I can't claim to be a great Anne Rice fan. I have, however, read some of her books --even, I confess, one of the so-called pornographic novels she wrote ( it wasn't very good. Come on, someone says to a bookaholic, "Have you read that Anne Rice, the great vampire-books author, has written porn?" And you want him to say, "No, and I'm not going to read it"?) I've also seen her former home in New Orleans (she moved before the hurricanes; it was majestic) and watched crowds awed by stories of the time she was taken to a book signing in a horse-drawn hearse, lying in a glass coffin dressed as a bride. She's very popular.
Well now: She has turned her sights from vampires to a new type of immortal -- Jesus. Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt is apparently a first-person narrated novel about Jesus at the age of 7. Even more interesting is that the book is a reflection of a very intentional return, on Ms. Rice's part, to communion in the Church.
I tend to be cautious about prodigal son/daughter stories, but I found myself touched by Ms. Rice's story -- as reflected in this interview article published by Christianity Today: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/012/11.50.html
She sounds very sincere to me -- and she has not abandoned her sense of complexity or wonder. (Is it not, for example, too appropriate that her son is gay and that she is a sincere Catholic who advocates for the Church's acceptance of gayness? After all, half my gay friends read the Vampire novels as gay stories -- and Interview with a Vampire is a gay classic, isn't it? The movie ends with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise entwined in some sort of vampirish Tantric act.)
I don't know: I may have to read the new book -- and while I'm at it, go back to some of the vampire books. I think she is generally a good author. And since I judge authors partially on their personal characters, and since Ms. Rice's character seems pretty strong, I am inclined to give her another crack.