A Personal History of Vampires

So it's been announced that Anne Rice is writing another Lestat book, and I'm somewhere between excited and trepidatious.

I read Interview with the Vampire when I was fourteen. Surprisingly, my school library had a copy; I'm sure if that had been at all widely known there would have been protests or something. I knew my mother wouldn't approve of my reading material, so I hid the book. Devoured it in a short time. I loved it, and it is still one of the few books I re-read semi-regularly. Every now and then I just get a hankering to read it.

By the time I was reading The Vampire Lestat, I wasn't bothering to try and hide it. I left the book lying around, and though my mother's disapproval hung thick in the air, she didn't stop me. I guess she figured I got my reading habits from my dad—Sherlock Holmes, Stephen King, Dean R. Koontz, and now this kind of thing. We adopted a little black kitten and I named it Armand.

I got through Tale of the Body Thief and then had to wait. But not too long. From that point all my vampire novels are hardbound copies. I loved Pandora, and Merrick (I re-read those sometimes too). I have vivid memories of reading The Vampire Armand at a time when I was living alone; I would sit out on my balcony and read until the sun went down and I could no longer see the words on the pages clearly.

In November of 2002, I flew down to New Orleans to give some friends a tour of the city, and I had Blackwood Farm with me. It felt strange to be home and reading that book . . . I knew Stan was very ill, and it was like I could feel it emanating from across town. I could see Lestat pacing the house, turning frustrated circles, could sense his agitation.

Stan passed away not long after I flew back to Boston.

At that point in the series we were dealing with a far more mellow Lestat, and I wasn't sure I liked it. Though there is something to be said for character arc and development, by the time we got to Blood Canticle, he was quite composed and seemed far less the rebel he'd once been. So I'm not sure what to expect from a new book.

What's funny is, Louis was always my favorite. And yet all my friends say that's because I'm a Lestat at heart, so of course I'm drawn to Louis, my opposite. He is calm and thoughtful, I am drastic and dramatic and impulsive.

Or . . . I used to be. I'm less so now. Perhaps I've mellowed as well.

But now I think I will go at least re-read Blackwood Farm and Blood Canticle to refresh my memory in advance of Prince Lestat. The title is interesting at least. Ah, the Brat Prince. Maybe he'll be getting some of his mojo back.

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