Anne Rice turns 80 tomorrow!!! She has been publishing books longer than I have lived on this Earth, and she is still going!
She was such an inspiration to me when I was a teenage writer, still in high school, trying to figure out who the heck I was. I found her writing to be both a comfort and a tool that pushed me out of my own comfort zone, if that makes sense.
Here's a little corner on my bookshelf devoted to her books that I've collected over the years; some of them are extra special treasures because they are autographed:
Although I have sadly never met Anne in person, I did receive a reply to an email I sent her years ago. I printed and kept it, of course!
In the email she wrote back, she told me to "Have nerve" regarding my writing. Her inspiration and personal encouragement is one of the reasons I've chosen to go against the heteronormative grain and write what I write!
You see, Anne's been an inspiration to me in ways other writers will never top. Most people think of vampires and witches when they think of her, but many of these vampires and witches in her stories were also edgy LGBTQ characters, too, and she wasn't afraid to write them when it was still taboo to do so!
Happy Birthday, Anne!