Twenty-sixth installment in a series exploring very important people in my life.
Let me start explaining how this will work: I listed 65 idols of mine. Every Friday (with the exception of those reserved for the Rock Chain posts) I’ll draw one of the names (following a system that it’s really not important to be explained here) and talk about it.
Therefore, the order in which the names will appear doesn’t necessarily shows where they rank in my preference.
As a final introductory note, this is also not a biography article. I’ll just write how I feel about people represented in it, their talent and their importance in my life.
First of all, it’s my distinguished pleasure to finally induct the first woman into the Hall of Idols. I was personally getting a little uneasy with my draws that never resulted in a girl. Well, finally it did.
If you think the Twilight saga is groundbreaking for showing vampires and werewolves in more human light, you have a lot of homework to do. This trend started with a girl from New Orleans who did it first and a zillion times better.
Anne O’Brien Rice was born Howard Allen Frances O’ Brien October 4, 1941 in New Orleans (LA). She changed her name to Anne while still a little girl in school and changed it legally in 1947.
Anne quotes writers like Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, John Milton, Ernest Hemingway and Henry James among her influences and is one of the most successful writers of all time.
Interview with the Vampire, the first book of her highly successful Vampire Chronicles went on to become a major blockbuster starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pit and an infant Kirsten Dunst. But that was all a bonus. The whole Vampire saga thrilled readers all over the world with the stories from the Vampire Lestat and his coven.
Anne says she based her vampires on Gloria Holden’s character in Dracula’s Duaghter, but she obviously took it a lot of steps further. Lestat, Armand, David Talbot, Louis, Claudia, Mario and others are complex characters, full of the most unsettling human doubts and fears.
I, personally, although love the Vampire Chronicles (specially the first four books) am a sucker for her Mayfair Witches lives four books. Every time somebody asks me about my favorite books, Witching Hour I and II, Lasher and Taltos are always on top of my list. I wanted to marry Rowan Mayfair! And when reading them, Anne Rice easily surpassed Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Dalton Trumbo and Gabriel Garcia Marquez as my favorite writer of all time.
The funny thing about my relationship with Anne Rice’s whole body of work is that many people want to go to New Orleans after reading her books. I was quite the opposite: I wanted to read Anne Rice after I had been so many times and New Orleans and learn about her work.
I am currently reading the second from her Werewolves novels, The Wolves of Midwinter, and just like she did with vampires and witches I can’t think of anyone transforming monsters that were thought to be just scary in such complex and lovable characters.
I remember reading praises for The Witching Hour on the back cover and one of those summed up to me all Rice’s books: “When you finish reading this book, you’ll feel withdrawal syndrome from its characters.”
Therefore, Mrs. Rice, pick up your blood drinkers, Sabbath queens and moon howlers and welcome to the Hall of Idols.
Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal” one of the winners of the NABE Pinnacle Awards 2014 Fall edition.
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