we are presently in Chicago and our two signings, one in Detroit and one here, have been long, exciting and extremely emotionally rewarding for me. The big, gold bus carries us through miles of cornfields and then into the crowded, energized and always exciting streets of Chicago, a city of indefinable spirit. Again and again people embrace the theological questions of "Memnoch" and "The Servant of the Bones." More and more, readers volunteer that they are Jewish or Catholic, or have a passionate spiritual obsession with living a worthwhile life. They seem to "get" just what I want them to get while finding the books page-turners.
As far as I can tell, "The Servant of the Bones" is being devoured. "Memnoch the Devil" is mentioned the most by people I meet, and it seems a countless number of young people enjoyed "The Mummy." That's what I hear out here. It's thrilling more than exhausting. On the bus, I can wallow in Antonio Banderas movies -- males are my muses, no doubt about it.
I can't answer the questions people ask me about why my novels sell. I only feel the delicious heat of approval, and am always "writing" new novels in my head. My stuff's weird, unpredictable, full of career sabotage in a way, in that I keep experimenting, shifting direction, mixing menstrual blood with Holy Communion. The readers say "Go, Anne." And that's my ticket to a new departure, a new investigation into the erotic.
I don't give a damn about gender. Surely President Clinton will come around on same-sex marriages. Gender today is entirely a legal choice. Regarding the Democratic Convention, which is adding tremendous excitement to Chicago, naturally, isn't it a mystery how the press heats up on Bill and Hillary? And they take it with such grace. Perhaps, unlike other First Families, the Clintons really do care more about us than they care about the press. Maybe that's their most potent gift -- they respect the press but are never manipulated or demoralized by it. Bill and Hillary care about what must surely be the most creative challenge of their lifetime. It's breathtaking to watch them stride calmly through the brickbats and lies.
August 26, 1996, 3:15 a.m.