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As part of my initiative to rebuild this blog, one post at a time, here is a delightful repost from October of 2014. I was honored beyond belief to have the opportunity to interview the one and only Christopher Rice, NY Times Best-Selling author and son of Anne Rice. Enjoy!

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1. What was the inspiration for your latest novel THE VINES?

I was originally inspired by a vision I had of a ruined California mission covered in these great tangles of vines, and I kept having this sense that a shaman of some sort had driven the vines to rise up and kill all the missionaries. But the idea wasn't working and I put it aside. After I published The Heavens Rise, it felt like my next novel should be set in Louisiana as well. And then the whole thing just began to unfurl.

2. How would you say that this particular new tale differentiates from your past work and what can readers expect?

This book is lean and mean and designed to be read in one or two sittings. THE HEAVENS RISE, my previous novel and my first supernatural thriller, had a slow build when it came to the otherworldly elements of the plot. In THE VINES, the supernatural makes an appearance in the second chapter and we roll out from there.

3. Can you tell us about your own progression as a writer? When did you first realize you wanted to be a storyteller and how has your approach to your craft changed over the years?

Being a writer is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder that might earn you some money. The lucky ones earn money from it, I should say. The best piece of writing advice my mother ever gave me was, "Write the book you want to read." Over the years, that's changed for me. I read different books today than I read when I was 21 years old and on the verge of publishing my first novel, A DENSITY OF SOULS....

4. What was it like growing up with such a famous literary mother, Anne Rice? How did her influence affect your approach to writing?

I mentioned that my mother gave me the writing advice to “write the book you want to read.” THE VINES is the type of book I love to read. It’s scary without being excessively gory, it’s lean, and it’s got a very strong sense of atmosphere, which is something I love in novels. And despite the intrusion of supernatural horrors, the journey of the characters takes precedence over everything else.

5. What would you say was the secret behind achieving so many accolades by the time you were just 30?

Gracious interviewers like yourself.

6. What is different in how you approach your journalism work as opposed to your work as a novelist?

I haven't done real investigative journalism. For The Dinner Party Show, we sometimes report on news events and publishing industry headlines, but we do so from an opinion/editorial point of view. Because it's talk radio, we aren't able to remove ourselves from the story the way a newspaper journalist would. We lead with our own thoughts and feelings.

7. For fun, what was it like being declared one of People’s “Sexiest Men Alive”?

At the time it happened, I had absolutely no confidence in my physical appearance whatsoever, so it was a strange, dizzying thing. I was a three pack a day smoker, a heavy drinker, and I had the physique of Jack Skellington from A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. So it was odd, but I was very pleased.