to God.  I almost don't know where to begin except with the inadequate words, thank you.  Perhaps I'll mimic your style alluding to the present then offer explanation from my past.  I've just finished reading Called Out of Darkness - this book being the
capstone on all your other books I've read.

I thank you for sharing you most intimate thoughts and struggles as you walked through the doors in your life.  I feel I have walked a parallel path, growing up with a God-focused yet in a very conservative protestant world.  I too spent much of my youth in the church.  I grew up in an environment of rules and traditions that were binding and restrictive.  Of course as a child, I didn't understand the impossibility of satisfying the legalistic demands placed on myself and those around me.  I simply viewed this world as reality and as the manifestation of the will of God.  Yet, even in this world, my intuition suggested that there was more, something I was missing, something more beautiful and mysterious.  Nevertheless, as a young man in seminary, my trust in the legality of God's law was at its height. This manifested in what you allude to throughout your book - judgment and accusation which I later learned were simply motivated by simple and ugly pride.  When my own church family, those in whom I found my identity, turned against me with threats of excommunication for the "false doctrine" I was preaching, my mind began to change.  I started seeing the ugliness and arrogance behind the seemingly glossy facade of my church.

In His matchless grace and wisdom, God directed me into the US military.  This experience led me into foreign countries and cultures and introduced me to new ways of thinking.  During this time I read Interview With the Vampire and over the years the rest of the books you've written (with a couple of exceptions).  To make this story shorter, life led me into atheism.  My faith, once based on an image of a demanding God of legal judgment, crumbled in the midst of the influences of science and my involvement with real people living in a real world.  Yet, like you, even in this world of atheism that inner voice of intuition continued to demand my attention.  This voice would wax and wane in volume, but it was always there questioning my present worldview.  Throughout these years Lestat's struggle (which was in fact yours) resonated with me and was my frequent companion.

For me, I knew that God's existence could not be proven in the scientific sense.  Further, I knew that believing in God must be based on an irrational choice.  I grew to understand that in order to believe in God, one must accept that such belief could not be conjured by one's own efforts.  The nature of faith is such that we humans are unable to create it.  We can get close.  The creation thunders the existence of God, but it is not conclusive.  Objections can be made.  One's own intuition and conscience points one in the direction of God, but it, as well, is not complete.  A gap between belief and unbelief exists that cannot be crossed by human effort.  No human can build a bridge big enough or strong enough to span this divide.  This realization defeated me.  On one hand, I knew that faith is based on an irrational decision that enables one to cross this gap.  On the other hand, I knew I didn't have the capacity to convincingly and completely make such an illogical choice.  I felt hopeless and alone.  I remained in this state for two years pain.

Then one normal day, I introspectively sensed the tiniest drop of faith within me.  This part is difficult to describe.  But it seemed that in the darkness within me a near microscopic fracture occurred.  And through this crack one solitary beam of weak light shone.  It illuminated so little and barely changed the hue of the darkness, but I felt its warmth.  This light brought with it hope.  A hope, like a long lost friend, that I didn't recognize at first, but as it got closer I remembered that I'd once known it.  And with this small hope, the re-birth of joy.

In this unearthly moment I realized, as if in an epiphany, that I was absolutely correct in my understanding of faith, but that I was missing the key element.  No matter how much effort I put into it, there was no way for me to bridge the gap to faith.  Yet, what I had missed for so long was that God never expected me to bridge the gap myself.  Rather it was like God was telling me, "I know that you cannot create your own faith.  You are not the Creator.  I Am.  Therefore, I create faith in you so that I can be glorified."  It was God who caused the fracture in my soul.  It was God who broke into my prison to rescue me.  He saw me trapped and He came for me.  Since then His fracture has expanded and increased in size so that more of His light illumines my dark soul and his faith and love floods into me creating something new and beautiful.  It is by grace that we have been saved through faith, and this is not from ourselves, but by the grace of God (Ephesians 4).  My experience added to this to say that while salvation comes through faith, the faith itself also comes from God and is another form of his grace.  What a marvelous realization!  Not only can I not claim my salvation as my own work.  I cannot even claim my own faith!  All rescue, all salvation is the direct result of God's personal attention to and action on my individual and seemingly inconsequential soul.

