Phone Message Transcript: May 17, 1997
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]
"Hi, this is Anne Rice, and it's Saturday May 17, 1997, and I want to thank you all for all of your fabulous messages about me doing two novels a year. The publishers have agreed and we will be doing two novels a year starting in 1998, and I am just about finished the first of those which is about Pandora, the ancient vampire who was Marius' companion in the time of Imperial Rome, and then in the Fall of 98 we'll go into ARMAND which is a full scale vampire novel and it's going to tear my heart out to write it. I'm going to bleed all over this house; it's going to be such anguish. I can't wait. But anyway, I am very very happy with your support and we transcribed an enormous amount of your support and took it off the Internet as well and we sent it to the publishers and the Random House sales force was absolutely stunned to see how many people wanted two novels a year so they revised their plan to where they can now do that for us. My publishers really are being very good to me. I'm kind of outrageous but you guys are good to me. I want to thank you again for the weeks and weeks of answering that question while i left the question hovering in the air.
Now, the Fall book. Please don't overlook my Fall book. It is not a Vampire Chronicle. It's called VIOLIN, and it going to come out in late OCTOBER and boy this book has probably more of me in it then any book that I ever wrote, and it's about this ghost Stephen, a violinist. It has more of my love of music than anything that I've written since CRY TO HEAVEN. More of my anguish, I guess, than any book that I've ever written. Anyway, I hope it will be fun. One woman's anguish is another's person's damn good read as they say.
I don't have a whole lot of news. We haven't opened our little shop, The Anne Rice Collection, yet. We are doing this strictly for entertainment and fun and expansion you know, and we will have it opened in the rink soon, and yes, we will develop a catalog for it, and i think it's up on the Internet now some of the items. They are under www.annerice.com and you can order them that way. Again, this is something we are doing more for like creative expansion. It can't really be called totally commercial because the truth is a author like me really makes her highest amount of money by simply writing. These are creative endeavors. These are t-shirts that we've done because we love them. We got a Claudia tote bag, Claudia t-shirt. We've got a great Lestat drawing that I really love that Patricia Hardin did and we are going to put that on t-shirts and things. We worked really hard to get as close to what I thought Lestat looked like as possible and I was amazed at what Patricia achieved. If you are familiar with our other stuff, the drawings of our houses then you know about Patricia Hardin's work. Now, one of you called in and suggested that we have an exhibit of her work when we have the signing. Well, maybe we will do that. But every thing that she has drawn will be on some item and you know we are cooking away with this plan and it's a lot of fun. There is something very Dickensian about it. You know, how I love Charles Dickens, and I love being anti-elitist and there is something like that about this about putting my characters on mugs and shirts, and notecards and bookmarks and God knows what else. It's a lot of fun working on this stuff but we aren't up and running yet. That is the point. You can tune in on the Internet number if you are a computer person. I don't know how to get on the Internet but that's what it is. It's World Wide Web, annerice.com. dot com, I forgot the com, see, what a genius, right?
My news from Hollywood. A couple of you expressed real disappointment that we sold SERVANT OF THE BONES for a mini series but the thing is we didn't know how to do a radio show. We came back here wanting to do a radio show of SERVANT, all ready to do it, and we found out we didn't and we were going to have to spend massive amounts of time finding guys to do this radio show and that was going to be time away from writing. At the same time, we crossed paths with Jerry offsay, the head of SHOWTIME, and I think this man is one of the most brilliant men that I've ever met in Hollywood. He reversed all my hatred and scorn. He's very intelligent, and the SHOWTIME mini series will not have commercial breaks. This will be a much higher class of mini series than you get on network where you keep getting pounded with commercials. But anyway, he is also going to do THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS, which is my book about the free people of color that flopped back in 1979, you know, and it was a great love of mine about New Orleans and about the people of color before the Civil War who weren't slaves, and he's willing to do that and that is really going to be great. He has a great writer for that. A writer that has written many famous mini series, and he's choosing for SERVANT OF THE BONES a very very good writer too. I am approving it all. I'm a creative executive this time. I am not like I was on INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, an orphan in the storm. I have a little bit of involvement and I find these people in this form of TV very intelligent to work with. I think networks have a lot more pressure, and they are very optimistic. I think we may get a really fine mini series out of SERVANT and then we will also get it preserved intact on VHS and probably inevitable laser disc and that's what really counts that the movie has a life. Now, if I'm wrong and it's sad, you know, I am going to be wrong and after years of holding out against TV, I took this step simply because I can't get any movies made from my work and I love movies. Warner Brothers is holding up all the Vampire Lestat material. They have it under contract for the next two years, and they have all the witches under contract for the next two years. All that's going to revert to me at that time. I have very unusual contracts. Now, I think as I told you before. We went there and talked to them. There is no way that they are going to get any movies done of THE WITCHING HOUR or THE VAMPIRE LESTAT. It's just, as far as we can tell, it's not going to happen so that stuff will revert back to us then we will try to cut a new deal with someone else.
