Monday, February 27, 2012

Bloody Monday - The Wolf Gift

Okay, well, this won't happen too often, but since Anne Rice is my inspiration and the absolute Queen of Vampires, I'm going to set blood suckers aside this week to discuss The Wolf Gift.

I'd love it if ya'll reading it would come and play with me this week and share your thoughts.

Did you know that DeVante is a literary descendant of Louis, Lestat, and Armand?

I would mark my calendar and wait quite impatiently for the next Vampire Chronicle to be released, and on that day I'd hoof it up to Barnes and Noble and buy the hardcover for $26.95 + tax or whatever it was. And this, even, was back in the day when money was tight, and the price of a hardcover book was equal to a full tank of gas and then some. Oh, it was a luxury! And I treated it as such, clearing my schedule and snuggling with a couch blanket, sunflower seeds, and chocolate.

A new Anne Rice book was a gift.

I waited a year, sometimes two, for that new book; writers, and even Anne Rice, suffer the frailties of the human condition - illness, and sorrow, and heartbreaking loss. And these things change us, as they change everyone, and sometimes they slow us down.

So after what sometimes felt like a very long wait, I would devour the new book in 24 hours or less.

And then I would mourn the start of the next season of waiting.

My husband, who is a very realistic, "feet on the ground" sort of person, watched this process for two books, maybe three, and then he said, and I quote, "Why don't you write your own vampire book?"

(Famous last words and all of that).

What? What? But... I'm a poet. I'm not a writer of novels. And how could I possibly measure up to my own high literary standard?

And yet... I do have the "head in the clouds" quality - I'm the day dreamer, the wisher of wishes, the girl who loves to weave a great story.

I just hadn't done it on paper since I was a teenager.

The seed was planted and so it began to grow.

And it is hard to live up to my own literary standard. Sometimes I think I'm getting there, that I've created a vampire family that spans time, that has clever back-story not fully explored, that could outgrow its trilogy status and become a series... but I can't know these things at the outset.

What I know today is that I am holding The Wolf Gift in my hands, that it is 400 pages long, and that I have already read 200 of those pages. And that Anne Rice is still the master storyteller she was when I first discovered Interview with the Vampire.

I'm slipping into The Wolf Gift gently, tasting it one little bite at a time, and chewing slowly. I remember the experience of gobbling up the newest Rice novel, but I want this one to last longer than a day. I admire the simple cover, and how effortlessly Rice brings me into her newest world, how quickly she asks me to fall in love with Reuben, with Laura, and how easily I agree.

This, after reading something, somewhere, a quote attributed to Anne at the release of Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, that said, "From now on I will write only for God."

My heart broke a little bit - not because I felt she was betraying her readers, not because of hypocrisy, not because I fall somewhere between being deist and atheist - but simply because I just don't find religion interesting. Which, perhaps, is merely a personal flaw.

I felt sad that the author I loved so well might become purely a Christian or religious writer, penning stories I had no wish to read.

And yet. To do justice to any story, a writer must follow where her heart goes, must capture and immerse herself into her questions, daydreams, and obsessions. And so I cannot criticize Anne for any part of her journey as a person or a writer.

But I've welcomed the chance to meet Reuben in The Wolf Gift, and it feels perfect - this is the writer-Rice that  blows me away.

I don't know if I will come to love Reuben as much as I love Lestat, but I'm willing to find out.

So... who else is reading The Wolf Gift, and what do you think?


  1. Hi, I also saw that Rice was returning from her jaunt to religion. Not sure I trust it. And I don't see a lack of interest in her religious work as a failing.

    I sometimes feel snookered when a writer takes an audience who has spent years with her and goes all religious. Sure, we don't have to by the religious book but when I've invested years reading a series, and am waiting for the next installment to find out what happens, a writer's religious epiphany at best cheats me and at worst uses the series to advance an agenda. Especially when a writer has already established characters as Catholic or devout. Maybe that's my personal flaw, I take things like that to heart because I am spiritual but not Jewish or Christian and grew up in a time and place where an assumption of being at least culturally adherent to Judaism or Christianity is assumed.
    It's a bit like not choosing to have kids; people assume it's not a choice but infertility.

    Today, we are more culturally diverse so I think kids are growing up with other religious traditions much more evident (much to a few candidates' dismay). I admire when a writer is involved in a faith and doesn't put it into her books except as a cultural structure.

    I only pay full price for a new Gabaldon since Rice already lost me and most titles with Kindle or Nook are less expensive.
    BTW- I have two blogs, (Dragon and Wolf giveaways this week)
    and where I will be referring to this post today.

  2. Thanks for joining the discussion, I do agree about the let-down that readers experience when writers write to further a political or religious agenda.

    I visited your blog and read the interview with Bastion from Fury of Fire - gotta say, I am hooked! Read a few more posts, as well. It's safe to say I'll be visiting your blog regularly from now on.

  3. Happy Friday, Darlings! I'm headed to work. It's payday, right? Splurge a little and check out my favorite vamp of all time - my publisher lowered the prices of DeVante's Children and DeVante's Coven to $4.99. They're available at Amazon, Smashwords, Nook, iTunes, and probably elsewhere! Have a wonderful, fun, and safe weekend!