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Anne Rice : This is Anne, and I'm here and ready to begin./Moderateur metrofrance : Welcome to Anne Rice and to the metronautes. The chat can start.
Anne Rice : I'm ready. Glad to be with you./Julz : Hi Anne Rice. was "Entretien avec un vampire your first book" ? How did the idea of writing come to you and why on that type of subject ?
Anne Rice : Yes, Interview with the Vampire was indeed my first book. It started as a whim.
Anne Rice : I thought what would it be like to interview a vampire and have him tell you all his secrets, explain his power, and explain his perspective as an immortal.
Anne Rice : So I started writing. First there was a short story. Then I re-wrote that short story.
Anne Rice : And on the third or fourth go round, the story began to grow into the novel. Suddenly the characters had names.
Anne Rice : They were doing all kinds of things.
Anne Rice : What had happened was: I had moved through the doorway of fantasy into my reality, and could now discuss all the things that interested me: grief, pain, the question of good and evil, fear of death. That's the story./Maureen : When you were a child, did you already like gothic atmosphere ?
Anne Rice : Yes, I did like gothic atmosphere, but perhaps did not know how to express it in that way. But I craved it.
Anne Rice : I had seen a 1934 black and white film called Dracula's Daughter and thought it spellbinding.
Anne Rice : The atmosphere of the film had much to do with it, a very foggy and dark London, a tortured Countess who wanted to overcome her vampire nature.
Anne Rice : I was quite smitten, yes. I never forgot the film. And when I grew up and began to write, I wanted to evoke that mystery and atmosphere./Lolsdaka from Paris : Hi Anne ! I'm a musician and therefore I'm interested in your creative process, do you listen to music when you write a book ? if so, what kind of music ? Which artists ? Thx !
Anne Rice : I cannot listen to music while writing, because I must hear the rhythm of my sentences and my paragraphs. I murmur aloud as I write, and words have a sensuous rhythmic feel to me.
Anne Rice : Music inspires me before and after writing. If I am exhausted and need to dream I will listen to many different kinds of music.
Anne Rice : I love violin music, especially that of Beethoven, Brahms, and Bartok.
Anne Rice : I love opera, especially that of Puccini, Verdi, and Bizet. Bizet's Carmen in one of my favorite operas.
Anne Rice : This music revitalizes me. When I am deep into a book, I will break off and watch the film, Amadeus, to be immersed in all things relating to Mozart. But never while actually writing. Then I must have quiet./Cath : Did you work on the cinema adaptation of your first book ?
Anne Rice : I did the script for Interview with the Vampire. And I will always be grateful to producer David Geffen for inviting me to do the script.
Anne Rice : The director, Neil Jordan re-wrote the script. And I did not work on the film after that. /Angellore : Hello Anne you are my favorite author. I would like to know what are the authors that inflenced you for writing the vampire chronicles ?
Anne Rice : In writing the Vampire Chronicles, I was undoubtedly influenced more by European writers than by American writers.
Anne Rice : The writers who nourished me were Jean Paul Satre, Albert Camus, Gustave Flaubert most certainly.
Anne Rice : I was also profoundly influenced by the Bronte sisters, particularly Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, though I came to love Wuthering Heights as well.
Anne Rice : I was also influenced by the Russians, by the divine excess and unbounded exploration of Tolstoy and Doestoevsky.
Anne Rice : But American authors did influence me as well, especially Ernest Hemingway.
Anne Rice : I think I am a European-American writer. I have little in common with contemporary American writers./Ary : How do you explain the fact your books inspire musicians ?
Anne Rice : I'm honored that my books inspire musicians, and I'm not sure why that is the case.
Anne Rice : Certainly I strive to create heroic characters who will have immense emotional impact, but I think the appeal for musicians has something to do with the atmosphere and mood of the books, the fact that they have something in common with opera. I can only guess./Karena : What is your conception of God ?
Anne Rice : God is all knowing, all loving and all merciful. God knows the answers we cannot know.
Anne Rice : The universe speaks to me of God, of His infinite love.
Anne Rice : And when faced with the horrors of war and injustice in the world, the terrible defeats of the Twentieth Century, I trust in God that He knows why these things happened.
Anne Rice : No amount of trust in God relieves us of our moral obligation to fight evil in all forms.
