“Kate from Illinois” writes: I share many of the experiences that you have encountered throughout your life. I am close in age, having been born in 1948 in Lake Forest, Illinois. For most of my life I made a modest living in “show biz” through theater, commercials, film and TV. After my second husband left me, I changed professions. I am currently a freelance journalist. I have four children, two boys and two girls. My oldest son and I have read most of your books and still talk about our experiences (that continue for him). My oldest daughter’s fate regarding the “Others” is that of Anne’s. My second son has had experiences since he was a baby and used to call the grays K-Monsters. My youngest doesn’t believe in UFOs. Yet.
I am writing to you about an incident that happened to me when I was 18 or 19 years old. I was living in Manhattan at the Barbizon Hotel for women on 63rd and Lexington and working as a receptionist for a small company in the east 40s. I did this to support myself while I pursued an acting career. Daily, I would walk the 15 blocks to work and then back again in the evening. I had been doing this some months when I noticed a slightly strange man following me. This went on for some weeks. I perceived the man to be in his late 30s or early 40s. I estimated him to be roughly 6’5″ tall and extremely thin. He was always dressed in black. Each week day at 5 p.m., the streets on the Eastside of Manhattan were crowded with workers making their way home and after I noticed him, the strange man would get lost in the mass of people. This happened consistently for several weeks before he approached me. When he finally did approach me, he came up from the back on my left side as I walked along Park Avenue. He kept pace with me while handing me a small tattered leather bound black book with gold lettering. It reminded me of the small, black, leather bound prayer book that my Godmother had given me as an infant.
He spoke to me saying, “Read this book from cover to cover. The events in the book are true, although they won’t seem so. If you are willing, I will see to it that the book is published as a novel with you as the author. You will become famous.” I took the book from him and looked at the gold etched title. It read, “Interview with a Vampire.” I opened the book and noticed that the entire journal was handwritten. I took it to my room at the Barbizon and read the book within a week. During that time I did not see the mystery man on my walks. The day I finished the book, the man arrived, pacing me, on my way home from work. He asked me for my answer and I coldly told him, “No.” I was afraid. The year was 1967. I don’t remember what happened to the leather-bound book. Four children and two marriages later, my then husband rented the movie “Interview with a Vampire.” I was unaware of the book at that time. My oldest son, my husband and I watched the movie. It had the same story line as the tattered book I had read in 1967. I told my husband and my son my story. I don’t think they believed me. I had trouble with it myself. But I have no doubt that I read “Interview with a Vampire” long before I saw the movie and nearly ten years before Ann Rice published her novel. I don’t know why I am sharing this now. But the thought about contacting you with the information has dogged me for several months now.
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