Every author has their own unique approach to storytelling. Today we are going to be looking at The Queen of The Damned herself, Anne Rice. She was widely known in the 80’s for her Vampire Chronicle series, The Lives of the Mayfair Witches series and her portrayal of complexly deep villains. If I may paraphrase, she once said that villains are the truly interesting ones.
Her writing and even some of her characters (most notably, Lestat), are greatly influenced by her husband, Stan Rice. As a poet, Stan Rice’s influence on Anne Rice’s writing is shown through beautifully crafted, almost poetic prose. It might often be referred to as “purple prose”, or over-flowery speech, but for the characters she writes, it fit perfectly with the old world feel. There is an elegance to her writing that is often lacking in books of that caliber.
A great majority of her books are written in first person perspective. This decision helps put the reader into the mindset of the characters themselves, as though they are sitting down at a table with them, having a conversation with dark beings. And a great majority are also recorded as though the vampire is writing the book itself, making the work not a secondary source, but a primary source. This creates intimacy between the reader and the fictional world she creates.
The thing about Anne Rice is that her novels were never written specifically to be brought to the big screen. I think most modern authors write more of a screenplay than a story, relying heavily on the visuals and dialogue between characters to form the plot. Rice’s writing delves deeper than that, touching on subjects of philosophic and religious theory. There is also a great sense of history about her work, as if she has been to every point in time along with her characters in order to write what they experienced. Writing this way, with historical facts, takes much more work than sitting down at a computer and typing out straight fiction. It takes research, patience, and accuracy.
And yet it is these historic ties that help create the complex structure of her novels. In a sense, it really brings history to life. Her characters act as guides through history as they react to events and environments of the past, as well as their own internal feelings of life, death, loss, and betrayal.
If you are new to Anne Rice, I recommend you begin your journey with Interview With The Vampire. It is in this book that we are introduced to some of her most memorable characters; Louis, Claudia, and Lestat. It is also the first book in the famous Vampire Chronicles series, followed by The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned.
My personal favorite is Pandora. I love the way she captures the relationship between two fiery souls who don’t necessarily find their happy ending, but who are tied to each other spiritually and mentally forever. The primary characters in this story are Pandora, or Lydia as she was called when she was human, and Marius, the vampire who lives in a pink villa in Antioch when he first meets Pandora.
If you love history, complexly beautiful relationships that are not always of the heterosexual nature, or deep and philosophical writing, then Anne Rice is the author for you.