Anne Rice : I sometimes think that my faith and ethics are utopian./Justine : I am fascinated by angels and vampires but I don't have the least imagination. Where do you find your inspiration ?
Anne Rice : No one knows really where an author gets inspiration.
Anne Rice : We can talk around the subject, but we don't know. I wake up making stories in my head.
Anne Rice : As I read the New York Times, stories come to my mind regarding what I am reading. I think in plots. I respond to narratives in art. Why? Who can say?
Anne Rice : It's like a chemical in the brain. I cannot stop making stories. I daydream heavily. I talk to myself as I walk around the house. I am always in a drama in my head./Justine : What advice would you give to a your writer ?
Anne Rice : Young writers must first and foremost write. They must become writers through writing. They must never be discouraged if they don't write.
Anne Rice : If you stop, start again. Begin again. Save all that you write. Cherish your own original voice.
Anne Rice : At first you will feel influences and see influences in your work, but forge ahead. Trust your voice.
Anne Rice : The world is crying for original voices, yet when a writer is just starting, he or she is often punished for originality. People will say, "Well, we read your story but we don't know what it is or what it means." Just go ahead, do not be discouraged.
Anne Rice : Don't change on the basis of criticism. If people do not understand you, find other people. Remember it is easy to be a critic. Anyone can do it. But writing is priceless.
Anne Rice : Keep going. It takes nerve and stubbornness to be a writer. You must say to yourself. "I am a writer." It does not matter how much people ridicule you or discourage you.
Anne Rice : Remember the world needs new writers. If you do not write the classics of tomorrow, who will do it?/Garel : Did you like the adaptation of "Interview with vampire" ? What did you think about it ?
Anne Rice : I liked the adaptation of Interview with the Vampire very much. I'd written the script, and I was swept off my feet by the finished film.
Anne Rice : I could not quite believe that they had been so very faithful to the book, and I thought the film was visually arresting and beautiful.
Anne Rice : I was moved so much by the film that I almost had to be carried out of the first screening. I burst into tears and could not stop crying. I was there when Claudia died in that film, I was there with her.
Anne Rice : I found it overwhelming. I have not watched the film in years. It is too overpowering. I did not expect this. I am grateful.
Anne Rice : Years have passed and yet the film has never been outdone or equalled in its "genre." /Popup : You are the author the most read in the world. How do you explain that ? Do you think people need to travel in fantastic and bloody worlds ?
Anne Rice : I'm don't know why I am so widely read, except that perhaps I am a European and American writer, and therefore my voice does strike a chord in other places in the world.
Anne Rice : I'm not certain. I do think that people enjoy immeasurably traveling in bloody and fantastic realms. Fantasy allows us to examine our deepest emotions and fears, and it provides a safe place, a book or film, in which we can do this.
Anne Rice : We need this safe place in which to examine the darkest secrets of our nature. As for the blood, I know that almost all great literature is bloody.
Anne Rice : We are obsessed with death, and we are surrounded by death and violence, and it is always penetrating our fantasies, our novels, our stories, our poetry, our films, our operas. What matters is how we explore violence and death. Blood can mean many things.
Anne Rice : Blood can be redemptive, Eucharistic, or a symbol of dreadful suffering and destruction. We need to explore all this. We are creatures of flesh and blood, body and soul, brain and heart./Boboune : How would you define your readers ?
Anne Rice : It is impossible to define my readers.
Anne Rice : The audience includes all kinds of people, men, women, young kids, older people. There are many different audiences.
Anne Rice : I find that this audience for my books agrees on nothing. There are those who think the Mayfair Witch stories are the best that I have done.
Anne Rice : There are those who think the Vampire Chronicles are the best.
Anne Rice : I have a whole new audience for my new books, Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana. And also for Angel Time. If there is any consistent thread in my audience it is this: they respond to the characters I've created. They come to love them. I'm grateful.
Anne Rice : But it is impossible to describe this audience. Some are filled with anger; some are very insightful and interesting and give me wonderful feedback; some are funloving; others are deadly serious. I love it. /Fantasy.fr : Hello Anne, thanks a lot for this chat. What do you think of the explosion of the vampire stories ?
Anne Rice : I'm not at all surprised by the explosion of Vampire Stories. The concept of the Vampire is packed with meaning: here you have a human who is also immortal, a monster who can love his victims, a potentially tragic figure who is dependent on life yet cut off from it. All that is in the original concept.
