Anne Rice's "Servant of the Bones" Diary

On the bus with the Blues Brothers


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Anne Rice
September 9, 1996 3:49PM (UTC)

what astonishes me on the road is how many people in the Midwest like my
pornography, and my most difficult and peculiar novels, "Cry to Heaven" and "The
Witching Hour."

I'm also in decent health because we are traveling by bus.
Therefore, I get elated at the signings. I truly love my readers. It's as if we're
engaged in an ongoing conversation. It's astounding to see -- out here on the
road -- that all kinds of people read for pleasure.
Nurses, doctors, servicemen, students, truckers, lawyers. It's proof that
Mario Puzo was right, that nothing takes the place of reading. People
want and
need books. They need books to carry them out of routine and to give them
unusual knowledge, or extraordinary pleasure.
From Montreal through New York, through Vermont, through Ohio and on and on,
I've seen that people crave writing. TV and films are not enough -- and never
will be -- to turn people away from the written story.

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Our biggest book signing may have been in Louisville last night. I
love it. If a signing doesn't last at least five hours, I get frightened.

Traveling in the bus lets us watch films as a group. We went through the
"Blues Brothers" between Dayton and Louisville. It was fabulous as always -- Belushi and Ackroyd being geniuses.

I miss my loud classical music. I don't want to subject the whole bus to
Beethoven's Ninth, over and over. I should stop for earphones. But I love
being with the gang -- our wonderful driver, Tony, the terrific escorts from
the publisher, my beloved guardians Ross Tafaro and Susie Quirox. It's like a
moving party.

Worse problem? Lack of sleep. But then so much is happening, I don't care.
At every signing, we see fascinating people, and the middle of the country --
seems mythic in its spaciousness and greenness. America has all this land! I
keep hearing the words "from sea to shining sea."

It was terrifically exciting to be in Chicago during the convention. I
ran ads
in the Chicago Tribune and in the New York Times to support Clinton.
Susie Q, my beloved assistant, found me a pin that says "GIVE THEM HELL,
HILLARY!" I wear it at every signing and people love it. As I've said
before,
I can't understand why people heap criticism on the Clintons. These next four
years with Clinton are crucial. I know he can and will bring health care to
all. Oh, our cynical, cynical press. It's a tabloid era.
But it's also a great time to be alive! We have a young, strong,
energetic and
optimistic couple in the White House. We have creative leadership with Bill
and Hillary.

It's great traveling miles each day, across America.
There isn't time enough for me to do all I hope to do: to create my perfume, Dark
Gift No. 1; to design the New Orleans Cafe Lestat; to write the best books I
can; to watch CNN and to pray for peace.

Soon I'll be in my room again -- locked up with what I've learned, trying to
spin the tale out, make the tapestry -- but right now it's time to gaze
at big
skies and big crowds, to look into the eyes of those who really care about
what
I write.

Why has God given this to me?

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I'll have to jet to Hollywood soon. I want to personally appeal to certain
brilliant actors and directors to make "The Vampire Lestat" or "The Witching
Hour." It's crazy to go out there again, but I love film too much to give up.

Keep the pix of Anonio Banderas coming! I won't see him on this trip.
Wouldn't dream of asking since he is busy with "Evita," but Antonio is my
muse, the model for Azriel, the epitome of the strong and gentle man. This
obsession is bordering on madness.

I'll keep you posted on our plans for the Cafe Lestat. We haven't closed the
deal on the site yet. But I have designed life-sized figures of Keats, Byron
and Shelley and, of course, Mary Shelley. I'm also hoping to find a real
carousel for the place. Imagine black-plumed horses and Baroque music -- dim,
twinkling lights, a slow pace -- I see it. There must be a red velvet swing
somewhere too. I
dream of a huge space, of figures of my characters, of exquisite music and
good
but reasonably priced food, a house wine, a Louisiana beer, and all kinds of
coffee. At night the gods can have the dance floor. In the day it would be
fun even for children. All glass and steel! All velvet, brass, and intricate
embellishment. Besides, I love to cook! Cafe Lestat will open in 1997!

Meantime back to the bus and on to another great promenade of wondrous faces
and voices. God is love. It's plain. The devil is hurt, pain, violence,
suffering.

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By the way, guys, please don't ask me anymore about a sequel to "The Mummy."
James Cameron will almost surely be making the film. And when I return in
fiction to ancient Egypt I want to delve deeper into the earliest
mysteries. I
see Pharaoh's curses, temple plots, I see illumination. I appreciate that
people like "The Mummy." But my soul's singing another song. A darker song.

I think I'll go to bed now in the arms of my imagined Azriel, because my
brilliant husband is miles away in New York and I am alone in this cozy hotel
room.

Love to all! Viva "Evita" and "Hamlet!" -- both scheduled to open on
Christmas Day! Well, I know I'll be there -- first one, then the other.
Christmas Dinner will have to be popcorn.

Love to all.



Anne Rice

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