Phone Message Transcript: May 25, 1997
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]
"Hi, it's just after midnight, May 24, almost May 25, Well it is May 25. I have just seen the most fabulous film. I have to tell you when I see a film this good I can forgive Hollywood anything except not making my movies. You have to see this film is you care about ethics, if you care about moral dilemma, if you care about film see this film; it is called EXTREME MEASURES; It's with Hugh Grant and Gene Hackman. It's absolutely thrilling from the first to the finish and it is profound. It was directed by a man named Michael Apted, a man from England who apparently has been around for a long time and I didn't even realize that this kind of greatness was walking with us. I have to find out more about him. I know that he did THE COAL MINERS DAUGHTER which was also a brilliant film, but that was a long time ago. I have just recently seen it; I love it but this film was as exciting as speed as morally profound as one could ask, and so tightly edited, directed film; it was just dynamite. I mean, Hugh Grant was finally in a serious role where he didn't have to play a dummy and Gene Hackman was of course flawlessly brilliant as he always is, but the whole texture of the film, the music, the whole film, wild quality of it and what it achieved morally was simply incredible. I highly, highly, highly recommend it. Again, it is EXTREME MEASURES. It just came out on laser disc so I assume that it's in the rental stores. It was made by Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley's company, Simian Film Production, and it's a Castle Rock release I think. Screenplay is by Tony Gilroy and apparently it is basked on the book by Michael Palmer. I have not read the book but I will now.
Anyway, you must see this film if you really, if you have a part of you like me that just absolutely loves films and learns from film and craves films and just believes in it as a great art, please see this film it is called EXTREME MEASURES. It is really quite marvelous and it never fails me not one second.
OK, the other thing I wanted to tell you tonight, my readers is that I finished PANDORA. This is the first of the small vampire novels the ones that I want to publish in the Spring. I finished PANDORA tonight at 320 manuscript pages at five minutes till eight. I always jot that down and now during the week of course going through PANDORA making the final changes and corrections and trying to catch some of my terrible grammar and dropped words. I drop words as I write. I get so excited that I am talking out loud and seeing the action that I actually forget to type words so I have to go through and find all those little dropped words and stick them in there. But anyway, PANDORA is complete, and I was overjoyed when I finished it. I was so happy with this novel. It is short because that is the nature of it. It is to be a short vampire novel. It will appear in March of 1998 from Knopf. It is meant to be like a novella but to some people that's a full length novel - 320 pages. It's everything that I wanted to discover in the character of Pandora, the ancient vampire from Rome, the consort of Marius, the Roman, everything I wanted to know about her I discovered in this novel. I discovered it and I discovered her voice and I discovered a great deal more about David Talbott who is now the chronicler of the vampires now that Lestat is in a state of shock still from Memnoch, and I am going to launch right into the novel that will be publish in the fall of 98 which is ARMAND.
ARMAND is going to be agony to write. I think I said that last time, and I am going to talk a little faster this time so that my machine doesn't cut me off like it did last time which it did; it cut me off in mid- story. I was furious. How do you get furious at your own machine? I didn't know what to do. Anyway, I'm looking for a bigger machine. I am getting the 800 number so these calls won't cost you anything but I have to get it hooked up. We have been assigned a number but we don't have the equipment in the phone and so forth. We will do that, and then you won't have to pay for the call when you call here. You can listen to me just rattle on as, who are those geniuses in the morning on the radio, those guys, I can't remember but they said what does she do just rattles on or something like that about me once on phone line. These are New Orleans disc jockeys that come on early in the morning. Somebody and somebody, they have their baby pictures out on the highway. They are real cute guys; I love them. Anyway, I'm going to rattle on at my own expense on the 800 number.
My new novel, VIOLIN, publisher issued a very handsome reader's edition of the book. That's been done three times during the twenty years that I have been a writer. It's a wonderful wonderful compliment. I love my publisher. I don't know why they are so good to me when I'm so so hard to work with, so difficult and so temperamental but anyway VIOLIN will be out in October. We know we will have a signing here on the 31st of October in New Orleans. We don't know if that will be the only signing. We just don't know. It's the only signing that I can commit to now because everything depends on how I do with ARMAND. If I finish ARMAND before October 31, if I can find in ARMAND what I am looking for then I can get it all down. You know, I might be able to sign a few other places. I don't know, and I don't blame you if you don't care. But anyway, we will be signing October 31 for sure. That is our commitment. That is the weekend that the fanclub, The Vampire Lestat Fanclub, will have their big ball, and they have a listed number and you can call them about that. They are going to have it on November 1, The Feast Of All Saints, following Halloween because it is the Saturday that's closest to Halloween.
Now, last time the machine cut me off when I was telling you the story of the Ultimate Warriors. Well you really didn't miss very much. Basically to recap, I was telling you how I had gone to see the ultimate warriors who were supposed to be people who fight each other with no holds barred in a giant cage, and I told you that it was a shuck that the final fight proved to be totally fake, like fake wrestling, and the entire crowd of Jefferson Parish people stood up and started screaming bullshit, bullshit at the rink and at the announcer and everyone else involved. I just sat there watching as people hurled drinks and cups and trash into this ring, and you could just feel the testosterone in that room. I mean, perhaps 1/5 of the audience was women. I didn't care. It was a magnificent display of male energy, and the fighting by the way was not particularly brutal. The fights tend to be brief as I told you last time. One man wrestled the other to the ground almost immediately, and it's over. It does not have the sustained honor or the risk and cruelty of boxing, and I can understand why many of you might not follow me in my love of boxing but I do love it. Anyway, it certainly did give me what I needed to have PANDORA watch the gladiators in the arena which I only mention casually in the novel. My novel is not about gladiators.
Anyway, what I was telling you when I was cut off by the machine is that as everyone was gathering outside the theater I drove away in my limousine. I have a limousine because I can't drive, and I like the privacy of sitting in the back playing rock music really loud and not seeing the driver and not seeing whether we are tailgating somebody or something like that. Anyway, I was in my limo speeding away or crawling away when Rosario, my chief of staff, calls, Rosario Tafaro, and he called on the cellular phone from the fight and he said the crowd was storming the box office and they were demanding refunds and as we drove away I was so sorry I missed seeing that. I really wanted to see that because people had paid a hundred dollars and so for these seats. The seats are supposedly pure, uncontaminated test of male vigor, and it had turned out ultimately to be phony. Anyway, the police came speeding by on I-10 going into Jefferson Parish. Later Ross told me, that's Rosario, that the police had escorted the troublemakers to their cars. Well, if you come from California, if you spent time there like I do you know the San Francisco police and the LA Police, that will strike you as very comical. I remember once when San Francisco won the Super Bowl the San Francisco Police beat people into the pavement of market street without discrimination, distinguished citizen, and middle class people, poor people, it didn't matter. As WHOOPI Goldberg said once in BEVERLY HILLS COP, they don't care who you are they will beat you up. So what do we have down here, police who go through crowds like this of raging males and escort the trouble makers to their cars. I thought it was brilliant. Now of course, I am not defending........."