|Born Howard Allen O'Brian, Anne Rice legally changed her name at the age of 6. When she was 16, two years after her mother died in 1955, the family moved to Texas, where she met her future husband, Stan Rice, and graduated from high school. After they married in 1961 and moved to California, Rice received a B.A. from San Francisco State in 1964, had a child named Michelle in 1966, spent two years at the University of California at Berkeley, and then received an M.A., also from San Francisco State, in 1971. Their daughter Michelle then died of leukemia before her sixth birthday. After a period of alcoholism directly related to this loss, Rice wrote INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE over a few weeks in 1973. Eventually published in 1976 to somewhat lukewarm reviews, INTERVIEW..., according to Roz Kaveney in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FANTASY, "is responsible, if not for creating, at least popularizing and in many respects crystallizing the mythology of the revisionist-fantasy version of the vampire." Rice wrote two more novels, THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS and CRY TO HEAVEN, before embarking on a series of novels written under pseudonyms, ranging from soft- to relatively hardcore pornography. She wrote EXIT TO EDEN as Anne Rampling and the Sleeping Beauty trilogy as A. N. Roquelaure. In 1986 she wrote a sequel to INTERVIEW, called THE VAMPIRE LESTAT, in which the title character disputes certain events depicted in its predecessor. With this book, Rice officially became a best-selling author. In 1986, Rice and her family moved to New Orleans, a prominent setting in much of her writing. Since then, she has become simultaneously more and less of a public figure. While the immense popularity of her books has forced her to cease listing her telephone number in the phone book, which she did well into the late '80s, Rice has been active in New Orleans, purchasing a lot of property around the area for restoration. Sometimes to the consternation of other residents, she has taken out full-page ads in the local newspaper to express her opinions on various matters, and she regularly responds to questions delivered to her via the Internet at her official Web site. With a staggeringly huge worldwide fan base, Rice is likely to remain at the top of the bestseller lists regardless of which of her several series titles she is writing.