The trick to creating a successful adaptation is not so much in being a stickler about the plot, but in recreating the verve behind the words. It goes beyond simple interest in the characters. Adaptation is just like translation -- translated word for word, it will seem flat and lack the life it does in its original setting. The translator must understand the context of the words within the language, and then find the best fit to recreate that same sentiment. Yet it must also stay true to the original words. If it diverges too much, the life will be lost, even if the meaning is the same. The right adaptation will flow so well that it will not only feed a fan's penchant for details, but also recreate the element of surprise within them.
It, of course, helps when the original screenwriter is the woman who wrote the novel -- Anne Rice. But even director Neil Jordan's inclusions, which took some liberties, Interview with the Vampire maintained most of the spice that made it a book worthy of a cinematic adaptation. He brought the world to the screen, impressing audiences as well as Rice herself -- who was, at first, quite vocal in her distaste over casting. But even she was stunned with what Jordan and his cast accomplished, and ultimately gave the film much praise.