This just added: Beliefnet has a discussion group about Anne Rice.
Recently I read Anne Rice’s new memoir, I reviewed it on this blog (part one, part two), and Beliefnet found a way for us to get in contact with Anne to interview her for this blog. Her memoir is called Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession
Here is the second set of questions I asked Anne:
The tell-tale sign of conversion is the re-working or re-imagining of one’s autobiography, or one’s personal story. You have all the marks of conversion – in fact, you have re-shaped your understanding of what your novels were ultimately seeking even though you admit you might not have known such things when you were writing them. Now my question: Why do you say your conversion is not being “born again”? Isn’t a theme of your rediscovery of your faith a new lease on life or a new life for you?
think that my return in 1998 was too unemotional to be called a “born
again” experience, though in 2002, when I decided to write only for
Christ, that was an intense emotional moment and a “born again” moment.
I was certainly born again at that time as a Christian writer, and
only now some 6 years later am I realizing that I am born again to an
entirely new literary world. Not only does my writing emcompass the
Christ the Lord series, of the utmost importance; but I am also writing
Songs of the Seraphim, a series of metaphysical thrillers about angels
and their activity with humans on Earth. I see a whole spectrum of
Christian novel possibilities before me: Christmas novels, novels about
the early Christians, and other possibilities yet unimagined. —- I
am born again. There seems no doubt of it. The change after 2002 was
total and pervasive and dramatic. Before that time, though I was going
to church, I was learning more and more every week about my religion
and what it was asking of me. I was in an interim stage. I’d
returned, yes, but I did not know yet what Christ was asking of me
personally, and that came to be that I write for Him, and also that I
seek to understand His Gospels much more deeply and completely than
ever before, and that I seek to live by them.
What are the day-to-day differences in your life now that you are writing exclusively for God?
I am writing for the Lord are that I am consumed only with research and
other fiction that will be of help to me with this vocation. I simply
give no time to other themes. —- I consecrate each day to Christ, I
try to remind myself to love each and every person I encounter, to hurt
no one, to embrace all, and to use my imagination for novels which
will reflect and even put forth my Christian principles and beliefs.
—- The Christ the Lord series has demanded intense and sustained
leather bound bible everywhere, reading books in it over and over
again, and seeking to really learn how the Old Testament and the New
Testament connect. —- And in Songs of the Seraphim I am facing the
challenge of making “an entertainment series” completely and wholly
Christian. I’m using adventure, suspense, storytelling, historical
settings of different periods, all in shaping books that are
nevertheless completely dedicated to Christ and in their own way about
living for Christ. My hero, Toby O’Dare, has his own consecration and
it is part of the books. Right now I have a secret subtitle for them,
name of the series. The first, Angel Time, will be published in
October of 2009. —— VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE ANSWER: Another
important point about day to day life: to love one’s enemies, to really
put this into practice, I think, does turn one’s life around. One
cannot be careless and unpleasant in speech; one can’t hate competitors
or reviewers; one can’t flash in anger as those around one. One truly
has to live for Christ and seek to implement what He said in the Sermon
on the Mount. It is a discipline but a lovely one, and a beautiful
Kingdom of God to Earth. I think Jesus gave us the blue print for the
Kingdom of Heaven on earth in the Gospel of Matthew.