This is my story (abbreviated here though it be) and I share it with you because you shared yours' with me.  Legalism attempts to discover, protect and preserve truth in an unchanging form - a system that focuses on a destination as its goal.  Legalism's destination is a sure and complete knowledge of truth and the will of God.  In unperceived personal heresy, the Legalist arrogantly claims to know and be the caretaker of the correct and full interpretation of God's will and Word.  When I use the term God's Word I mean the essence that includes Scripture, but also God's force that brought everything into existence and sustains it (the logos, Christ).  I could go on and on about the Word of God, but I'll not here.  My point in saying this is that God is anything but easily described.  He is the mystery of mysteries.  He manifests himself in myriad ways according to his will and is doing so through you.

With your Christ the Lord series, I believe God is using you as an instrument (St. Francis) of His Word.  "And the Word became flesh..."  This is what you are doing through this series - making the ephemeral spirit into comprehensible flesh.  I thank you for painting such a believable picture of our Lord.  Though unknowingly, you have participated as co-worker with God to increase His light shining in my soul.  From Lestat's questions, I learned the inherent value of the search even when it feels hopeless.  From Maharet, I learned that a love of family and community can keep one sane.  And from your picture of Yeshua I see the man I could never envision.  I thank you for your commitment to write only for and about Christ and I encourage you in this.  You are having a powerful effect.

Through God's direct and personal efforts in my life and yours He has ever so patiently led us back to Himself.  I thank God for the path that he has led you on and pray that he continues to transform you into ever-increasing beauty.  Write on.

With immeasurable gratefulness and renewed hope,

Andy Fritsch
Edmond, OK

Posted 6/30/09

I am an English lady who works in a library...a Christian. I tend to
avoid the 'horror' section at work, but obviously know the most
prolific writers from putting the books on the shelves. So I was
intrigued when someone I associated with 'horror' (as it is classified over here), produced a book about Christ. I read it. I was hooked. I looked you up on the net & was intrigued to hear your story & that you were writing books for God now.

I eagerly anticipate the next Christ the Lord book. As a librarian I
have an unwritten policy not to buy books as they are readily
available to borrow, but that policy has gone out of the window as far as your books are concerned!

Write on....and thank you
every blessing
Emma Bunday

Posted 6/30/09

I love your work. I feel such a strong connection with what you write. I have so many emotions and thoughts. You put into words images and ideas that I just can't assemble on my own. Sometimes it's as though I am so many personalities living amongst my self or selves, in one body.

Whether I'm reading a vampire novel or a Christian fiction, I feel so close to something beautiful. The way you capture the raw carnal side of human nature. The beauty, the eroticism, the love, the faith, the passion. I just want to dig my hands deep into the earth itself sometimes, as if I'll pull out a piece of myself. What is it that makes us so special as a species? I am Earth bound, yet at times I
feel so close to God. What are we suppose to take away from this experience? I think we're suppose to relish in our terrestrial bounty. Why else would we begin our journey in Eden? I think a basic physical life, ignorant of what's behind that curtain is just one lesson in our soul's education. Someone once said, "we are not human beings seeking a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience". Perhaps that person is correct. I'd like to think so.

I am eagerly awaiting your newest series. I'm sure you'll have a perspective that will captivate and a brilliance that will always.

Thank you Anne, for all you have given me,

Jennifer Sarafin

Posted 6/15/09

I would like to thank you for your insight into Mary as The Mother of
God. I've been an ardent reader of your novels ever since I picked up
Memnoch the devil in the mid nineties. Several years before this I had
left the Church and started practicing Wicca. I eventually came back
to the Church at the urging of my soon to be father in law and had
quickly developed an on again off again relationship with
Catholicism,I'd be extremely devout for a few months and then lapse
back into an I could care less attitude.

Throughout the whole process I had a very hard time with Mary as
Mother of God and not just as a vessel for Christ's Birth. My mind
couldn't make the connection to her as God's Mother. That is, until I
read Called Out Of Darkness.  I can honestly say it led me to a true
conversion experience. Since then I have been Attending Mass every
week and making more frequent confessions. I don't know what I'd do
without Christ's Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. I felt compelled
to go to Eucharistic adoration, and do so on a daily basis. My
spirituality and prayer life has expanded my by leaps and bounds. I
recommend anyone having problems reconciling themselves with the faith
read this book.

