Chicagoist: You’ve explored other types of writing, but why do you always come back to the monsters to tell your stories, Anne?
Anne Rice: You know—I don’t know why one author writes westerns while another writes detective novels. You don’t know why. You go where the intensity is. I feel most comfortable writing about them. It’s possible that I feel like a monster myself. Or maybe it’s because we all have a monster inside of us, a vampire, a ghost, a witch or a werewolf. You do it because it works and it feels really right and authentic.
Chicagoist: Why did you decide to have the transformation from man-to-werewolf be a highly pleasurable experience rather than the painful, joint-popping experience we’ve typically seen in the classic werewolf films?
Anne Rice: I asked myself ‘why did it have to be so painful? Why?’ It’s similar to how I wrote about vampires—I didn’t want them to be feral or repulsive like Dracula. From the beginning I thought, ‘why couldn’t they be beautiful, like angels?’ For The Wolf Gift, I just imagined how good it must feel to grow taller and to have all that hair all over your body: Think how good that must feel! I have always had a mop of hair on top of my head, and I have always thought hair was very sensual. I have this kitty here, [Little Prince Oberon] and as I am talking to you, I am stroking its hair, and I can see he is really enjoying this. Hair is sensual.
Suvudu: There’s something about Reuben's experience with the supernatural that is different from that of Lestat or Louis. Could you talk a little bit about that?
Anne Rice: What interests me always with the supernatural hero—the vampire, the mummy, the witch or whatever I’m writing about—is the capacity of that person for goodness and to be a true hero or heroine. My whole effort has always been to look into the heart of that person who is perceived to be evil by others and see if I can find where that person is really being quite extraordinarily wonderful. That’s a metaphor to me about what all of us have within us: the capacity for goodness and to be heroes or heroines.