Firstly, a belated happy birthday to Bill who turned 85 on January 7
-- with a full year of releases ahead of him/us!
For regular readers, another update from Cemetery Dance:
Update on The Exorcist limited edition!
"We have big news on the publication date for this title. The
slipcases for the Limited Edition will be completed by the end of
February 2013. Traycases for the Lettered Edition should be ready in
the first half of 2013 as well."
For those with items on order from Cemetery Dance, here is the latest
update on several items, namely: The Exorcist & Legion (Traycased);
Smoke & Mirrors; The Exorcist 40th Anniversary Edition (numbered); The
Exorcist 40th Anniversary Edition (lettered) -
> - Traycased, lettered edition of The Exorcist & Legion [DELAYED],
We should have the traycases in January 2013.
> - Smoke & Mirrors [DELAYED],
Late spring 2013.
> - The Exorcist 40th Anniv. Edition (Numbered),
> - The Exorcist 40th Anniv. Edition (Lettered)
Some news from Bill Blatty regarding upcoming releases. Merry
"A smattering of news: The Exorcist play had a most successful
(at least in terms of sellout audiences for six weeks) and will now
move to London; Tor/Forge is republishing The Ninth Configuration
as a trade paperback and will be offering my entire backlog of work in
digital form, which pleases me since I feel that my comic novels are
probably my best. Oh, well, at least I actually enjoyed writing them;
and next year, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Exorcist
film Warner Brothers will put out a new high def Blu-ray with lots of
new features, including a 40-minutes doc featuring a revisiting the
tiny guest house in which I wrote the novel and reminiscing about it,
plus some never-before-seen footage of an interview about the 1949
case of possession with Fr. Eugene Gallegher, the Jesuit priest in
whose class at Georgetown U. I first heard about it; and, finally, I'm
thinking of a plan for a new book for readers who, like you, are
searching, and have -- at least for now -- abandoned a terror novel of
which I've completed only about 70 pages. It's what they call "an
entertainment," whereas the faith book is an apostolic work."
Released in 1995 (the book originally published in 1973) and now long
out-of-print, and to celebrate the final re-launch of the
TNC.com forums, here, as a gift to you, is the audiobook version
(in mp3 format, converted from the original cassette tapes) of Bill
reading this moving book about his mother and life after death.
**June 9 update: The
forums are now back up and running! Also, look out for audio mp3s
of the long out-of-print cassette audiobook version of I'll Tell
Them I Remember You up here soon, read by Bill!**
In an effort to bring
Georgetown University back to its former glory (which has sadly
dwindled over the years), Bill is currently very busy with The
Father King Society.
To help Bill help Georgetown, please visit the following website and
fill out the petition:
Georgetown Alum William Peter Blatty Says Canon Law Suit “Our Only
William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel The Exorcist—which went on to become
an Oscar-winning movie—depicts an epic battle of good versus evil
waged under the auspices of the Catholic Church. Reportedly based on a
real exorcism Blatty heard about as an undergraduate on a scholarship
at Georgetown University, the novel is steeped in Catholicism. Indeed,
the “hero” of The Exorcist is the fictional Father Damien Karras, a
Georgetown Jesuit, who, at great personal cost, drives out the demon.
Now Blatty, a longtime financial contributor to his alma mater, says
that Georgetown is no longer true to the Catholic identity he knew
there as a member of the class of 1950. In this interview, Blatty, now
retired and living in Maryland, explains why he and a group of other
concerned alumni have filed a canon law lawsuit to pressure the Jesuit
university either to reclaim its Catholic identity or cease to call
itself a Catholic institution.
Here is the full interview:
Q. You have put together an impressive website at
www.gupetition.org, and you’re developing a case under the Catholic
Church’s canon law. You certainly look to be very serious about this.
How far are you willing to go to return Georgetown to its Catholic
A. To quote from the Georgetown Alumni Song, “Until the sun grows
cold.” I am ready to go all the way for as long as it takes, and if
something happens to me, other Father King Society members will take
the baton. I know that canon procedure can be murky, but I have great
faith in the Holy Spirit that churchmen will do the right thing. I
have faith, most of all, in the Holy Father. He knows that 21 years of
ignoring Ex corde Ecclesiae makes a mockery of our Church and of
Q. So you must be pretty steamed about the situation at Georgetown
to be doing all of this instead of enjoying your retirement with your
lovely wife! What motivates you?