Thank you,

Larry Stine

Posted 6/15/09

Dear Anne,

I'm a Catholic Homeschooling-Mother-of-Five, and  I have a large pile
of dishes in the sink I should be washing, and an even larger pile of
laundry I ought to be folding.  But I have felt for a long time now,
more than a year, that I should write to you, and so I decided to let
the chores stand (not very hard for me to do, unfortunately) and
write.  I'm not entirely sure why I feel this overwhleming urge to
write to you today, and I don't even know whether you will ever
actually read this letter, but I'm writing anyway.

First of all, I would like to make clear that I never read any of your
vampire books and yet, I have been aware of your work for about twenty
years.  One of my best friends during my teenage years, which were
spent in Spain where I was born, was a great fan of yours, and she
tried a few times to get me to read your books, but because I knew of
her special love for tacky, mushy romance novels, I assumed your books
were too, so I never bothered. (I hope you don't think I'm being rude,
I made it a point of never reading anything my friend recommended!)

Nevertheless, for some reason, I always remebered your name, which is
odd, because I can't remember half the names of the authors of books I
actually read!  So, about two years ago, when I saw your name and
picture in the "Arlington Catholic Herald," I recognized you
immediately as "that vampire lady Francesca liked so much."  I read
the article, and decided that anyone as brave as you, deserved to have
her new books be bought, and so I purchased and devoured in a matter
of two days "Christ The Lord: Out Of Egypt" (I know what you're
thinking, I didn't do the dishes or the laundry either on the first
night after I bought the book.)

I was a bit skeptical at first: I have never seen a movie or play
portrail of Jesus I liked.  They are usually too something: too
ethereal, too earthy, too divine. too serious or so cutesie you know
there's no way Jesus was like that, too weak or too majestic...  But
your version of the child Jesus was so beautiful that as a mother, I
nearly cried many times.  I loved your inclusion of the little myths
about Jesus' childhood in the story, and I don't think any human will
ever be able to describe the dual nature of Christ in more convincing
terms than you have.  Brava!

But there were other aspects of the book that were even more
meaningful to me, and that is your portail of Our Lord's family life,
from the structure of his home to his massive extended family.  You
see, I was born at the very end of the life of traditional Spain.   As
a child, I would visit my grandmother in one of the last remaining
traditional Andalusian homes: her "corral de vecinos."  The words
literally mean a patio of neighbors, which is just what it was.  The
"corral" was basically a large patio enclosed on all sides by rooms in
which many families lived in one or two rooms, mostly relatives.  In
the patio, protected from the outside world by big wooden doors,
children played, mothers washed the laundry in huge tubs, and
communal, family life flourished.  In fact, our life was very much
like the family life you describe, except Catholic rather than Jewish.
Sadly, this traditional life died along with Franco when modernism
and especially socialism swept through Spain, and even though
democracy is definitely a good thing, Spain is no longer what it was
in my childhood, and I do miss it.

One of the issues I think you handled so well, and that touched that
spark of recognition in me, was the  question of Jesus' brothers and
sisters.  For a traditional Spaniard, this is no question at all since
my father, grandmother and the rest of their generation consider first
cousins to be practically equal to sibblings.  In fact, in Spanish,
the word for first cousin is "primo hermano" which literally means
"cousin brother" and your second cousin is your "primo," cousin.  I
clearly remember my father yelling across the street to a man I had
never seen before who was certainly not my uncle Paco "hermanoooooo",
and me saying "Dad, that is not uncle Paco."  And my Dad answering
"it's my cousin-brother. Same thing."  But since moving to the US, I
have found out that the question of Jesus' brothers and sisters is a
very big deal indeed to many people, and so I was so glad to see you
deal with it in a way that was so kind and convincing.

Another deeply  touching theme in "Out of Egypt" was the sense of
community you wove into little Nazareth.  I grew up in Sevilla, a
fairly large city, but like many Spaniards, we spent months in the
summer "en el campo", in the country.  For us, the country was the
town of  Osuna, a town built on a hill with a gigantic church on top,
and with Roman coins and relics popping out of every crack in the
ground.  You should have seen my Virginian husband's excitement when
he found a Roman coin just lying at the foot of an olive tree!

