How acclaimed ‘Vampire’ novelist Anne Rice’s passion for writing started in North Texas – The Dallas Morning News
So much of the literary successes of the late Anne Rice happened when she was in her 30s, but her influences in writing began in her early years in New Orleans and during her teen years in North Texas.
Rice, the Gothic novelist best known for Interview With the Vampire and its sequels, died Sunday from complications of a stroke. She was 80 years old.
Nineteen years before her best-seller, Rice arrived in Richardson from New Orleans in 1957, a year after her mother, Katherine, died, and her father, Howard, took a job with the U.S. Postal Service in Dallas.
Rice was raised in New Orleans where many of her novels were set. She wrote plays about ghostly images, and she and her three sisters would perform them for one another.
As a 15-year-old, her passion for writing continued while in Texas.
Her stepmother, Dorothy Van Bever O’Brien, bought Rice a portable black, noisy typewriter at a secondhand store in Dallas. At Richardson High School, Rice started writing as a features editor for the student newspaper. She later took writing classes at Texas Woman’s University in Denton.
Her work as a novelist blossomed when she moved to San Francisco while in college. But she has mentioned several times that her experience in Texas was a positive one at a formative time.
Anne Rice’s novel ‘Interview With the Vampire’ became a hit film starring Tom Cruise. (Francois Duhamel / Geffen)
In 1991, former Dallas Morning News senior staff writer Joyce Sáenz Harris traveled to the Garden District in New Orleans to interview Rice for a Sunday arts cover story.
Rice told Harris that she experienced “a sense of severing” when she left New Orleans.
“But then I enjoyed Richardson a lot,” Rice said at the time. “Richardson really was America; New Orleans isn’t. It was like stepping into the television set and being in the world of Father Knows Best. It was brand-new, and everybody lived in three-bedroom brick homes with wall-to-wall carpeting and garbage disposals.”
Rice’s younger siblings attended Catholic school at St. Paul’s Parish in Richardson, “but that was a grammar school, and I was too old,” she told The News in 2008. “To go to Catholic school, I would have had to go to Dallas, and that was beyond the means of my family.”
Dallas did leave …….