Anne Rice Best-Selling Author of Vampire Chronicles, dies at 80

Anne Rice, Best-Selling Author of Vampire Chronicles
Anne Rice, Best-Selling Author of Vampire Chronicles

Anne Rice author of the best-selling Vampire Chronicles, the well-known and noteworthy author of goth fiction, passed away Saturday night late. Her death was confirmed by the social media posts by her son, author Christopher Rice.

He mentioned that her mother died because of the complications from a stroke, conveying that he and her younger sister Karen were by her side during her death. It was after almost 19 years that day her husband, poet, and artist, Stan Rice died.

Anne Rice, Best-Selling Author of Vampire Chronicles

Life and Career of Anne Rice

Rice, who changed her name to Anne on her first school day since the name given to her, Howard, was not of her choice, will be famously reminisced for Vampire Chronicles series, a group of 13 novels commencing with her first, Interview With the Vampire in 1976 which was a hit.

In that book, a plantation owner from Lousiana narrates his story of conversion into a vampire with the fascinating antihero named Lestat.

Her books, having sold over 150 million editions throughout the world, established new records in vampire mythology.

Rice discarded the old themes and created new ones. Besides, the way she depicted undead characters who are romantic, aesthetic, and quite lively on societal fringes has had special significance for those who are fans of queer literature, which is an important feature of her work known to herself.

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Adaptation into Films

Interview With the Vampire, which was written in the year 1973, was an amplification of one of her previous short stories and a piece of art born out of Rice’s mourning after the demise of her five-year-old daughter due to leukemia.

In the year 1994, the book was made into a movie which was directed by Neil Jordan and cast Tom Cruise as Lestat along with Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst, Christian Slater, Antonio Banderas, and Stephen Rea. 

The movie was successful at the box office and performed well in front of the critics, but with its set of obstacles. Pitt’s condition was pitiful during the production, he said “six months in the f**king dark.” Oprah Winfrey, who wanted to arrange an interview with Tom Cruise, got herself off the film, contending that the film was very gruesome.

She did not wish to be a “contributor to the force of darkness.” In the beginning, Rice, who was the screenwriter, was herself opposed to the casting of Pitt and Cruise. She went on to pen an ad in Variety expressing her discontent. 

Rice said that Tom Cruise was “no more my Vampire Lestat than Edward G. Robinson is Rhett Butler.” However, producer David Geffen went with the actors and resisted her approach. When she finally got to watch the film, she was surprised and immediately changed her mind, to the extent of calling Cruise and apologizing that she was incorrect. 

Another novel from the Vampire Chronicles collection was also filmed in 2002, The Queen of the Damned. In this film, Aaliyah played the role of Akasha, the first vampire from the earth and Stuart Townsend acted in the role of Lestat. In the year 2006, English singers and songwriters Elton John and Bernie Taupin made a short musical on Lestat which was based on that character.

Other Works

Along with Rice’s major series, she penned many individual novels, a trilogy named The Lives of the Mayfair Witches (which had some crossover with Vampire Chronicles), and books with a background as historical Egypt. She also had two pen names for writing erotic fiction.

“A.N. Roquelaure”, was her nom de plume on four books where she talks about the story of the Sleeping Beauty (where the main character is awakened by more than just a kiss, and “pony gear” is also there) and “Anne Rampling” was her name for the books Exit to Eden and Belinda.

Personal Beliefs

Rice was a stern atheist most years of her life. She restored her Catholic belief in 1998 and was the author of two books under the name Christ the Lord series that time, portraying the young and adolescent age of Jesus. However, in the year 2010, she gave up Christianity.

She explained: “In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

The initial stage of Rice’s career took off in the Bay Area. Post that she went back to New Orleans which was her birthplace and found immediate success. She resided in the Brevard-Clapp house for several years, which was a trip for visitors.

Her fan club has staged and to date continues to stage themed performances, notably the Memnoch Ball in 1995 where was supposedly carried to the event in a casket. 

Her son Christopher had said that next year there will be a commemoration of her life in New Orleans. Many dear memories about her were cheered on the internet after her death on Sunday morning. 

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