Anne Rice : So it is no surprise that a variety of authors can unpack that concept with new and varying stories.
Anne Rice : We will see more new vampire literature, and probably some involvement of the vampire in opera as well. It all gets back to that tragic dimension of the vampire: that he is human and inhuman, that he is one of us, and yet he is an outcast, that he is a metaphor for the outsider in each of us. /Irène : Do you prefer angels or vampires ?
Anne Rice : Now, I prefer angels, overwhelmingly so. I love angels. I have never been satisfied by any book or film about angels, and want to do my own angels.
Anne Rice : Angels and vampires have a lot in common. They are supernatural characters, and they appear human. Yet vampires are tragically limited, whereas angels are an unlimited mystery.
Anne Rice : I am challenged to create interesting angels in my novel Angel Time. In the sequel to the novel, there will be a new angel along side of Malchiah, and the challenge is to make these angels truly celestial and yet have them be understandable to my readers./Lola : What is the story of your new book ?
Anne Rice : Are you referring to Angel Time? Angel Time is about a murderous young man, Toby O'Dare, who damns himself in a near suicidal choice to become an assassin. He loses his soul to this. But after ten years, he is approached by an angel who says to him, "Why don't you stop? Why don't you work for me and do good instead of evil?" That is it./Sorcière : The title of your book is very strange, as if there were an time for the angels to come. Do you believe there is a time in life when angels or vampires come ? Is it childhood or oldness ?
Anne Rice : Very good question! I do think the title cuts different ways. And yes, on one level it means it is time for an angel to come to Toby, it's time for Anne Rice to write about angels, it's time to listen to what the angels have been telling us all along.
Anne Rice : It means all those things. But in the novel, Angel Time refers to the way in which the angels see our earth, a way in which they can see everything happening simultaneously. They can pick up Toby from the Twenty-First century and move him to the Thirteenth Century to do good there.
Anne Rice : This is my response to our theological speculation about the way time looks to Heaven, the thought that from Heavenly perspective everything is happening at once. We are victims of linear time, but God and the Angels see it much differently./Fantasy.fr : Do you remember your first encounter with Fantasy ? (a book, a movie, a comic book...)
Anne Rice : My first encounters with fantasy were in films. The first film I remember seeing was Hamlet with Lawrence Olivier, and I remember the ghost scene, and my mother explaining it to me. I loved it.
Anne Rice : Then of course I saw Dracula's Daughter, and loved this too.
Anne Rice : Other films followed. Tales of Hoffman was a crucial film for me, full of fantasy and symbolism and beauty.
Anne Rice : I certainly encountered more fantasy in film than in books. But I began to read Greek myths early on, and their humanistic qualities appeared to me. I did not like the magic of Norse myths./Lyris13 : Hi Anne Rice. Are satisfied you of the cinematographiques adaptations of your books? How was perceived your book Christ the Lord with the Christians?
Anne Rice : I loved the film adaptation of Interview with the Vampire, and also the mini-series adaptation of The Feast of All Saints. But the others not at all.
Anne Rice : As for Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana, they have been embraced by Catholics and by many Protestants as well. But theirs was not always an easy road. Writing about Jesus invites skepticism and sometimes outrage.
Anne Rice : However the books were accepted. I long to see them made into films. I would love it if Johnny Depp played the mature Jesus in the second book. Someday we will see a film from this, I hope. The second book, The Road to Cana, was the best novel I was ever able to write. But it is a highly unusual novel, and it will take time for my readers to absorb it. They are opening to it all the time./Fantastic : Dear Anne Rice, I am a fan of your books since I'm 12 years old. I have someti!ng to ask you : what would you have done if you had not been a writer
Anne Rice : I would have been a lawyer. It is the only "other" thing I was ever tempted to do.
Anne Rice : But faith in my writing career kept me from it. However I love the law, and the concept of being a great lawyer, and I did think long and hard about this. I have something of a legal mind. I actually love to read legal contracts./Florence : What di you think about Twilight ?
Anne Rice : I have seen the two Twilight movies, and I thought they were "vampires for young kids." I enjoyed them.
Anne Rice : The movies have much to do with the old romantic formula used by the Bronte sisters in their novels: a young girl falls in love with an older mysterious figure who is both protective and a menace. She tames this figure with her love. In other words I see an ingenious use of tried and true romance./gilles : In your novel you talk about a Jewish family in the middle Age. Have you done research about Jewish situation during the plague ?
