Christopher Rice

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Christopher Rice
Author Christopher Rice.jpg
BornChristopher Travis Rice
(1978-03-11) March 11, 1978 (age 43)
Berkeley, California, U.S.
OccupationAuthor
GenreSuspense, crime, supernatural thriller, erotic romance, historical
ParentsAnne Rice (mother)
Stan Rice (father)
Website
christopherricebooks.com

Christopher Travis Rice (born March 11, 1978) is an American author. Rice has written novels including A Density of Souls, The Snow Garden, Light Before Day, Blind Fall, The Moonlit Earth, The Heavens Rise, The Vines as well as the novels in his Burning Girl series. His work spans multiple genres, including suspense, crime, supernatural thriller, and erotic romance.[1] With his mother Anne Rice he also co-authored the historical horror novel Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra.[2]

Biography[edit]

Christopher Rice comes from a family of authors. His parents are renowned horror novelist Anne Rice and the late poet Stan Rice;[3] his aunt, Alice Borchardt, was a noted writer of fantasy and historical fiction. Rice had an older sister named Michele, who he never met as she died of leukemia in 1972 when she was six years old. Rice was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent the first ten years of his childhood in the Castro District. In an interview with The Advocate after the publication of his first novel, A Density of Souls, Rice describes the culture shock that resulted from his family's move to New Orleans when he was ten-years-old. "..being dropped in New Orleans, it was completely different. I went from a school in San Francisco where we called our lesbian teachers by their first names to this uptown, private elementary school where we all had to go to chapel in the morning."[4]

Rice has lived in New Orleans, Louisiana and is a 1996 graduate of the Isidore Newman School, which he attended during the same time period as future NFL stars Peyton Manning and Eli Manning. He has stated that while he was never physically threatened during high school, his knowledge of his own sexuality and his failure to play athletics made him feel like an outcast. Of this time in his life, Rice, said, "I had money, had a nice car, was white. I could have fit in, but I knew I didn't belong. I knew I didn't share their dreams and ambitions and their values". These experiences ultimately inspired his first novel, A Density of Souls. Rice began visiting gay bars and clubs during his senior year of high school, but he did not come out to his famous parents until he met his first boyfriend. His father had no trouble accepting Rice's sexuality, but his mother believed he was bisexual based on the number of intimate relationships he had enjoyed with the opposite sex during high school. Rice went on to attend Brown University, an experience which inspired his second novel, The Snow Garden. At Brown, he was not cast in a single theatrical production his freshman year despite his extensive high school theater experience and his determination to be an actor. He transferred to Tisch School of the Arts where he completed a semester in their Dramatic Writing Program. He did not graduate from either school; instead, he moved to Los Angeles to explore writing screenplays.[5]

As of 2020, Rice lived in West Hollywood, California.[6]

His sexuality and its role in his work[edit]

Rice is gay,[7] and his works consist of descriptions of contemporary American life for the gay male. When asked in 2002 about "being pegged a 'gay writer,'" he replied:

That's not what I do. I might be more open to that label if I hadn't introduced ensemble casts of characters. Granted, A Density of Souls is as close to a gay book as you can get. It revolves around a character's homosexuality, and others are described in terms of their reaction to the one character's sexuality. In that sense it's at the core of the book. The Snow Garden is about identity. With this book, I'm trying to shrug off the term "gay" author.[8]

Nonetheless, Rice is proud of the reaction of the gay community to his writing, explaining "it was incredibly rewarding when I got a huge positive response from the character Stephen in A Density of Souls. More than a thousand young gay men contacted me and said that I captured what it was like for them going through those years. That means everything to me."[9] For many years, Rice wrote a regular column for the LGBT-related biweekly news magazine The Advocate called "Coastal Disturbances," in which he discussed various topics.[10]

Work[edit]

In December 1998, Anne Rice suffered a medical crisis and nearly died when she fell into a diabetic coma. Her son Christopher wrote his first novel, A Density of Souls, upon returning home to New Orleans during her recuperation. Published the following year, Souls generated buzz in the gay and mainstream press, and became a New York Times Best Seller.[11] His second novel, The Snow Garden received a Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Men's Mystery.[12] For many years, Rice wrote a regular column for the LGBT-related biweekly news magazine The Advocate called "Coastal Disturbances," in which he discussed various topics.[13]

