Christopher Rice talks his new book, The Heavens Rise, and which of his characters he'd sleep with
In 2000, A Density of Souls made Christopher Rice a bestselling author at the age of 22. I devoured that novel at the age of 16, and it has been a great joy grow up alongside his career and follow his trajectory as a writer. Now with four bestselling novels to his credit, his upcoming release, The Heavens Rise, is generating a lot of excitement in the literary world and may possibly be his best yet. Set in post-Katrina New Orleans, Rice's first foray into supernatural territory has already received critical acclaim from authors Peter Straub and Charlaine Harris as well as a starred review in Publisher's Weekly. Despite all this success, Christopher remains a refreshingly down to Earth and hilarious presence (anyone who thinks writers are dull and stuffy should take a look at Rice's Facebook page). On October 16, Christopher and his mother, novelist Anne Rice, will be appearing at the Union Square Barnes and Noble as part of their nine city book tour.
Congratulations on The Heavens Rise. It's been getting some great early buzz. Convince us to buy it in five words or less.
Nicholas Sparks didn't write it.
Your mom has been an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community long before it was fashionable for celebrities to latch on to us. You guys are about to go out on tour together. Ignoring the creepy fact that many of us have fantasized about having her as our own mom, are you nervous at all about this? Is there anything that's taboo around her?
Clearly you've never disagreed with her on Facebook.
You also have a weekly live internet broadcast, The Dinner Party Show, which is hilarious. What's your goal for the show and why should people check it out?
The goal is to entertain people and make them laugh. Eric Shaw Quinn and I are contrarians. We don't say the same things other people are saying just because they're saying it. Sometimes people's jaws are on the floor when they listen to us talk politics and gay media. We call our listeners our "party people". They listen to our live shows on Sunday evenings by chatting with us on the show's Facebook page. They're all impressed that the program is both independently produced and high quality. The upside of this, we're not beholden to any parent companies or sponsors... yet. Our characters are big hits too. They do sketches Weekend Update style. I play Jordan Ampersand, a West Hollywood twink nightmare who is supposed to be our critic-at-large but is too busy getting arrested or high to review the cultural happenings we've asked him to review. He talks like a cross between Fran Drescher and an Olympic gymnast and is basically an amalgam of every guy I've ever dated. Eric plays JoNell Samms, a lovely "relationship expert" from the Deep South who has no idea she's been married to a gay man for thirty-three blissful years. She's an amalgam of every woman who tried to date him.
What do you like to do when you're in New York?
I love New York, but I'm a California boy at heart because I just love being lectured about gluten four times a day by a complete stranger. Also, we just made the official West Hollywood a mascot an emaciated 20 year-old with a bird's metabolism sharing unsolicited diet tips with people twice his age. Also, the weather here is great. Also, you were asking about New York, right? I love New York for about four days. On day five, I start to get disoriented and assume I'm in the New York I've seen in movies which is actually downtown L.A.
Important: Which fictional character would you most like to fuck?
I fuck all my own characters before giving them their own novel. It's just safer that way.
What is one last thing you'd like us to know?
I wrote all my five-star reviews on Amazon.
On October 16, Christopher and Anne Rice will be appearing at Barnes and Noble on 33 E 17th St. to sign copies of The Heavens Rise and The Wolves of Midwinter. You can listen to The Dinner Party Show at: DinnerPartyShow.com.