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So, let me be the fifty-millionth person to write about the return of Lestat.
I rarely look forward to book launches. It’s not because I’m a pompous egotistical a-hole who feels he is beneath reading new literature (even though I am the egotistical a-hole part, that’s not why), it’s just that there is so much great stuff floating around that I haven’t read. Therefore, I don’t get excited. However… my ears perked up and a Chris Matthew’s style shiver went up my leg when I heard Anne Rice was bringing back her antihero the vampire Lestat.
Like millions of Rice fans, I love Lestat. He is one of my favorite characters ever and I’ve always wanted to be able to create a character with the kind of layered supernatural richness braised in human foibles that Lestat embodies. To no avail of course, Anne Rice is Anne Rice after all, and there’s only ever going to be one, thankfully.
But, I do think about my characters like Anne thinks of hers, as living beings that come to her and not vice versa. Lestat hasn’t been around for a very long time and as you can see here, there is a reason; she has been wrestling with the brat prince for years. I totally get that. I read Rice novels because of Lestat. As much as I love all of her writing, I can only get through the books of the vampire chronicles because her other work doesn’t hold my interest. The writing is always beautiful, but the plots aren’t to my taste.
Lestat is like the James Bond of the vampire world – he never gets boring and always stays true to his character. Anyone can identify with him and the situations he goes through – even if we’re not all preternatural beings, we can put ourselves in his place and enjoy the ride.
Hopefully, all fiction writers have characters like Lestat who even when they are dormant in our mind hang in the background like an ethereal mist, just waiting for the right time to come out and pounce on our consciousness. That’s what makes writing and reading fun – the realness of fictional characters.
I’ve written before that we are our own main characters in one way or another. I definitely identify with that idea. My Lestat is Charlie who appears in my short story compilation 5 Tales. Charlie is an amalgamation of real people I know, but his personality is closer to mine than any other character I’ve developed. He’s not an alter ego by any stretch of the imagination – but he possesses my snide-ness and some of my mannerisms. I couldn’t be Charlie, he likes killing too much, but I identify with a lot of his characteristics and experience.
Anne has spoken of Lestat as her lover. I find that incredibly intriguing – inventing a character that is so close you can call them a lover, begs the question as to what aspects of that character are a part of the author? I mean; that’s fun to think about. I’ve never created a character that I thought of as a lover. I’ve created ones I thought could be best friends, or ones I’d like to kill, but a lover? Not yet. That’s some serious character development right there.
Yeah, I can’t wait for Lestat’s return.