Phone Message Transcript: July 12, 1997
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]

"Hi. I think this is July 12th, 1997. I know I've left the message on for a long time...the reading about Claudia. It was for Gary. And Gary, thank you for calling and telling me you appreciated it--you'd be amazed how many other people liked it too.

I haven't made a message because--you know, when you are in a very dark state, it's a good question of how you can turn that darkness into any kind of light. I now realize--I think I've said this before--that my writing from now on is just going to get darker and darker. I think it will have all the, you know, the requirements that are action packed--the plot, the characters--all of those things. Those things that are a matter of professional skill, almost like learning to stand on your toes for a dancer. But, the vision is getting darker and darker, and as it gets darker, I'm kind of disintegrating around it. But the great thing is that I can still read with total concentration, and I can still write with total concentration. I'm going into Armand, and I don't care how much the pain is there. Going into it completely and entirely. And you'll see that it's a pretty dark book, if you read it. But anyway, this is why I haven't made a message. Because there doesn't seem to be, in this state, the energy to make a message.

As I said, I could read. I could read with remarkable attention. It's really strange. All the organizational faculties have broken down. I can't find anything, can't remember anything, don't know why I went in a room, you know, nothing. But I can look at that computer screen for 5 hours straight. And I sat today and read all day--a wonderful book. It was written by a woman I know, an extraordinary woman. She's very, very beautiful and she's somewhat of a mystery. Her name is Gita Mehta. And she's married, actually, to Sonny Mehta, who is the president of Knopf. But I haven't seen Gita in several years, because I haven't been in New York. But Gita wears saris, and she is very beautiful. She's from India. And she's written this book, and I sat down today at 1:00, when I woke up (I didn't go to bed until 7:00 AM and I got up at 1:00), and I felt this usual darkness closing in, and I thought, okay, find something that is really of value and just thrive on it. So, I got her book, SNAKES AND LADDERS: GLIMPSES OF MODERN INDIA, and I just sat down and I did nothing until a few moments ago but read that book! I just read it. It's short chapters, it's very accessible, and in a way, it answers, in extremely short little essays--beautifully written little essays--it answers all the questions people want to ask about modern India, and maybe are too embarrassed to ask. I mean, questions I would never ask either. It explains a lot of things about politics; it talks about religion; and it talks about the incredible things that have attracted us tO India. I mean, as you know, during the 60's, we all listened to music, and we loved the movies of Satyajit Ray, and right now, people are into all kinds of medicine that really dates back to India--Ayurveda and things of that kind--and I just want to recommend this book. It's--I don't think it's even very expensive. I don't know. I got it today at the book store. I bought it. (I always buy the company books, because I don't believe that I should take "for free" books, I think that's really stupid). So I bought it, and that's the name, SNAKES AND LADDERS: GLIMPSES OF MODERN INDIA, Gita Mehta. It is really worth it. You will really...if you've ever been curious about India, if you've been curious in the most superficial way, working from any direction-- from yoga, the mantra, also the beginnings of the Indo-Europeans, whatever. You're going to like this book.

Okay. I don't have much else to say, except that we still plan to have the big Coven Party on November 1st, and the fan club is taking care of that. THey have their own number and there's ways to reach them. I think it's going to be really neat. And we are definitely having our big signing on October 31st, but we are getting invitations to have signings elsewhere, and so, I'd like to query you on that. Since we've been telling you for months that we're only having this one signing, how many of you are going to feel distressed if you come all the way down here, and then we wind up having a signing in New York two weeks later? I don't know that I can do it. I really...right now, for the next three months, I'm going to write ARMAND, and as I told you before, that novel was planned even before PANDORA, and it's going to be one of the darkest yet. I want to believe that this despair...this darkness...this disintegration of hope..this borderline actually a higher plane when it comes to writing--an actual higher plane. It's like when you go with it---that I achieved things from Pandora, and I'll achieve things in Armand, and I have achieved things in VIOLIN that I couldn't do before. I couldn't go that deep before. It was....I didn't have the capacity, and now, it's like--there's no choice! There is no choice! But, you know, the beautiful light continues to shine. A book like SNAKES AND LADDERS, you read it, and it's so full of wisdom, and it's so full of compassion, and it's so full of brilliance about a country like India, that just the coherence of the book itself is very illuminating.

Okay, that's all I have to say. You can leave a one minute message. I don't have any other news, except when the machine cuts me off, you can still leave a one minute message. What we've got in the works at home with SERVANT OF THE BONES--it's being made into a mini-series by Showtime, and so is FEAST OF ALL SAINTS. And we're just really, really pleased by that. And Showtime has hired absolutely top writers. We created this T.V. series for CBS called RAG & BONE, and they're getting themselves up on their feet again. They are going to start casting again, and looks like that's on "go". Very good writer, very good show runner. I'll believe these projects, of course, when they happen! You know how long it took for INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE to become a movie. Anyway, I send you my love tonight, and I send you my total gratitude and profound appreciation of all you've given me. Thank you very, very much. Take care guys, and leave me a message."