Anne Rice Says Stephenie Meyer “Dumbed Down” Vampires

Long before Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga became the world‘s obsession, Anne Rice ruled the world of vampires. Since then, Rice’s magnificent vampires have been pushed aside by the teen-friendly vegetarian vamps. In a recent interview with New Jersey Star-Ledger, Rice revealed how she really feels about Meyer’s new vampires.

“It’s based on a really silly premise: that immortals would go to high school,” Rice said. “It’s a failure of imagination, but at the same time, that silly premise has provided Stephenie Meyer with huge success. It’s almost like a stroke of genius to put vampires in high school. They just graduate over and over again.”

“The idea that if you are immortal you would go to high school instead of Katmandu or Paris or Venice, it’s the vampire dumbed down for kids,” Rice continued. “But it’s worked. It’s successful. It makes kids really happy.”

Anyone that has followed my writing knows that I adore Anne Rice and The Vampire Chronicles and that I think Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight is absolute garbage. So obviously, I LOVE this interview with Anne! The woman speaks her mind, but does so in a polite and intelligent way.

I agree with her completely, Twilight isn’t an adults series like The Vampire Chronicle are, it’s directed at teens and has been dumbed down for them. Which honestly is a bit depressing considering that I first started reading The Vampire Chronicles when I was around 14. Teens nowadays make me sad in their choice of reading, but hey, to each their own, there’s nothing wrong with teens reading teen books – obviously.

As for Twilight being “a failure of imagination,” well yes, it totally is. I have read the comments you guys have left on the site and you are repeatedly saying things like “Stephenie Meyer stole her ideas from this author and that person” and on an on. Most of you feel that Meyer steals other’s ideas and the thing is, she isn’t directly stealing from anyone, her books are just incredibly uncreative and unoriginal. They’re simple and blah – nothing special. That’s why it seems like she is stealing, when really she simply can’t come up with anything innovative.

What do you guys think about Anne’s comments on Stephenie Meyer? Do you agree with her or disagree?

For Anne Rice’s full interview with New Jersey Star-Ledger go HERE.

– Moonlight

By Moonlight

Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).


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  8. I think Anne Rice writes beautifully – Interview with the vampire and especially wonderful Master of Rampling Gate prove that gorgeously – but she is not so good at storytelling: Bram Stoker wasn´t so good writer, but Dracula is a Hammer masterpiece buried in dull, talkative prose. So I prefer Dracula over Rice like I prefer Rice over sleazy, boring King. I agree that high-school is really dull-as-ditchwater place for vampires. Why the series creates such love and hate? I believe Stephenie had pure motives: create story of forbidden, all-powerful love, clean but with thrill of danger. However, I prefer Theophile Gautier´s Clarimonde – best vampire romance I have ever read!

  9. Methinks to be honest Anne Rice (whom I deeply respect–and whose vampire tales are far superior to “Twilight” in my eyes) kinda missed the point of Myers’ vampires. They are frozen in some fundamental way at the age when they transformed, not simply physically but psychologically in some sense. They *are* teenagers. Even more importantly, since they *want* to live among humans then they need to blend in, which in their case means going through high school so they can stay a little longer. Due to their diet, they need to live in rural areas, i.e. small towns, where it is impossible to simply vanish in the anonymous crowd.

    I have plenty of criticisms of “Twilight” but this is not one of them. At least in this respect “Twilight” is better than “Interview” because it follows its own internal logic. Consider this–if Louis, Lestat and Claudia are killing at least one person every night for sixty years, that is at least 65,700 deaths in a city that barely supported that number of total inhabitants. Hiding that fact would have been impossible. It would have been as if New Orleans somehow missed a fatal epidemic in its midst for decades.

    Me, I like “Twilight’s” characters, but the plots are obvious and the dramatic punch is nearly always pulled. Meyers’ writing is readable, actually better than a few best-selling authors I can think of. She *does* explore some interesting ideas in her series while offering what is in effect an over-the-top romantic fantasy that aimed at the teenage girl in us (no matter what our age or gender).

