Yes, the world knows her from her “Vampire Chronicles,” but for me, Anne Rice is so special for the erotica she wrote, as much as how I came to realize she was writing erotica.
I was already a solid fan of Rice, reading Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat, but I tripped across a book in 1985 called Exit To Eden, written by Anne Rampling, that I just loved. Yes, a hardcover erotic tale, written by an author I did not know, I came to the realization that Anne Rampling was actually Anne Rice when she published Belinda, one of my most favorite books of all time, in 1986 and revealed on the cover of that book Anne Rice writing as Anne Rambling.
Rice had a multitude of reasons for not wanting to connect herself with erotica at the time. In fact, she would come to begin publishing what is known as “The Beauty Series,” at this same time, under the pseudonym A. N. Roquelaure. These books (they would come to a total of four in all) take a BDSM spin across the classic “Sleeping Beauty” tale. But in Belinda‘s ‘outing’ herself as she does, Rice mirrors what happens to the main character in the book, faced with the crisis of pursuing what has suddenly become the most crucial art he has ever created and the possibility of destroying his mainstream popularity.
As Chris and I would tell you, pretty much agreeing with everybody else who has ever made this claim, we are never all that very far from our creations. Be you author, jewelry maker, or gardner (and I don’t care what it is you make or do, if whatever you make or do defines your identity, then that thing is your art…don’t let anyone tell you different!) our very essence is in what comes out of us. The story of Belinda ran parallel to what Rice was going through at the time, and once I knew all this back story, her ‘journey’ was as important to me as the hot scenes and fantastically complex sexy characters she wrote.
So, this is my specific tribute to this wonderful writer
On a last, personal note, I met Anne Rice in NYC mid-80’s at a book signing, and she could not have been nicer. We had a brief exchange where she fixed me with her twinkling eyes and big smile and called me “darling,”
What could be better than that..maybe a spanking from the lady?
Rest in peace, sweet Anne Rice.
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