I want to thank you for all of your movie suggestions, and I've been trying to get some of the movies that you have mentioned. I have seen LONE STAR which I thought was great. I saw GHOST IN THE DARKNESS which I thought was terrific. I saw THE PIANO again and I know that three years ago I bored you all to death talking about THE PIANO but if you have not seen that movie for goodness sake go out and get a tape and get a disc of that movie. Harvey Kietel AND Holly Hunter do such a fantastic job in that movie and it is so much about men listening to women and women listening to men. It's just spectacularly beautiful but I think it's really worth while to get it.
OK, now we are into seven minutes and this isn't an 800 number, and I wish it was, and I'm going to change it soon to an 800 number so this doesn't cost you anything. But, I want to tell you the story of The Ultimate Warriors. OK, the other night, The Ultimate Warriors came to Louisiana out in Jefferson Parish, which means Jefferson County here, and we went to see them. Now, I'm writing about Pandora, right. She's an ancient vampire. She lives in Imperial Rome. She goes to gladiatorial games. So i figure, well I want to see The Ultimate Warriors. These are supposed to be no holds barred fights in which people just go at each other in a boxing ring which in fact is just a giant cage of heavy wire and they just try to destroy each other. Many people wouldn't approve of this and I'm not so sure what I think of it but I am a big boxing fan as you know. To tell you the truth, boxing is more brutal than what I saw, The Ultimate Warriors. But anyway, this is what happened.
We saw about six rounds. The place was full. I think there were maybe ten percent women. The rest were men. It was a Louisiana white crowd. There were very few black people there. Aaron Neville was there who is black. I think he was like one of five visible black persons. He sang The Star Spangled Banner in that incredible, unusual voice of his, very moving. OK, then comes these guys into the cage, right, two at a time. The fight doesn't last for more than about five minutes. They go at each other, tearing at each other, and one of them gets the other one done on the ground, gets him into a choke hold, cuts off all blood and oxygen to the head and it's over, right. That happens repeatedly. OK, so nobody seems to be badly injured. Then there's one monster who just bats the other guy in the head about three times, blood the physician, you know OK. But again, these are consenting adults. This is what they chose to do. I respect it; I watch it, and I think 'what is Pandora thinking in Ancient Rome when she watches gladiatorial fights.' You know, I am in the second row ring side. I am looking carefully at everything that's going on. I'm looking at the reaction of the crowd. The screaming and so forth. OK, the winners of the first several bouts are going to come back and fight each other. This is going to be really cool but first there is a special bout and they bring out two famous men, and they begin an incredible brawl with each other on the stage, and my husband leans over and says fake, you know, fake. You can tell immediately that the blows being swung at this guys head are not real. Well within minutes the entire audience starts to realize this fight is fake. It's like professional wrestling's a theatrical display; it's fake. So this entire audience goes crazy. People stand up and start yelling in unison bullshit, bullshit, bullshit and making the sign of bullhorns with their little finger and their first finger. Finally, the lights go on, the fight stops and the promoters get the hell out of there really fast, and I'm watching all of this just enthralled by the electricity of the crowd and I want to see how far they are going to go. Then, all of a sudden, beer cups and beer itself, and pieces of paper, and junk starts flying through the air into this rink right over our heads so naturally I get baptized with beer which I haven't drunk in twenty years. I guess that's the closest I'll get to it and the spectacle of all this stuff going into the rink. I'll never forget it. The beer was golden in the light. It was sailing over the chain link and just inundating the ring. So anyway, the turn up the house lights, time to get out. I don't really want to leave. I want to sit there and watch it but I'm with my bodyguard and very good friend ROSARIO Tafaro and I'm with my husband Stan, and I know that they want to leave so we go out to the lobby, and everyone is milling around going rip off, bullshit you know things like that. We've paid a hundred dollars for these tickets. We paid seventy-five. This is outrageous. We expected to see real fighting, and then I pull away in my limousine. Not after having been recognized by the way by a few of the people. I have fans at these things which I just love. I have readers at tattoo conventions and boxing matchings and I adore it because it means that people read my books not just the elite but people, and I love it. OK, we pull off in my limousine and then I get a call on the cellular phone from Rosario and he said `the fans stormed the box office, and the New Orleans police escorted the trouble makers to their vehicles."