Interview: Anne Rice Talks 'Claudia's Story' And 'The Wolf Gift'

By Danica Davidson

Anne Rice made her literary debut in 1976 with “Interview with the Vampire,” and her iconic book is getting a graphic adaptation by Yen Press  in “Interview with the Vampire: Claudia’s Story,” due out November 20. The graphic novel can now be preordered, but it’s not Rice’s only work that has made it over into the comics medium. “Servants of the Bones” has been adapted by IDW, and adaptations of “The Wolf Gift” and “Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana” are going to be released. Rice spoke to MTV Geek about her early love of graphic novels, her wish to have more works adapted, and if she might ever pen an original graphic novel.

MTV Geek: Congrats on having “The Wolf Gift” turned into a graphic novel! Can you tell us more about this?

Anne Rice: I’m very excited about that. Its publisher, Yen, which is also the publisher for “Interview with the Vampire: Claudia’s Story,” is just exceptional. They’re doing a kind of fully realized art that I have dreamed of for my graphic novel adaptations. I have never really quite seen it before. I’ve seen good graphic adaptations in the past, but nothing that can compare with them for intricacy and accuracy, and the depth of the adaptation. I’m thrilled that they want to do “The Wolf Gift” now, too. I wish that they would do all my work!

Geek: Was it your idea to do a graphic novel of “Interview”?

Rice: They came up with the idea of doing it from Claudia’s point-of-view. I felt it was quite all right to license them to do that adaptation. It was no different, really, than licensing somebody to do a musical or a movie. I was quite intrigued and willing for them to do it.

Geek: How involved were you in the process of making it?

Rice: They sent me the art all along and I gave feedback. I felt it was all quite faithful.

Geek: Can we talk more about “Servant of the Bones” and your other books getting graphic novel adaptations?

Rice: I thought the “Servant of the Bones” adaptation was great, too. IDW did a fine job on that, and they invited me to the Comic-Con in San Diego to sign. It was a lot of fun. I really loved doing that and I loved all of them and I’d be happy if they did some more things of mine, too.

“Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana” is in the works, and I’m very eager to see that one.

Many of my books have been done in graphic novel form in the past, and those editions are out of print. We do get inquiries and I’m very eager to see it all happen, because I love graphic novels. I think they’re a wonderful form.

Geek: Do you read many graphic novels?

Rice: I did as a child and I did even as a young adult. I can’t say that I read them a lot now. My life has become so much an Internet life; if I were to go into bookstores and browse, I probably would buy more of them and pore over them. But I don’t do that anymore. Everything is done on the Internet. If I happen on some exciting graphic novel, I’ll certainly buy it.

But I do love them. I used to collect children’s books — interesting graphic-novel-form children’s books. I remember buying one for my son that was “Around the World in Eighty Days” in graphic novel form. And I thought it was great. Of course he had all the “Tin-Tin” books, which are similar. But then he grew up and moved away, and I stopped browsing in bookstores for all kinds of interesting things. [laughing] I wish I could get back to that.

Geek: When you say you’ve always wanted to turn these into graphic novels, does that mean when you were first writing these books you pictured them in that form, too?

Rice: Yeah. Yeah, I always thought that was a very exciting idea. I grew up reading the Classic Comics. I was very, very influenced by them. I remember the pictures and the words and the captions, all of that from the comic book of “Jane Eyre.” I always thought it was an amazing form. I was excited by it. It didn’t stop me from going on and reading the books. “Jane Eyre” was one of the first complete novels I ever read. But I was always excited by that form and how it could pictorially interpret the novel.

I would love it if my books were illustrated right now, if the hardcovers had illustrations, like “The Strand Magazine” had for Sherlock Holmes. I would love that. I would so love that. I have tried many times to get my publisher interested in that, but it’s a bit of an unwieldy idea.

Geek: Have you thought of doing an original graphic novel?

Rice: I have. I just haven’t got there yet. It’s a lovely idea. If it turned out that next door there [laughing] were a couple of artists and graphic novel people who came over here and said, “Do you want to do something?” I would love it.

Anything I really get into, I generally do as a full, hardcover novel. That’s the problem. You know what I mean? People will say, “Do you have an idea for this? Do you have an idea for that?” And the truth is, if I really get into it, I’ll make it into a novel. “The Wolf Gift” happened that way. It started as a TV treatment. Then I got into it and I thought, “Wow, I’m going to do this. It’s going to be a novel.” And so there I was writing to my agent, saying, “Forget that treatment. The novel’s coming your way.”

That happens to me a lot, so that’s why I don’t develop things to be original graphic novels. Because it ends up being a full novel and then someone else comes in and adapts it. When you’re writing a hardcover novel, you’re totally in control. You’re the art director, you’re every actor in the cast, you’re the set designer. So I always go back to where I’m most comfortable and that’s just writing a novel.

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EXCLUSIVE: First Look at the Cover of Yen's Interview with the Vampire Graphic Novel


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