Phone Message Transcript: December 26, 2002
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]

"Merry Christmas, everybody. This is Christmas Eve, December 24, 2002, and this is Anne Rice, and I am talking to you from New Orleans. It is, of course, a beautiful day here. It's a bit gray, but I think it's still warm, and as always it's very very green.

We have a big Christmas tree in the living room. The family is going to gather this evening for dinner. I've been a Rice for 41 years, and I'll be gathering with the Rice family, and with my own family, the O'Briens. The Rice family is really my own family, too. We are all going to miss Stan terribly, having lost him on December 9th. We are going to gather, and we are going to toast to him and to his life and celebrate Christmas. I hope all of you, wherever you are, are going to have a wonderful Christmas. I hope that the sanctification or the sacramental quality of this holiday, will bring you love and bring you peace wherever you are.

I want to recommend a book to you that I've been reading this year. As a matter of fact, I was reading it before Stan was diagnosed with the brain tumor, that took his life. The book is by a mystic named Howard Storm. Howard Storm had a near death experience that was absolutely incredible. He wrote a book called MY DESCENT TO DEATH. It's an awe-inspiring book. I had been reading it before Stan called to tell me the terrible news that he had the brain tumor. I just picked up the book again, and started reading it again, and I was just as inspired by it as ever. I recommend it very much to all of you, and especially to those of you who might be interested in near death experiences, where they are pronounced dead or come very very close to biological death, and go out of their bodies, and they see what they very firmly believe to be, the other side. They get a glimpse of Perdition, perhaps, and of Heaven. It's a very eloquent book. I've also seen Howard Storm on television a number of times, and I think he's extremely convincing. There's no doubt in my mind that he's a mystic.

There's a movie out that I am going to recommend, even though I haven't seen it yet. It's the Martin Scorsese movie "Gangs of New York". I think Martin Scorsese is just brilliant, and I am looking forward to seeing the movie this week. If any of you have seen it and you want to call in and let me know what you think, I'd love to hear it. I am going to see it. Any time Scorsese makes a movie, I sort of celebrate. I don't think he's ever made a movie where I failed to connect with it, or learn something from it. I admire him tremendously, and this movie has a wonderful cast.

Let me recommend Donna Tartr's book to you, THE LITTLE FRIEND. It's a wonderful work of fiction, and Donna Tarte is a wonderful novelist. She's among the young novelists coming up, and she's really just superb. She's very very fine.

I don't have any more recommendations now. I've been in my house, working on my new novel which will be published in 2004. The one for 2003 is already written and is in to the publishing house, and I'll tell you more about it someday in the near future. Thank you for your responses to BLACKWOOD FARM, I appreciate them very much. And again, I hope Christmas is wonderful for you. I hope the whole holiday season is wonderful for you. I hope it's a source of new beginnings, and new light, and of energy and power and wonderful things. I love you very much, and from my heart, I send you my thanks for all the love that you given me. Take care, bye bye, God love you."