Anne Rice died last night. I was sucked into The Vampire Chronicles shortly after The Vampire Lestat came out in paperback. My friend Gilbert Bouchard, who was an aficionado of vampire fiction, raved about it and lent me his copy. I read it all in two or three days, which is fast for me. I was really taken by the vampire who was described as a David Bowie-like figure. At that point, I wasn’t used to reading fiction which make reference to niche corners of pop culture. Bowie wasn’t exactly underground, but neither was he usually referred to outside of music and fashion circles.
Besides that, the story of Lestat, Louis, and the doomed child Claudia had me hook, line, and sinker. I read went back and read Interview with a Vampire after that, and followed up with subsequent books in the series as they were released. They sprawled out of control for my tastes, and I wasn’t a fan Rice’s later war on fan fiction. But before that, I had an opportunity to interview her when she was in Edmonton to promote Lasher in 1993.
Rice was welcoming, thoughtful, and goth-fashionable. I think she really appreciated the surroundings. We were seated in Queen Anne (a coincidence) armchairs next to to the grand fireplace at the Châteauesque-style Hotel Macdonald. She said she liked my jacket, a black riding-jacket affair with back pleats; I felt this was the highest complement a fan of vampire literature could attain.
She spoke freely for the better part of an hour. Re-reading the interview, I was surprised by the number topics she discussed. Now I’m tempted to read or re-read all of Anne Rice’s vampire and Mayfair witch books.