Joe Scarnici/Getty Images; Francois Duhamel
Nivea Serrao
November 04, 2016 AT 02:50 PM EDT

Anne Rice’s Interview With a Vampire series is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, but during a visit to EW’s PopFest in October, Rice revealed that the series almost didn’t happen.

“I didn’t have any idea that it was going to grow into a series really,” says the author about her best selling books starring vampire Lestat. “I didn’t believe in planning out a series. That didn’t even occur to me. It was more just following him from book to book.”

In fact, Rice says that sometimes when she when she works on potentially non-vampire related novels, the story still finds its way back to her famous character.

“I got an idea once about a guy being recruited by the devil to work for the devil. I tried to make that novel work for a long time, and it didn’t,” explains Rice. “And then I thought, ‘What if it happens to Lestat?’”

That book would eventually become Rice’s fifth book in the series (as well as an additional bestseller), Memnoch the Devil, which sees the Devil approach Lestat with an offer to work for him.

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, Rice’s latest book, will be out for purchase Nov. 29. See all of Rice’s comments from PopFest in the video above

For more EW PopFest interviews, listen to EW Radio on SiriusXM (ch. 105) all week long.

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