Credo: Anne Rice

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The Independent Culture

I believe...

It can take a long time to find out how to put your experiences into writing. I spent years just absorbing material, then at 34 I wrote Interview with a Vampire and discovered that through fantasy I was able to talk about my own world.

My life might have been very different had I kept my original name. My mother called me Howard, which I despised, so I chose to become Anne in the first grade. I can't remember being the other person.

I made a terrible mistake when I stopped praying. I was 18 and had been brought up a strict Roman Catholic; when I went to college and met people from different backgrounds, it shook my faith.

I was unhappy as an atheist for a long time, then one day I suddenly knew I could let go of the questions plaguing me and trust in God to know the answers.

After 11 vampire novels, I've exhausted all I have to say about that subject. When you write a book you tell all you know, and right now what I know is the possibility of redemption through Christ.

No one born in New Orleans ever gets over being away from there. I miss it so badly it hurts, but I think if I were there I'd be swallowed as a writer. I would be consumed by the rebuilding of the city.

Grief never stops. I feel grief for everybody and everything I have lost. Creative people are given a redemptive opportunity to change that pain into art.

Neil Jordan did an outstanding job with the film of Interview with a Vampire. He grasped the spirit of the book. All the other films have been disasters.

What I need now is peace. I live like a hermit in the Californian desert. It's a disciplined life of reading, studying and working, but it gives me pleasure.

Anne Rice's autobiography, 'Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession' (Chatto & Windus), is out now