Stake out

In­ter­view with the writer: Anne Rice talks Prince Le­s­tat And The Realms Of At­lantis…

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It’s been 40 years since Louis first gave a re­porter the ex­clu­sive of sev­eral life­times. Since then, best­selling au­thor Anne Rice has turned her at­ten­tion to Le­s­tat, the iconic an­ti­hero of that in­ter­view, time and time again. Now, with new in­stal­ment Prince Le­s­tat And The Realms Of At­lantis hit­ting shelves this month, it’s time to draw blood from this par­tic­u­lar vam­pire again.

“This new novel flows di­rectly from Prince Le­s­tat,” Rice ex­plains. “We find he is now the ac­knowl­edged Prince of the Vam­pires. He’s try­ing to trans­form from be­ing a rebel to a re­spon­si­ble ruler when he is con­fronted by a new and mys­te­ri­ous group of be­ings.” The be­ings in ques­tion are linked to the leg­end of At­lantis; they are an all-pow­er­ful force for Le­s­tat and his vam­pire le­gion to tackle.

“I’d been work­ing on a novel about the lost king­dom of At­lantis for a long time,” Rice con­tin­ues. “The myth has al­ways haunted me, but the novel was not com­ing to­gether. Then it oc­curred to me to con­nect my vi­sion of an­cient At­lantis with the vam­pires. It proved so pow­er­ful a mix for me that the novel poured out like lava.”

This new in­stal­ment is the se­cond to be re­leased fol­low­ing Rice’s hia­tus from The Vam­pire Chron­i­cles. Blood Can­ti­cle in 2003 was planned to be the last one in the se­ries, but af­ter 11 years of “free­dom”, Rice felt com­pelled to con­tinue Le­s­tat’s story again.

“I thought of new and pos­i­tive sto­ries with Le­s­tat,” she re­veals. “He was no longer as­so­ci­ated only with pain and de­spair. I be­gan to see a way for Le­s­tat to love again, and for him to re­spond to the young vam­pires all around him.”

And what of the fu­ture of The Vam­pire Chron­i­cles? “Le­s­tat is alive to me; he’s real in a way no other char­ac­ter I ever wrote about is real,” Rice ex­plains. “I don’t think I will ever stop writ­ing about Le­s­tat again.”

Prince Le­s­tat And The Realms Of At­lantis is pub­lished by Chatto & Win­dus on 29 Novem­ber.

Queen of the Damned: Vam­pire Chron­i­cles au­thor Anne Rice.

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