    But yeah, I prefer “The Vampire Chronicles” and “True Blood” and “Let Me In.” A whole lot.

    1. I would have to agree that the vampires in Twilght stay frozen at their age even mentaly. I have no problem with that. Writers have wrote confliting views on this. In Let Me in Eli will not just body wise be twelve will always carry a part of her twelve year old menatlity (even though she has knowledge of adult stuff). In honesty she is ackward with both adults and children . I realy thinks it does boil down to the issue of them living as humans and sparkiling. Most people would have no problem with vampires trying only stick with animals. Living in rural areas is not a issue to me. Even Eli seemed to choose rural areas too.

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  13. I think that the Stephanie Meyers vampire books are great for teenagers but the teenagers don’t understand true love in this day in time so a book to kind of show them what it is is better than tv nowadays. I still love Anne Rice’s books but I love the love story from Stephanie Meyer’s books better. True Blood is great but the movies are horrible and so is the twilight movies. Everyone sees things differently and it is great to be able to find different authors ideas of the vampire subject. But like Anne Rice said the vampires are fake and so are the stories. I want more adult vampire books for adults kind of like the Twilight Saga. I love reading vampires and love stories.

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  15. to be honest nobody can compete with the twilight series apart from it being a complete success it gives the idea that everybody has a choice, the cullens do not want to eat people because they believe it to be morally wrong, although their nature compells them to feed of humans they make a very difficult decision to overcome and ignore the natural instinct and practicse slef discipline rather than indulgence. i also love how the twilight saga promotes abstainance to the main audience; teenagers. edward respects bella and promotes chastity and virtue. the whole plot is about learning to overcome deadly passions and urges for the better. i love stephanie meyers writing, its better than any other vampire novel.

  16. I agree with Ann Rice. If Stephen Myer was wanting to write a seriouse vampire story if would be more closer to books such as Let Me In (I know it is only about friendship). Stephen Myer appeares to write romance (nothing wrong with that). But how she wrote Twilght was just plain wrong. The closes Stephen Myer has to writing a vampire book may be The Short Life of Bree Turner. If done right a great tragedy it would be for a girl to be turned into a vampire only to be killed by other vamps. On a side note I wonder what Anne Rice thinks of the book Let Me In or what she thinks of the films.

    1. I asked Rice via FB about “Let Me In” and she said it looked interesting but she was going to wait to see it on DVD (with the note that she hardly ever goes to see films in theaters these days).

  17. well Stephanie Meyer’s twilight saga is a big disappointment to every vampire lovers all over the world. No body is perfect so why vampire could be? Do vampire sparkle under the sun? Stephanie really ruined or totally destroy the vampire image. It’s not bad that the vampires are being the good guys but she made them fools. I have read the twilight saga and the most disappointing is the breaking dawn. The book was totally a trash!

    1. i was wondering your reasoning?
      why do you think steph ruined vampires, nd y do you think BD was trash?

    2. “Do vampires sparkle in the sun”? I don’t understand this type of statement. Vampires aren’t real, they don’t exist, they are total fiction. So, yes, I guess vampires can sparkle in the sun or do anything else the writer so desires. After all, it’s not like writers have anything to base their writings on…lol.

      1. Um….actually, most vampire authors base thier stories on the Mythology of vampires going back to Eastern Europe. Yes, I’ll make it clear so that no one thinks I am insane ……VAMPIRES ARE NOT REAL. However, there was a time when people believed in them and told stories about them. Now these people who believed in them, at that time, blamed vampirism for deseases and other problems which they did not understand.

        The Mythology says that vampires only come out at night, and the sun weakens them. Getting back to vampire fiction, if you go and read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, he actually can walk in the sunlight…but he does NOT SPARKLE!!!! Sparkling is just rediculous. I mean seriously…I somtimes wonder if Stephanie Meyer is snorting lines of cocaine when she is making this stuff up!!!!

