I first discovered my love of her books with Interview With A Vampire. She brought a humanity to her paranormal world that was haunting. I read as much of her work as possible, savoring each story as if it was my last meal.
As a writer, my work reflects what is happening in my life at that moment and I always assume that many other writers experience the same thing. The focus of their life changes and it changes their work. When the tone of Rice's novels moved from torturned paranormal creatures to a religious romantic series, I followed along, knowing that the change had to symbolize a huge shift in her life.
It turned out that after years of considering herself an atheist, Anne Rice returned to the Catholic church of her youth and for twelve years she was a devote catholic.
Then came the day in 2010 when I came to admire Anne Rice even more.
In 2010, I found myself newly widowed, a single mother, and scared. When I think about it, scared isn't even the right word. It's a feeling that goes deeper than missing your spouse or worrying about how you're going to do it all alone. You always want to protect your children, but suddenly there is this overwhelming feeling that you have to sheild them from the entire world.
Anne Rice must have felt the same way when she broke with the Catholic church in part due to its stand on homosexuality. Rather than turn her back on her gay son Christopher (an talented writer himself), Rice stood next to her son, supporting him against the religious world. Suddenly, Anne Rice wasn't just the writer that created the stories that I loved. She was a mother that couldn't stand with a group that stood against her child.
Now, with the release of The Wolf Gift, Anne Rice has returned to the paranormal. I know her work won't be the same as before. She's changed and grown, her work will reflect that. One thing that I know for sure, I admire her as a gifted writer and a devoted mother. Perhaps she can't go back to the Catholic church, but the literary world will welcome her back again and again.