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Manic Monday: Literary Characters

Due to this post from Roni Loren (thank you for the warning, Roni) I’ve decided to remove most photos from Thriller Thursday. I hope you’re still able to enjoy them!

It’s early Monday morning, and I didn’t have my post for today planned. But there’s a question that’s been rattling around in my head. If you could have one hour with ANY fictional literary character, who would it be, and why?

For me, it’s the Vampire Lestat. And let me say, I loved Tom Cruise as Lestat. He did a wonderful job, but any picture of him is still Tom Cruise as Lestat. This beautiful piece, however, is a beautiful rendition of how I always envisioned Lestat. No, I didn’t draw it. Click on the image for the artist.

So why Lestat? I’ve always been a reader. The earliest books I remember enjoying are Little House on the Prairie, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Beldon. I read them over and over again, along with several other books growing up. But then, when I was around fifteen, I read Anne Rice’s Interview With A Vampire and fell in love. Not with the narrative character Louis, but with the rogue fiend, Lestat. After that, I read the two books that changed my literary life: The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned.

Anne Rice has said Lestat was inspired by her late husband, the poet and artist Stan Rice, sharing his blond hair and November 7 birth date. In 2003, Rice said character had also taken on some of her own attributes, stating “Stan was Lestat; he was the inspiration. Perhaps it is best to say Lestat was Stan and me. He was Stan and what Stan taught me. Lestat was inspired by Stan, and then I became Lestat.” (Wikipedia)

What a world Anne Rice created! She took us back to 18th century Paris, with the stinking above ground cemeteries, before the graves were removed into the quarry. She showed us ancient Rome and Egypt with such vivid imagery I felt as though I living history. And it was all done through the eyes of Lestat, the “Brat Prince,” as he’s called by his vampire peers. Bold, enthusiastic, intense, fearful, impulsive, brilliant, musical – any one of these adjectives can be used to describe Lestat. He’s the first character I remember reading who was so three dimensional, written with such emotional depth, that I grew emotionally invested. My heart worried for Lestat with each page, and I felt his pain and triumph as he galavanted through the centuries.

Reading Anne Rice’s novels – The Vampire Lestat in particular – was the first time I felt the need to write. The first time I was moved to write. And I did. All drivel about life and love and teenage angst, but Lestat was so real in my eyes, thanks to the stellar writing of Rice, I wanted to create a character that moved me just as much.

Twenty years later, I’m still not as good as Rice. I love my characters and strive to make them three dimensional, but I’m still learning. And I can say without hesitation that had it not been for Rice and the Brat Prince, I never would have realized my desire to write.

So I ask you: if you could have one hour with ANY fictional literary character, who would it be, and why?

41 comments on… “Manic Monday: Literary Characters”

  1. Hello there! Dropping in here from She Writes.

    I loved Lestat too, the first time I read Anne Rice, but I think I would be too terrified to spend time with him! I would actually like to spend time with PG Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster – he would be so easy to talk to, I can pat his head when he tells me how life gets him and he will probably take me somewhere nice to dine, with dancing afterwards.

    • Hi! LOL, he would be scary, but I’d do it. Oh, that’s a great character to choose. Fun and inspiring. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  2. There are so many, but this morning, as I prep for my final portfolio for school and print out my reading lists for my MFA, I’m thinking about Jo March. 🙂

    • Oh, Jo March. She was wonderful. Little Woman is a book I’ve read over and over again. Congrats on going for your MFA, and thanks for sharing:)

  3. Oh wow…this is hard, to choose just one I mean. Jo March would definitely be near the top of my list of choices. But I would have to say my top pick would be Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice. I read that book for the first time when I was 14 and that character (and well, Jane Austen in general) has had such an impact on my studies and career, that I’d have to have a chat with Lizzie, preferably over some tea! Anne Elliot from Persuasion would be a close second. Oh, but wait…I can think of a few more-Antonia from Willa Cather’s My Antonia, and for a more modern character, Mercy Thompson from the Patricia Briggs series. I think she might be the toughest chick ever, and can fix cars! Oh, and…Ack! I have to go and make a list now! LOL! Great post Stacy, it really got me thinking this morning!

    • It is, isn’t it? I love hearing about the impact Jane Austen had on your writing. She affected SO many writers. LOL. All of your choices are great, and I’m glad I got you thinking. I have several who are close seconds to Lestat. Thanks so much!

  4. I love Jo March too! If I lived back then I would want to be woman with her heart to follow my dream in a hard world for women at the time. Trixie Belden! LOVED her, cant find her books anymore. I adored her far over Nancy Drew. But I would have to say I would want to sit down with Laura Ingalls Wilder. I know she’s not ficticious but I read her Little House series every year. I wanted to be her as a child so much. I want to chat all day with her about her life from the Big Woods to the Prairie to town life and how she was part of the expansion of America. After that the frontier was closed. But to be a part of embracing the frontier!

