Anne Rice is the author of a variety of supernatural novels, her most famous being The Vampire Chronicles which including the novel Interview with a Vampire.
The Early Years
Anne Rice was born on October 4, 1941 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her birth name was Howard Allen Frances O’Brien, and she was named after her father. But she decided to change her name to “Anne” in the first grade. Anne was raised Catholic and attended a parochial school during her childhood. In 1958, she moved to Richardson, Texas with her family and graduated from Richardson High School the following year.
Education and Early Careers
Anne studied for a short time at Texas Women’s University and North Texas State College. She married Stan Rice and eventually they moved to California. That is where she earned her degree at San Francisco State College. The couple lived in the area until the late 1980s. After taking on a variety of jobs, including working as a waitress, cook and insurance claims examiner, Anne began her career as a writer of erotica and vampire novels.
Rice’s Literary Success
Anne Rice gain a cult following with her supernatural novels. Her first, Interview with a Vampire, was published in 1976. The book was the first in her popular Vampire Chronicles series, which includes 1985’s The Vampire Lestat, and 1988’s The Queen of the Damned.
In 1996, Interview with a Vampire was made into a feature film starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Cruise played the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt in the film and later Stuart Townsend took over the role of Lestat in the less-popular film for Queen of the Damned. At first, Rice was not thrilled with the casting of Tom Cruise at first because she didn’t feel like he was suitable for the role of Lestat. But she later praised his performance after she saw the completed project. Rice’s fascinating bloodsucker film also became the subject of the 2006 musical Lestat, with songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
Along with her vampire novels, Rice was also well-known for her sadomasochistic erotica, including Beauty’s Punishment (1984). Her later novels include Servant of the Bones (1996) and Vittorio the Vampire (1999). She also wrote several works of mainstream fiction using the pen name Anne Rampling.
Anne made the decision to return to her Catholic faith in 1998. Which had a great impact on her work. She soon renounced her vampire novels, and chose to focus on subjects more in tune with her renewed faith. In 2005, Rice published Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, her first novel in a trilogy chronicling the life of Jesus. The second title in the series Christ the Lord the Road to Cana was released in 2008.
Rice has also created a series of work focused on Angels. Her supernatural thrillers Songs of Seraphim explores themes of good and evil. The first title, Angel Time, was released in 2009 and was followed by Love and Evil in 2011.
It was around this same time that Rice distanced herself from organized religion. She wrote on her Facebook page (where she constantly communicates with her followers), that “Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”
Recently Rice has started a new series based on the world of Werewolves. The trilogy began with The Wolf Gift in, and a second title known as The Wolves of Midwinter was published in October of 2013.
She has also added to her Vampire Chronicles over the years with the latest addition Prince Lestat released in 2014 and the follow up Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis to be released on November 29, 2016.
Today, Rice has announced on her Facebook page that she plans to make her Vampire Chronicles novels into a TV show. She and her son are currently shopping around for networks at this time.
Not long before Hurricane Katrina destroyed her hometown of New Orleans in 2005, Rice had moved to southern California. She later relocated to Palm Desert, California.
Anne Rice was married to the poet Stan Rice for 41 years until he died in 2002. Their daughter Michelle, was born in 1966 and died of leukemia in 1972, at the age of 5. Their son, Christopher, is now a novelist and he was born in 1978.