American author Anne Rice, best known for her Vampire Chronicles, was born in 1941 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Anne’s childhood was marked by challenges – alcoholism in the family, poverty – and the powerful influences of both New Orleans culture and her Catholic upbringing. After graduating from high school, Rice decided to move to San Francisco, where she settled in the Haight-Ashbury area. After graduating from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Political Science, she then went on to earn her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.
This time, Rice chose Creative Writing as her academic focus, and she determined to begin her work as a writer. But before she began her first novel, she and her husband were faced with a terrible tragedy – the loss of their daughter to granulocytic leukemia. Anne took the grief and channeled it into her first novel, Interview with the Vampire, which was published in 1976. The novel was an enormous hit, leading to a career for Rice which has since spawned multiple sequels, film adaptations, and additional literature.
To date, Anne Rice has penned nearly fifty works, thirteen of which are part of the “Vampire Chronicles” that begin with Interview with the Vampire and include: The Vampire Lestat (1985), The Queen of the Damned (1988), Memnock the Devil (1995), and The Vampire Armand (1988.) Additional series include: New Tales of the Vampires, Lives of the Mayfair Witches, Christ the Lord, Songs of Seraphim, The Wolf Gift Chronicles. Rice has also written under two different pseudonyms and has published short fiction and a memoir – Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession – as well.
Two of Rice’s novels have so far been adapted into a film, starting with the 1994 interpretation of Interview with the Vampire, starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Kirsten Dunst in her breakout role. Queen of the Damned was adapted in 2002, but Interview with the Vampire is still to date the film with which Rice is most frequently associated.