    • I loved Trixie Beldon. I still have some of her books at my parents, packed away. I liked her better than Nancy Drew, too. Sitting down with Laura would be very personal to me as well. I played Little House a lot as a child, and I did want to be her when I was little. Great choice!

  5. Oh my goodness…I don’t have an answer. Now I feel like I am going to need the day to think about this. Maybe that’s where my mind will wander while I vacuum.

  6. I’d like to spend it with my character Wilson, in my just completed magical realist novel. Wilson is a demon with heart. He is magnetic and nefarious, but is fun, and still has a few drops of compassion.

    • Very cool. It’s wonderful you’re that connected and proud to your character. And a demon with a heart sounds really entertaining. Thanks!

  7. Oh stacy, you and I have this in common. I was in my 20s when Anne’s novels came out, but they affected me just as you say they did you. I couldn’t stop reading them, and I became emotionally invested. I too, felt I had visited ancient Rome and Egypt. And years after reading her novels, when I had opportunity to visit Paris and Rome, I remembered first seeing them through her eyes.

    I would love to meet two villians: Lecter, and Tom Ripley. But I’m sure they’d scare me to death, (and then Lecter would probably serve me up with fava beans) so I’ll pass.

    • 🙂 Yay! I couldn’t put into words how I felt when I read her books. I love history and to me, Anne Rice’s vampires are REAL vampires. They lived and didn’t breathe, lol. It was through her writing that I fell in love with the south and Ancient Egypt as well. You’re so lucky to have visited those places. Some day.

      Ooh, great villans. I’d be far more afraid of Lecter than Lestat. But give me a big, thick glass wall, and I’d be there!


  8. I’m thinking either Sue Bridehead from Jude the Obscure or for someone totally different, Kathy Trask from East of Eden, although she might shoot me like she did her husband.

    • Thanks for the reblog. And wow, some really good characters. Kathy might shoot you, but you’d have some fun before!

  9. Deb Claxton

    I would like to spend an hour with Stephanie Plum because I think we could have a lot of fun riding around in her car, talking, laughing, and eating donuts!

    • LOL. I bet you would have. Hers is a series I’ve yet to read, although I’ve heard great things about it. Donuts sound good right now, too.


  10. I’d spend an hour with Nanny Ogg of Terry Prachett’s Discworld series. She’s the only witch who knows more than Granny Weatherwax and is too smart to let Granny know it. She also does no housework, drinks whenever a drink is available, and has had several husbands, some of which she was actually married to.

    • That’s a series I’ve not ready, but she sounds very interesting. And anyone who gets away with no housework is someone to study closely, lol.
      Thanks, Charlotte!

      • The Discworld series is a hoot and Terry Prachett has a way with characters. One caution, understand that in Discworld everyone is a bit shady to some degree. Stay on the good side, if there is one, of Lord Vetnares.

        • I think we’re all shady to a degree, deep down. Everyone of us has some selfish tendencies. Human nature. I’ve never heard of this series, but I will have to check it out. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Dumbledore. I know that doesn’t sound literary and intelligent and writerly, but come on…*Dumbledore.* Think of everything that man must know! Besides, if I could sit down and talk to him for an hour, that would mean that the Harry Potter universe was real…

    • Actually, it does. I’m a huge fan of the HP books, and Dumbledore is a damned good character. And the HP universe being real would be awesome.


  12. This is a hard question. I’ve never read Little Women, but I’ve read Anne Rice’s vampire books. I read some pretty scary books, and I’d be worried about not surviving an hour with many of my favorite fictional characters. To that end, I think I’d like to spend an hour with Bobbie Faye Sumrall from Toni McGee Causey’s series. I’d probably survive a day with Bobbie Faye, and I’d laugh a lot while I did it.

    • I don’t know if you’d like Little Women or not. Something tells me it would annoy you, lol. Kristine hates it. Damn, another series I haven’t read. Spending an hour laughing sounds great right now, lol. Will have to add the book to my list:)

      • I hope you do decide to give Bobbie Faye a try. The first book is Charmed and Dangerous. Toni McGee Causey has a writing voice you won’t forget.

  13. Oh, my gosh! I don’t know. Interview with a vampire was the first signed, first edition book I ever bought. It cost me more money than I think I made in a week, but it was so worth it! I need to reread the books. They were such an important part of my young adult life. I’ve got to think about this question for a little bit…

    • That’s so cool! I would LOVE to have a signed first edition. My hubby went to New Orleans 8 or 9 years ago on business, and he took the time to go to Anne Rice’s house. Stayed as long as he could, but she was at the doctor. He wanted to surprise me with an autograph. I reread the books every couple of years.

      Love to hear your answer:)

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