Anne Rice : Yes, I have done a lot of research on Jewish history, and am fascinated with the journey of the Jews through the world from ancient times to the present.
Anne Rice : I have read about the terrible persecutions of Jews during the plague years. It is tragic./Kiki : Do you believe in a life after death ?
Anne Rice : Yes, I believe in life after death. My mind tells me that we will survive death. My faith in God encourages this belief, and also I have been very impressed by the many accounts of Near Death Experiences where people describe being on the verge of death and seeing a bright light, a loving being, deceased loved ones, and a beautiful paradisal places where souls meet the souls of those who have gone on. These accounts encourage me to believe in life after death./florette : have you ever seen an angels?
Anne Rice : No, I have never seen an angel. I have never seen a ghost. I have never had any supernatural experience of any kind whatsoever./Rodolphe Paris : Hi, i really liked the book and the adaptation of interview with a vampire. The queen of the damned was one of my favorite stories that you wrote but the movie was a complet failure for me. I saw on some chats that some other adaptations of your books are planed. My questions are: Are you gonna work on the screenplay (Please do)? And what was your reaction when you saw the movie The queen of the damned?
Anne Rice : I was very disappointed and confused when I saw Queen of the Damned. What hurt more than anything was that they destroyed the original story of Lestat.
Anne Rice : Why they took out his original story and wrote a cliched story of their own, I do not know. I think they had good intentions, but it all went wrong. Perhaps if they had trusted the readers more, or respected the readers more they would not have made such a poor film.
Anne Rice : Certainly the readers were very disappointed. And it is very sad that some of them blame me. I could not stop the film from being made. I tried, but in vain. I begged them not to do it. But they had the rights by contract and they went ahead. When I asked to write a screenplay for them about Lestat, they said they did not want me. They said, "You are too big for us, Anne." They explained they wanted someone who would listen to them and write what they wanted.
Anne Rice : It was all very painful. Now when it comes to a new movie, I will probably not write the screenplay. But I do think we have a better chance that a new movie will be faithful.
Anne Rice : After all, Interview with the Vampire, which was faithful was an international success. Queen of the Damned was a flop. People have learned from this./Lyris13 : Have you a kind of rite when you write? For example, you oblige you to write during a certain number of hours every day?Have you a plan) to write or does it come to you naturally?
Anne Rice : I can approach novels in a variety of different ways, depending on what is going on in my life.
Anne Rice : For the Christ the Lord novels, I wrote all night and slept all day.
Anne Rice : I had to do this to escape all distractions. Other novels evolve over a longer period and involve writing for some time in the morning and some in the afternoon.
Anne Rice : I have had to be flexible. Ideally, I prepare for years, with research, notes, thinking, meditating. Then when I plunge into the writing, I write every day for about two months until the job is done.
Anne Rice : But there are exceptions. I am always changing. Sometimes I outline. Sometimes I write to discover the novel in the writing. I can force myself to write, and it works well. You begin cold, and you work until you become hot.
Anne Rice : There are no rules. And I have found that thinking about a novel while writing it, taking time to think, is important as well./Fantasy.fr : Are you agree if I said that sex has a more and more importante place in your books than the first ones ?
Anne Rice : Sex was very important to me from the beginning, and one can see this in Cry to Heaven, my third novel, most markedly. My interest in the redemptive nature of sex peaked in the 1980's when I wrote erotic books as well as novels. As I got older, sex became less important. It was always only one thing that I explored.
Anne Rice : No, I am not sure it became more important as time went on. I don't know./Julie : Hello! Do you plan on writing other vampire chronicles stories or are you done with this universe?
Anne Rice : I finished the Vampire Chronicles in 2003 with the publication of Blood Canticle. I have no more stories to tell with Lestat and his friends. I think I explored all the metaphors and meanings and stories thoroughly in about twelve books which I wrote with vampire characters.
Anne Rice : Some times, people do not understand why I stopped. I did not renounce the vampires. I finished what I had to say. The imaginative realm in which the vampires lived was a limited one; this was the source of good creative tension, but eventually I had reached those limits and could not push this world to include any new material.
