|Born||Howard Allen O'Brien
4 October 1941
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States1
|Genres||Horror, Erotica, Christian fiction, Mystery, Romance, Fantasy|
Anne Rice (born Howard Allen O'Brien on October 4, 1941) is a best-selling American author of erotic, gothic and religious-themed books from New Orleans, Louisiana. She was married to poet and painter Stan Rice for 41 years until his death from cancer in 2002. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history.
Rice spent most of her early life in New Orleans, Louisiana, which forms the background against which most of her stories take place. She was the second daughter in a Catholic Irish-American family; Rice's sister, the late Alice Borchardt, also became a noted genre author. About her unusual given name, Rice said: "My birth name is Howard Allen because apparently my mother thought it was a good idea to name me Howard. My father's name was Howard, she wanted to name me after Howard, and she thought it was a very interesting thing to do."
Rice became "Anne" on her first day of school, when a nun asked her what her name was. She told the nun "Anne," considering it a pretty name. Her mother, who was with her, let it go without correcting her, knowing how self-conscious her daughter was of her real name. From that day on, everyone she knew addressed her as "Anne."
Rice graduated from Richardson High School, in 1959, to attend Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas and later North Texas State College. After a year’s stay in San Francisco, during which she worked as an insurance claims examiner, Anne returned to Denton, Texas to marry Stan Rice, her childhood sweetheart. Stan became an instructor at San Francisco State shortly after receiving his M.A. there, and Anne lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1962 to 1988, experiencing the birth of the Hippie Revolution first hand as they lived in the soon to be fabled Haight-Ashbury district. Both attended and graduated from San Francisco State University.
Anne's daughter Michele was born on September 21, 1966 and died of leukemia on August 5, 1972. She returned to the Catholic Church in 1998 after several years of describing herself as an atheist. She announced she would now use her life and talent of writing to glorify her belief in God, but has not expressly renounced her earlier works. Her son Christopher Rice was born in Berkeley, California in 1978 and is an author.
On January 30, 2004, having already put the largest of her three homes up for sale, Rice announced her plans to leave New Orleans. She cited living alone since the death of her husband as the reason. "Simplifying my life, not owning so much, that's the chief goal", said Rice. "I'll no longer be a citizen of New Orleans in the true sense." Rice had left New Orleans prior to the events of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, and none of her former New Orleans properties were flooded. She remains a vocal advocate for the city and related relief projects.
In 1958, when Rice was 16, her father moved the family to north Texas, taking up residence in Richardson. Her mother had died three years before of alcoholism. Rice met her future husband while they were both students at Richardson High School. She began college at Texas Woman's University in Denton but relocated with Stan to San Francisco where Anne attended San Francisco State University and obtained a B.A. in Political Science. "I'm a totally conservative person," she later told the New York Times (November 7, 1988). "In the middle of Haight-Ashbury in the 1960s, I was typing away while everybody was dropping acid and smoking grass. I was known as my own square." She would not return to New Orleans until 1989. She completed her first book, Interview with the Vampire, in 1973 and published it in 1976. This book would be the first in Rice's popular Vampire Chronicles series, which now includes over a dozen novels, including 1985's The Vampire Lestat and 1988's The Queen of the Damned. Along with several non-series works, Rice has written three novels in the Lives of the Mayfair Witches sequence. Additionally, Rice wrote three erotic novels under the pseudonym "A. N. Roquelaure."
In October 2004, Rice announced in a Newsweek article that she would henceforth "write only for the Lord." Her subsequent book, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, she calls the beginning of a series chronicling the life of Jesus. The second volume, Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, was published in March 2008.
In 2005, Newsweek reported, "[Rice] came close to death last year, when she had surgery for an intestinal blockage, and also back in 1998, when she went into a sudden diabetic coma; that same year she returned to the Roman Catholic Church, which she'd left at 18." . Her return has not come with a full embrace of the Church's stances on social issues; Rice remains a supporter for gay men and lesbians, as well as abortion rights. Rice has written extensively on the matter:
In the Author's Note from Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, Rice states:
I had experienced an old fashioned, strict Roman Catholic childhood in the 1940s and 1950s… we attended daily Mass and communion in an enormous and magnificently decorated church … Stained glass windows, the Latin Mass, the detailed answers to complex questions on good and evil—these things were imprinted on my soul forever… I left this church at age 18... I wanted to know what was happening, why so many seemingly good people didn’t believe in any organized religion yet cared passionately about their behavior and value of their lives… I broke with the church violently and totally... I wrote many novels that without my being aware of it reflected my quest for meaning in a world without God. 
