The Gathering

April 17, 2007 at 1:04 PM | Posted in Books, Fandom, Lifestyle | Leave a comment

 

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I went to Fandom Cafe last Saturday (April 14) to meet some new friends from online. I’ve never been to Fandom Cafe since it’s a fairly new cafe so I had difficulty finding the place. Thankfully I found it after some minutes of searching. The meeting was actually an informal gathering (an eyeball of sorts) of friends from an online community devoted to Anne Rice. Yes, these friends of mine and I love the books of Anne Rice and we have our own little group called Anne Rice Philippines. It’s actually a newly formed, Manila-based group that’s barely a year old. I found out about them through the New Worlds Alliance website, of which I am an old member. The New Worlds Alliance is a large community of science fiction and fantasy fans in the Philippines. We organize the Sci Fi and Fantasy Convention every year. I learned from the website that ARP just joined NWA. And being an Anne Rice fan for years, I signed up with the group.

So there I was in the cafe, meeting for the first time these people who are also avid fans of Anne Rice. They are a bunch of warm and friendly people. Unfortunately, not all members were able to come. There were just seven of us who came. But it was all right. We really had a great time talking about Anne Rice and her books. We also watched a BBC documentary on Anne (there is a viewing room in the cafe) and how her life was before she became famous after writing Interview with the Vampire.

 

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Watching the documentary, I was really surprised that her childhood home in New Orleans was exactly the same house described so accurately in her book, The Witching Hour. The screened porch where Dierdre Mayfair used to sit as described in the book was there. Even the Garden District neighborhood resembled exactly with the book description.

I’ve learned new things from the documentary. For one, I didn’t know that Anne could be such a romantic. According to her, she fell in love at first sight with Stan Rice (now her husband) and that they used to exchange “hot, romantic letters” with each other when Anne was in California while Stan was in New Orleans. The documentary even showed a photo of Anne’s daughter, Michelle who died while she was only five. Michelle had long, blond curly hair and was the exact replica of Claudia, the vampire child in Interview with the Vampire.

I really had fun during The Gathering. It’s actually the fourth Gathering of ARP but it was my first to attend. And I plan to attend more gatherings.

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