Why Anne Rice Fans are Not Happy
No, we're not still mad about Memnoch the Devil. Most of us have gotten over it; it was 5 years ago! (wow, has it been that long? Geez! Seems like yesterday...) The rest of us have actually started to like the 5th Vampire Chronicle (or liked it in the first place). We're not bitter about Mael's untimely end (most of us) and we're smart enough to ignore Vittorio for the rest of time. It's not the Queen of the Damned movie either, since that's obviously not Anne's fault and she'll be as upset as we are with the outcome. So what's the matter? Why are fans dropping around you like dead flies?
I've been an Anne Rice netfan for over 7 seven years now. The Raven has been around as a homage for at least 4 or 5 (I'm not too sure when it was erected...) I've been defending my fandom for even longer to my parents and teachers. Somehow, though, it's not only become more difficult--it's become hopeless. Even I don't see a point. Sure, the books are godly. They have literally changed my life and I will love Lestat, Louis, and all the rest for the remainder of my existence. Anne's other books have been entertaining and fun to read. But my loyalty is dwindling. And it appears I'm not alone.
What Anne and Her Publishers Have, in my opinion, Done Wrong
1. Shameless Plugs - Hey, I'm a goddess at these. I shameless plug myself all the time. But that's something almost every writer, artist, actor, etc. has to do to get ahead. You have to promote you, because no one else will. However, there's a point when it goes to far. Cuvee Lestat wine was funny, but an MRI Scan tee of Anne's brain? Umbrellas? Give me a break.
2. Lack of Respect for Her Fans - Fandom is not an easy thing for any one of a cult following to deal with. I know this because I'm a fan of many things, like The X-Files, Anime, etc. that have cult followings. (Okay, so that doesn't give me much creedence.) Anne just doesn't know how to deal with it. She lashes out and "forbids" fanfiction and probably fanart. She expects her fans to follow her blindly in political decisions. Her Coven Parties were a very cool idea, but Anne has to realize that fans will be fans. People write fanfic as a homage to the original work, not as a replacement. People create fanart out of inspiration. These things are out to honor her and often people who read fanfic and have never seen the real books will go out and read them to see what they've missed. It happens. These things help the Vampire Chronicles, they don't take away from them.
3. The Harassment of Fans - It's one thing to dislike fanfic. I have a character, Daniel Jameston, that I created when I was 12. I still use him in stories today and love him like a friend. I can't imagine anyone understanding him as well as I do. I'm sure Anne feels this way about Lestat. However, I've been reading about Lestat for just as long, and feel like I know him as well. Harassing people who write fan fiction to honor characters they love is ridiculous. Anne and her secretaries and publishers have been harassing people who are only trying to appreciate Anne's work. That will not gain you any points in a fanbook, let me tell you.
4. The Attitude - Anne has a right to have somewhat of an ego. Let's face it: she's talented and famous. But other than her character Lestat, I don't deal well with egotistical people. While she has every right to have an ego, she takes it too far. In her anti-fanfic message she states, "It is absolutely essential that you respect my wishes." Okay. I can understand if she was almost being sarcastic, but I know she wasn't. She's a brilliant writer -- not a God. She knows it, but she doesn't act that way.
Those are just the basics, mind you, but there you have it. I really believe fans are the basis for anyone doing something creative. No book, TV show, movie, painting, poem, song, etc. goes anywhere without its fans.
Right now, I'm a little disoriented. I have respected and looked up to Anne Rice as an idol for many years of my life. I've defended her to all sorts of people for many reasons, including my parents. It's horrible to stand back and wonder, so suddenly, why.
I will still read Merrick, the new VampChron coming out, as well as any of Anne's future novels. I will still visit New Orleans and look at Anne Rice related sites. But I can't say I haven't lost some respect for her.