The church, and the plaza in front of it, was the center of life, much
as the synagogue was in your Nazareth.  Everyone went to Mass on
Sunday (except my parents who were dedicated hippies), and I went on
my own, but that was absolutely fine, and no one ever asked me where
my parents were.  No one ever sent anyone a wedding invitation either,
because people knew when a wedding was going on, and everyone just
showed up and partied.  My aunt's wedding lasted for three days, and
my little 18 month old sister got drunk from eating the sweet fruit at
the bottom of empty sangria glasses.  We played our own music and
danced our own dances, and many of the songs were filled with the
apocryphal stories of Jesus and the Virgin Mary that delighted me in
your novel.

There were so many details in "Out of Egypt" that rang so true to me
based on my Mediterranean childhood, that I couldn't wait for "Road to
Canna."  I must say, I love it too, and the idea of Jesus being
tempted by a very fancy version of himself was either a stroke of
genious or evidence of great humility for aren't most of our greatest
temptations a wish to fulfill the image of ourselves we think we

For quite a while, I have been eagerly waiting for you to write the
third book in the 'Christ The Lord" series, and I don't know if you
plan to write it, but I hope you will.  In the meantime, I just
finished reading "Called out of Darkness,"  and your description of
New Orleans and your thoroughly Catholic childhood environment,
reminded me so much of Spain as a child, I could hardly stand it.  I
have always known I missed my homeland, but I had no idea how much I
actually longed for it.  First Communion, Holy Week, Christmas, Corpus
Christi, May Crosses, every street named after a saint, and the sound
of the cathedral bells mixed with the smell of incense and the scent
of the orange blossoms are to me an intrical part of my faith
experience, as much as JPII or Scott Hahn.  That sense that we all
knew what was right and wrong and what we ought to be doing to live
the Christian faith, even if we all knew we failed all the time, was
very consoling.  True, there was unkindness and inflexibility, but
more often there was kindness and love, at least attempts at love.
The older I get, the more obvious it becomes to me that that clear
compass is so much more preferable to the confusion of today.  Being a
little restrained is much better than being completely lost at sea
like so many of my friends are today.  And that makes me worry for the
world my children will inherit.

Concern about the world brings me back to gratitude for your books
because the more people encounter Yeshua, the better, and your
insightful books will probably bring Him to many who may not have been
reached otherwise.

Mei-Li Garcia Beane

"Christianity has never been tried and found wanting, it has been
found difficult and left untried"
G. K. Chesterton

Posted 5/21/09

Dear Anne

I have just finished listening to your memoir Called Out of Darkness
on audiobook. It was such a pleasure to listen to the pure crisp
delicate sentences of your writing.  This is the first of your works I
have "read" and I am looking forward to getting my hands on the Christ
the Lord series.  (Unlike you, I was an avid reader in my youth, but
now seem to become more easilly absorbed in the oral story.  I think
it was the years of forced University reading that did me in :)

I listened to the memoir over the Christmas holidays and just wanted
to briefly let you know how it has impacted me and challenged me in my
thinking and my faith.

I have been a protestant Christian all my life and currently teach
high school English in a Protestant Christian High School.

I really enjoyed the insights and background you gave about your
Catholic upbringing, but more importantly your writing has forced me
to face my own "prejudices" that were learned in childhood towards
those who don't "speak the certain lines or words" as you say in your
book, to ensure their salvation.

Also after reading your book, I have found my challenge for the new
year and that is the one you speak of so eloquently in your book and
the audio interview go forward and live the Christian
faith in love.  I have never thought about the Sermon on the Mount so
clearly as you have defined it for me.  At once it becomes so simple
and so challenging; to move from my "me centered" relationship with
Christ and begin to ask him to use me more than comfort me.  I am
excited to return to my students on Monday, after the Christmas break,
and share with them the things that I have considered while listening
to your memoir.

Thank you so much for sharing your love of literature, history and
research and, most of all, your journey of faith.
I pray that you are finding improved health.

