Anne Rice and the Mission Inn

Angel Time
Random House

Mission Inn
West facade

Mission Inn
Main lobby

Mission Inn
Interior courtyard architecture

Mission Inn
International Rotunda

With a hotel as unique and eclectic as the Mission Inn, it’s no wonder many actors, artists and writers have found the place invigorating and inspiring. Among them include Will Rogers, Paul Newman, Jack Lemmon, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Zona Gale and Carrie Jacobs Bonds. On Saturday, yet another name was added to the list: best-selling author Anne Rice.
Best known for her Vampire Chronicles books, which includes “Interview with the Vampire,” Rice used the Mission Inn as a backdrop for her latest book, “Angel Time.” The book is the first in a new series entitled, “Songs of the Seraphim.” (Book two, which is yet to be published, is also set at the Mission Inn.)
Rice, who hails from New Orleans but now resides in nearby Rancho Mirage (Palm Springs), first visited the Mission Inn shortly after moving to Southern California in 2006. It was on her first visit to the Inn in which the author says she “fell in love” with the hotel and decided to use it as a setting for her upcoming series.
As part of the book’s recent release, Rice returned to the Mission Inn on Saturday to sign copies of the new book. While there, the Inn’s Amistad Suite (aka the “Bridal Suite”) — a key location in both the book’s writing and its setting — was dedicated to Rice, who now shares the distinction with author Anne Cameron. (Btw, the Amistad Suite was also actor Paul Newman’s favorite room while staying at the Mission Inn whenever he raced or visited the now-gone Riverside International Raceway.)
On the Mission Inn as inspiration, Rice had this to say:

“I just fell in love with the place and I stayed in the Amistad Suite, which they’ve renamed the Anne Rice suite. So this became a big part of the book for me. And I think loving New Orleans as I do, it was natural for me to fall in love with this place. It has history, it’s charming and excessive and all that.”

The Press-Enterprise

Which reminds us of similar sentiments written by Will Rogers after staying at the Mission Inn for several days in 1934:

“It is the most unique hotel in America. It’s a monastery, a museum, a fine hotel, a home, a boardinghouse, a mission, an art gallery and an aviator’s shrine. It combines the best features of all of the above. If you are ever in any part of California, don’t miss this famous Mission Inn in Riverside.”


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