Anne Rice

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Name: Anne Rice
Also Known As: Anne Rampling, A.N. Roquelaure
Occupation: author
Medium: novels
Works: Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned
Official Website(s): annerice.com and Anne Rice's Facebook
Fan Website(s): Vampire Lestat Fan Club
On Fanlore: Related pages

Anne Rice is the author of the popular Vampire Chronicles series, and Sleeping Beauty Trilogy BDSM fantasy series (the latter under the pseudonym "A.N. Roquelaure.")

Also see Interrogating the text from the wrong perspective.

Identifying with Lestat: Anne

In 2001, Anne wrote:
Lestat...it's hard to describe Lestat. Lestat, in a way, is my whole life, because even when I'm not writing about Lestat, I'm looking at the world through Lestat's eyes, and it's Lestat who has made me a world traveller. Lestat who's transported me out of myself, and my preoccupation with my limitations, both physical and spiritual. Lestat is more than just a created charcter [sic] to me. He is a symbol of some kind of freedom and dominance, and yet I never kid myself about his evil. He represents the ruthless side in us, but he's part of my thoughts night and day. And, part of my conversation night and day, I suppose. Almost everything I see, I ask myself 'What would Lestat think of this...how would Lestat react to this,' so I would say that he is the other half of me, but he is the male ruthless half of me that, thank God, does not exist, except in fiction. [1]

Specs: A Fiction Term

Early fics based on the Vampire Chronicles were called specs. These fics were posted on alt.books.anne-rice beginning in the early 1990s. While Rice did not approve of them, she did not take any action against them until 2000. [2] [3]

See Spec Writer Massacre.

Rice's Attitudes Regarding Fans and Fanfiction Based on Her Work: Official Policies

Unknown Date

1995

From the rules on Rices' mailing list in 1995:

No specs.

There are two main reasons we don't use specs. The first reason is that we choose to respect Anne's personal wishes, as stated many times, but specifically as expressed in an online chat on Compuserve on August 3, 1995:

Deborah Fort asks: Anne - Do you have any interest (or have you ever) read anything written by your fans involving your characters?

Anne Rice: No, I haven't. I'm very possesive [sic] of my characters. I think it would hurt me terribly to read anything with some of my characters. I hope you'll be inspired to write your own stories with your own characters. [4]

1996

From December 20, 1996 to February 28, 2004, Anne placed messages on a phone line for fans. [5]

1999

In 1999, Rice described her relationship with fans: "How do I cope with being so public? Actually, it's not that hard. I am seldom really bothered by people. Outside my front gate, I almost always stop to sign autographs, if asked, or to pose for pictures. People are always extremely polite. I've never been harassed by anyone." [6]

2000

Rice's statement on April 8, 2000 (still on her website in 2016):
I do not allow fan fiction. The characters are copyrighted. It upsets me terribly to even think about fan fiction with my characters. I advise my readers to write your own original stories with your own characters. It is absolutely essential that you respect my wishes. [7] [8]

2001

From a 2001 post on her official website:
What happened to the mailing list? From the webmaster: Several years ago, Mrs. Rice's staff kept a mailing list and sent out the newsletter Commotion Strange. However, as technology advanced, the decision was made to update fans through the web site, not through the mail. Therefore, Commotion Strange and the mailing list were discontinued. Updates are now released through the web site and through Mrs. Rice's fan phone line. [9]

2003

2004

2005

2007

2009

On writing, my advice is the same to all. If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. If you stop, start again. Save everything that you write. If you feel blocked, write through it until you feel your creative juices flowing again. Write. Writing is what makes a writer, nothing more and nothing less. --- Ignore critics. Critics are a dime a dozen. Anybody can be a critic. Writers are priceless. ---- Go where the pleasure is in your writing. Go where the pain is. Write the book you would like to read. Write the book you have been trying to find but have not found. But write. And remember, there are no rules for our profession. Ignore rules. Ignore what I say here if it doesn't help you. Do it your own way. Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag
accessed November 2016 </ref> [10]}}

