Sting made me love vampires.
Back in the eighties, when I was finishing college, the singer Sting had just released his first solo album, Dream of the Blue Turtles. I'd been a fan of the Police for years and had been heartbroken when they broke up. However, one listen to Sting's solo album cured me of my heartache.
I played one of the songs on that album over and over again: Moon over Bourbon Street. I loved its mournful sound and the lyrics, ("...The brim of my hat hides the eye of a beast/I've the face of a sinner but the hands of a priest...") captivated me. When I read the liner notes and found out that the song had been based on a novel by Anne Rice (someone I'd never heard of at the time), I knew that I had to read the book.
Until then, I hadn't given vampires much thought. I'd seen Nosferatu and had read Salem's Lot by Stephen King, but I'd always thought of vampires as monsters, not compelling protagonists. Anne Rice, however, opened my eyes to the potential of a saint/sinner vampire. One who is driven by his instincts, but who wants to overcome his bloodthirstiness.
I was hooked.
Now, nearly thirty years later, the idea of vampire as hero has been played and replayed. I love Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series (and watch True Blood!), and of course, have read all of Stephanie Meyers' Twilight books. But they never gripped me quite as much as Louis and Lestat.
This summer, I introduced my own daughter, who is well into her teens, to the delights of Anne Rice. She'd just finished Bram Stoker's Dracula, and wanted something else. Since she'd become bored with modern-day vampires, and she didn't think she'd like Interview with a Vampire. But after only a few hours of reading, she was hooked. It was delightful to see how much she was enjoying the story, and I loved discussing the book with her. In fact, her excitement has prompted me to add Rice's books to my TBR (to be read) pile.
I thank Anne Rice for opening my eyes to the potential of writing about vampires. Although I set my YA vampire/romance Blood Sisters in Detroit instead of New Orleans, I was thinking of Louie and Lestat as I wrote those pages.
Maybe, just maybe, there's a moon over Woodward Avenue as well.
Causes Michelle Scott Supports
Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity