Phone Message Transcript: August 25, 1997
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]

"Sunday, August 25, 1997. This machine could cut me off at any minute but you can still leave a message. There will be a beep and a message. We are working on getting a new machine that would have four ports and on which I could make 30 minute messages; it cost $16,000 and we're shopping around for it.

Let me give you the news first since that's what most of you've been asking for in your phone calls. OK, there will be, the first book signing for VIOLIN will be at Britton Trice's Garden District Bookstore in The Rink at Prytania and Washington Avenue on October 15th, and that's the day the book appears in the stores. On that day I will sign at Britton's from sometime in the afternoon until whenever we have to stop. Now, I think you have to buy your book at Britton's store to have it signed that day. You have to purchase it at Britton's store and have your receipt for me to sign it. I believe that's his rule. The bookstores really make these rules and they make these rules for their own survival, because the great big chains could just crush them with discounts if they didn't. But anyway, that's the signing that I hope all New Orleanians and Metairites, Kennerettes, or whatever you are called, come to because I think it's going to be in some ways the most manageable, and I don't want you, you know, I want you to read my book right away, tell me whether I failed.

OK, then on Halloween, the 31st of October, we will have another signing and that will be at another bookstore and that one will be open to books brought by other people but it's going to be a mad house because the fan club is having it's ball the next night, November 1st, and this is The Vampire Lestat Fan Club. They're planning the ball and they'll give you information about it. But the October 31st signing you can probably get in with any book but so can everybody who came here from Omaha, and Japan, and if you've seen these parties you know I don't exaggerate. So anyway there will be those two shots at it. I hope we have a good crowd for Britton and I don't know what's going to happen on the night of the 31st, because we've never had a signing this close to the Ball itself and the Ball does attract global attention.

Now the next night, November 2, I am really privileged to present in concert Leila Josefowicz. Now I've been telling you about this violinist for weeks, Leila Josefowicz. She has two CD's out, one of Tchaikovsky and Sibelius and another one of Hungarian rhapsodies. I mean, she is absolutely brilliant and I had the opportunity this weekend to meet Leila. It resulted in practically an emotional collapse on my part. I mean, she's only 19. She's brilliant; she was my inspiration or my guide all the time I was writing VIOLIN and to see her standing in my living room and to see her lift this precious violin out of the case and then to hear her begin to play was almost emotionally more than I could handle. It was one of the most exquisite experiences in my life. It was, it's incredible to write a book and then see something in the flesh that embodies an ideal that you described in the book, and there was Leila Josefowicz. And after she left town, I went to pieces. I really had like a complete breakdown, it was like, it's like when I watch INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and I see the scene where Claudia is ashes and Brad Pitt turns and he has that expression on his face and it epitomizes everything I wanted Louis to feel at that moment. I can't watch it without going to pieces.

So anyway, I just want to tell you that she was here. She came down. She's magnificent. We're going to bring her down as a guest. We are going to pay her for the concert at Jesuit. My dream is to pack Jesuit with nine hundred of you that have not heard her, that are not necessarily classical music buffs, that just really would like to hear this violinist just do what a violin can do. I mean, you know I've been writing about this for years; it was with a violin that The Vampire Lestat woke up Akasha. I mean, Nicholas was a violinist and of course in VIOLIN I talked about Stefan, the ghost who could play, and Trianna, the woman who has to feel the magic to play or feel the inner surrender. I bought out all of Leila's discs from the downtown TOWER so I don't know where you're going to find any if you want them. But she is well worth it. She's a shining star. I've waded through tons and tons of violinists, and she really has it. She has the depth of the older guys and the precision and perfection of the middle guys and the absolute fire of the young. You know, it's funny, my son was out and I was heart broken that he missed her playing and he came home and she agreed play them again. And she played two rhapsodies. You know, the fact that this happened under my roof was too much.

But anyway, that concert will be November 2nd and it will be at Jesuit High School which has the most seats we could find; it's nine hundred seats. We may have to charge some kind of admission just to ration tickets to prevent people from picking them up and then not showing up. We're not sure but it won't be very much, I promise you it really will be a very low price and we will give it all to the best AIDS fund that we can find in the city. you know, Lelia is paid for by me so there's no question of that. So keep putting your names and addresses on here if you are going to stay through Sunday, but understand this is Sunday night. So if you're coming in for the Ball, you're taking off Sunday night you're not going to hear this. So if you will be here Sunday--if you will putyour flight off until Monday--leave us your phone number and your address if you want tickets for the concert. I promise you you will love it. I will introduce her, of course, and probably tremble to death as she plays. The violin is a key, a link, to the supernatural; it's one of the most mysterious things on earth that we can make up music. There's birth, there's death and there's the violin.