2012

In April 2012, Anne Rice was quoted in an interview as having a more nuanced position towards fanworks:

I don’t ever want to read about my characters in someone else’s writing. It’s too upsetting for me, because they are mine and from my mind. I never read fan fiction. Other writers feel differently about it and are happy and encouraging of it. I don’t make judgments—I prefer to ignore it. But if Fifty Shades of Grey grew out of that, well, there are no rules—books can come out in any variety of ways.[11]
Similarly, in November of 2012, she elaborated the "softening of her opinion":
I got upset about 20 years ago because I thought it would block me,’ she says. ‘However, it’s been very easy to avoid reading any, so live and let live. If I were a young writer, I’d want to own my own ideas. But maybe fan fiction is a transitional phase: whatever gets you there, gets you there.’ [12]

2016

socialize

Anne loves to interact with her beloved fans, who she calls the “People of the Page,” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow her for the latest news and interaction on a stunning array of topics. [13]

Rice's Own Fanfiction

Jokes about her previous position abound, such as this April Fool's joke on tor.net: Anne Rice Admits to Writing Jesus Fan Fiction.[14] This was based on her actual writing of two books presented as the autobiography of Jesus Christ, books from Jesus's POV, Christ The Lord: Out of Egypt, and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana [15]

Interrogating the Text from the Wrong Perspective

In 1999, Rice wrote of her discovery of Amazon.com: "How many of you use the Internet? How many of you know about Amazon.com? I just recently discovered that not only can you order books through Amazon.com--we've been doing that for a long time-- but that the website publishes reader responses to each and every one of my books on an individual basis. I discovered something like over a 150 reviews of MEMNOCH THE DEVIL, some as recent as this month. There were current reviews of CRY TO HEAVEN, and THE VAMPIRE LESTAT as well, books published in the 1980's. In other words, Amazon.com keeps the discussion of books alive as new readers discover those books in paperback form or in used bookstores." [16]

It turns out that fans' ability to say what they thought on an immediate and very visible platform didn't always sit well with Rice.

one of the icons generated by the fandom wank discussions. the text reads: due to technical difficulties and a severe lack of space, Anne Rice's ego will not be appearing in this icon. Icon creator: darkwitch666
another icon from the fandom wank discussion. The text is a quote from Anne Rice which was the subject of much mockery in fandom: you are interrogating the text from the wrong perspective. icon creator: sailoreagle

In September 2004, Anne Rice posted a reply on Amazon to critics of her book "Blood Canticle", in which she rejected all negative reviews.[17] Many fans found Rice's response intemperate, jargonistic, and disconcerting, leading to amusing Amazon replies, professional author and editor commentary, and a Fandom Wank post which led to seven pages of comments and an number of icons. The New York Times wrote about it, under the title "Fan power takes on new meaning." [18].

One line in particular — "interrogating the text from the wrong perspective" — is now a favorite catchphrase on Fandom Wank and elsewhere.[19][20] It is used ironically by fans to mock someone, either the original author of the text using authorial intent to trump what actually appears on the page, or another reader who assumes that there can be only one "correct" interpretation of the text. The text (fanfic or published writing) in question is usually problematic or badly written, and the mocked individual may be the lone defender. See also resistant reading.

For more, see Interrogating the text from the wrong perspective.

Removal of Fan Fiction Based on Anne Rice's Works from Fanfiction.net

A report on the page "Where Has the Anne Rice Fanfiction Gone?" from 2000 says:

This statement was then followed up by attacks on Anne Rice fanfic authors. The attacks consisted of, amongst other things, e-mailed threats regarding not only the writing of fanfiction but any writing that any fanfic author attempted to engage in (regardless of who owned the copyright), attacks on businesses that the fanfic authors owned and weeks of harassing personal letters sent to fanfic author's e-mail addresses and guestbooks. Personal information about fanfic authors was also dug up by Anne Rice employees and used as part of the harassment. Suffice it to say, Anne Rice made her displeasure clear.[21]

In response, fanfiction.net removed Vampire Chronicles and other Anne Rice fanfiction from the archive and now states that they will not archive entries based on her work.[22]. However, by 2010, simple searches on fanfiction.net for Anne Rice, Vampire Chronicles, and Lestat produced a total of several hundred stories[23].

