Anne Rice on Strombo

First aired on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (13/2/12)

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Without question, one of the biggest phenomena in pop culture over the past decade has been the return of vampire fiction. Thanks in large part to Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series, and the subsequent mainstream rise of other vampire franchises like True Blood (based on the Charlaine Harris novels) and L.J. Smith's Vampire Diaries, pale, immortal, blood-sucking anti-heroes are capturing the imaginations of newer generations of readers. So what does a vampire fiction legend like Anne Rice, who found fame in the 1970s with her seminal novel Interview with the Vampire, think of it all?

"I understand it," she told CBC's George Strombolopolous. "I think it was a stroke of genius for Vampire Diaries and Stephanie Meyer to put vampires in high school. That was great. I never thought of that. My vampires would not go to high school. I would have to torture them to make them go to high school."

Rice explained that she took a different approach. "I wanted very glamorous, very mythological vampires, and they did the opposite. They domesticated them, they put them in high school and Charlaine Harris put them in Bon Temps, Louisiana, Sam Merlotte's corner bar or whatever. I thought that was great."

Despite a writing career that spans three decades, Rice has never grown tired of supernatural stories. Her latest book, The Wolf Gift, which is set for release this month, gave her a chance to write about werewolves, the powerful, hairy rivals of vampires.

"I don't know, I don't think authors really choose things. It chooses us, you find out," she said. "I'm sure it's the same with Tom Clancy, he writes what he writes becabill-compton-175.jpguse that's where the intensity is, that's where the fun is, that's where he feels alive. It's the same with me and the supernatural: when I'm writing about a vampire, a witch, a werewolf, a ghost, mummy, whatever...I feel completely alive."

That's all well and good, Anne, but here's what we really want to know: Which current vampire hunk is your favourite? Are you a fan of Team Edward, Team Bill Compton, Team Eric Northman or Team Salvatore Brothers (and which Salvatore?).

"I'd choose Bill," she said. "I think he's cool."


The Wolf Gift

by Anne Rice


Buy this book at:

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From the publisher:

"A daring new departure from the inspired creator of The Vampire Chronicles ("unrelentingly erotic . . . unforgettable"-The Washington Post), Lives of the Mayfair Witches ("Anne Rice will live on through the ages of literature"-San Francisco Chronicle), and the angels of The Songs of the Seraphim ("remarkable"-Associated Press). A whole new world -- modern, sleek, high-tech -- and at its center, a story as old and compelling as history: the making of a werewolf, reimagined and reinvented as only Anne Rice, teller of mesmerizing tales, conjurer extraordinaire of other realms, could create."

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.