Anne Rice : I had to stop, to move on, to seek greater possibilities. With Toby O'Dare, my new hero I am reborn to a world of possibility and pain that can be explored in fertile and inventive ways. I need this. I cannot go back to Lestat./Aurélie : Dear Anne, some of your books became movies. If one day "Angel Time" become one, who would you like to see in it ? and wich director ? (I also want you to know that I've grown up with your books, they helped me to become who I'am. So thank you for every emotion you made me feel... I hope one day you'll make a signing, here in Paris, so I could realise the dream of my life !)
Anne Rice : Thank you for your generous comments and I would love to do a signing in Paris. I love Paris with all my heart. My husband, Stan, wanted us to have an apartment in Paris, and I am sorry we were unable to ever do this. The last time I was in Paris, I stayed at the Ritz in the Hemingway suite. It was a pilgrimage.
Anne Rice : But to get to the question of Angel Time. I think it could be a stunning film, all right, with a handsome protagonist like the American actor Matt Bomer, who is presently starring in the series White Collar on TV. But there are many young actors who could play Toby. Matt Damon would be wonderful. As for Malchiah, the angel, I would welcome an unworldly actor, like Orlando Bloom to play that part.
Anne Rice : As for directors, there are so many that I love. Joe Wright is a marvelous director. Tony Gilroy is great. There are many. Ridley Scott is my all time favorite director, and I would faint from joy if he ever did any of my books.
Anne Rice : Angel Time might become a television series. I'm not sure. But I do hope it comes to film one way or another. We have so much talent in the world right now./florette : dear Anne, thanks to your works vampires were famous everywhere. do you think you are going to launch a new trend with the angels ?
Anne Rice : I do hope that my angels can make their mark.
Anne Rice : I hope that I can develop them from book to book, and attack the complex questions that surround angels. I certainly love them as much as I ever loved the vampires.
Anne Rice : But who knows? Both concepts, the vampire, and the angel, are incredibly rich. I am driven to do with angels what I have never seen done by other authors. That is a healthy drive for a writer: to write the books you cannot find anywhere. To make the stories you long for, but have never found./Lyris13 : Would you have liked you being a vampire ? Or an angel ?
Anne Rice : of course, I would rather be an angel than a vampire. I fear that if I were offered the "dark blood" to become a vampire, I might accept. To live "forever," to know what is going to happen as the century continues, all this is highly seductive. But vampires are imaginary creatures.
Anne Rice : Now I do believe in angels completely, but I do not think we ever become angels. We may become more like them after death, but we don't become them. They have their own marvelous story, and that story is a delicious mystery to me.
Anne Rice : Why does God not offer the bad angels redemption? Why do the good angels never stray? What do angels feel when they weep, given what they know? What do angels think about as they go and come? All this is incredibly enticing. Yes, of course I would become an angel if invited. Who would not? /Emmab : Your new book, based on Angels will be a saga, like vampires or witches ?
Anne Rice : Yes, Angel Time is the first of a long series. I have already written the second one, The Dybbuk, which will come out this November in America.
Anne Rice : I am working on the third book. Toby seems doomed to travel a lot in earlier times doing good for people and struggling also with his own story in the Twenty-First century.
Anne Rice : I have never really planned a series like this before. The earlier books I did evolved into series, but were never planned. Here I am working with story threads that will unfold over many books. It is a delicious project.
Anne Rice : I am dreaming of many many books for Toby O'Dare and a larger cast of angels./Moderateur metrofrance : And a last question.
Fantasy.fr : What are your (next) projects ?
Anne Rice : Yes. Well, my next projects will be books about Toby O'Dare and the angels for some time.
Anne Rice : However, some other large historical novels have been taking shape in my mind.
Anne Rice : As always I am interested in outsiders, outcasts, the alienated ones, who roam the margins of our world, gazing on it with a unique perspective. I think the framework of the Songs of the Seraphim is a flexible one for me to do what I want for many years. /Moderateur metrofrance : The chat will have to end. Do you have something to add, Anne Rice ? An aspect that was not evoked ?
Anne Rice : Let me say that it was a delight to do this. I thank you for the invitation and it was a joy to receive your questions. I think that the internet is bringing us all together in profound and new ways, and it is happening so fast that we cannot fully evaluate how wonderful it is. I invite everyone to my Facebook page and my website. God bless you and keep you. /
Moderateur metrofrance : Thanks very much to Anne Rice and the metronautes. The chat is finished.