Sherilyn Braun
Sherwood Park, AB, Canada

Posted 5/21/09

Dear Mrs. Rice,

I finished reading your memoir, Called Out of Darkness, last night and
had to tell you how much I enjoyed it.  I only recently began reading
your earlier works, the first two books of the Mayfair trilogy.  I
haven't visited New Orleans in over a year, and your descriptions of
the city and people left me aching for it.  While living in the
Acadiana region of Louisiana is different from New Orleans, the strong
Catholic influence and family ties here are similar.  The beauty of
your settings and your prose overwhelmed me at times.  At the same
time I was so disturbed by the character of Lasher.  How I could fear
him and yet feel compassion for him.  The idea of a creature without a
soul, the idea of nothing after death kept me up thinking at night.

I only knew of you as "the vampire author" and was so curious to learn
more about your writing and spiritual journey when I ran across Called
Out of Darkness at a local Catholic bookstore.  Once again I find
myself sitting here, hours after completing the book, reflecting on
it.  When I woke this morning I felt compelled to go to our Adoration
Chapel and just be with my Lord.  As a mother of three young children
(all under the age of 6) I sometimes often hope I'm answering their
questions about our faith, about life and death, and good and evil, in
the right way.  I sometimes question the Church I love.  Thank you for
reminding me of the beauty of my Church, of my faith.  Thank you for
reminding me that the beauty is always there, even in the ugliness.
And that, always, there is love.  I feel confident (at least for
today) that as long as that love is in my teachings and explanations
to my children, that my answer is the right one.  As long as I
continue to reiterate that "the number one rule for our family is to
treat others with kindness" they will be receiving the right message.
I know that attending Mass, saying family rosary, devotion to our
Blessed Mother, and all of the sacramentals of our faith will not
guarantee that they will never question their faith (indeed, I hope
they always are people who question).  But I hope that the beauty, the
music, the calm and quiet, the sights and smells of theChurch of thier
childhood remains with them and is there to comfort them when they
need it.  I hope that they find, as I have, that there is no peace
like that which can be found when we kneel before the tabernacle.  I
hope that my daughter one day sits nursing her child and knows, "this
is how the Blessed Virgin loved Jesus.  This is how much God loves

I am eager to read more of your works, both the earlier novels as well
as the more recent books since your conversion.  I think that quest to
find one's place and purpose, to find the faith of one's lost youth,
as well as the home of one's faith is present in the two earlier books
I've read so far, and are as much a part of the beautiful homecoming
as Called Out of Darkness.

I wish I had the words and time to express to you how your book has
touched my life, and left me asking "Lord, what do you want of me?
How can I give myself to you?" Thank you for the gift of your story.

A fellow Christmas Christian,
Tessa Himel

Posted 2/25/09

Dear Mrs. Rice,

Our Catholic Book Club in our parish in Tupelo, MS has just finished reading and discussing your book. We were all very touched by your account of your journey. Many of the participants are cradle-Catholics, but, being from Mississippi we have many converts.

As I was reading your last several chapters and your talking about Christmas Catholics vs Holy Week Catholics, I began thinking about a conclusion arrived at by a theology group in which I was involved. The question came up about why an all-loving God would demand the suffering and death of His Son in order to atone for our sin. I really liked your discussion of what the Incarnation means. I would urge you to go one step further and consider this--Jesus could have redeemed us if he had died in his bed an old man. It was not the Father who demanded Jesus's death in this was, it was us. By Jesus choosing to die in the most horrific way known at the time (and probably even now), he proved to us just how much he loves us. We need that choice of Jesus so that we can really believe.

I have read "Our Of Egypt" and "Road to Cana" and enjoyed them immensely. I appreciate a picture of Jesus as a Jewish boy/man during those times which the Scriptures do not speak. I am looking forward to your next installment.

Kris Ivancic

Posted 11/25/08

Dear Anne,

WOW!! My wife Susan and I both loved "Called Out Of Darkness." I could not wait for her to finish. I found the early story of your faith in New Orleans slow going until I realized I was reliving my own early faith, pre-Vatican II. The Latin mass, my well thumbed Missal, the incense, the Stations, the paddingless kneelers, Holy Communion and more ... all came flooding back. Along with memories of the Sisters, Brothers and Priests who taught me, who were at once terrifying and compassionate. Then the unleashing of overwhelming anger and storming out of church to become a practicing and active atheist for 30 years.

