Lestat Lives, Says Anne Rice

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"One more book." Those are the words Anne Rice fans have been dying to hear about the Vampire Chronicles ever since her shocking — and dismaying to many of his followers — turn to religious writing. Long seen as a committed atheist, four years ago the best-selling author drove a stake through the hearts of her followers when she vowed to abandon her sinister stories and instead write only of the Lord.

Turns out, vampires aren't that easy to kill. In an interview with TIME, the best-selling author of Interview with the Vampire and The Queen of the Damned has revealed that she plans to write one last book about Lestat, the feared yet beloved blood-sucking main character in her gothic novel series. "When I published my first book about the Lord I said I would never write about those characters again," Rice acknowledged. "But I have one more book that I would really like to write. It will be a story that I need to tell."

Upon returning to the church after a more than three-decade absence, the author in 2005 dramatically and publicly declared that she would never again return to writing about vampires. Said Rice in an interview with Christianity Today: "I would never go back, not even if they say you will be financially ruined. I would be a fool for all eternity to turn my back on God like that."

But never say never. While Rice justifies her decision by saying the book will have a definite Christian framework and a focus on the theme of redemption, she admits that the future chronicle will once again involve the character Lestat and a fictional organization known as the Talamaska that is responsible for investigating the supernatural. Much like the author herself, Lestat will be wrestling with the existence of God throughout the story. "I don't see it as a violation of my promise, because I won't be writing about vampires in the same way," Rice maintains.

Still, it is difficult to see it as anything but a change of heart. Rice says her next book will be a continuation of her multi-part series chronicling Jesus Christ's life; the second novel in that saga, Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, comes out March 4. She plans to write a third installment in that series before tackling what she now claims to be her final vampire book. For a prolific author who writes a book approximately every 15 months, that means it may be at least another three years before we once again see blood dripping off her pages.