I am really into vampires. No, they aren’t real. No, I don’t pretend to be one. And again, they do not sparkle! But I very much like to read books where the main characters are vamps. It all started for me with the movie Interview with the Vampire. Yes, the movie. Before that, I always thought of fantasy creatures such as vampires and werewolves were scary. This is probably because my dad liked the original Dracula with Bela Lugosi and other classic horror movies and impressed upon me that vampires = scary.
The movie Interview with the Vampire changed that perspective for me. I wasn’t really scared of anything in that movie. I was, however, very intrigued. Vampires weren’t entirely monstrous. Indeed, the main character of the movie, Louis, tries very much to be human. He attempts not to live off human blood for the longest time and he treats Claudia as a daughter.
I watched that movie twice in a row the day I rented it. The rest of my family thought I was nuts. They didn’t like the movie and I couldn’t really explain my infatuation with it. But when I watched it the second time (with the lights off, to increase the ambiance), I noticed that it was based on a novel by author Anne Rice.
I think I was in junior high school at this time, and I was mostly into reading Star Trek book s (Yes, I am a Trekkie-I was born one) and Three Investigators novels (which I recommend for younger readers). I was a little wary about starting Interview with the Vampire. Oh. My. God. It was an amazing book.
To this day, I still own the first copy of it I ever read. This is an A+ book. Anne Rice has a beautiful way with words. You can almost see and feel what the characters are seeing and feeling. Lestat could have been an entirely unlikable character what with how much he thinks only of himself, but there are layers to him that you can’t help but fall in love with.
Interview with the Vampire was the first in a series of novels by Anne Rice revolving around an core group of vampires (Lestat, Louis, Armand et al) and humans (the ‘boy’ reporter Daniel and a secretive group called the Talamasca). The Vampire Chronicles arc spans eons, from Ancient Egypt to present, and does it well. I suppose it isn’t quite ‘urban’ fantasy in its entirety, but still well worth the read. To this day, one of my favorite authors is Anne Rice.