Phone Message Transcript: July 3, 2000
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]

"Hello Guys,

This is July 3, 2000. If I get cut off while talking, remember you can still leave me a message at the beep. It's pretty and hot right now in New Orleans. We've had thundershowers, and let me tell you that this city is absolutely beautiful when it rains. It is so green, and the pink flowers of the crape myrtle trees are so beautiful - - and all of it melds together so divinely - - that the scenery enfolds you as if you had stepped into a painting by Renoir.

Let me give you the news again first. My novel, MERRICK, will be published on October 17th, and we will have a big book signing here in New Orleans. We will try to go eight hours in order to sign a lot of books. In the weeks to come I will have information about how you can order books for this signing. Right now, the bookstore that will be handling it is not quite ready.

MERRICK is a Vampire Chronicle and it features David Talbot as the narrator, and Louis from INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE as one of the major characters. MERRICK herself is the main attraction as the title indicates and she is a mixed blood descendent of the white Mayfair witches, though she does not know them very well. Enough said, except that I think this novel is a little more fun than some of the others, and perhaps not so dark.

Let me give you my latest film recommendations. Yes, in answer to your questions, I have seen THE PATRIOT and I thought it was pretty wonderful entertainment. I really got a kick out of it. Mel Gibson is both compelling and hilarious. I found the whole movie a big action packed entertainment and I think you will enjoy it if you don't ask for it to be historically accurate and you go with the fun. The three hours passed very fast for me.

Now, let me give you my next recommendation which is a film that is out on VHS and DVD. It is FIGHT CLUB with Brad Pitt. I just saw this film and found it to be amazingly clever, and at times brilliant. During the first third, you have to be a little patient with the film. The last third will mesmerize you. I highly recommend it. The film is beautifully done.

Let me now repeat my old recommendations. GLADIATOR with Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix is terrific entertainment. Ridley Scott's direction is brilliant.

On DVD and VHS, BELOVED starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover is fabulous. The director, Jonathan Demme is marvelous. The film is beautifully photographed. The script is a wonderful adaptation of the book.

And I do recommend the book by Toni Morrison. I have read it with delight and want to read it again. I have found in Toni Morrison a contemporary writer who gives me the richness and imagination I almost never find in anyone writing today. She is truly great.

By the way, since I recommended the film and the book, BELOVED on my last message, many of you called in and told me that you were very familiar with Toni Morrison's work, that you read it all the time. I was thrilled to hear this. I'm honored that people who read Toni Morrison would also read me. I'm blown away, in fact.

Now for other news. I have no information on Hollywood's plans for THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED. However, I am happy to report that my novel FEAST OF ALL SAINTS is in development for SHOWTIME. We are working with an absolutely brilliant script by producer and writer John Wilder. As many of you probably know, FEAST OF ALL SAINTS was published in 1978. It was my second novel, and it was all about the free people of color in New Orleans before the Civil War. I wrote this novel with love and dedication and a profound belief that the existence of New Orleans' free colored population had to be made known to people. And I am thrilled that SHOWTIME will be producing a mini-series based on this book.

One other tidbit. A treatment of mine for a TV series is also in the works. I will be going out to Hollywood soon to discuss plans for it, and I'm thrilled about this as well.

Let me give you all my love...leave me your message...


P.S. - Just discovered the DIXIE CHICKS. Be sure to catch GOODBYE EARL!"