Phone Message Transcript: Apr. 27, 1997
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]

"Hi. This is Anne Rice and it's the 26th of April. I left that last question on the line for a long time because I got a lot of answers from you from all over the country about the short novels on the vampire characters, and I want to tell you all how much I appreciate the material. In fact, I sent transcripts of it on to the publishers so they would see how much we have a shared interest in the vampire world and the world of the Mayfair Witches, and I thank you, I thank you for all of your comments and suggestions.

I have two things to celebrate this week that I think are really momentous. The first is that George Foreman tonight won against a thirty-one year old contender and George Foreman is absolutely my hero as a boxer and he was in rare form and he just really boxed one of the best major heavyweight boxing matches that I've ever seen in my life. He was really wild. So, that was really wonderful. If I was a gambling person and bet my tax savings on that fight in Las Vegas, I probably could have gotten out of debt and paid off all my property but I am not a gambling woman so I had to settle for two five dollar bets with my dear friend who of course bet against George and bet on the fabulous Italian guy that he was fighting. The Italian guy, by the way, was wonderful if you get to see a rerun of the fight. The Italian guy, I believe his name is Servachi (Savarese), I may have it wrong but he writes poetry, he writes in a diary, he reads new age books, he eats sushi, he likes to walk around Soho and yet he is a great big Italian, incredibly powerful boxer and he went the whole distance with George and it was a split decision. So, I think he was the best boxer I saw up against George and of course George chased him all over the ring and finally won the fight as I knew he would. But the fact that the kid could take the punches he took from George and not go down really makes me very interested in seeing him in future fights.

Now, let me move from that which I realize has a limited interest for a lot of you and say that the second glorious event of the week was Ellen Degeneres coming out and giving her frank and very touching interview to Diane Sawyer. I hope you saw it on 2O MINUTES or I hope you saw part of it on PRIMETIME. It will probably be talked about, the episode of ELLEN will be showed this week. I think it was so courageous of Ellen to do this. I think it was so extraordinary. I think she has done a lot to shed light that there are gay people in all walks of life throughout the world, they are in military, they're in education, they're in entertainment, they're in the arts, they're wholesome good loving people. They are not perverts, they don't molest children. They can be as square as the next guy. They have a predilection towards their own sex and that's really what distinguishes them and as far as we know they are born with it. And Ellen with all her charm and her kindness and her sweetness is a wonderful comedian who never makes a joke at anyone else's expense came out in a forth right way and talked about the pain of coming out of the closet and talked about how she is going to come out on the show. I think it was great and I suspect that the show will make history for television and I hope everybody supports her. I want to send flowers to her before the Wednesday night show at ABC or Disney, wherever. I'll have to track her down.

Anyway, I was on her show earlier this year and I had a lot of fun, and she was absolutely gentle and kind. I missed my mark, I flopped my lines, I forgot what I was doing and she was infinitely patient as with everyone else connected with the show. It was really extraordinary. Anyway, I think her courage is terrific.

David Geffen, the record mogul, came out and was very frank about his homosexuality several years ago, and David gave the teens of America and the young people of America who are so troubled by the fear of being gay gives them another role model and so does Ellen, I mean, to show that highly productive people living very functional lives, very likable people can be gay.

It is very important that young people know this because when teenagers apparently fear that they may be gay there is a very high risk of suicide. It's a terrible terrible thing. A young boy here in New Orleans that I knew and loved, not a member of my family, he killed himself and it was the fear that he was gay. That was the cause of it and i think if he had known, if there were more people willing to come out and show the normality of gay life for most people, that young boy would not have felt the terror of the anguish that he felt. So, I am sending my love tonight to Ellen and will send flowers on Monday morning when the florist opens, and I hope that we all watch the Wednesday night show when she comes out. I think we should do it. I think it's going to make television history. I think it's really really great.

That's really all I have to say tonight. I want to thank you for the messages. I am working on the short novel about Pandora and it's now really about Pandora and David and it's working very well. ARMAND is definitely the next big novel that I will turn in in the fall and will be published in 98. Whether the publishers pick me up on the short novels or not, I am just going to go ahead and write them. I want to do it on full stories about the vampires. I see a thousand new ways to get goals from that vein that I first tapped when I wrote about Louis AND Lestat and I am going back. Again, I want to thank you for all your wonderful messages and recommendations for movies. I try to keep up with you. You teach me a lot. I love you all very much and take care, bye-bye."