        From what I have read about her, Stephanie Meyer states that she has never read a vampire book or even seen a vampire film. She refuses to watch R-rated movies and hates Horror. Also, she has said that she cannot read about other people’s vampires because they are not like her own. How narrow minded is that?!!! You know, they say “if your going to write, write about what you know”, so, why on Earth would someone who knows nothing about vampires or clearly has no intrest in them write about them? I mean, when Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, he spent SIX YEARS researching vampires. Stephanie just had a dream. She should not be writing about vampires, and they definatley should not sparkle. Period!!!!!!!

        1. Not entirely true – I’ve read virtually every folktale on vampires and what you said about them “only coming out at night” is not true at all. Most vampires from myths could come out during the day. Burning up in sunlight was created by the entertainment industry.

        2. Hey’a, Anti-Twilight.

          So, do I understand your post correctly when I say that you actually believe she shouldn’t have written the books? (You said that people should write what they know.) Doesn’t my taste and right to read what I want come into it? Should a certain section of people be denied the pleasure they get from reading Twilight and watching the movies because “people should write what they know”?

          I’m glad the world doesn’t run like that. Whatever happened to live and let live? You enjoy your books/movies and I enjoy mine. I would no sooner deny your right to watch what you enjoy than I hope you would not deny mine. :o)

        3. I have not read a single vampire book before Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight . I’m really glad that she dreamed up this whole series , and recreated the vampire because if you look at ” traditional” vampire books and movies one thing that they have in common is blood sucking, evil creatures . blaaaaaah! If Stephenie Meyer ” wrote what she knew about vampires by simply researching them” then she would be writing a genre just like anyone else.She is simply a genius and I respect her for that .I’m sorry but i don’t agree with you.

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  19. I personally find it unbecoming of any author, or fan, to degrade, or belittle another auothor’s hard work. As a huge fan, and writer of the vampire genre, I can appreciate the two very different worlds that each of these extremely talented women created for readers like us to enjoy. The only similarity between these two writers, is that they have both written well-loved stories that have millions of fans following their tales world-wide. With this knowledge, how could either of these women be considered anything other than a success? Whether you’re a fan of Ms. Rice’s novels, a fan of Ms. Meyer’s novels, or a fan of both, which I am, the public should openly give them both, credit where credit’s due. The beauty of this genre, is the amazing ability each individual writer has to create, mold, and make their vampire story their very own. I love the diversity of the vampire genre, and what the myths, legends, and mystery lends to story tellers everywhere. I sincerely hope to see many, many more different takes on this beloved, classic tale, and also hope that one day, I will have the great privilige of seeing my vampire novel grace book store shelves with the likes of these two inspirational women, whose talent has paved the way for so many, myself included. Some other friendly book suggestions to all you vamp genre readers out there: The Thirst Series by Christopher Pike, and make sure and pick up a copy of my friend Trevor Munson’s novel, Angel Of Vengeance, (available for purchase in February 2011) the book that inspired the television series, Moonlight. Pleasant reading everyone!

    1. Rice was asked a question and she answered it honestly. I would rather have a strong author that speaks her mind honestly and politely rather than an author too afraid to open her mouth. I don’t think she was degrading in any way.

      Also if you want your book noticed on this site, don’t spam random posts that have nothing to do with your book, contact us like every other author does.

      1. This person left one comment, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a life. You have left dozens of comments on here, does that mean that you don’t have a life?
        Also, they didn’t say anything wrong, they made a good point. It’s hard to take anyone seriously when they misspell every other word.

  20. oh man im with anne rice all the way not only is she one of my favorite authors :D i hate twilight with a passion i started reading anne rice a year ago and im 13 and i really hate how twilight is just unorigional

  21. Wow. Lots of strong feelings here. Personally, I didn’t much enjoy the twilight books overly-indulgent, teenage, hormonal moments. They just went on and on and on, and I didn’t like that at all; however, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the way the Cullen clan battled with what they believed to be their ‘sinful’ nature. I liked a lot of the ideals the books presented. I’m sure Anne Rice and other authors of the vampire genre are great writers; however, for me, I’m just not into the whole throat ripping, naked orgy, bloody violence content. I like the way Meyer’s representation of the vampire genre uses a little old fashioned decency. Although I didn’t love the books, I absolutely adore the movies and have watched all three more than ten times already. Oh, and I’m a 43 year old female.