A fan in 2015 commented: "What is it with female authors of sexy vampire books, that makes them act like their lead character is their secret boyfriend who’ll be cheating on them if he makes an appearance in someone else’s story?" [24]

2004: Regarding Negative Reviews

In September 2004, there was much discussion regarding Anne Rice's book, "Blood Canticle," on Amazon.com.

2013: Regarding Negative Reviews

2015: Regarding Negative Reviews

Comments by Fans

2000

I remember when I first started reading Rice, and when the Internet just became available to the public, I was enthralled to find this newsgroup. It was "the connection" I was so in love with. There were others who were just as passionate about the content as I. They were not all caught up in the minutiae and logistics of the details. Actually, they were very caught up in them, but in a way which felt connected. I feel that is all lost now in ABAR. For the most part people are blaming Anne and her new books which some feel are not up to snuff. They may be right, but I am still loyal to Anne for the works that DID float my boat. That DID change my life and my way of seeing things, my perspective. For that I will always be grateful to her. [25]
All this bashing about her recent books and about how she has "lost touch" with her characters and all is saddenning me deeply. It reminds me of this Stephen King book "Misery", people tend to fall in love some much with their own vision of the characters that they quickly convince themselves that they know better what the characters should do, say and feel than the author who created them. Sometimes I may get surprised and confused by what Anne comes up with (like in Memnoch for example) but then I try to understand why those things happens, what lies beyond and what are the feelings that gave birth to those unsual events. It's more of a challenge and Anne has always tried to surprise the readers and to go further and to come up with something new with each book. TVL was a surprise and a very different book than Interview. It takes me some efforts and introspection to fully get the meaning and the emotional point of most of her books, but that is what makes me grow, it widens my understanding. Some people prefer to think that Anne is not good enough anymore or that some editor should improve her work. They have the right to think so but I have the right to disagree and I'm thankful to be able to read exactly what Anne wants us to read. [26]

WHERE CAN I READ FANFICTION BASED ON ANNE RICE'S BOOKS?

Nowhere. You can't. On April 7, 2000 Anne Rice had the following message to say on her webpage:

"I do not allow fan fiction.

The characters are copyrighted. It upsets me terribly to even think about fan fiction with my characters. I advise my readers to write your own original stories with your own characters.

It is absolutely essential that you respect my wishes."

This statement was then followed up by attacks on Anne Rice fanfic authors. The attacks consisted of, amongst other things, e-mailed threats regarding not only the writing of fanfiction but any writing that any fanfic author attempted to engage in (regardless of who owned the copyright), attacks on businesses that the fanfic authors owned and weeks of harassing personal letters sent to fanfic author's e-mail addresses and guestbooks. Personal information about fanfic authors was also dug up by Anne Rice employees and used as part of the harassment. Suffice it to say, Anne Rice made her displeasure clear. [27]

2002

In 2002, a fan posted a comment to alt.books.anne-rice:

This failure of Mme Rice to write the kind of book a certain section of her fans were waiting for... with, it must be admitted, an exaggerated degree of expectation.

I have often suspected a lot of the trouble, the spec frenzy, the particular critical attitudes, the rather extraordinary bitchfest, was largely due to influences from sf fandom - which has been rife with exactly that kind of thing from an early date. Certainly some of the people at the root of the trouble were rather involved in sf, and Star Trek fanfiction and what not. Brat Queen springs to mind. Love turns to obsession in the atmosphere of the hothouse; passion leads to the conviction of possession... And the author, the Beloved may find herself (or himself, what matter, in this particular instance, hein?) a prisoner. Write the same thing over and over again or be damned?