In her memoir Called Out of Darkness, Rice also states:
In the moment of surrender, I let go of all the theological or social questions which had kept me from [God] for countless years. I simply let them go. There was the sense, profound and wordless, that if He knew everything I did not have to know everything, and that, in seeking to know everything, I’d been, all of my life, missing the entire point. No social paradox, no historic disaster, no hideous record of injustice or misery should keep me from Him. No question of Scriptural integrity, no torment over the fate of this or that atheist or gay friend, no worry for those condemned and ostracized by my church or any other church should stand between me and Him. The reason? It was magnificently simple: He knew how or why everything happened; He knew the disposition of every single soul. He wasn’t going to let anything happen by accident! Nobody was going to go to Hell by mistake. 
Excerpts from Anne's Profession of Faith
In 1998 I returned to the Catholic Church… I realized that the greatest thing I could do to show my complete love for Him was to consecrate my work to Him—to use any talent I had acquired as a writer, as a storyteller, as a novelist—for Him and for Him alone... Thence began my journey into intense Biblical study, intense historical research, and intense effort to write novels about the Jesus of Scripture, the Jesus of Faith, in His own vibrant First Century World... 
Excerpts from Essay On Earlier Works
My vampire novels and other novels I’ve written... are attempting to be transformative stories… All these novels involve a strong moral compass. Evil is never glorified in these books; on the contrary, the continuing battle against evil is the subject of the work. The search for the good is the subject of the work… Interview with the Vampire... is about the near despair of an alienated being who searches the world for some hope that his existence can have meaning. His vampire nature is clearly a metaphor for human consciousness or moral awareness. The major theme of the novel is the misery of this character because he cannot find redemption and does not have the strength to end the evil of which he knows himself to be a part. This book reflects for me a protest against the post World War II nihilism to which I was exposed in college from 1960 through 1972. It is an expression of grief for a lost religious heritage that seemed at that time beyond recovery... One thing which unites [my books] is the theme of the moral and spiritual quest. A second theme, key to most of them, is the quest of the outcast for a context of meaning, whether that outcast is an 18th century castrato opera singer, or a young boy of mixed blood coming of age in ante-bellum New Orleans, or a person forced into a monstrous predatory existence like the young vampire, Lestat… In 1976, I felt that the vampire was the perfect metaphor for the outcast in all of us, the alienated one in all of us, the one who feels lost in a world seemingly without God. In 1976, I felt I existed in such a world, and I was searching for God. I never dreamed that the word, vampire, would prevent people from examining this book as a metaphysical work. I thought the use of the word was a powerful device... The entire body of my earlier work reflects a movement towards Jesus Christ. In 2002, I consecrated my work to Jesus Christ. This did not involve a denunciation of works that reflected the journey. It was rather a statement that from then on I would write directly for Jesus Christ. I would write works about salvation, as opposed to alienation.
On amazon.com Rice has written reviews on some of her favorite artists, recordings, books and films. Her reveiews cover artists such as violinists Hilary Hahn and Leila Josefowicz, books from scholars such as Prof. Ellis Rivkin, the Bishop of Durham and N.T. Wright, films such as The Nun's Story starring Audrey Hepburn and The Bourne Supremacy starring Matt Damon. For Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, Rice wrote:
"This is one of the greatest productions of Shakespeare I've ever seen... [Branagh] delivers Shakespeare's glorious lines in a way that makes them clear, and brings them to life with incalculable power... This is one of those feasts for the eyes and ears like Amadeus or Immortal Beloved, or the Red Shoes."
In 1994, Neil Jordan directed a relatively faithful motion picture adaptation of Interview with the Vampire, from Rice's own screenplay. The movie starred Tom Cruise as Lestat, Brad Pitt as the guilt-ridden Louis and was a breakout role for young Kirsten Dunst as the deceitful child vampire Claudia.
A second film adaptation, The Queen of the Damned, was released in 2002. Starring Stuart Townsend as the vampire Lestat and singer Aaliyah as Akasha, Queen of the Vampires, the movie combined incidents from the second and third books in the series: The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned. Produced on a budget of $35 million, the film only recouped $30 million at the domestic(US) box office.