Early in his career, Rice distinguished himself by saying that unlike his famous mother, he did not write horror novels, instead considering his books to be thrillers. However, as years went by, Rice became more comfortable experimenting in different genres, exploring his own version of the supernatural with works such as The Heavens Rise, published in 2013, and The Vines. Both of these novels met with critical acclaim, and each were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel but lost to Dr. Sleep by Stephen King and Blood Kin by Steve Rasnic Tem, in their respective years.[14][15] On the publication of The Heavens Rise in 2013, Rice told The Advocate magazine that part of his motivation for writing the novel came from a desire to tell a New Orleans-set story with a more sympathetic ensemble of characters than the one featured in his debut, A Density of Souls. "I said my first novel put the city through such hell, both figuratively and literally, at least certain neighborhoods. But honestly, what happened to me is that I grew up. And I saw my perspective on the city and some of its communities in A Density of Souls to be youthful and unforgiving. And I had a desire to back and write a kinder, gentler New Orleans story, which, because I’m a Rice, turned into a horror novel."[16]

In 2012, Rice launched a streaming Internet radio show called The Dinner Party Show[17] with Eric Shaw Quinn, his producing partner and co-host, was known for having ghost written two books by celebrity Pamela Anderson and a 1992 novel about gay adoption called Say Uncle. The show describes itself as "the Internet's first live comedy variety show" and became known for its hard-hitting satire and celebrity interviews[18] Guests have included Patricia Cornwell, Dan Savage, transgender activist Chaz Bono and Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin.[19] In 2019, after placing the show on hiatus to begin development of The Vampire Chronicles television series, Christopher and his producing partner and co-host Eric Shaw Quinn returned with a new podcast entitled TDPS Presents CHRISTOPHER & ERIC, which included a regular series focused on true crime television documentaries they called Christopher & Eric's True Crime TV Club.[20]

In 2014, Rice announced through his social media channels that he was scheduled to publish several works of erotic romance. The first of them, The Flame, was published in November 2014 as part of the 1,001 Dark Nights series.[21]

On November 26, 2016, Anne Rice announced that the film and television rights to her entire Vampire Chronicles franchise had reverted to her after unsuccessful attempts to launch them as a film franchise with Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. Her announcement included the detail that she and Christopher would be executive producers on a planned TV series based on the franchise.[22]

On February 28, 2017, the Rices announced their first novel written in collaboration, Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra. It was published on November 21, 2017.[23][24] Of the collaboration with his mother, Christopher said, "I had to be taught how to write...scenes from an immortal’s point of view in a way that fits with an Anne Rice book because immortals don’t engage or interact with everyday ordinary stimuli the way we would. They have an absence of fear and an absence or reactivity, and that’s something Mom really counseled me on." Anne would publicly state that Christopher was largely responsible for inventing the origin story for The Elixir of Life, first introduced in the first novel in the series and responsible for giving Ramses and Cleopatra their immortality. Anne would also reveal that Bektaten, an ancient African queen responsible for inventing the elixir, was almost entirely Christopher's invention.[25] Publishers Weekly called Ramses The Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra a "slick sequel" to The Mummy, noting that its "immortals gifted with virtual indestructibility scheme as nastily against one another as the similarly endowed characters in Anne Rice's celebrated Vampire Chronicles." The publication added, "In their first literary collaboration, the Rices, mother and son, configure these subplots into an entertaining soap opera replete with romantic alliances, betrayals, and ends left tantalizingly loose as grist for sequels."

