The Heartbreaking Death Of Author Anne Rice

Before there was Edward, Jacob, and the rest of the "Twilight" gang, there was Louis, Lestat, and the unique magic that is "Interview with a Vampire." The two characters may have been brought to life on screen by Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, but it was the mind of gothic novelist Anne Rice that brought them into existence. After a long career of writing characters that captured the imaginations of millions, author Anne Rice passed away on Saturday at the age of 80, per CNN. She succumbed to complications resulting from a stroke. 

Rice's son, Chris Rice, was the first to share the news of his mother's passing with a post on the late author's Facebook page that he also shared on his own Twitter. "Dear People of Page, this is Anne's son Christopher and it breaks my heart to bring you this sad news," he wrote. "The immensity of my family's grief cannot be overstated." After sharing the cause of death, Chris sung Anne's praises as both a mother and an author. "In her final hours, I sat beside her hospital bed in awe of her accomplishments and her courage, awash in memories..." Chris also shared that Anne would be interred in the family's mausoleum in New Orleans and a funeral service is set to be held there "next year." 

While Anne may have been best known for "Interview with a Vampire," in large part due to the highly successful film adaptation, it was far from her only work.

The life of Anne Rice

"Interview with a Vampire" was Anne Rice's debut novel, but she published an impressive 42 books, including "Queen of the Damned" and several other stories centered around Louis and Lestat, per the Anne Rice website. Upon her passing, horror writers paid tribute to all that Rice accomplished. Horror legend Ramsey Campbell described Rice's writing as having "the great tradition of the gothic, both thematically and in her prose" to The Guardian. "I would argue it's a specifically female lineage that stretches from the classical gothics but in particular from Mary Shelley, in its humanisation of the monster and the way it accords him a thoroughly literate voice," Campbell said.

Her writing went beyond vampires, though, and Rice was also very well known for her erotic "Beauty and the Beast" series, and novels about Christ and the angels. Rice had a famously complicated relationship with Christianity, after finding and giving up her faith in a short time period. She famously "quit" Christianity in 2010 and shared an impassioned post to her Facebook explaining why. "In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay," she wrote, per NPR. "I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen."

A talented and complex woman, Anne Rice will surely be missed.