I do not want to seem presumptive, how can anyone one be so of another's faith. But when I put the book down I felt like Professor Higgins as I exclaimed, "She's got it! I believe she's got it!. Your discussion of your 'surrender' in the last several pages of Chapter 9 was the most significant encapsulation of the meaning of faith I have ever read. Oh, perhaps I should remind you I returned to faith (Lutheran) in 1996.

We have corresponded briefly about your "Christ the Lord" series and our love for N.T. Wright. NT and you have been a huge influence on my affection for the 1st Century church. I am currently preparing a Bible study for our small group here in the Coachella Valley studying the Bible in the context of the time from the birth of Jesus to the death of John the Apostle in 100 AD, what a journey.

Susan and I teach English and Bible in Kyrgyzstan every summer. This past summer I was reading late one night in the kitchen of a small apartment, a single bulb hanging from the ceiling. I was rereading Acts for the umpteenth time. I am fascinated by Chapter 10. I call it the second four most important days in the history of the world. All of a sudden the message and truth of Acts 10:34-35 hit me full force. This was how Peter was to act and this is how we are to act in our
expression of Christ's love. These two verses implement Micah 6:8.

The scripture, "... that God does not show favoritism ..." is liberating and sobering. These words go to the heart of the Beatitudes. At the same time I am sobered because I wonder how our church leaders have missed this verse for 1,900 + years. But you have the correct answer - all we can say is, "Lord, I am here."

I want to thank you for your journey and your work and your faith. It is for His purpose that you made that journey and we are blessed. We pray for you, your health and your writing. May God bless you and keep you.

IHHN, Love, Hank

Posted 11/13/08

I was 13 when Interview with the vampire the film came out, and I fell in love, not with the heart throb stars but with Lestat, Louis, and Claudia. I then began to read your books, and when I say read I mean I could not put them down. Then my world began to tumble and my family fell apart, I found myself in a tormented dark place. Your stories touched me so much during this period and they gave me so much. I could relate to the characters even though they were not human, I was somehow inspired to push through the darkness. I found love and was able to start my own family in my early twenties. I am now 27 and I am preparing to be confirmed in the catholic church, I am a recent convert and the light and joy I have found in the church is amazing. Imagine my surprise when in the catholic book store my all time favorite authors name caught my eye. I picked up Called Out Of Darkness and was once again touched in a way I cannot explain. I could relate, it's amazing how one can relate to such opposite things. I
just wanted to tell you how much your work has meant to me throughout my life from my dark valleys to the high mountains. This might sound strange but I think our Lord has been able to use all of your work. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.


Posted 11/13/08

Hello Anne

Firstly, I pray you are recovering quickly or have fully recovered from your hospitalization back in September. And I pray the healing balm of our Lord upon you. You are in my prayers always.

I feel I know you in a way after having read these absolutely wonderful, life-changing accounts of our Lord's life and your notes @ the end of each book describing your feelings etc etc. I also just finished Called out of Darkness ...A Spiritual Confession, so that is another reason I say this. Anne, I also feel that I know our Lord better through these novels. I cannot even begin to tell you what
these 2 books have done for me and for my Faith in my Lord Jesus. I love Him and have been a Christ Follower for many years ... since the early 1980's, but just more recently I have becoming closer to Him. My prayer has been over the last year for His "realness" in my life...that He become more and more real to me and I would be used for His Purpose(s) in this life He has given me. Your books Anne have been an answer to this prayer. I truly feel you were lead of His Divine Holy Spirit ... you have been given such a Gift of writing and I am Blessed to have been led to read these novels.

Anne I wept, absolutely wept, from deep inside me ... and I felt a closer connection, if that is the word I want to use even...just felt a "knowing" inside of me...spirit to spirit....I hope you understand what I am trying to say because it is hard to express by words the true feelings of the heart @ times.

The part of Christ when he is baptized and then "finally" knows His Purpose and that He is God and then the part in the desert he felt every single persons sufferings, every feeling we have and ever will He came for every single human being on this earth... He came to die for us !!!!!!!! How much He suffered for us ...what LOVE that is ! I just started to weep , in gratitude and also in sadness...thinking about what He must have felt....and it made me think as well of myself, when I speak think or act harshly that so hurts people and so hurts our Lord to see this, to feel this....He came to bring Love and we are to do the same. I repented for the times I have caused hurt and I felt...Lord I think I am just, just starting to "get it" ! And, I want more ! I want more of Him and more of the "getting it", more of this knowledge and understanding and more of
this LOVE so that I can be changed and live For Him more than I do now.

