I am very sorry to report that, due to HIV-related health problems, Robert Sage has taken a leave of absence from his job as my assistant. It is his wish that I tell you this and convey his gratitude for the support you've given PURPLE PROZE. It is my wish to convey my own gratitude for his invaluable help.

I'll be writing the newsletter myself, at least for the time being, and I'm a lot less responsible than Robert, so bear with me -- most of you are getting this because I'm too disorganized to answer my own fan mail. So this is my attempt to keep in touch.

Love & Slack, Poppy Z. Brite


Book News:

I have finished a draft of COURTNEY LOVE: THE TRUE STORY, which is currently going through various legal channels.

Simon & Schuster will release a trade paperback edition of EXQUISITE CORPSE in August 1997.

Dutch rights to EXQUISITE CORPSE have been purchased by Luitingh- Sijthoff, who have published Netherlands editions of LOST SOULS (DOLENDE ZIELEN), DRAWING BLOOD (TEKENBLOED), & SWAMP FOETUS / WORMWOOD (ONVOLTOOIDE ENGELEN).

My anthology LOVE IN VEIN 2 (formerly titled RAZOR KISS) will be published by Harper Collins in January 1997.

Contrary to mysterious claims being made by booksellers' computers all over the country, I am not the editor of THE ART OF GORE or any other White Wolf anthology.


Current and upcoming short work:

"Sinsemilla and Sensibility," article about the coffeeshops of Amsterdam, RAGE Magazine, issue 1. Write RAGE/LFP (Back Issues), 8484 Wilshire Blvd., Suit 900, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.

Photo "spread" & text, RAGE, issue 2. "As for posing naked, though the fact that I am willing to do it seems to astound a lot of people, it's never been a source of trauma or even a very big deal for me. They act as if it should be, as if without even realizing it, I am compromising my dignity and betraying my gender. I tell them that my dignity better not depend on a few pieces of cloth, and that I still haven't decided on a gender."

Review of William Gibson's IDORU, Village Voice Literary Supplement (VLS), upcoming.

Untitled very short piece in DICK FOR A DAY, Villard Books, 1996. Women writers, artists, and political figures address the issue of "What would you do if you had a penis for one day?"

"The Poor Miller's Apprentice and the Cat," short story, collaboration with David Ferguson, in HAPPILY EVER AFTER: FAIRY TALES FOR GAY MEN, Richard Kasak Books, August 1996.

"Sur le Decadence," an article on the social & literary history of decadence (particularly in New Orleans), TRIBE Magazine, October 1996. Write TRIBE, 2042 Magazine St., New Orleans LA 70130 for information.

"The Poetry of Violence," essay, SCREEN VIOLENCE: AN ANTHOLOGY, Bloomsbury Books (UK), September 1996.



If Ann died in LOST SOULS, why does Ghost say she'll go back to Steve in the short story "Angels"?

Because "Angels" was written (and published) before LOST SOULS. It first appeared in the Fall 1987 issue of THE HORROR SHOW magazine.

Have you visited Westgate; do you know Leilah Wendell?

I have given readings at "The House of Death," reputed to be the only purple and black Victorian mansion in New Orleans, and Leilah came to my last Halloween party.

What city does "Xenophobia" take place in?

None in particular, but it was influenced by San Francisco's Chinatown.

Is it just me, or were you inspired by R.E.M. when you wrote "Optional Music for Voice and Piano"?

It's you. At the time, I hadn't heard a single R.E.M. song -- I was a teenage art rocker, and the story was inspired by Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. Did I just lose all my alt.cred?

When is your birthday, and what were you like in high school?

May 25, and miserable.

Will any of your upcoming work be published in a signed/limited edition?

Not unless somebody talks me into it; I have nothing against books as works of art, but i think they should be primarily designed for reading.

What music do you listen to?

A little of almost everything ... lately, a lot of early R.E.M. and Tom Waits.

What do you like to smoke?

The kind bud (see RAGE #1), but here in New Orleans we often have to settle for schwag.

