Friday, October 20, 2017

What unleashes creativity?

What unleashes creativity in me is deep surrender to my story and my characters. I have to get into the novel with them. This means I have to open myself to my subconscious, and to the very act of ongoing imagining.

It's no secret that characters do indeed come to life on the page. Our obligations as writers is to let that happen.

When I read novels, I note that an author's prose often becomes especially vivid when a particular character is on scene. It's as if that personality is so powerful for the author that the whole vision intensifies. Would that it were that way with every character.

Novels for me always involve stretches of work that are less interesting and less fun than others. I expect this. I'm seeking to build an entire world after all, the realm in which my characters live very full lives. My vampires have their favorite cities, music, films, and they struggle in individual ways with being Children of the Night, with the need to drink blood which has become for them the supreme erotic act as well as the act essential to survival. I have to surrender to the less exciting moments as well as the white hot moments.

And surrendering is a discipline. Because the conscious mind is always ready to intrude, and the conscious mind is used to feeling very important. I tell the conscious mind to go to Hell and I keep on driving the Devil's Road with Lestat, or Louis, or Armand at the wheel.

-- Anne Rice

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A victory for Amazon and authors

Folks, I'm happy to share that Amazon has indeed ended its Amazon Discussion Forums, including the Top Reviewers Forum which was a gathering place for pernicious bullies who delighted in trying to hurt young writers, usually indie writers, in the hopes of destroying their dreams and their careers.

I suspect some of these predatory people will now migrate to Goodreads to continue their vicious and destructive behavior, that is, if they have not already been banned there.

Remember, when you see this people at work on Goodreads you can report them. Amazon respects its customers. --- Both Amazon and Goodreads are beautiful ideas; and certainly Amazon has worked a huge revolution in the book business benefiting writers young and old, and book lovers galore. ---- But there were parasites on the site, gaming the system to persecute targeted authors for petty and often stupid reasons, and the system was not efficient at handling this miscreants. 

This certainly did not benefit customers who deserve to have some faith in the reviews they read of everything from a pair of shoes to a volume of poetry. And now at least we can heave a sigh of relief that the Top Reviewers Forum where these bullies gathered --- identified targets and whipped up internet lynch mobs --- is gone. 

I will miss the good discussions I enjoyed in the Forums, especially the Christianity Forum. But when a system is not regulated or policed in a consistent way, abuse is inevitable. Why Amazon took down the Discussion Forums, I don't know. It was always a case of the majority of posters being good people, and respecters of the system and only a minority obsessed with exploiting the Discussions for hate. 

Well, it's all gone. I'm glad, must confess, and any friends I knew there can easily email me if there's a desire to get in touch.

~ Anne Rice

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I learned to write...

I learned to write by reading, by listening, by listening to radio programs like Lux Radio Theater when I was a kid, by becoming absorbed in other people's stories, and by following my instincts. That is how most people learn to write, I think --- pretty much the way we learned to talk when we were toddlers.

And yes, I do believe that there is much about writing that can be taught. You can't teach talent, no. But you can teach and learn craft to some extent, as long as you remember that no set of rules applies equally to all writers.

Writing is the most individual of the arts. Anybody can become a writer. There is no communal apprenticeship; there is no official training; there is no set piece of indispensable equipment. It's the most democratic of artistic endeavors. And for that reason the competition will always be stiff and the odds of achieving success daunting; but anyone can make it to the top at any time. And often unknowns come out of nowhere with fresh and innovative books achieving instant success.

I love being a writer. And it is the only thing I've ever done with any measure of success.

-- Anne Rice

Monday, October 16, 2017

Great discipline

It takes great discipline to be a writer—but there are many kinds of discipline.

I am an obsessive, driven person who might not write for six months and then plunge into a novel and not stop writing for two months, at which point a finished novel lies printed out on the table. That's my kind of discipline.

For another, it might be writing every day, rain or shine, back pain or no back pain, accumulating the novel over a year of such steady work.

For yet another there might be research, planning, and a commitment to so many pages on a weekday with weekends off.

The point is... there has to be some kind of discipline to produce the work—and the more flexible one can be about the discipline, the better it is.

I've heard a male writer complain that when he took a year off his job to write, he didn't get anything done. He couldn't handle the open-ended free time. A female writer, on the other hand, used to juggling housework, child rearing, and recreation when she can squeeze it in, might find it easier to get a novel done in bits and pieces and at all hours.

~ Anne Rice

My thoughts: There really is no excuse for us to not write in whatever life we are in.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Dread Central: The Vampire Chronicles Series Lands at The CW; Justin Bieber Being Eyed for Lestat

Posted on April 1, 2017 by Debi Moore at

In what's being described as one of the biggest bloodbaths in TV history, The CW has emerged victorious in the battle to land the hot property "The Vampire Chronicles," an adaptation of Anne Rice's much-loved novels centered around the vampire known as Lestat. And some of their plans are sure to ruffle a few feathers…

Looking to fill the void left by the recently concluded "The Vampire Diaries," the network outmuscled and outbid the much higher profile HBO, Netflix, and Amazon and expects to put the project in pre-production by the end of this summer.

While Rice and her fans were no doubt hoping for an outlet that would allow the graphic violence and nudity contained in the source material, The CW is considering an approach similar to what AMC has done with Negan and his f-bombs on "The Walking Dead": shoot two different versions of certain scenes, one for broadcast and one for Blu-ray/VOD.

Rice is being diplomatic about the situation. "In the end," she said, "we had to trust our instincts and go with the people who had the most enthusiasm for the series and would allow us the most artistic freedom."

Her son, Christopher, who's writing several episodes and will also be filling the showrunner role, enthused, "Just look at what The CW has done with their DC properties. Our goal is to one day have the 'Chronicles,' mom's witches, and even a mummy or two all airing on different nights with cross-overs and spectacles the likes of which TV hasn't even seen yet!"

hideous humor from Dread Central
As for who might be following in the iconic footsteps of Tom Cruise (and yes, Stuart Townsend) to portray the aforesaid Lestat, the Rices shared that they have their hearts set on none other than Justin Bieber. Before you scoff, Anne explained, "It's vital that whoever plays Lestat be not only the right age, but also able to sing and convey that 'rock star' persona. We have the utmost confidence that Justin will be able to bring the Brat Prince to life...," at which point Christopher jumped in with, "After all, who better to play a brat than a brat? Besides, he's so dreamy."

A few other names floating about are Stephen Amell as Marius; Robbie Amell as Louis, and the great Rutger Hauer, whom Anne always pictured as Lestat, instead playing his deformed, elderly creator, Magnus. And in a real shake-up, it's rumored that Lestat's friend and lover Nicolas de Lenfent, aka Nicki, is being "reimagined" as a woman with The CW said to have "The Originals" alum Danielle Campbell in mind for the part.

Stay tuned for further developments!

Anne gamely replies, "It's an April Fools joke, compliment of Dread Central!"