Anne I want to Thank You so much for coming back to Him and being used for His Purposes... You are a true Blessing and I Thank The Lord for You I pray you will be writing a third book about Our Lord ( a sequel) ??? What a wonderful thing it would be if you lived in Toronto, Ontario Canada and have you as a friend...a true Blessing indeed ! I am praying @ our church we would read and discuss these books as I feel it would benefit us all. Anne I must close now but I pray His Shalom His Love His Blessings upon you always I look forward to hearing from you and yes, as your web-site asks, you may use my letter is you so choose to, on this website.

In Christ

Posted 11/6/08

I just read on that you were in the hospital. My prayers are with you and I hope you get stronger everyday.

I've just finished reading "Called Out of Darkness" and wanted to share a few thoughts and ask one question.

First, I must say thank you for sharing this personal account of your return to the Lord. The book was beautifully written and even had an element of suspense even though the reader knows that outcome.

Personally, I have to say as one of your long time readers that I never thought you were an atheist at all. Obviously, that was your truth, but in reading, it always seemed that you knew God was there..and the characters were just trying to get back to Him. So, in a way, I thought you were acting as that "safety net" that pulls us back to Him. I'm sure you've read Brideshead Revisited before. Do you recall the Father Brown story that Lady Marchmain reads to the family--that Twitch Upon The Thread, whereby God brings His people back to Him? That story reverberated with me as I read the passage you wrote about God holding all things in His control. Yes, it is such a relief when we stop questioning and just Go To Him.

I was curious---and perhaps I just missed this while reading-- why couldn't you read well when you were young? And then, how did you learn to read? I am 37yo and I still have trouble reading. For me, it's more about a lack of concentration. I can be "reading" several paragraphs and be thinking about something else at the same time--then suddenly realize I haven't comprehended anything! It's very frustrating and I actually have to just go on with the reading if I ever hope to finish a book.

I loved reading Out of Egypt and The Road to Cana is awaiting on my nightstand.

With Thanks and Blessings,

Jay Cottrell
Franklin, Tennessee

Posted 11/4/08

Dear Anne,

I recently read a quote attributed to you on a TDS website regarding
your new memoir. You were quoted as saying "I hope God will accept
these writings" (referring to your memoir). Your quote seemed to imply
that perhaps you did not believe God would accept your previous books
(i.e.: Vampire and Witching Hour books). I hope this is not your
perception. Of course I cannot presume to know what God does or does
not accept, so I can only share my own personal experience of reading
your books.

I have read both the Vampire and the Mayfair series and can honestly
tell you that these books have both enriched and enlivened my own
Catholic faith. While you considered yourself to be an "atheist" while
writing those books, I always thought "ye protesteth too much." I saw
in those writings a deep spirituality and a passionate experience of
Catholicism. I saw them as anything but atheistic. All of your books
portray the deep human longing to know truth and the universal search
for meaning. I saw aspects of myself in all of your characters and it
provoked me to explore more fully my own humanness and the wounded
areas of my life in need of healing. Your books drew forth compassion
in me as I witnessed the struggles of the characters and their own
individual search for "that which cannot be named." Is this not what
the spiritual journey is all about? I can honestly tell you that
reading your "earlier books" have been as much a part of my own
journey toward God as have the Jesus books. Thank you for allowing
yourself to be an open and vulnerable vessel through which God's
magnificence could be revealed in our world! And thank you for
allowing the human parts of yourself to be revealed through your
characters in such a way as to invite exploration and healing in my
own journey. I am sure that I am not alone in having experienced God
in all of your books. If something leads us closer to God, how can it
be anything but "approved?"

Thank you again for allowing God to be revealed in the world through
your unique and special gift!

Also, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers as you recover from
your recent illness.

In much gratitude,
Lauri Lumby Schmidt

Posted 11/4/08

Dear Anne,

I am sorry to hear about your illness. I am keeping you in prayer for
a speedy recovery.

