Anne RiceFebruary 5, 2008 at 5:05 am | Posted in Writers Write | 9 Comments
Tags: Anne Rice, Author, fiction, Horror, Vampire, writer
Anne Rice is an author who has become a cult figure in the vampire subculture. She transformed the image of vampires for a generation of readers, from mysteriously foreign to conflicted, seductive characters. Born in New Orleans, a city rich with diverse religions and superstitious beliefs, Anne grew up Catholic. She was fascinated with the symbolism of the church. Anne’s mother struggled with alcoholism which created a sense of dread for the children, never knowing if she would be “sick”. Her mother died when Anne was fourteen and a year later her father remarried and moved the family to Dallas.
Anne wrote stories from a young age. She explored ideas that conflicted with her strict religious upbringing, so she left the church. At 19 she went to San Francisco, lured by the promise of an artistic, hip community. She married Stan Rice in 1961 and moved to Texas, but they were back in San Francisco a year later. They had their first child, Michele in 1966. Michele at 4 years old was diagnosed with leukemia and she died two years later. During Michele’s illness the couple turned to alcohol to cope.
After Michele’s death, Anne’s alcoholism took over her life and drove the couple further and further apart. Anne went to Texas to stay with Stan’s family and six weeks later she returned for a fresh start with her husband. In late 1973, she returned to her work. She began with a short story, Interview with The Vampire. At the end of five weeks she transformed Interview into a novel. The manuscript was rejected repeatedly, but finally in 1975 it was bought for $12,000. The film rights sold months later and then paperback rights soon after.
The intense sexuality, homosexual undertones and philosophical questions were different than anything on the market at the time. It was met with critical distain and luke warm success. She gave birth to her second child, Christopher, in 1978. The money she received from the sell of Interview allowed Anne to write full time. She and Stan quit drinking and Anne published three erotic novels under a pseudonym. She also wrote a sequel to Interview, “The Vampire Lastat” which reached the best sellers list within two weeks. The San Fransisco writing community shunned her and disregarded her success.
In 1988 “The Queen of the Damned” was published. It was the third installment of the vampire chronicles. The family moved to New Orleans. Rice was inspired and wrote “The Witching Hour”. Rice’s fans are diverse, from disenfranchised teens to suburban mothers. Anne played a role of gothic queen, wearing costumes and arriving in a coffin to book signing events. By 1993, Rice had written 15 books.
Her first book, Interview with The Vampire was being made into a movie, with Tom Cruise in the lead role. Rice didn’t approve of the casting choice, but when the movie was released, she recanted her doubts. She continued to write prolifically, releasing nearly a book a year.
In 1998, Anne fell into a mysterious coma. She was diagnosed with diabetes and had to slow down her frenetic pace.