In early 2020, Anne revealed she had sold the studio the rights to both The Vampire Chronicles book series as well as her Lives of the Mayfair Witches series to AMC Studios, the home of such shows as The Walking Dead and Killing Eve, with her and Christopher as executive producers on all films and television series produced under the deal.[26] In a May 13, 2020 announcement of the deal Christopher Rice said, ""AMC Studios is responsible for creating some of the most iconic television series of the modern era and has, at times, single-handedly defined this era we call 'peak TV'. All the members of Team Anne, including my long-term producing partner, New York Times Bestselling novelist Eric Shaw Quinn, are both thrilled and comforted to know that some of our most cherished kin, from the vampire Lestat and the witch Rowan Mayfair, to the paranormal investigators at the Order of the Talamasca and the powerful spirit Lasher, are now safely in the hands of these vastly accomplished innovators who possess both global reach and deep reservoirs of experience."[27]

Bibliography[edit]

Early novels
  • A Density of Souls (2000)
  • The Snow Garden (2001)
  • Light Before Day (2005)
  • Blind Fall (2008)
  • The Moonlit Earth (2010)
  • The Heavens Rise (2013)
  • The Vines (2014)
Erotic romance (1,001 Dark Nights / The Desire Exchange series)
  • The Flame (2014)
  • The Surrender Gate (2015)
  • Kiss The Flame (2015)
  • Dance of Desire (2016)
  • Desire & Ice (2016)
Collaborations with Anne Rice
The Burning Girl series
  • Bone Music: A Burning Girl Thriller (2018)
  • Blood Echo: A Burning Girl Thriller (2019) [28]
  • Blood Victory: A Burning Girl Thriller (2020)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Christopher Rice". Goodreads. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  2. ^ "Anne and Christopher Rice Announce Sequel to THE MUMMY: RAMSES THE DAMNED | Nerdist". Nerdist. 2017-02-28. Archived from the original on 2018-11-24. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  3. ^ "Christopher Rice leaves Anne Rice off list of '5 Scariest Reads for Halloween'".
  4. ^ Kaczorowski, Craig. "Rice, Christopher (b. 1978)" (PDF). GLBTQ Archive. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  5. ^ Kaczorowski, Craig. "Rice, Christopher (b. 1978)" (PDF). GLBTQ Archive. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "Issue Number 948 - Death and rebirth - Advocate.com". February 26, 2006. Archived from the original on February 26, 2006.
  7. ^ "Friends Like These" ~ The Advocate November 8, 2005. Archived.
  8. ^ "Christopher Rice - Identity Theory". March 15, 2002.
  9. ^ "Wordsmith Profile: Christopher Rice - Entertainment - The Empty Closet Archives". February 11, 2006. Archived from the original on February 11, 2006.
  10. ^ "Author Christopher Rice". September 30, 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
  11. ^ Walsh, Jeff (December 4, 2000). "Christopher Rice Makes a Name for Himself with Amazing First Novel". AlterNet.
  12. ^ "15th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". lambdaliterary.org. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  13. ^ "Author Christopher Rice". September 30, 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
  14. ^ "Bram Stoker Awards Nominee List - Horror Writers Association BlogHorror Writers Association Blog".
  15. ^ Publications, Locus. "Locus Online News » 2014 Bram Stoker Awards Winners".
  16. ^ Scuglia, Ben. "Christopher Rice Enters The Supernatural Realm". advocate.com.
  17. ^ "A Fairy Home Companion With Christopher Rice and Eric Shaw Quinn" ~ The Advocate
  18. ^ "A Fairy Home Companion With Christopher Rice and Eric Shaw Quinn". The Advocate. Feb 21, 2013. Retrieved Oct 20, 2020.
  19. ^ "Guests - The Dinner Party Show". thedinnerpartyshow.com.
  20. ^ "The Dinner Party Show Podcasts".
  21. ^ "The Flame (Desire Exchange, #0.5)".
  22. ^ "Anne Rice Plotting 'The Vampire Chronicles' TV Series Adaptation". November 26, 2016.
  23. ^ Moore, Debi (February 28, 2017). "Anne Rice and Christopher Rice Announce Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra". Dread Central. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  24. ^ Anne, Rice (February 28, 2017). "An important announcement" (Video). Facebook. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  25. ^ Fessier, Bruce. "Anne Rice Seeking 'Game of Thrones'-like home for 'Vampire Chronicles'". The Desert Sun. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  26. ^ Porter, Rick (May 13, 2020). "Anne Rice 'Vampire Chronicles' Lands At AMC". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved Oct 16, 2020.
  27. ^ "AMC Networks Acquires Rights To The Iconic Works Of Anne Rice". amc.com.
  28. ^ "Coming Soon: Blood Echo". GoodReads.com. Retrieved September 21, 2018.

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