  22. OK. so this is a delayed reaction. stephenie meyer’s vampires are frozen in time and stuck in their teens. which is when most of them were changed into vampires. also, and more importantly, stephenie meyer’s book series is for pre-teens which means 10 – 12 year olds. so i don’t understand why people are in search of literary genius.

    her book series is about first love. and all the ridiculousness that entails.

    i think maybe anne rice could be a bit bitter because the movie versions of her films were huge flops.

    1. I don’t think she is bitter at all. Also, Interview with a Vampire is one of the most popular vampire movies out there.

      1. Most popular? In it’s first year, Interview with a Vampire grossed $105 million, whereas Twilight grossed $192! You can’t yet compare them across time because IWAV was released in 1994, and T was released in 2008; however, I never saw anything like the popularity The Twilight Saga is currently enjoying with Interview with a Vampire when it came out; not even close. I’ve seen both, and I far prefer Twilight (as do most others, if release stats are anything to go by). Each to their own, of course. Everybody views movies with his or her own personal preferences :o)

        1. Re-read what I said, I didn’t say it was THE most popular, only that it is ONE of the most popular, therefore it wasn’t a “huge flop” as the person said before. It wasn’t a flop in any way, it was and still is very successful. Also, Interview is older and it stills sells well (I also work at a store, it sells out every single week), it’s one of the few older movies that has lasted so long. Twilight is still young, but considering how Twilight sales are plummeting due to overexposure and the fact that people are losing interest in it, I can’t say the same. I doubt Twilight will stand the test of time, but that’s me. Also, “most others” do not prefer Twilight over Interview. Sure “most others” under the age of 18 probably do, but I have yet to meet anyone my age or older that likes Twilight more than Interview.

          1. Hey’a Moonlight. Nice to meet you. (I’m over 18 and far prefer Twilight over the other, so you have officially met the first person in that category). I’m only going via the actual stats which state that more people have wanted to see and paid to see Twilight over IWAV. Cheers.

          2. I also want to point out that Interview came out 17 years ago, to get an accurate comparison between it and Twilight would involve bringing inflation into the equation considering ticket prices have more than doubled since IwtV’s release. A quick conversion tool suggests the current profit would be approximately $152,828,798.79 and that’s just American box office sales (not including VHS/DVD sales). World wide box office sales were $223,664,608 in 1994 which would be $324,728,263.58 when inflation is calculated. This means in total IwtV’s box offices sales when calculating inflation = $477,557,061. Twilights total box office sales = $392,616,625
            Interview with the Vampire’s box office sales seem pretty impressive to me.

            (cite and

          3. @Chris.

            You’re obviously mathematically talented, whereas my math ability sucks (pun intended…lol), so you’ll get no argument from me. I guess I just have to stick with the fact that I prefer Twilight to IWAV. But I certainly respect everyone’s right to personal taste. :o)

  23. Having read the first 2 books of the Twilight series (the 2nd which I couldn’t finish because I found it…tedious) and having read the entire Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles – Anne Rice wins hands down.

    I appreciate what Myers has attempted to do which is take a genre of writing and make it what? More palatable for tweens and their parents? But sadly, I find her books poorly written and her characters too simplistic for my taste.

