"Fangs - only very occasionally - & very subtle..."Anne Rice. Manuscript Diary for Feast of All Saints, With Thoughts on the Success of Interview With the Vampire - Signed Twice. Personal diary written in Paris, London, New York City, and Los Angeles: April 15-June 15, 1977.
Square octavo-sized journal measuring approximately 8.75 x 6.75 inches. Signed by Anne Rice twice: once on the front free endpaper, and again on the verso, above her Berkeley address. Unpaginated, but with 110 lined pages containing Rice's neat, legible hand-written diary entries (70 pages are left blank).
A French-manufactured commercially-sold personal journal bound in full red cloth. Housed in a custom red cloth chemise and full gilt-stamped red morocco book-backed slipcase. Fine condition.
This diary was kept by Anne Rice as she and her husband, Stan, visited Paris, London, and New York City in the spring of 1977. Much of Rice's time in Paris was spent doing research for her second book, The Feast of All Saints, which she was in the midst of outlining (her hugely successful debut novel, Interview With the Vampire, had been published the previous year).
Aside from entries on meals and visits to historical sights, the diary contains musings on two main topics: possible plotlines for her upcoming novel, and the misgivings she feels about her relationship with her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf.
Rice spends a considerable amount of time struggling with the back-stories of and the relationship between two pivotal characters, Juliet and Christophe (referred to throughout as "Chris"). In one lengthy passage she writes: "A mad idea just occurred to me. [...T]he idea that Juliet has found him in Haiti - that he is not her child." A few sentences later she writes in underlined words: "This can be one of the most significant moments in the book." Yet just a few paragraphs later she writes: "No - none of this is right. [...] SCRAP ALL OF THIS." The diary is full of this sort of spontaneous back-and-forth brainstorming which offers the reader a fascinating insight into Anne Rice's creative process.
Rice also writes about her new wealth and celebrity. Interview With the Vampire had been a huge success in the United States, and the European editions were becoming popular as well. Even though Paris scenes were featured in Interview With the Vampire, she wrote those scenes never having visited the city. In one entry, dated April 16, she writes almost giddily:
"Well, here I am at last. On the corner where Louis & Claudia lived, in the Café de la Paix adjacent to - part of the Grand Hotel which I described as their Paris home base. It was thrilling to walk up the Avenue d'Opéra. (Louis walks down the street to the Louvre - meets Armand - at the end -). But an added & unexpected thrill was to stop into Brentano's English language bookstore and discover the gleaming gold Knopf edition of Interview with the Vampire - rather nicely displayed on a high shelf.... The book, right here in the street where Louis walked!"
Throughout the diary Rice returns time and time again to the ongoing professional and personal difficulties she is having with Knopf, her publisher. She wrestles with herself about whether she should address her concerns with her editors directly, or whether she should just let them go and hope things will eventually improve. She writes of having felt slighted and marginalized in the editing and marketing of Interview With the Vampire. As an example, while in London, she writes that she has learned for the first time that Interview had been a British bestseller: "[...] that I had to learn from a salesgirl in Foyle's that it made the bestseller list for a few weeks - this is disturbing." The profound frustration and nagging dread she seems to feel in regard to Knopf is a continuing theme throughout this journal.
At the end of the diary, after promotional business in New York, Rice is en route to Los Angeles where she is to meet with Paramount Pictures about a possible adaptation of Interview into a film (a film which would not actually be made for another seventeen years!). She writes on June 15: "If called upon, I'll stress what I feel is important: That the film be genuinely frightening - that it have an eerie & horrifying mood to it that is absolutely absorbing. That it be sensuous & beautiful - people have obviously [been] affected by the writing - they find it sensual, not merely erotic - so this should translate. That the characters be able to horrify & elicit sympathy - It can not be a one dimensional picture of evil. [...] Fangs - only very occasionally -- & very subtle."
This fascinating and entertaining personal diary written by one of the modern era's most popular authors, allows the rare opportunity to observe a writer's creative process as she systematically develops characters and plot. This unique diary - the only significant Anne Rice manuscript to be offered at auction - is full of wonderful unpublished content and would be a welcome and prized addition to any collection.
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