A 1994 film titled Exit to Eden, based loosely on the book Rice published as Anne Rampling, starred Rosie O'Donnell and Dan Aykroyd. The work transformed from a love story into a police comedy, possibly due to the explicit S&M themes of the book. The film was a box office flop.
A film version of Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt was planned but later cancelled.
Plans to adapt Rice's Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy into a twelve-hour miniseries to be aired on NBC were dropped after a change of studio head and subsequent loss of interest in the project.
In 1997, there was a ballet adaptation of Interview with the Vampire, which premiered in Prague.
On April 25, 2006, the musical Lestat, based on Rice's Vampire Chronicles books, opened at the Palace Theatre on Broadway after having its world premiere in San Francisco, California in December 2005. With music by Elton John and lyrics by Bernie Taupin, it was the inaugural production of the newly established Warner Brothers Theatre Ventures.
Despite Rice's own overwhelming approval and praise, the show received mostly poor reviews by critics and disappointing attendance. Lestat closed a month later on May 28, 2006, after just 33 previews and 39 regular performances.
Anne Rice's books have been adapted over the years into comics. Below is a list of known adaptations and issue runs; along with publisher and year.
Rice has an adamant stance against fan fiction based on her work, releasing a statement on April 7, 2000, that prohibited all such efforts. This caused the removal of thousands of "fanfics" from the FanFiction.Net website.
Cradle of Filth briefly includes Lestat in the song "Libertina Grimm" as "Count Lestat".
Guitarist Steve Vai states in liner notes for his album The Elusive Light and Sound volume 1, that his song "Loveblood" was inspired by the film and the fact that he wished he was an actor so he could play the role.
Alternative rock band Concrete Blonde's song "Bloodletting (the Vampire Song)", the title track from the Bloodletting CD, is based on Rice's The Vampire Lestat.
Punk/goth band The Damned recorded a song called "The Dog" about the child vampire Claudia from Interview with the Vampire on their 1982 album Strawberries.
Post-hardcore band Aiden wrote and recorded a song entitled "The Last Sunrise"—a lot of the lyrics of said song relate directly to the first book of The Vampire Chronicles, Interview with the Vampire.
Malice Mizer, a Japanese rock band based heavily on French culture, uses the phrase "Drink from me and live forever" in their song "Transylvania." "Drink from me and live forever" is a phrase from the first book Interview With the Vampire.
Mexican band Santa Sabina dedicates a song to Rice's vampire character Louis: "Una canción para Louis."
Psytrance project Talamasca was named after the secret society in both the Vampire chronicles and the Mayfair Witches series. This is a solo project by the French musician Cedric Dassulle, which also calls himself DJ Lestat.
Japanese visual kei rock band Versailles first album, Noble, is subtitled "Vampires Chronicle." Furthermore, the sixth song is entitled "After Cloudia", insinuating a relationship with Claudia from the series. The lead singer, Kamijo has stated he models himself after Rice's character, Lestat de Lioncourt.
Italian gothic rock group Last Minute's first album, Burning Theater, was conceived as an unofficial soundtrack for Interview with the Vampire, including the title track and two others, all focusing heavily on the death of Claudia.
In these novels the Mayfair Witches become part of the Vampire Chronicles world.
Anne Rice (born Howard Allen O'Brien on October 4, 1941) is an American novelist, known as the author of the Vampire Chronicles.
"That it's good, that it does some good, that there is good in it! Dear God, even if there is no meaning in this world, surely there can still be goodness! It's good to eat, to drink, to laugh, to be together!"
Oh, there were other actors, worse and better; other singers; other clowns; there have been a million since and a million will come after this moment. But each of us shines with his own inimitable power; each of us comes alive in his own unique and dazzling moment; each of us has his chance to vanquish the others forever in the eye of the beholder, and that is the only kind of accomplishment I can really understand: the kind of accomplishment in which the self-this self, if you will- is utterly whole and triumphant. (Lestat)
Anne Rice (born on 4 October 1941) is an American author of horror/fantasy books. Interview with the Vampire and The Queen of the Damned are among her best-known works. She was married to Stan Rice until his death in 2002. She has written four series, including The Vampire Chronicles and Christ the Lord