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Anne Rice, vampire novelist, dead at 80

Anne Rice, author of the best-selling Interview with a Vampire and other novels, died Saturday, BBC reported.

Her son, author Christopher Rice, announced her death on Twitter and Facebook, expressing his hope that Anne "is now experiencing firsthand the glorious answers to many great spiritual and cosmic questions." He also praised his mother for teaching him to "challenge the dark voices of fear and self-doubt" and to "surrender to my obsessive passions."

Anne Rice was the author of the 13-book Vampire Chronicles series, which starred the iconic vampire Lestat. Interview with a Vampire, the first book in the series, was made into a 1994 film starring Tom Cruise. According to Fox News, this novel and its adaptation helped to "reignite the interest in the vampire genre which continued with the TV series The Vampire Diaries and the Twilight film series."

She also wrote erotic fiction and, after returning to the Catholic Church 1998, two novels about the early life of Jesus of Nazareth. Later, Rice distanced herself from Catholicism due to disagreements with church teaching on issues like same-sex marriage but said she remained "committed to Christ." Her son, Christopher, is gay.

"I sought to go back to the fold, to the church I knew best, to the Eucharist, and I truly believed that doctrine and theology simply did not matter," she said in a 2016 interview with Billboard. "What mattered was faith in God and loving God. Twelve years later I came to believe I was mistaken. Or that my approach did not work any longer for me. I left all organized religion in 2010."