Anne Rice has done it again. According to a recent post on her immensely popular Facebook page, she has just finished another novel (the details, of course, a secret) and her latest “Prince Lestat” marking her return to her beloved “Vampire Chronicles” is scheduled for release October 28th, 2014.
Where does she get the energy?
While most fledgling writers struggle with that one great idea, the iconic author of over 30 novels seems to have an over-abundance of creative juices and zeal to put them all on paper as quickly as possible.
In between books, she has graciously agreed to answer some questions on how it feels to complete another novel and whether she ever thinks about slowing down.
Mrs. Rice also tackles the idea of a “stigma” on indie-publishers and whether or not she believes indie-publishing is just a novelty that will soon pass.
Here, once again, as candid as ever … Anne Rice.
1 – How does it feel to finish another novel?
I am always excited when I finish a new book, when I have a sense that it is truly complete, truly realized. There are a few days of elation and then generally a crash, an emptiness, a feeling of wanting to start writing again for the joy of writing, for the pure natural high of it. But the good feeling — another iron in the fire, another dream realized — does endure in a muted but palpable way. Every book is a challenge, a dare. And it feels great to have met the challenge.
2- Do you think you’ll ever slow down or is writing just something you have to do to remain sane?
I don’t know the answer to that. I know that right now I have more ideas than I can get to. I have books and books I see and want to write — another book about Lestat most definitely, another book in my Songs of the Seraphim series with Toby O’Dare and his angels, another Wolf Gift book about the werewolves of Nideck Point, and even a sequel to the Ramses the Damned. I also have another idea for a new book, but when I will be able to get to it, I don’t know. Why my energy level is so high now, I don’t know. I feel ageless, and I feel driven and eager to travel to feed the creative fires. If I slow down, it will because I must, I suppose, maybe due to outside factors — poor health, family problems, and also perhaps due to lack of new ideas. But right now I can’t foresee that happening.
3 – Everyday, we hear more and more about the great successes of indie-publishers. Do you believe everyone should be able to write a book and publish it, despite the lack of experience or the proper education?
It’s not a matter of believing everybody “should” be able to publish. It’s a matter of seeing today that anyone “can” publish. And I think it’s a good thing. Technically, it’s always been possible for a person to publish his or her own work. But today it’s infinitely easier than it was in the past. And I think that’s great. And who is to judge as to qualifications for self-publishing? Who is qualified to determine whether or not an author has “experience or the proper education?” I don’t know of anyone who can make such judgments. What matters in the world of writing is not your experience or your education, but what you actually produce. There are no real qualifications for being a writer that universally apply. Again, what matters is the work — what the work achieves.
4 – You have many, many aspiring writers on your popular Facebook page and have encouraged one and all to follow their passions. What was the best advice you ever received about writing?
Best advice I ever received? I think my mother’s encouragement to realize my dreams was the best support I ever got. When it comes to advice, I’m not sure. I remember different voices and different experiences at different times. I certainly got a lot of bad advice and harmful advice, and I had to fight against it tooth and nail in my head for years.
5 – Do you believe the abundance of indie-publishers will become a novelty and, one day, fade away like many novelties of the past?
I think indie publishing is here to stay but we will see the rise of entities that assist the process and thereby make it easier for many to do it. For example we have already seen professional editors offering their services to indie authors in great numbers. Soon we’ll see packagers who are there to help with editing, formatting and promotion. These will be free lancers and highly flexible people. —- We’re also likely to see firms rise that help to market the indie published book, bringing the Madison Avenue approach so to speak. Maybe we are seeing all of this. Obviously Amazon is working with indie authors to promote their work. In sum, I think indie publishing is here to say and that it is evolving. We’re witnessing a revolution and revolutions unfold over time in many stages.
6 – If you had to self-publish, what are some of the things you might do in order to market and publicize your book?
Obviously, I would promote my work on my FB page and seek to make direct contact with my readership. I’m blessed in having a readership and blessed in that I’ve always loved my readership. I am not and never have been an alienated writer. I would certainly continue to do signings whenever possible as I know my readership is made up of people who cherish autographed hardcover books. Bottom line: I’d seek to get the word out to people that I had a new book out there, that I am going out on my own, etc. Marketing and publicizing boil down to one thing: getting the word out about a new book and getting people to pay attention to it.
7 – Do you believe there’s a stigma on indie-publishers by other authors or readers in regards to the old beliefs that if a writer could “truly” write, one of the major publishers would have published their work?
That stigma is finished, over. In the old days, yes, there was that stigma. But nobody believes that now. There are too many successful and acclaimed indie authors; too many indie authors have been invited in by New York houses based on their indie success. No, there is no stigma today. I suspect every New York publisher is wide open to consider an indie author. —— When asking a question like this, I think we need to consider two things. 1) New York is always looking for talent. Always. They want to be blown away by a new writer. They want to find something great that may be the next bestseller. and 2) New York publishers publish failures of their own every season and every year. They have no illusions about that. They are well aware that just being published by a New York house doesn’t mean you will make it. So why should they have any prejudice against indie authors that says they can’t make it? In sum, New York publishers know that talent can come from anywhere, and the mode of publication does not rule out, or assure, anything.