A. What motivates me? Love. In the middle of my senior year at
Brooklyn Prep, my mother and I lived in poverty, so that without the
full scholarship Georgetown gave me, I would likely never have been
able to go to college. Every blessing that I have, in particular my
strong faith, I owe to my mother and to my alma mater whom I love and
want back: beautiful, healthy and, above all, faithful.
I am not “steamed.” I am aggrieved. And I finally came to realize that
I have only one more important thing that I can do, and this is it.
Q. I understand that you are an alumnus and have donated generously
to Georgetown in the past. Have things really changed so much that you
would now publicly challenge the university to return to its Catholic
A. Yes, of course. I considered even asking them to give my money back
to transfer to a scholarship fund in my son’s name at an actually
Catholic school. The change crept in over many years. It was disguised
by talk that sounded right but hid secondary motives.
Even now, Georgetown puts up a Potemkin village. It points to its
chaplains, its Masses, its Knights of Columbus Chapter. At alumni
dinners, they will make sure there is a Jesuit in a collar at every
table, like the floral arrangement. But they refuse to recruit
Catholics, and the faculty is now at 20 percent Catholic! Catholic
students have to live as if they are in a foreign country, where all
around them everyone is treating them like strangers. Just for being
authentically Catholic! If we do not all act now we will lose the
great universities. I refuse to accept that.
I believe the Church should be clear that our universities are still
Church property, and that we should go to court if necessary to undo
all the unauthorized legal gymnastics that claimed to transfer Church
property to civil corporations. If that does not work, then the Church
should be clear that you can’t get club privileges without paying the
Let me speak to the latest scandal, the invitation to Kathleen
Sebelius to speak on commencement weekend. Let’s not shield our eyes
or mind from the brutal details of what occurs in a partial birth
abortion. First, surgical scissors are banged down into the infant’s
head, after which the abortionist scrapes it around in order to widen
the hole enough so it can accept a vacuum tube, which is then used to
suck out the baby’s brains. You know all this? Good. But did you also
know that a consensus of pediatric neurologists are now agreed that by
20 weeks — and a few say even as early as six weeks! — the infant not
only feels the excruciating pain, but feels it far more than would an
adult? As governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius vetoed a bill that
would have banned this demonic practice! And a supposedly Catholic
university, if not merely a humane one, honors her?
Q. Why a canon law suit? What do you hope will result?
A. I believe it is the only thing that can stop Georgetown in its
path. Only firm Church action can save it and make it a great
university. It is our only recourse. Our only hope. And not just at
Georgetown. I hope alumni from other colleges will contact me for help
in submitting petitions regarding their colleges. I hope that
Georgetown will see the light and alter its course. At very least, I
hope that this action foments a great debate. My friend and classmate,
Richard Alan Gordon, used to say that “Debate is a servant of the
Truth.” Only evil fears Truth, and only evil would fear debate.
Q. Ultimately, the Church has final authority over Georgetown’s
right to be identified as Catholic. Is that the goal of a canon law
suit — to take away Georgetown’s identification as Catholic?
A. The goal is simple. It is to do as John Paul exhorted us to do: to
preserve for the Church the highest places of culture. We can walk
away, but that is not what Christians do. Georgetown will be given a
choice: comport with the dictates of Ex corde Ecclesiae or discard
your Catholic identity. You don’t deserve it.
Q. What is your timeline for the canon law suit?
A. First our canonists, then our scholars, then the Cardinal
Archbishop, then Rome if need be. We will study everything for a few
months more, but our brief is essentially written, and there is no
lack of evidence. We are very hopeful that His Eminence Cardinal Wuerl
will act as Jesus did when he disciplined the money-changers. As I
recall it, the Lord knocked over a few tables.
Q. You have asked The Cardinal Newman Society to assist your
efforts. Why CNS?
A. The Cardinal Newman Society is the best thing going for anyone who
is taking this issue seriously. They have been at their work for
almost two decades now and have had an enormous impact. More than
anything, I am a big believer in bringing everyone to the same table
and getting everyone to work together. I do not know that we could do
this without CNS.
