I decided I wanted to be a novelist right about the time I discovered Anne Rice and her Vampire Chronicles. And let me tell you, I am glad I was raised in the era before Twilight so I got to experience real Vampires as they were meant to be.
It was around the start of eighth grade for me, what I now call my year of hell. There are personal stories for sure, but not that I can get into in a single post. For reference though let me say that this was the year the World Trade Center fell, and you can fill in the blanks from there.
Her series was one we already had in the house as my mother read them before me. There was talk then of a new movie based on Queen of the Damned coming out, I had already seen and fell in love with Interview with the Vampire. So it seemed natural that I read the series for myself.
Nevermind that the movie turned out to be a steaming pile of crap, even judged outside of the book. This is a series all lovers of vampire lore need to read.
Anne Rice was just the voice I needed at that time. Something about her deep romantic descriptions and severe questioning of the purpose of life through the eyes of an immortal resonated with me. She has such a rich way of writing that fills you up completely that you let her stories consume you.
I loved how Louis and Lestat played off each other with such radically differing looks on their lives. Louis so serious and determined to find purpose, Lestat who just says the hell with it I’m going to have fun. Because I am too like Louis and want too much to see the world like Lestat I guess.
I loved how even though each character was immortal, they were all still human. They were still humans trying to solve the unanswered questions we mortals ask our entire lives. Perhaps tragically cut off from the deaths that may have answered them. These are vampires as they always should be done. No Hollywood glitz or goddamned sparkles, just humans with a terribly lot of time on their hands.
That is what I take away from her as far an Influence and Inspiration, her character development. I love how, even though they are built so beautifully, her worlds are really secondary to how her characters interact and grow through the story. I have always believed that a story comes from the characters we connect with more than the places and the things that happen to them. And she exemplifies that.
If you haven’t already, pick this series up, and the Witching Hour series as well. I have not yet caught up on her newer works, and believe me there is quite a bit more there, but I cannot imagine that they are any less great than what I have read so far.