If you want to "Ask Armistead" something, please read this first. Your answer may well be here.
Armistead replies: "I never say never about anything, so it's not inconceivable that at some point in the future I may get really desperate and write a stocking stuffer called Christmas at Barbary Lane. But don't bank on it." If that answer is inadequate for you, check out our Sounding Board, where you can Tell Your Own Tales and speculate amongst yourselves about the fate of Mrs. Madrigal's gang since Tales ended in 1989.
IS ARMISTEAD MAUPIN YOUR REAL NAME?
Armistead replies. "Damn straight. When I first started writing for the Chronicle, a lot of people thought my name had to be a pseudonym. They would send me exotic anagrams, thinking I'd chosen my name the way Anna had. One person even wrote: "I know for a fact that you don't exist. You're really a lesbian collective in Marin County." (Sometimes I feel like a lesbian collective in Marin County, but I'm not.) The anagram myth was further inflamed by a 1990 BBC documentary called `Armistead Maupin Is a Man I Dreamt Up.' Armistead Maupin is - only coincidentally - an anagram for Is a Man I Dreamt Up. Who knew?"
HOW DOES ARMISTEAD PRONOUNCE HIS LAST NAME?
Armistead replies: "It's originally French, but it's been anglicized for three centuries. (The first Maupin was a Huguenot general named Gabriel who ran the saloon in Williamsburg, Virginia.) So I say Maw-pin, unless I'm on a French book tour where I answer to something that rhymes rather grandly with Gaugin."
DO YOU STILL LIVE IN NEW ZEALAND? Armistead replies: "No. Terry and I sold that house in 1993 to my sister Jane Yates and her husband Joe. They've turned Kahikatea into a spectacular "country retreat" that receives visitors - including me, thank God." Check it out at www.Kahikatea.com
WHY DIDN'T MARCUS D'AMICO, PAUL GROSS AND CHLOE WEBB RETURN FOR "MORE TALES?
Paul Gross was committed to his own TV series, "Due South." Chloe Webb had expressed enthusiasm about playing Mona again, but she backed out when the show's producers declined her request to be paid more than the rest of the cast. (The show was operating under a "favored nations agreement" that required leading cast members to be paid equally.) While everyone felt Chloe was important to "Tales," she was not more important than Laura Linney, Thomas Gibson, Billy Campbell or Barbara Garrick. Despite the rumors, it is not true that Marcus D'Amico wasn't invited back because of issues surrounding his sexuality. The production team met with Marcus and he expressed "ambivalence" about returning to the role of Mouse. The director felt it was important to find someone who would enthusiastically embrace the role.
WHAT IS THE CORRECT ORDER OF THE TALES NOVELS?
1. Tales of the City
2. More Tales of the City
3. Further Tales of the City
5. Significant Others
6. Sure of You
Armistead's non-Tales books are:
Maybe the Moon
The Night Listener
IS THERE A REAL 28 BARBARY LANE? I KNOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE ON RUSSIAN HILL, BUT I CAN'T FIND IT ON ANY MAP OF SAN FRANCISCO.
The answer to that question can be found on our TALES TOUR OF SF. It also contains many other real-life sights mentioned in the books as well as ARMISTEAD'S FIRST IMPRESSIONS of San Francisco.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS, HUH? Go ahead and ASK ARMISTEAD in the SOUNDING BOARD.