In 1969, Anne Rice sat down to write a story called ‘‘Interview with the Vampire.’’ But once the story was done, the characters would not leave her, and she went back, rewriting and expanding the short story into a novel she finished in January of 1974. The novel, Interview with the Vampire, explores the meaning of evil in the world through the thoughts of Louis, a moral vampire struggling with the evil of his existence.
Interview with the Vampire opens as a young man begins to interview an older man named Louis de Pointe du Lac in San Francisco. Louis claims to be a vampire, and at first the interviewer assumes that he is just one of the city’s more colorful street people. But as Louis’s story unfolds, the interviewer becomes both fearful and fascinated, realizing that Louis truly is a vampire who is telling his life story to warn others of the seductive power of evil and immortality. The interviewer listens through the night as Louis tells him of Lestat, his unholy vampire partner, and of Claudia, the vampire child they created together. It is a tale of guilt, terror, betrayal, death, and above all, terrible isolation, and yet at the end, seduced by the power and the romance of the story, the interviewer begs Louis to make him a vampire, too. This becomes Louis’s last defeat. Not even when he tells all the horrors that have been his life can he destroy the lure of immortality. He leaves the interviewer who, as the story closes, makes plans to follow him to learn the last of his secrets.