Anne Rice Tribute

Anne Rice died on December 11th, at the age of 80. Known chiefly or at least initially, from her “Vampire Chronicles” (starting with the publication of Interview with the Vampire, in 1976), the lady went on to write over 30 books, straddling many genres.


For me, and as should come as no surprise, considering this column you are reading, it was Rice’s erotica that touched me most.


The lady’s BDSM takes on the Sleeping Beauty myth in her “Beauty” series, her Exit To Eden (I warn you, never ever watch the movie made of this book!) as well as my favorite Anne Rice, and one of my favorite books of all time, Belinda, all pack a naughty spellbinding punch and brought me to the realization that not only could Rice write (which I knew from reading plenty of her other books) but she was a world-class erotica scribe.


And there was a fair amount of drama that spoke to me personally, in Anne Rice’s journey and in how she exposed her writing in the sexy genre.


In 1985 I bought the aforementioned Exit To Eden from my local mall bookstore (man, how I miss those bookstores, and just hanging out at the mall in general). I had no idea who the author of that book, Anne Rambling, was, but lifting the hardcover down and giving it a quick perusal, I realized here was a hot little tale, well-written and unlike anything I had come across lately. I devoured the book and turned on a handful of my friends of like-minded sensibility to it.


They couldn’t put the book down long enough to touch themselves adequately, most admitted. 


Fast forward a year later, the hardcover Belinda hits the shelves, and I am shocked, yet thrilled to see, printed on this book’s lurid cover (which has turned away too many readers, I am sure) that the author of Belinda was “Anne Rice writing as Anne Rambling.” Rice would also pen her “Beauty” books under a pseudonym, A. N. Roquelaure. Pretty much pouring out books of all stripes, and even though investing her vampire fiction with a goodly amount of homosexual male interacting, the lady didn’t feel confident to put her real name, the one connected with mainstream horror popularity, on any of her erotica, at least initially. She also came under a good amount of criticism from the feminist community at the time, especially for the “Beauty” books, seeing as the main character in these books was a sub-female.


‘Outing’ herself with Belinda (and all too soon revealing herself also as A.N. Roquelaure), Rice let the world know that she was a prolific writer of all kinds of fiction and proud to be so. In fact, the plot of Belinda, which I will only reveal enough of to make my point here, sees the main character confronted with the fact that he is coming to create art that is changing his life, is the most important stuff he has ever made, but will, if revealed, certainly jeopardize the art he is known for and has gained his popularity from.


Yes, art imitates life and vice versa.


I loved me some Anne Rice from here on in… as if I didn’t love the lady already! I even met her around this time and had a quick yet spirited exchange with her at a book signing, where she called me “darling.” And seeing as I was undergoing my own little mini-artistic consideration at the time, beginning to write erotica for the first time, while penning children’s songs and writing mainstream sci-fi, I could relate to the story of Belinda and what it seemed to mean to Anne Rice.


So, now with this wonderful writer, fantastically friendly lady, and spectacular erotica writer dead, I felt I needed to take a column here and pay tribute, in my small way, to one of the best writers of our age, Anne Rice.


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