Q. And are there others involved?
A. Yes. We are seeking advice from the St. Joseph’s Foundation in
Texas. They provide canon law advice. We are getting students at
Georgetown excited about this. But I expect that when we are done,
tens of thousands will have signed our Mandate and scores of
organizations will be by our side. Not to mention the scholars and
Q. I’m sure you’re prepared for shallow media references to your
success with The Exorcist. But on a serious level, there’s something
of a parallel here, isn’t there? Yours is an urgent effort to reclaim
what the Church lost in just a couple generations, and many souls are
A. Yes, yes, there is a parallel. But imagine it a different way.
Think of all the souls that were not saved; all the minds that were
not awakened over these past two or three decades as Georgetown
drifted. Think of the great disservice that we have all done by being
silent, ineffectual and comfortable …and doing nothing while the other
side organized and took Georgetown away from the Church.
Q. What do you think? Are the scandals at Georgetown primarily the
result of ambivalence… disbelief… or is it simply cooperation with
A. All of these. But cooperation with evil is everywhere at
Georgetown, if only on each occasion that the administration stays
silent in the face of deception and harm.
Q. What role does faith play in this effort for you, personally?
Are you spiritually prepared for what might come next?
A. I have prayed on this action for almost two years. I see the Holy
Spirit in every step along the path to where we are. And we have
allies. We will dedicate our efforts to St. Jude, to the Little
Flower, and to Blessed John Paul II, whose personal blessing I was
once privileged to receive. Perhaps this will be his miracle.
The book is designed
and being proofread now. We're still right on track for a summer
As I mentioned last
time, originally I planned on having 6 color artwork plates in this
special edition, but Caniglia went overboard and turned in 13 (!)
color pieces, so I'm breaking the budget and adding all of them to the
In addition, Mr.
Blatty has provided an introduction and an afterword that won't be
appearing in any other edition, so those have been added to the Lonely
Road Books special edition as an unannounced bonus.
Finally, there is
also a special unannounced bonus for the Lettered Edition customers:
because Caniglia turned in so much extra artwork, there will be
entirely different artwork on the Lettered Edition's dust jacket.
Two new updates
regarding publications. The first from Centipede Press:
Studies in the Horror Film This title will also be available in about three or four weeks. The
hardcover edition is signed by editor Danel Olson, William Peter
Blatty, Thomas Ligotti, and a few other writers. More information will
be coming soon!
The second, from Lonely Road Books and Brian Freeman:
Caniglia has turned in all of the color interior artwork, and he
really went overboard. The original plan was 6 pieces, but there's
definitely more than that here. I'm going to break the budget a bit to
include ALL of them. Final count will be unveiled in a future update,
but I think our collectors will be blown away.
The book is being designed now and we're moving along at a good clip.
We hope to have design and proofreading completed by April and then
the book will be ready for the printer for an early summer publication
Also, there's a special unannounced bonus for the Lettered Edition
customers: because Caniglia turned in so much extra artwork, there
will be entirely different artwork on the Lettered Edition's dust
Thanks again to everyone for your support of Lonely Road Books. Keep
watching your inbox for more exciting news and announcements.
mentioned a while back, Lonely Road Books will be publishing a special
Limited Edition of
The Exorcist: The 40th Anniversary Revised Edition by William
Peter Blatty. The book sold out just 30 hours after it was
announced, which is excellent for the collectors who managed to snag a
copy, and production is moving along smoothly. In fact, today I'm
extremely pleased to unveil Caniglia's incredible cover painting
for the book, which I absolutely love.
In some sadder news, it is with a heavy heart that I report that
the great actor Nicol Williamson, best known for playing Father Paul
Morning in The Exorcist III and originally slated to play the
role of Kane in The Ninth Configuration passed away on December
16, only being announced today by his son, Luke:
It's with great sadness, and yet with a heart full of pride and love
for a man who was a tremendous father, friend, actor, poet, writer and
singer, that I must bring news of Nicol's passing. Dad died peacefully
in the early hours of the 16th of December after a two year all out,
balls to the wall struggle against esophageal cancer. He gave it all
he had: never gave up, never complained, maintained his wicked sense
of humor to the end. His last words were "I love you". I was with him,
he was not alone, he was not in pain.
Bill's own personal response:
O, dear God! Too sad! I
had great affection for Nicol. And that type of cancer is hideous.
Requisiat in pacem.
those interested, embedded below is a video of Nicol discussing the
topic of death: