Phone Message Transcript: Mar. 2, 1998
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]

"Hi, this is Anne Rice. It's March 2nd; it's early in the morning. There is nothing glamorous and illegal about my life, but I have taken a prescription medication for sleep, so if I sound a little smoggy, that's the reason. Again, it's not a glamorous, modern drug. It's just something very routine that helps yousleep. I'm going to be out of commission for a little while, that is away from the machine. But they are recording all of your messages for me; they're giving me the recordings right off the machine now, not transcripts. So I'm getting to hear your voices and I'm going to respond to them very soon, in detail. I want to thank you all for calling and thank you all for all the many things you've said.

Let me answer some questions briefly. PANDORA--our first signing will be at Britton Trice's Garden District Book Store on March 11th. You should call Britton Trice about that. It's listed as Garden District Books and it's on the corner of Prytania and Washington Avenue. We always have our first signing there, almost always, and I'm sure they will be able to answer your questions. PANDORA is a small book. It's turned out to look absolutely beautiful. It's a book you can really hold in one hand. It's deliciously small and deliciously intense.

In the fall, around October 31st, we'll be publishing THE VAMPIRE ARMAND. That's not a small book by any means. That's a big, full-blooded (no pun intended) Vampire Chronicle. By the way, I love the direction I've been able to take with PANDORA and ARMAND.

You know, I was really thrilled with your response to SERVANT OF THE BONES and to VIOLIN, the two books I wrote that didn't involve the vampires and didn't involve the witches. But I feel, looking back, that in spite of the success of these books, commercially, and I was blessed with that success, I fell that I haven't really been able to do yet what I want to do without my vampires and witches. My vampires and witches are still my gold mine; they still are my treasure trove; they're still my Monte Christo treasury in the cave, if you know the Dumas novel. And I keep going back to them. SERVANT and VIOLIN are two books of which I am inordinately proud, but I wasn't able to get quite what I wanted in those books. And I will return again to my ghosts and I will return to stories of hauntings and stories that use the supernatural without the vampires. But for the present time I feel very, very good going home to The Vampire Chronicles, especially to the ancient character of Pandora --she's such a strong woman. And especially to Armand. It took Armand an awfully long time as a character to speak to me, to bear his heart and soul, but he's done it. And I'm very glad it's coming out in the Fall.

By the way, if the machine cuts me off, which it often does, leave me a message immediately after the beep. As I've said the staff here will record that message right off the machine for me. They'll see that I get the tapes. So I'll get to not only know the contents of what you say, as I have been from the transcripts, I'll actually hear your voices this time.

I want to leave you with just a few quick thoughts. Mardi Gras was fabulous in the City. It was incredibly peaceful. It was just incredibly successful for everyone. Our open house at 2524 St. Charles was a joy for me. I saw thousands of cousins. I saw thousands of wonderful people. I got the privilege of riding in the Orpheus parade, on my own float, with about 38 other people, and it was a blast. We rode on that float from 6:00 p.m. to 12:30, all the way down St. Charles Avenue to the Convention Center, and we threw necklaces and beads and trinkets all the way, and it was exhausting, but it was just marvelous. I can't thank New Orleans enough, and I can't thank the Krewe of Orpheus enough, I can't thank the Captains--Sonny Borey and Harry Connick, Sr. and Harry Connick, Jr., and the people who have made that Krewe, I can't thank them enough for making me a part of it as Literary Muse. I feel like I really have had something now that makes me truly part of New Orleans in a way that I never had before, with Orpheus. I'm very, very proud.

I do, as you know, I've got a lot of big dreams and a lot of big schemes. I'll talk about them later when I know a little bit more about them. For the time being, I have a little bit of negative news, and that is that we're shutting down our various companies. We're shutting down the Anne Rice Tour Company and we're going to be collapsing companies pretty much into the St. Elizabeth's Orphanage Museum. That's the museum, as you know, where I keep my saints, where I have my chapel, where I have my doll collection. We're doing this really because we feel that the public, particularly the press, have misunderstood our tour company and have misunderstood the little business that we've tried to develop in New Orleans, they've misunderstood our intent. And I have to confess that I have been inordinately hurt by the things that have been said in the press, and some of these stories have been published as far away as Montreal. I don't want to dwell on that. I regard it as a weakness in myself, but I couldn't take the heat, couldn't take the criticism. But in any event, the City will do fine without our tours, and all of the people who work for me and have been closely involved in the management of my companies will still be employed at St. Elizabeth's, making it a museum that will serve the people of New Orleans, and will serve the people who come off the street and ring the bell and ask to see the doll collection and ask to see the building. Let me remind you that the permits for this building are still in the works. We're still going through various processes with the Fire Marshall and other people, but we are at 1314 Napoleon Avenue, and we're working very hard to do things the legal way and the right way so that we can be a public building, and my dream of the Anne Rice Collection will come true. It's very sad that we had to give up the little businesses, but I think if you knew New Orleans, if you knew some of the things that have been written in the press, you'd understand why we gave up, or why I gave up. Not everybody in the family is happy with me about this. But it's got to be.

I want to put my heart and my soul into making St. Elizabeth's the most fabulous museum in the City of New Orleans, or one of them. And I want to put my heart and my soul into two books a year. I find that takes a great deal of my energy, if not all of it. I still dream of my radio show. Many of you have asked about that. I still dream of it; I want that radio show; I'll get it eventually.

The Happy Hour on Magazine Street still belongs to us. We don't have any immediate plans for to make the Cafe Lestat there, but we are interested in a flea market there. And, as I've told you once before, if you're craftspeople, if you're people who want to set up stalls in a flea market, if you've got a license to operate, you can always contact us by writing to us here at 1239 First Street, New Orleans, 70130. 1239 First, New Orleans, 70130, and we will be glad to talk to you about possible space, a possible stall in The Happy Hour Theater if we get the flea market going and if we get the approval of the local merchants. That we want to continue to work with.

There are many other things I could say tonight. I feel very close to you. I love you very much. I'm really excited to hear what you think about PANDORA. I'm excited to hear what you think about ARMAND. I'm already dreaming of another vampire, who is desperately in search of the right name. When I get this vampire's name, he's really going to take off. I see him and I know him, but I don't have his name for sure yet. I'm playing around with it. My trip back to Italy greatly inspired me with regard to this vampire. I'm very, he's swimming in my ken, as my dad used to say, which means swimming around in my mind. He's swimming around in my mind and my heart, and I'm working very hard on him.

Let me recommend a new historian to you, a brilliant historian. His name is Richard C. Trexler, that's spelled T-R-E-X-L-E-R. Richard C. Trexler has written, among other things, a very new book on Florence. It's called PUBLIC LIFE IN RENAISSANCE FLORENCE. And the book is fascinating to me because what Trexler describes in that city is very apropos to what goes on in New Orleans. The last couple of weeks have found me trying desperately to explain to people out of town what Mardi Gras is and what New Orleans is. Well, Trexler, when he describes Renaissance Florence, describes a city very much, in many ways, the way we are--a city of public rituals, of rituals, public celebrations, public feasts, public partying, coming out and demonstrating one's happy feelings in the streets. This is something that went on in Renaissance Florence. So I thank Richard C. Trexler tonight for his book. He helped me to understand my native city and the catholic tradition that I come from and he helped me to understand my books. And I recommend him to all of you if you want to that history. It's out right now. Cornell University Press has a good trade paperback. It's really good.

Don't forget my other favorite historian, Norman Cantor, that's C-A-N-T-0-R. Cantor is wonderful at talking about anything and everything, including the American century in his new book. And don't forget Jan Swoffard, the brilliant biographer who has written the life of Brahms. He is great on music. Okay, those are my scholarly recommendations.

Let me give you my love tonight. Let me encourage you to leave me a message, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Forgive me for taking so long between messages."