Anne Rice eventually wrote more works in the Vampire Chronicles, but they were too different and arrived too late to please the section of disenchanted admirers under discussion. In the hothouse that was ABAR, a high level of hubris had been reached, of course. Anne wouldn't write the proper Lestat, Louis, Armand? Well, the spec writers were better than Anne anyway (LOL) and she might benefit from reading them... and surely she just had to be secretly reading the specs eh?

Quite a few of these 'Anne Rice fans' became fans of this or that spec writer. And then of course we had this whole [['declaration of the VC characters' independence' thing]], when she disappointed the spec writers by making a pronouncement against specs, and set the lawyers on them. A good few had left by then, and others had already become enemies rather than fans. Odd to recall - as I seem to, correctly I hope - that Anne Rice had come out against specs as early as 1995. The whole row might have been expected. (Indeed, it may have been... because some of the 'Surely Anne wouldn't be such a bitch as to object' protestations Brat Queen and others made regarding the early specs in 1995 look a little disingenuous in this light.)

It must have been a tad bitter for the people involved in these campaigns to realise that, as their own day was passing, a whole new generation of readers was discovering Rice, often showing signs of enjoying exactly the books they hated, or at least disagreeing with much of the criticism and having little taste for the tone in which it was being delivered.

I'm not so much attacking the Specistas as commenting on their predicament, mind. Though much rubbish was written, some spec writers were talented, and a few specs were worth reading, to me at least. But their criticism and campaigning went way over the top. [28]
In February 2002, a fan explained:
Back in 2000, Anne decided that she did not allow fanfiction. What her concern with it up to that point was, we don't know. She posted her message on her website and then performed a witchunt on any and all websites that dared post any form of fanfiction and had her lawyers send nasty-grams to all the site owners to cease and desist under threat of financial disembowelment. Thus the the SpecWriter Massacre of 2000 took place. If there are any fanfiction sites still on the 'net, they are so well hidden that unless you have the addy you won't find them. [29]

2016

Legend has it that if you say “I don’t own these characters and I am not making any profit” in the mirror three times, Anne Rice’s lawyers will appear. [30]

Do NOT trust Anne Rice

Hello, Vampire Chronicles fans.

Sit down. We need to have a chat.

You see, while some people are very much excited for a new show about our pompous king of the assholes (and I say this as a term of endearment, having loved Lestat since I was a depressed teenager living in New York, shuffling through my mom’s fiction section) we need to pause and remember this:

Anne Rice does not support fan fiction or anything that is not glowing praise.

Read it again, slowly.

Anne Rice does not support fan fiction or anything that is not glowing praise.

This is difficult for younger fans to understand, but let’s take a walk down memory lane.

She has threatened to sue writers in the past. She is one of the most prolific writers of our generation, and she does not support people using her characters for their own work.

In fact, in 2000 she went on a binge-attack against her fans. She threatened legal action against fans who wrote or drew her characters, but especially those who wrote with them. She sent them weeks of harassing letters and doxxed them on the internet.

Let me repeat that.

She doxxed people who wrote fan fiction.

She harassed them online and threatened to contact employers.

She used her fans to outright attack other fans.

This isn’t even something she can just shake off now, with the comment of “It was so long ago” because she did this to a writer who wrote commentary on her story in 2013.

In 2013.

While it was not that she wrote fan fiction, she still shows that she has no respect for people who are in fandom.

Remember those disclaimers used in fan fics, at the beginning? “I do not own …. ”? Yeah, a lot of that has to do with the fact that Anne Rice and others like her would attack fandoms and threaten them, and was in hopes that they would just leave us alone. She didn’t.

In short: Do not trust Anne Rice. I love her writing, I have read every book she has even written, but I do not trust her.