I'm working on ARMAND, but I'm almost insane. I think I'm technically what would be certified insane most places, but I can still work. I can still read and I can still write. That's all I can do, but that's enough. As you know, Kenneth Branagh's HAMLET brought me to a dead stop in ARMAND; it blew me over like a white squall, and that was good because now I'm back with ARMAND with all the courage and recklessness that Shakespeare always gives me. That's what I think Shakespeare is most wonderful at is reminding me to break every damn rule, you know. Just go over the top with it and for God's sake don't fear your ghosts and your witches and don't fear all the supernatural in your forum and in your writing and so I'm working hard on ARMAND. ARMAND is still scheduled to come out in the fall. PANDORA is already listed in the publisher's catalog to come out this spring, VIOLIN on the 14th.

So, I think I've answered all the questions. Now, we do have a web site, it's ANNERICE.COM, ANNERICE and then dot COM, and I am contributing these essays fanatic on film when I get a chance. I dictate them and they're typed in there. There is so much on the Internet. I don't know how to use it. I don't how you find things on it but we do have a huge web page and a lot of stuff is answered on that web page. Now some of you have asked about a new tape that's issued by Kith & Kin. That new tape is really about New Orleans. Kith & Kin is a company that I own and it's comprised of my cousins and it's goal was to, you know, help some of my family share in some of the exciting things that are happening to me. And Kith & Kin runs tours of New Orleans--Anne Rice's Very Own Tours--where they take you to the properties I used in the books and they have made that tape. It's a long interview with me, but it's strictly about New Orleans. It's about this city, so they're selling it that way - through Kith & Kin. It's not going to be sold any other way. It's going to be strictly mail order over the Internet through the web page, through them. I don't know of any other way to get it at this point. And I like what they did. They gave me a chance to just talk about New Orleans and what I cared about. That's all it's about. They're also working on a CD-ROM about New Orleans. This is all oriented to tours, to the city, to learning the city. Now, the little cassette tape that I have of the interview with Mike Riley, the one-on-one, that's completely different. That's where mike and I talk about film, and we talk about books, and we talk about all kinds of intellectual subjects, and that's a one-of-a-kind, and that's completely different. So this video in no way replaces that.

But I think I've given you everything I can tell you, except I'm going crazy. I wonder how many novels I can write before I go completely out of my mind. My hands shake and I live between moments of absolute ecstasy when Leila played that violin and played the Hungarian Rhapsody and moments that are so dark and so black that only Armand and Lestat and Claudia can follow me down there. And the question is: can I bring them back up in print? I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm not going to take any drugs; they flatten me out. I refuse. I'm not going to blow my vast historical knowledge with shock treatment. I'm not going to capitulate to the comfort of insanity, but I just wanted you to know because in a sense you are the only ones that matter to me. You're the only ones I really talk to. I mean, I don't want to scare members of the family by telling them I'm going crazy. (LAUGH) So, but I think you will see in PANDORA and in VIOLIN, I think you will see that this madness has found a great order in the books.

Well, I think I'm about to be cut off, so let me give you my goodbyes. It's not just order in the books, it's found expression in the books, that can bring joy and order and consolation to someone else. God bless you and keep you and keep calling and leaving me messages. I'll get back to you about Kenneth Branagh and HAMLET. It's obvious very few people saw it. I think T.V. is what's going to have to bring it to the American public. I sent 200 roses to Kenneth Branagh in London and he got them and sent a nice note back, and that was a lovely, lovely thing to happen. Simply lovely. It was lovely. But nothing was like the miracle of seeing this young violinist genius in my own house, playing for me, and she played Beethoven and she played Mozart and she played anything I asked her. She has the most, she has the flexibility of the young and the charm and the gift, and she is everything I sought to describe in writing VIOLIN.

Okay, keep the faith. You've got the dates. First booksigning, October 15th. That's the laydown date. Call Britton Trice's bookstore, in Garden District, no, Britton Trice's Garden District Book Store at Prytania Street and Washington. Again, you're going to have to buy the book at Britton's store for it to be signed there, and that's the only fair way we can do it for Britton, otherwise what happens is people go out and they buy the books at the chains at huge discounts, they bring them to Britton's store and Britton winds up getting wiped out, and so we really want this independent store, this independent signing, to be, as always, at Britton's. We've always signed at Britton's, we had our funeral at Britton's and we have had lots of spectacular events and Britton Trice is our neighborhood book seller, and he is a very special book seller. Then again, on the 31st, we will have a big booksigning at some other store in New Orleans and that will be a signing to which you can bring books from anywhere. So if you're coming for the Ball you can bring them.

I think I've told you everything. God bless you and keep you."