List some cool/poetic/artistic magazines/zines.

I've enjoyed ANSWER ME!, FUCK, INFECTED FAGGOT NEWSLETTER, BEER FRAME, MURDER CAN BE FUN ... since my tastes are obviously not everyone's, I recommend consulting the excellent FACTSHEET FIVE for zines in your own areas of interest.

I know you like Bauhaus -- what do you think of Love & Rockets?

Liked their first two albums. Saw them twice. Was too drunk to remember the first show (though I managed to hand Daniel Ash a bloodstained Xerox of "The Georgia Story"). The second show wasn't too great.

Is it true you wrote an underground newspaper in high school? What was it like?

It was called THE GLASS GOBLIN (from a Harlan Ellison story), it was naively radical, and it almost got me killed by rednecks. I was thinking of printing an outtake, but looking back on the few surviving issues, I find that I am way too embarrassed.

If I send you some of my writing, will you help me get an agent?

(A) My lawyer advises me not to read unpublished writing. (B) The most recent person to ask me this was 15. If you are a 15-year-old aspiring writer, your job is to be reading and writing as much as possible and, if you feel ready, submitting work on your own. Go get the annual WRITER'S MARKET from your library to find some markets. Most magazines and anthologies do not require or expect your work to be submitted by an agent, and most good agents won't even look at your work until you have some publication credits.

Is New Orleans a dangerous place to live or visit?

New Orleans is a poor city. As a popular local T-shirt says, we're "Third World and proud of it." It is possible to live well here on fairly little money, or if you're wealthy, to buy whole churches out from under their parishioners for your personal use. Ironically, the people most feared on the streets -- young black men -- are the ones for whom the city is most dangerous. They are murdered by their peers in sickening numbers, yet the relatively few crimes against tourists and middle-class whites capture most media attention. If you visit New Orleans, be careful and smart. If you move to New Orleans, be prepared to give something back to the city -- renovate a home, practice an art, do volunteer work -- rather than just enjoying the show.

Do you intend to write any more vampire books?

Only if I start getting an urge to suck.


Upcoming and Recent Book Signings / Readings

(These bookstores may be contacted for signed copies of EXQUISITE CORPSE.)

Friday, Aug. 23, Beaucoup Books, 7 - 8 PM, 5414 Magazine St., New Orleans (504-895-2663)

Saturday, Aug. 31 (Decadence Festival), 6 - 8 PM, Faubourg Marigny Books, 600 Frenchmen St., New Orleans (504-943-9875)

Friday, Sept. 13, 8 - 9:30 PM, Bookstar, Jax Brewery, 414 N. Peters St., New Orleans (504-523-6411)

Thursday, Sept. 19, 8 - 9:30 PM, Barnes & Noble, 3721 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, LA (504-455-4929)

Friday, Sept. 20, 7:30 - 9 PM, Barnes & Noble, 3250 Airport Blvd., Springdale Mall, Mobile AL (334-450-0084)


EXQUISITE CORPSE (The polls so far)






From a talk I gave to SOLA (a New Orleans writers' group), 6/96:

What do we mean when we refer to atmosphere in fiction? The setting, certainly, but also all the other story elements that appeal to the senses. I once took a writing class from a bitter, unsuccessful, drunk, discouraging, otherwise completely worthless teacher who told me to think about how scenes smelled in my work. This single piece of advice, which I received at 17, caused me to rethink and eventually change my entire style of writing. I could no longer write a scene without wondering what odors were present, which caused me to think more carefully about other sensual details, which snowballed into an obsession with descriptive detail. Today I'm described even in my kinder reviews as a florid stylist. So thanks, Jim, wherever you are -- last I heard, you were in jail for stalking one of the other women in the class and lurking outside her apartment with a shotgun. It's so nice to have mentors.


As always, I am happy to sign and personalize books. Send them to the PURPLE PROZE address with a stamped self-addressed return mailer. Fabulous & intoxicating gifts accepted but not required.