Tuesday, October 20, 2009

writing wednesdays: goodbye vampires, hello angels (the reversion of anne rice)

Writing Wednesdays: Goodbye Vampires, Hello Angels

She was born into a Christian family but renounced all that in her late teens, embracing instead a heavily doubting form of agnosticism verging on atheism. In early adulthood, she became a full-fledged part of the hippie movement with her artist husband, Stan, and went on to become a bestselling author. But even worldwide acclaim could not adequately satisfy her soul, and in 1998, this expert writer on all things vampire rediscovered the faith of her childhood, and has dedicated all her future works to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Some of her longtime fans wonder, what’s up with Anne Rice? What’s gotten into her? But those who have experienced a similar wooing by the light simply say, “Welcome back, dear sister in Christ!”

For me, there are few things as inspiring as discovering that a fellow Christian who had fallen prey to the world and its promises has found her way back into the fold. Though some of her readers remain suspect, I am with those ready to offer a hearty embrace to Anne Rice: “Welcome home!”

Now, I have a confession to make here: I have not read any of Rice’s books, though I first learned of her work years ago. Even so, as a fellow writer, mother and Christian, I can’t help but feel excited to know of Rice’s “reversion.” I look forward to reading her memoir, Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession, as well as her newest novel, Angel Time.

I stumbled upon Rice's reversion story through the blog of my writer-mama pal, Mary DeTurris Poust. In the article she wrote for Our Sunday Visitor based on an interview with Rice, Mary uncovered some inspiring thoughts of the well-known author's related to how even her earlier work surrounding vampires comprised elements of her faith journey:

Rice said, “As I was writing Interview with the Vampire, I knew that I identified with Louis the vampire and that I felt like a creature of the night and a creature who was separated from God and a creature who was lost and pretty miserable. The book is really a meditation on misery, on the misery of being separated from God. I felt very comfortable writing it because it allowed me to express my sorrow. It's only years later that I realized the book is about the loss of my Catholic faith. It's about a fall from grace, about leaving the Church, about roaming in the darkness of atheism for many years and feeling as obsessed with God as ever.” [My emphasis...]

Those words struck me in a particular way. Feeling as obsessed with God as ever. In this way, Rice is no different than any of us. We are all, in a sense, obsessed with God, whether or not we want to name it that. We are obsessed with Love, after all – finding it and somehow retaining it, as well as finding ways to give it away. That is all any of us wants – to love and be loved. This is at the root of all our desires -- money, success and wholeness. It's really all about Love, and wanting more of it. God alone can offer this to us in any kind of fulfilling way. Anything else we experience in this life is only a glimpse of what is to come. Think of the most wonderful moment you have ever experienced. And consider that that moment of exhilaration was simply a point at which you made a direct connection with your Creator. And no matter how lovely, it was still just a glimmer, but it is, in fact, that glimmer to which we are all drawn – even if, on occasion, in a misguided way.

All of this got me thinking about salvation, and how we writers are working out our salvation in a particular way through our work. Even though Rice didn’t know that's what she was doing earlier on, inevitably, she was able to see that even through writing about darker themes, she was gradually finding her way back to her God, Light of all Lights!

This is a profound thought to me, and one worthy of consideration as we move through our lives, whether in our writing or in relating to those around us day to day. I thank Rice (and Mary) for pointing out this awesome thought to me.

In what ways does your writing reflect your daily movement toward God – the One who has given you the desire to write in the first place? How are you responding to this gift of writing, especially as it relates to your salvation?

To read Mary’s interview with Rice, go here.


Tamika: said...

Hmmm... That's a mouthful to ponder on. My relfections of writing and faith are triggered largely by my daily walk with God. When the fellowship is at its most intimate my writing flows effortlessly and breezy. When voices are strained and words are drab I find it's because I have spent enough time in His presence.

Great post!

Jody Hedlund said...

"It's really all about Love, and wanting more of it. God alone can offer this to us in any kind of fulfilling way. Anything else we experience in this life is only a glimpse of what is to come." I LOVE this!! It's exactly true!!

And what deep questions you pose today, Roxane! I think that's why I connect with your blog so much! You force me to think about issues in a deeper way. I will have to really consider this whole issue as I go back through my book. I think that's partly why I'm so excited about my hero's new character arc. I can see so much more potential for growth!

Hope your gang is feeling better! I read one of your tweets that you have two sick today! I have one with a fever. But as you know, it's likely to spread through us all! :)

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Tamika, I have found this to be true as well. The well of Life flowing into us can't help but be fruitful if we release it back to the world. But I, too, sometimes don't draw on it enough. And Jody, I'm glad I've challenged you. I might have a hard time answering those questions myself. I do know that over time, my blog has become more faith-oriented because my love for my God and my faith cannot be contained. That's the wonderful thing about blogging. We own our content and do not have to hold back on the days we don't feel like it. :) Oh, thanks regarding sick kids. Here it's mainly cold and fatigue but I don't want to take chances. Just glad I'm home and can be here when such times arise. But you're right -- illness can take weeks to make its round in a larger family. I'm bracing for the flu's ugly tendrils. ! Thanks for being such a constant...your "voice" always adds a spark to my day.