You shouldn’t, either. [31]

Fiction Archives

Fiction tagged with "Anne Rice".

Notable Fiction

Vids

Fanart

Communities

Further Reading

Fan Meta/Discourse

Undated

1995

1998

2000

2002

2004

2007

2013

2014

2015

Fan Letters to Anne Rice (2007-2010)

The links below are letters Rice has posted to her website.

Reviews

References

  1. Welcome To Anne Rice.com!, Archived version (2001 version)]
  2. Immortals of the Insurrection - Louis - Fan Fiction, Archived version
  3. "This information that Anne Rice had this policy [stating she found fanfic hurtful] as early as 1995 is very credible but other mailing lists and sources seem to indicate that while that may have been her policy, she also had a policy of not confronting fans with lawyers. In January of 1998, Kenneth Allen Hyde or Cennydd.... said on [Mercedes Lackey's mailing list] the following: 'Most fanfic is illegal. However, the authors in question have either announced that they do not intend to pursue legal action.' (Anne Rice has taken this position, for example)" -- The Blackwood Farm Argument
  4. "About Anne Rice" and "Anne Rice Books" Mailing Lists: Frequently Asked Questions, accessed November 3, 2016
  5. When the fan phone line was active, Anne placed transcripts of her phone line messages on the web site. You'll find them here. Click the date to view a phone message transcript. It will pop up in a separate window. Close the window to close the message." See: Archive of Anne's official web page; WebCite
  6. her comments on her phone message service, April 13, 1999, transcript
  7. IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM ANNE ON "FAN FICTION"; WebCite on her official Message to Fans page, posted April 2000, accessed 2010-11-18
  8. This statement is still on Rice's website as of November 2016. See Messages to Fans; archive link
  9. FAQ (2001 version)
  10. But. Just don't write fanfic based on her works...
  11. Anne Rice On Monsters, Facebook And Fifty Shades Of Grey: Chicagoist, Archived version, interview by Tony Peregrin, retrieved 2012-4-15
  12. How fan fiction is conquering the internet and shooting up book charts, Archived version, retrieved June 9, 2013
  13. from Anne Rice's Website, accessed November 2016
  14. Anne Rice Admits to Writing Jesus Fan Fiction April 1, 2009, an April Fool's Day joke, accessed 2010-11-19
  15. Anne Rice Admits to Writing Jesus Fan Fiction, Archived version
  16. Anne's comments on her recorded fan phone line, February 23, 1999, see transcript
  17. In particular, she told the "negative voices" that they were interrogating the text from the wrong perspective, that they have used this site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies, and I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status. Caoine: From the Author to the Some of the Negative Voices Here, Archived version full text copy, accessed 2010-11-23
  18. WebCite query result, Archived version
  19. Interrogating the text from the wrong perspective. Fandom Wank Wiki. (Accessed 24 November 2010)
  20. A July 31, 2012 Google search for the phrase gave 15,400 results.
  21. Croatoan Fanfic - Where has Anne Rice fanfiction gone?, Archived version Posted some time in 2000, accessed 2010-11-18
  22. fanfiction.net content guidelines "FanFiction.Net respects the expressed wishes of the following authors/publishers and will not archive entries based on their work ... Anne Rice"
  23. Search for Anne Rice on fanfiction.net accessed 2010-11-18
  24. elfwreck at Fandom First Friday, January 2015
  25. comment by Victoria, June 3, 2000, at Anne Rice, unedited
  26. comment by Lionel, June 3, 2000, at Anne Rice, unedited
  27. from Where has Anne Rice fanfiction gone?
  28. comment by Nevermort, The Blackwood Farm argument, a 12-page discussion with 234 comments
  29. Anne Rice FanFiction; archive link page one, discussion at alt.books.anne-rice, February 2002
  30. thesummoningdark.tumblr, November 25, 2016
  31. rsasai.tumblr, November 2016