Anne Rice Opens Up: I Feel Like Im Gay

The acclaimed vampire author discusses her latest fiction,’ Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis ,’ accommodating her own’ Game of Thrones’-style TV show, and the election of Trump. “>

Forty years ago, Anne Rice debut novel, Interview with the Vampire, brought vampirism out of the shadows and into the sunlight. Her initial foray into the world of blood-imbibing immortals was partly inspired by the tragic death of her daughter Michelle, who died at age of 5 of leukemia. The character of Claudia, a 5-year-old vampire with an insatiable thirst for life-giving blood, was a tribute to her lost little girl.

It took Rice five weeks to pen Interview following her daughters pas, and the tale, aching with yearn and romance, resonated with readers in a big route. It became the first in a bestselling series of tomes dubbed The Vampire Chronicles, and, were it not for her revival of the genre, there would probably be no True Blood, Twilight, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Now, Rice has just released the twelfth volume in her Vampire Chronicles series. Titled Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, it follows her beloved bloodsucking protagonist Lestat into uncharted watersthe lost city of Atlantisand introduces a few major changes to her vampire mythology.

Rice , now 75, also recently stimulated headlines when she announced that shed reacquired the cinema and TV rights to her celebrated volumes, and is plotting a Vampire Chronicles TV series that shes modeling after Game of Thrones. She tells me shes writing a bible for the first two seasons, but that shell leave it open-ended from there.

Weve had such a golden age of fantasy in the last few years, if “youre thinking about” the Harry Potter books, the Lord of the Rings movies, and Game of Thrones, she says. Its a pantheon of creative talent.

The Daily Beast spoke to Rice, who is delightfully candid in conversation, about her new volume, Vampire Facials, and much more.

Whats the origin tale of your vampire obsession?

I watched a film called Draculas Daughter when I was a little girl. It was a 1934 cinema, and it was already out for a while. I fell in love with the idea of this little girl, this countess, who was a painter and caught in the tragic dilemma of having to take life in order to survive. I never forgot that cinema. That was always my impression of what vampires were: earthlings with heightened sensibility and a fated appreciation of life.

What about Bram Stokers Dracula? Many culture critics have read it as an anti-Semitic text, with Dracula serving as a metaphor for the Jewscontaminating WASP bloodlines and manipulating the banks of London.

I wasnt really much of a fan of Dracula at all. I hadnt read the book. I didnt read Dracula itself until I was an adult, and after Id wrote Interview With the Vampire. I had is aware of that critical take on itthat it reflected a dread of immigrants pouring into England at the time. But that had no influence on my novels whatsoever. I was interested in a vampire as a person of preternatural senses, and who was locked into a tragic dilemma that was similar to our own.

Have there been any contemporary vampire films or Tv shows youve discovered particularly impressive?

Well, I enjoyed watching True Blood on HBO a lot. I thought it was fun! I thought my vampires wouldve thought it was fun, too. I believe Twilight was a great success, obviously. It stimulated children very happily married. It wasnt for me, and not the type of thing Id ordinarily read, but I was fascinated by what Stephenie Meyer was able to pull off. She domesticated the romance of the vampire, by making the vampire the son next to you in biology class. The notion of vampires going to high school eternally seems like hell to me.

I dont recall having any sophisticated thinks about it. I went to the movies, but didnt truly have interest in the books. I dipped into the books a bit, but never had any sophisticated analysis of it. But Im not surprised by that various kinds of criticism. It sounds valid, it voices interesting. But what I insured upfront was simply the romancethat a vampire would fall in love with you, protect you from everybody else, and become your archangel, and how that would appeal to a young reader.

A lot of readers will be surprised by how your new volume, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, posits that vampires descended from foreigners.

Id always been interested in where the vampires came from, and early on in the books Id hinted that the origin of the vampires had to do with a spirit, Amel, that mutated and entered into an ancient Egyptian queen to whom all other vampires descended, and who all other vampires were connected. Who was that spirit? Did he have a history? Was he a ghost? Truly, thats what resulted me here. I wanted to explore Amels history. Did he have a history of anything beyond what we could even imagine? Atlantis opened the possibility to all that. Id had quite a bit of material written for a fiction called Born for Atlantis that involved quite a few of these characters, too.