Wednesday, March 16, 2005

A tale of two authors

Vampire author Anne Rice and Christian minister and writer Howard Storm have teamed up to promote Storm's book, My Descent Into Death: A Second Chance at Life.
Rice says she, like Storm, was a "fashionable atheist" for many years. She re-embraced her Roman Catholic faith in 1998. Storm got religion after excruciating stomach pain landed him in a Paris hospital for emergency surgery in 1985.

While in the hospital, Storm says, he had a near-death experience that didn't fit the stereotypical version - the one in which people experience a bright light and the presence of love. Instead, Storm says he was viciously attacked by creatures he sensed were once human. During those attacks, he says, he heard a voice telling him to pray. Storm knew no prayers but began murmuring lines from the 23rd Psalm, the Pledge of Allegiance and The Star-Spangled Banner. Then, he says, he was in the presence of Jesus and angels.

Storm, through his ministry in Cincinnati, TV appearances and speaking engagements, shares his experience with skeptics and believers. He also wrote a book. A British publisher printed a limited number of My Descent Into Death, not readily available in the United States.

Rice read Descent, saw Storm on TV and, when he asked for help in finding an American publisher, she obliged - and even wrote the foreword for the new edition, now in bookstores.

Rice and Storm keep in touch by e-mail but have never spoken or met. But they will appear together on NBC's Today in New York on Tuesday.

"People say, 'What are you doing with Anne Rice? She's a vampire person, and you're a Jesus guy,' " Storm says.

"I tell them Anne and I are on the same wavelength."

A Southern Baptist minister I know played the lead in a college stage production of Dracula. He loved the play and performing as the Count, but he also got to witness to people he would not have otherwise have met. The Lord works in mysterious ways.



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