The Tragic Real-Life Inspiration Behind The Vampire Interview’s Claudia Character

Like many works of art, “Interview With the Vampire” was born out of pain. When Anne Rice began writing the book that would spawn myriad sequels, she had suffered a loss no one should have to suffer — the death of her daughter, Michele (via The Telegraph).

“I had a prophetic dream of my daughter dying of a problem with her blood. A horrible, horrible dream,” the author confessed in a Washington Post profile. Rice’s daughter, Michele, only lived to her sixth birthday after being diagnosed with leukemia. But that event quickly launched Rice down a path that would bring to life an iconic brand full of vampires and witches.

It’s hard not to see the similarities between Claudia and Rice’s late daughter. Both had no choice and died prematurely. Claudia’s life is taken away due to blood, just like Michele had a blood disorder. Claudia’s life is full of struggles and she does not survive the events of the series. This struggle is universal and one reason why the books are linked to so many people. In 2020, Rice’s son Christopher posted on Facebook on his mother’s behalf, memorializing Michele.

“Today is the day our family mourns the passing of my daughter Michele Rice, who died of leukemia on this day in 1972.” But thanks to Michele’s inspiration, characters like Claudia live on.

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