I just finished reading Called Out of Darkness. Thank you for baring
your soul! I have wriiten you in the past about your books on The Lord
and how you have made Jesus so real and incarnational. You truly are a
Christmas Christian! You have done it again in giving flesh to
pre-Vatican II Catholicism.

In reading your spiritual journey I was drawn into life and the
Catholic culture I grew up with in Philadelphia in the 50's. I was an
altar boy again with all the smells and bells. Praying the rosary as a
family, one of eight, every night. How we lived and breathed our faith
and thought nothing about it. It was who we were and how we lived. We
did not apoligize for our Corpus Christi procession in public or
celebrations of Feast days. We were Catholic and that is what we do.
We even called public schools Protestant Schools and could not
understand why a Catholic child would go to one.

Thank you for doing this. I often remark that we have lost our
Catholic culture and that people don't understand it today. Some of
that is good but it is sad that so many young people don't have that
identity of how rich our Faith is. In the past I related to you about
my drifiting away from the Faith for many years and in God's grace
returning in 1989 through the intercession of Mary. Also through God's
grace being ordained a priest in 1998. The crooked lines that God
makes straight. I also appreciate your honesty with the struggle of
some of the issues you had to confront in the Church today. No it is
not easy to come back and does take an iron will and the grace of God.
One other thing I noticed as a devotee of Divine Mercy. October 5 is
the Feast of St. Faustina who Jesus revealed Himself in His Divine
Mercy and the date you finished writing about Lestat. As Jesus
revealed to her, His mercy is deeper than the oceans and broader than
the greatest seas. God's continued blessings on you and your writing.
I continue to pray for Christopher that he comes to know your joy and
how loved he is by Our Lord. I never noticed the part about using
e-mails before, I give permission if you care to publish any of mine.
Together let us all walk in His light never to fear the darkness

In Christ's Peace,

Father Brian Flanagan

PS I also share your struggle with dyslexia but as an educator didn't
know until my late 30's and taking training on working with Adults
with learning disablities. What a relief it was to know I wasn't
stupid just challenged!

Posted 11/4/08

Dear Anne,

Loved every page of your disarmingly honest and stimulating
autobiography. Perhaps this is because my Catholic upbringing in the
1950s so closely mirrors yours, as does my exiting the faith and
returning. In some ways I am still returning. Thank you so much for
the gift of your words, which open worlds of understanding. Loved your
Liguorian interview which came out last week, for which I submitted a
letter to the editor, hailing your unparalleled positivity of our

Your prayers, depth of searching, and personal fascination with the
Stigmata are remarkable. Seems there is much to feast on for the soul
in what the church serves up. You will find me a ready reader, as I
anticipate reading the final book of your trilogy of Christ. Your
books of Christ seem to put in print an enactment of the prayer style
of Ignatius of Loyola, in immersing one's self into the scenery of
scriptural events.

For what it's worth, this letter may be used on your website. Mostly
though, do hear my thanks and renewed joy at reading yet another of
your master works.

God bless and keep you. I, a registered nurse, wish you speedy
recovery, and send the gift of prayer for many graces to you.


Mark Moore RN

Posted 11/4/08

I appreciate the honesty of your newest book. I've been using it as
an conversation opening for Christian witnessing.

You are certainly welcome to quote me.

Thank you. Audrey Whittle, El Reno, Oklahoma

Posted 10/30/08

Hi, Anne. I hope this message finds you growing stronger and healthier
each day. I will keep you in my prayers….Yesterday, I came across your
newest book "Called Out of Darkness" at my local library, and was
excited to discover that it was about your journey back to the
Catholic Church. Of course, the photo of you with the breathtaking
statue of St. Anthony and Jesus on the cover piqued my interest….I
have loved and embraced the Catholic faith since my childhood, and am
an avid collector of crucifixes, medals, statues and santos…Last
evening, I began to read your book, and was riveted from the
beginning. Your description of the chapel, icons, Mass, etc. are so
beautifully rendered. I just wanted to take the time to let you know
how moving the book is, and I am only on the Chapter 4! May God
continue to Bless you and Keep you….

Thank you for writing this wonderful and important book.
Best wishes, June