Anne Rice gets vampires. She understands the dangerous charm of these wily bloodsuckers and why audiences are attracted to their stories, and she spent years writing about them even before the Tom Cruise-starring big-screen adaptation of "Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles" in 1994. In the last few years, though, Rice quit writing about vampires and another author — Stephenie Meyer, with her "Twilight" tales of teen love — replaced Rice as the superstar storyteller of bloodsucking immortals.
Though she said she hasn't read any of the "Twilight" books, Rice still gets vampires and appreciates why they continue to fascinate people. A viewing of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's film made all this clear to the author.
"I haven't read any of the 'Twilight' series, but I did see the film," Rice said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "I felt that it reflected the deep desire of young women to have the mystery and protection and wisdom of older men. I think many girls mature much earlier than boys, and they are frustrated when they approach young boys for love or protection. Hence the fantasy of a wise and protective vampire coming into the life of a young girl who, of course, appreciates him in a special way."
"Twilight" isn't the only vampire franchise for which Rice has an appreciation. Since she's no longer writing about the supernatural beings, she can take pleasure in their moment of renewed pop-cultural relevancy. "I think it's wonderful fun," she said. "Now that I don't write the 'Vampire Chronicles' [series of books] I feel free to enjoy it. I really enjoy the HBO series 'True Blood.' When I was writing my own, I wouldn't have wanted to be influenced."
Might Rice again tackle the vampire? Could she herself tap into the cultural phenomenon? That seems unlikely, as she explained in the interview. "Vampires for me were always like feeling grief for my lost childhood faith, being cut off from that life," she explained. "I reached the point where I didn't have any more stories to tell from that point of view. Being on the side of the angels, it feels much better than being on the side of the vampires. Vampires were tortured, tragic figures."