Anne Rice Started Her Werewolf Series on a Whim
Becket Ghioto Author Anne Rice is at Changing Hands this week.
By Tina Riddle
Famous for her vampire fiction, Anne Rice has set out to redefine the supernatural genre of werewolves. In her new series, The Wolf Chronicles, which launched in 2012 with The Wolf Gift, she introduced a new hero, Reuben Golding. After being bitten by a mysterious beast, Golding finds himself transforming into a werewolf, or, as Rice perceives it, a "man wolf" who never loses his human consciousness or his awareness as he changes.
We reached Rice by phone as she was preparing to leave for the last leg of her tour for her latest book, The Wolves of Midwinter, the second installment in the Wolf Chronicles series.
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Can you tell me a little about how this new wolf series, The Wolf Chronicles, came into being?
Someone suggested to me that I might try werewolves, and the suggestion came at just the right time. I was looking for something new to do and I thought, all right, I think I'll try that, and I wrote The Wolf Gift. What I discovered while I was writing the book [was] that I could make the werewolf theme acceptable to myself largely by dealing with a conscious "man wolf," a man that doesn't lose his self-awareness when he becomes a werewolf. He is aware of who he is, he can speak, he can think, and he remembers everything that he does. For me, that opened up the whole werewolf genre to a new level. I really enjoyed creating this character, Reuben, giving him my version of how he dealt with the transformation and what he discovers about the origin of the species of the werewolf. So, it was really just a whim, I mean, that's how most fiction for me starts, with a whim.
In your past series, The Vampire Chronicles and The Mayfair Witches, the stories ran along parallels that included crossovers with vampire and witch characters. Is this new series also parallel? Will we be seeing characters from other books?
I don't want to do anymore crossovers. I'm not sure that crossovers really work for me. The texture of each series is so distinct, the ambiance, the personalities; I just don't want to play around with crossovers anymore. What I do have, in The Wolves of Midwinter, are other kinds of immortals coming into the story. They are all unique to the Wolf Gift Chronicles. There is a group of spirits called the forest gentry, who live in the forest, and there is another mystery, regarding a certain kind of ageless person.
Who is your favorite character in The Wolf Chronicles? Who is your least favorite?
Reuben, my hero, he's my favorite character for sure, the story is written from his point of view, it's not in the first-person, but it's following Reuben and his adventures as he gets deeper and deeper into the world of the man wolf.
As for my least favorite, I don't know. I really don't write characters I don't love. Sometimes the characters that you love are the hardest to write. I really love all of the characters; I don't get much mileage out of characters that I don't love. Some authors do, you know, they write from anger or from a critical standpoint, and that's fine, and they write very well, but I don't write from that point of view. I write from the point of view of embracing the character, sort of with love.
I guess the least favorite character in the novel is a woman named Celeste, an old girlfriend of Reuben's, she's pretty horrible. She's an awful antagonist.