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Seth Grahame-Smith is author of the best-selling novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and screenwriter for Dark Shadows.
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Grahame-Smith sat out Quirk's second Austen project, choosing instead to follow his own path.
Published in 2010, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter proved to be another a best-seller for Grahame-Smith. This concept novel revolved around the discovery of the late president's diary, which revealed that Lincoln had not only fought the evils of slavery,
but vampires as well. Readers snapped copies of this latest mash-up of presidential history and vampire fiction. Some critics, however, were less than impressed. Lisa Schwarzbaum called it "a trivial book, clinging to a fad past its prime."
Prior to publishing the book, Grahame-Smith landed a two-book deal with Grand Central Publishing, rumored to be valued at more than half a million dollars. "I had the idea for Abraham Lincoln floating around for a little while when Zombies came out," he explained to Vanity Fair. "I wasn't sure I wanted to be the guy who did two Jane Austen mashups in a row. Zombies' success gave me the opportunity to do my own book from the ground up."
Also in 2010, Grahame-Smith's and director David Katzenberg's first television series aired. Their high-school comedy, The Hard Times of R. J. Berger, was picked up by MTV. Grahame-Smith also served as a writer and a director on the show, which lasted for two seasons.
A longtime aspiring screenwriter, Grahame-Smith got to see his first major work in the genre make it to the big screen in 2012. He penned the script for Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, which revisits the 1960s gothic soap opera and stars Johnny Depp. While paying tribute to the beloved television series, Grahame-Smith said he "wanted to make something that people would have fun seeing," regardless of whether they were fans of the original show. "I think when people see the movie, they'll realize we struck a good balance between respectful and updated," he told Entertainment Weekly.
Grahame-Smith also helped bring his own novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, to the big screen later that year. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the film featured Benjamin Walker as Lincoln, and Dominic Cooper as a good vampire who helps Lincoln battle his blood-thirsty brethren. Another film adaptation is in the works for Grahame-Smith's latest novel, Unholy Night, which uses the birth of Jesus as the backdrop for an action-adventure tale. Grahame-Smith said that the idea for the book came from one question: "What do we really know about the three wise men?" His company, KatzSmith Productions, which co-founded with David Katzenberg, will help produce the film version of the novel. He and Katzenberg also have several other projects in development, including an animated tale, entitled Night of the Living.
Grahame-Smith lives in Los Angeles with his wife, and they have a son. A lifelong fan of the horror genre, Grahame Smith loves to read nonfiction in his free time. "I would say 90 percent of my reading is biographies and nonfiction history. I read a lot by Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, and Walter Isaacson."
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