Thoughts on BLOOD CANTICLE: Message #1

"Sunday, December 14, 2003

Hello Guys. Now that Blood Canticle has been out some time, I think it's safe for me to make a few comments on the book for those of you who might want the author's point of view on it. This is highly informal, please understand, in keeping with the tone of this website and I hope it may interest someone.

Each of the Vampire Chronicles involves a challenge. Each is distinctly different from the other books. The Tale of the Body Thief followed the panorama of Queen of the Damned with a tight, lyrical tale. And Blood Canticle comes after the sprawling and dense Blackwood Farm with a personal song from Lestat. I feel the vitality of the book is located in its voices. Not only is Lestat speaking more candidly than ever before, he is also delivering the candid voices of others around him who delight him or torment him. Through him the warmth and life of Blackwood Farm continues to radiate even as he knows his retreat there can only be temporary. The hunting chapters, those in which he prowls the big hotels, first for a lone woman victim, second for a powerful drug dealer and pimp at a cocktail party are the most intimate chapters I've ever written with Lestat, and I heard them outloud as I wrote, carefully paring them down until the rhythm for me was near to perfect. After Lestat takes the lone woman, his vision of the ice cubes in the glass, of the window as he breaks it to exit the hotel -- these things are in a temporary rapture. At the pimp's party, he is an outsider, feasting on the tragic ironies of the spectacle until it climaxes for him as he leaves the hotel altogether and sees the happy unconcerned mortals on the sidewalks. These chapters reminded me personally of many others in my earlier books, but in none did I get so close to Lestat except perhaps in one in The Vampire Lestat where he begins with "I dreamed the dream of Family." If I ever read aloud from this book again (I did read fragments on tour), it will be from these chapters. The music of the book was key for me throughout however. In another message I'll have more to say about the overall theme of redemption in Blood Canticle and in the Vampire Chronicles. Thanks and love, Anne Rice."