Gothic fiction writer Anne Rice died December 11, 2021 as the result of complications from a stroke in her native New Orleans at the age of 80.  Son Christopher, who has followed in his mother’s author footsteps, was at her bedside at the time of her death.

For generations horror fans saw the vampire as a blood sucking monster who ran…or flew….around sucking the blood out of everyone they met.  Rice changed all that, giving them “human” qualities with real lives. 

In books like “The Witching Hour” she made female character – witches – as strong powerful women who defied the belief of women being the weaker sex.

Editor Victoria Wilson called Rice a writer, “decades ahead of her time.”

Over the course of her career, Rice penned over 30 works – 13 as a part of the “Vampire Chronicles” – and sold over 150 million copies around the world.

Her breakout book was “Interview with a Vampire” – a book written while she was grieving the death of her daughter who died at the age of five after a battle with Leukemia.  The book went on to become a hit movie and will spawn a television series next year.

One of those many books was a memoir titled “Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession” in which she noted, “I wrote novels about people who are shut out life for various reasons.  This became a great theme of my novels — how one suffers as an outcast, how one is shut out of various levels of meaning and, ultimately, out of human life itself.”

Her final work “Ramses the Damned: The Reign of Osiris” – penned with son Christopher – will be released in February.

Named after her father, Howard Allen Frances O’Brien was born on October 4, 1941 in New Orleans to an Irish Catholic family.  While a postal worker, her father also wrote fiction.  She took the name Anne when she entered first grade.  Her mother, Katherine, died when Anne was 15.

In 2010 Rice announced that she would no longer be a Christian saying, “I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control.”  She added, “I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t make this declaration, I was going to lose my mind.”

Predeceased by writer husband Stan Rice and daughter Michelle, she is survived by her son Christopher.

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