    2 reasons Myers is so popular: First, Myers has hit a distinct chord amongst young teenagers and that is the overwhelming feelings of first love where the passion for the object of one’s desire is all encompassing. I totally get that. The rest of us might think it’s icky sweet but to the female tween, it is ambrosia. Second, I have friends who adore the books but in part because they’ve read them with their daughters. Myers books have perhaps provided some common interests and ground for them and I think that’s a good thing. I read An Interview With A Vampire when it first came out when I was a teenager. I couldn’t share this book with my mother. She would have been absolutely horrified to learn that I was reading the book and probably would have forbidden it (not that it would have stopped me). So, I get it – and appreciate what Myers produced even if I find her writing style dismal.

    So as a reader and speaking only for myself, I find Myers writing style boring and two dimensional. Anne Rice produced some of the most complex and satisfying characterizations I have ever read. She is a superb writer and I hope she continues writing about Lestat and all the others.

  24. I don’t understand how anybody can prefer Twilight to The Vampire Chronicles. ‘The Vampire Lestat’ is one of the greatest Vampire novels ever written. Rice’s characters and writing is brilliant. The traits she gives her Vampires make them very interesting and captivating. Meyer’s books are awful and juvenile in every sense of the word. The person who stated most people prefer Twilight to Chronicles is an idiot and bases that on nothing. Twilight is a lot more recent, therefore more people have heard of it. IWTV (movie) was so popular that it sent the book back on the first seller list, even though it was released decades earlier.

  25. I’m an idiot? Lol….were you actually awake when you typed that asinine comment ‘Twilight is more recent; therefore, more people have heard of it’. Oh, that was well thought out!…lol.

    What is idiotic (and arrogant) is to consider your own opinion so important that others have to have the same or they are just idiots. If you prefer Anne Rice, great. If you prefer Meyer, as I and millions of others do, great.

    1. Oh, and far from me basing my opinions on nothing, as you so eloquently state (not!), my comments were formed from fact. I got the gross profit stats from BoxOffice Mojo: IWAV Domestic Total Gross $105,264,608; Twilight DTG $192,769,854. Go take a look for yourself if you can be bothered. Yet another error – you say IWAV was released decades earlier. Gross exaggeration. It was released 14 years earlier. That’s not even two decades. So exactly who’s making things up?

      I normally try to contain my impatience with rude, personal comments on forums, but I am having a weak moment. It would be great if you would not feel so threatened and call people idiots simply because they don’t agree with you, and you don’t like it. After all, different things appeal to different people; and we are all entitled to our own individual appeals.

      1. Since you like to boast about about twilight’s success in numbers, here is what I think of IWAV success would be like with the prices going up and what not and its pretty much what another person also posted if you didn’t bother to read or look at it miss twihard.

        quote from Chris:

        I also want to point out that Interview came out 17 years ago, to get an accurate comparison between it and Twilight would involve bringing inflation into the equation considering ticket prices have more than doubled since IwtV’s release. A quick conversion tool suggests the current profit would be approximately $152,828,798.79 and that’s just American box office sales (not including VHS/DVD sales). World wide box office sales were $223,664,608 in 1994 which would be $324,728,263.58 when inflation is calculated. This means in total IwtV’s box offices sales when calculating inflation = $477,557,061. Twilights total box office sales = $392,616,625
        Interview with the Vampire’s box office sales seem pretty impressive to me.
        (cite and

        It is simple math if you know how to do math that IWAV still rocks hard and has been tested with time that it is still remembered. (but IMO twilight wishes it can rock as hard as Harry Potter, both books and movies rock and are worth reading and watching). sorry for quoting but i feel like another quote to give you even if you may not like it

        quote Stephen King,

        “Harry Potter is all about comfronting fears, finding inner strenth, and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”

        1. Hey’a, Wist.

          My original post was simply my personal opinion on my preference for Twilight over IWAV, without ridiculing others’ opinions. The post you responded to was my annoyance showing in response to someone basically calling me an idiot (among other things) simply because my likes differed to his or her’s. It wasn’t a boast at all.

          In fact, both Twilight and IWAV simply aren’t important enough to boast over, don’t you think?

          There’s simply no need to be nasty, but, of course, nastiness runs riot on the internet as some people act in completely uninhibited ways, whereas they wouldn’t when face to face.

