Christopher Rice, 30, award-winning novelist and son of the iconic author Anne Rice and poet and painter Stan Rice, is a brilliant writer and passionate individual.
Author of more than four novels, he has recently completed his latest one, “The Heaven’s Rise,” and graciously agreed to a no-holds-barred interview with this journalist.
Following is the second half of that interview:
5) You have described yourself as a nerd who wished he could have been at Comic-Con this year. Would you ever consider writing a comic or having one of your books adapted into comic book form?
Absolutely! Although I feel like I discovered comics rather late in life. My pal Gregg Hurwitz had started to do some high-profile work in the comic world and I think I made some smart remark about the genre in general and so for my birthday he got me a stack of his favorite graphic novels of all time and sort of pushed them across the table at me during my birthday dinner. Kind of like a challenge. I devoured most of them in no time flat. But it was probably “Y: The Last Man” that influenced me the most, and that one wasn’t in Gregg’s initial stack. I’ve actually had some early conversations with a well-known comic writer about potential collaborations. But at this point, it’s soon to talk about it.
6) I know you recently finished your latest novel, “The Heaven’s Rise”; can you tell us a little more about it and when it might hit the shelves?
It is, in short, my tribute to the great big horror novels that have influenced me over time. The kind of multi-character page turners in which a cross-section of heroes join together to battle a dark, seemingly unconquerable force. This type of book was far more popular in the ’80s and ’90s, and to be frank, I wish it would come back in style. Now it seems to have been replaced almost exclusively by post-apocalyptic zombie fare. (I hate zombies. I don’t get zombies at all. The story is always the same. We went somewhere, and then the zombies came. Then we went somewhere else, and the zombies showed up there too. Then we hid somewhere and guess what? More zombies! It bores the life out of me. It’s like porn. You pretty much know how every scene is going to end.) I wanted to burst out of what I saw as the confines of the mysteries I was writing and do something big and theatrical and lush and full of the atmosphere of New Orleans, both pre and post Katrina. At its core the story is about a beautiful young woman who accidentally acquires the ability to completely control the actions of someone in her immediate vicinity for a brief burst of time. But of course, her gift comes with a terrible price. And that’s really just the surface. Currently it’s one of the longer novels I’ve ever written. I’m working on tightening it up a bit before I sent it off to my agent.
7) You recently mentioned a project involving “internet radio”; is this something you can tell us more about and do you consider yourself a “gadget geek”?
Yes, internet radio is in my future. But I’m not quite ready to talk about how. Interested parties should stay tuned to my Twitter account at chrisricewriter and my Facebook fan page so they can be in the loops once I spill the beans.
8) And, finally, have you ever read any of your mom’s books and, if so, which is your favorite and why?
I love the Lives of the Mayfair Witches, particularly “The Witching Hour.” I was present for the time period that inspired them and so they have a special emotional resonance to me.
Christopher Rice was contacted by myself via his Facebook fan page. He did not ask me who I had interviewed prior to him and made no demands on the questions I could ask.
Due to his kindness and honesty, as well as the privilege of interviewing his mother, author Anne Rice, I have been able to interview other writers, such as Chuck Hogan (co-author of “The Strain” vampire trilogy, along with director Guillermo Del Toro) and Gregory Maguire (award-winning writer of the “Wicked” books, as well as many, many more).
What I owe them can never be paid. What they have given me could never be purchased.
My father always wanted to be a writer, but life has a way of altering a man’s plans. I like to think he gave me the gift of words. And, now, the Rices have given me the ability to use those words. Thank you is never enough.
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To read some of my other work, please visit me at “Tampa City Comic Books Examiner” and “Anne Rice Examiner” pages.
Till the next time …