Well Anne Rice has been one of my favorite authors; she's got an amazing style, her stories are rich & layered, complex tapestries, her characters beautiful & dark, the story enchanting & menacing at times...The first book I read was Pandora from the New Tales of the Vampires series. I was captured by the tale of Pandora, a vampire who saw the crumbling of the Roman empire, the change that made her a sad yet beautiful creature.
I began following the series; I've read the Mayfair Witches Saga (truly wonderful, the name "rowan" was taken from there ;) ), the Vampire Chronicles, The Feast of All Saints, The Mummy, Violin, Cry To Heaven, & Servant of the Bones. I have yet to read her newest books, especially Out Of Egypt *makes mental note to get that book*
A truly wonderful artist of words, who paints colorful, diverse worlds to sink in. Seriously compelling. Check out her site here :)