Happy Valentines Day!
It is only fitting that I write of a woman who knows a thing or two about love, lust, desire, torture, torment, pain, blood, and blood lust. Yes, that just so happens to be this Twisted Twins' definition of love.
Like the infamous Elton John song, I Want Love, (video starring one young and tortured Robert Downey Jr sprung from his prison cell for the infamous one day video shoot), "So bring it on, I've been bruised, Don't give me love that's clean and smooth, I'm ready for the rougher stuff, No sweet romance, I've had enough".
Without further chit and chat, may I introduce a woman who I assume needs no introduction...
In a way, it makes me sad to write this.
Why, Jen? Valentines Day blues? Far from it.
I feel a great swell of pity for the youth of today. Anne Rice is none other the THE woman to start the vampire craze. She is the astounding writer behind INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, THE VAMPIRE LESTAT, QUEEN OF THE DAMNED, MEMNOCH THE DEVIL, and WAY too many to name here. As the youth of today grow up on TWILIGHT, I fondly remember my own youth. A time where vampires were mature, and sexual, filled with inner demons (and outer), where I would read a passage so passionately charged, my little heart would be racing and my cheeks would be flushed.
Anne Rice's vampires were seductive, intelligent, sophisticated, primal, and were written with such profound talent that you felt that you actually knew them. Like, at any moment, you could turn down a darkened street and come face to face with the Vampire Lestat himself. Where Anne Rice succeeded, TWILIGHT falls flat. I would not say that it is because TWILIGHT is geared towards a "younger audience". I was very young when I read those novels myself. I feel that the greatest flaw of the TWILIGHT series is that it insults the intelligence of readers where Anne Rice's provocative tales always challenged her readers.
Look at the image above, my friends. Allow me to prove you wrong. Pick up any one of these novels and feel yourself swept away into her world. Let me warn you, you won't be able to stop after just one.
"My vampire novels and other novels I’ve written... are attempting to be transformative stories… All these novels involve a strong moral compass. Evil is never glorified in these books; on the contrary, the continuing battle against evil is the subject of the work. The search for the good is the subject of the work… Interview with the Vampire... is about the near despair of an alienated being who searches the world for some hope that his existence can have meaning. His vampire nature is clearly a metaphor for human consciousness or moral awareness. The major theme of the novel is the misery of this character because he cannot find redemption and does not have the strength to end the evil of which he knows himself to be a part." - Anne Rice
Now with that out of the way and the distinction between these two entities laid out, more about my lady, miss Rice...
Officially put, Anne Rice is a best-selling American author of gothic, erotic, and religious-themed books from New Orleans, Louisiana. She was married to poet and painter Stan Rice for 41 years until his death from cancer in 2002. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history.
Rice spent most of her early life in New Orleans, Louisiana, which forms the background against which most of her stories take place. She was the second daughter in a Catholic Irish American family; Rice's sister, the late Alice Borchardt, also became a noted genre author. About her unusual given name, Rice said: "My birth name is Howard Allen because apparently my mother thought it was a good idea to name me Howard. My father's name was Howard, she wanted to name me after Howard, and she thought it was a very interesting thing to do."
Rice became "Anne" on her first day of school, when a nun asked her what her name was. She told the nun "Anne," which she considered a pretty name. Her mother, who was with her, let it go without correcting her, knowing how self-conscious her daughter was of her real name. From that day on, everyone she knew addressed her as "Anne".
Anne Rice, raised Catholic, famously returned to Christianity in 2005 during a brush with death when she fell into a diabetic coma. She had first left when she was 18. Though she had returned, she continued to disagree with some of their stances on multiple issues, especially those revolving around gay rights.
On July 29th, 2010, she very publicly left once more with an now infamous facebook status update (yes, the Queen of Horror IS on facebook, but as you may imagine, she has reached/exceeded her friend limit) stating: "For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else." She remains religious, but refuses to an belong to organized religion.
Even to this day, she remains a huge inspiration not only to myself, but countess others. Her novels are sheer brilliance. It is with great honor I recognize this incredible woman. Thank you, Miss Rice, for your astounding contributions, iron will, strength, courage, characters, and unforgettable stories.