JONI: Anne, how lovely to hear your voice. I have been following every step of your life and your career, and it’s only gotten bigger and better. So I’m delighted welcome you to WowOwow and WowTalk Radio.
ANNE: Great. Wonderful.
JONI: And where are you right now? Where am I talking to you?
ANNE: I’m in Rancho Mirage, CA. I live here now, about three hours East of Los Angeles, and it puts me close to Christopher, my only son, who lives in West Hollywood.
ANNE: I really like it out here, it’s nice. I miss New Orleans, but still it’s nice. It’s nice to be back in California where everything works, it should work.
JONI: It’s supposed to work. You know, before we get to Angel Time, your fabulous, fabulous new novel – by the way congratulations, I hear it opened on the New York Times bestseller list at number 13 in its first week! – I want to ask you a little more about the place you call home. I know that you moved from New Orleans just a few months before Katrina. I always think of you synonymous with that city. What motivated you to leave?
ANNE: Well, it was really two things. [My husband] Stan died of a brain tumor in 2002, and Christopher had moved to the West Coast, and so I was alone in this great big house. And I realized suddenly that I could move; you know, that our way of life there sort of had come to an end. I still love being there and have lots of family, but I really thought it was time, maybe, to go back out to California. And I took a while to move. I moved to the suburbs first, and then had to close down some buildings and sell some buildings, and eventually I wound up back out here. And I had lived 30 years in California before.
ANNE: Our life in New Orleans was just incredibly elaborate, and it was wonderful for 18 years, but after Stan’s death I really didn’t want to be there anymore.
JONI: I understand. What happened to that magnificent house you had? Did it weather the storm?
ANNE: It did. All the houses that I owned down there did fine through the storm. They weren’t hurt. And I think that house is up for sale now. I think the people who bought it from me are trying to sell it, but I haven’t kept up.
JONI: I think Stan’s got some of his spectacular paintings in the museum there.
ANNE: Yes, some are in the New Orleans Museum of Art; there are, I think, two there. And eventually all of his paintings are going to go to a southern museum. We’re sort of negotiating with them about the terms.
JONI: Oh, great, great. And I know Christopher is doing extremely well as a novelist. Where did he get those genes? Well anyway, congratulations on Angel Time. My first question is, what happened that made you decide to move from vampires to angels?