          My comments weren’t intended to annoy anyone else but were there in response to a poster’s rudeness. Sorry if it bothered you.

          1. Not to be to picky here but I wish you would stop calling it “Interview with A Vampire” instead of “Interview with THE Vampire”. If you had seen the movie or read the book, you would know that is how it’s pronounced.

          2. Actually, the book is called “Interview with the Vampire” and the movie is “Interview with a Vampire.” I have both the book and the film sitting right next to me. They changed the title when they did the movie.

          3. David, that’s a weird thing to say. So, you are telling me I didn’t see it, even though I saw it, for the reason that I use A instead of T? Hey, I don’t mind if you think I don’t know what I’m talking about, but you’re going to call me a liar because I used the wrong letter? Never read the book, but I have seen the movie. Believe it, or not. (Stealing Ripley’s line, there…lol).

          4. I’m reading it now for the second time. Why than does my copy, and every other copy I see everywhere else, call it “Interview with The Vampire”?

          5. Actually, I was wrong. I did have them right next to me and I actually read the side of the DVD wrong. Yes, they are both “the” and not “A” …you win. Although, I fail to see why it’s a big deal. I have read the book multiple times and have seen the movie at least a dozen times and even I occasionally mess up and write “A” by accident. It’s really not a big deal, and it doesn’t prove anything other than some people have a better memory than others. It sounds like you have a silly pet peeve David, and that’s fine, we all have them. But really, not a big deal.

  26. Wow…Vampires and Werewolves…quite the elixir of passionate dialogue! I have never read any of Anne Rice’s books and had never desired to read the Twilight Saga; that is, until my daughter was so engrossed. Since I have read the books and watched the movies, I am amazed at not only the OLDER women these stories attract, (it’s nuts…really!!!) but the new Vampires it has created in these young girls who want to eat Robert Pattinson for lunch! Can you say “Beatlemania” all over again! Poor guy! Wow…again. But guess I can only feel “so” sorry for him…he is a multimillionaire because of this series! But man, what a price to pay for fame…
    I am going to read The Vampire Chronicles now and looking forward to treating myself to the movie as well. I am 48 and a late comer to this obvious, for lack of a better word, obsession! Lol. But it is real…it does reach deeply into those that find themselves in it’s grip and lure. Since we are all unique, it is only expected that authors would have their own special talent in creating these vampire stories. I say kudos to anyone who can accomplish writing something that others want to and love to read. May they be prolific!

  27. This isn’t the only time Anne Rice has taken a stab at Stephenie Meyer and The Twilight Saga. Back In October she said this on her facebook page…

    “Lestat and Louie feel sorry for vampires that sparkle in the sun. They would never hurt immortals who choose to spend eternity going to high school over and over again in a small town —- anymore than they would hurt the physically disabled or the mentally challenged. My vampires possess gravitas. They can afford to be merciful.”

    Stephen King has also come out and said that ” ..Stephenie Meyer Can’t write worth a Darn.”

  28. Stephanie’s story sounds more like fan fiction, even the main actors of Twilight have made negative comments about her story and they could not wait to finish all the films. Robert Pattinson said that Stephanie is a mad woman for wanting to write a sick, sexual book where she is convinced she is Bella. Totally a Mary Sue. Not even the cast had a great time filming it. The thing I hate is that when I want to talk about serious, evil, classic vampires, people think ‘Twilight’ all the time and I don’t like to be labeled a fan of her crappy writing. I’m not a fan of Vampire Diaries or True Blood either.

    Anne Rice is my all-time favorite, her writing is rich and vivid in details, she takes me to a whole new world with her writing where I get to experience the culture, the time period, the fashion, and the way her vampires are portrayed often seem like gods and goddesses to me, a being that intrigues you, yet brings fear because they are still capable of hurting you.

    I agree with Anne Rice, she speaks the truth. I just wish more films or even a tv series of The Vampire Chronicles was made. Only garbage gets to be displayed on tv.

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