Phone Message Transcript: January 27, 2001
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]

"Message to the Internet and to the Phone Line January 27, 2001

Hello Guys,

This is Saturday, January 27, 2001. This is an extemporaneous message. I haven't written it down. I am not reading it, but it will be transcribed later next week and it will be appear on my website.

I just wanted, first of all, as always, to thank you for your messages and thank you for your responses to MERRICK and I hope that they continue to come in. I have a theory about my books. Maybe I have mentioned this before, forgive me if I have, but since I have now written something like 20 novels, I think each book is initially greeted with a storm of protest. People say, we wanted the Mayfair Witches - we didn't want the Vampires, or people say - we wanted the Vampires, but we don't want these Vampires or people say we wanted a sequel to the MUMMY. In any event, after that initial storm of protest dies down, I discover the true audience to the book. People start to respond to the book for what it is. And it is a rather interesting phenomenon, what occurs to me is that I can't satisfy all of the people all of the time. And I keep believing that I satisfy my readers the most when I write what I absolutely want to write. So, that is what I keep doing. I keep giving it my heart and soul - giving it my all, sticking with what I believe is the book that I would like read if I had, you know, sitting in my chair and reading - so I try to create that book and on I go. In any event, as I said, keep giving me your responses to MERRICK.

What other news do I have? QUEEN OF THE DAMNED - they are working on the director's cut. I don't know anything new on that except that it might be released during this year. FEAST OF ALL SAINTS is looking better and better. It is going to be a fabulous mini-series. It is probably, definitely going to show on SHOWTIME in May and I am very excited about it. All of that I have told you before.

Right now I am working on a new book - not BLOOD AND GOLD - that book is finished. BLOOD AND GOLD will be published in the Fall. It is the story of Marius, the vampire Marius. That will be out in the Fall. What I am working on now is a new vampire novel that includes Lestat and pretty much makes some references to Merrick. Now, the story of Marius doesn't really connect with Merrick but this new novel does. I am not sure of the title yet, which is unusual for me. I usually have the title nailed down before I start, but not in the case of this book because I have about three different titles.

Anyway, what I am reading is THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP by Dickens. I am about half way through the book. I use it like, to fuel me and to set me on fire before I am writing. I am just enthralled with THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP. I think Dickens was not only a genius, he was a madman. The amount of irrepressible invention in this book is dizzying. And it is simply magical and wonderful. I am wondering how many of you have read Dickens and how many of you read Dickens now. I would love it if you would leave me a message about that and tell me what your favorite novel is by Dickens. Tell me if you have never heard of him or don't like him. Tell me if you read him in high school. Tell me if you read him in college. Tell me if you read him for pleasure. I would love to hear all of that. For me, Dickens is like a feast. I just sink into him and often I dip down into books and just read part. Well, with LITTLE NELL or THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP, I decided I would stop this dipping and immersing myself and go right from the beginning, all the way through. I am just about in the middle and it is really just more than fascinating. I mean, I have a lot of thoughts that I am scribbling in the margins and wonderful words that Dickens uses that I am scribbling on the back page just to remind myself of their existence. Again, I would like to hear from you. You know I have talked in the past about how much I love GREAT EXPECTATIONS and DAVID COPPERFIELD. Well, those are both books written in the first person and are intimate. And in that voice, I think Dickens is more restrained. In THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP, because he is writing in the third person, he is able to really let loose with a lot of thoughts and feelings and descriptions and I am intrigued. I want to know your thoughts on the matter.

Well, I don't have much more news. The day started out beautifully down here, with a blue sky and sunshine, but I think now the sky has turned kind of white. Our garden is totally frostbitten so we are languishing for our banana trees and elephant ears, but we will get them back by spring. That is the miracle of Louisiana. Things corrode but things grow and so it will all come back.

I hope if any of you are still in hard winter that you are not suffering. Those of you who are writers, I hope that you are writing. Don't let anything stop you or slow you down. Again, leave me a message at the beep. Love to everyone. Take care.

Anne Rice "