Vampire Author Seth Grahame-Smith Dodges Controversy
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get those little goals that seem to slip right out of reach. At least that is the way that the vampire author of the best-selling book and movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter sees it. Seth Grahame-Smith has seen a lot of success the last ten years, and pretty much most of it has been with sub-culture genres like zombies and vampires.
His initial book in the genre game, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has sold over 20 million copies, according to Wikipedia, my favorite source of questionable information. But even if it isn’t that exact number, it has to be pretty close to it.
Zombie and vampire author Seth says that he came to write the book when he was working as a low paid writer of non-fiction for a small publishing house and he said he wanted to try his hand at writing fiction. His editor came to him with a page with two lists. One side was a list of classic stories and the other was a list of genres. They played at matching books to genres and when they linked up Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice with Zombies he had visions of hoop-skirted damsels running for their lives from slavering monsters. He couldn’t resist.
He was certain that he would be getting plenty of hate mail from Jane Austen fans but just the opposite happened. They would show up at his book signings in droves, telling him how his book was their favorite Austin mash-up. Who knew? So instead of engendering hoards of angry young women brandishing Jane Austen tomes, the vampire author found a new set of fans that were happy to recommend his book to others.
The same curious thing has happened with his latest venture. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter came out of Seth’s love of history. He confesses to have spent ages reading through source material and it shows in the book, which derives much of its tone from the fact he quotes directly from Lincoln diaries and letters between the President and his wife in the book. It is what gives it the eerie sense of possibility.
He expected to see angry mobs accusing him of defiling one of America’s most loved presidents, but instead found that many loved this playful interpretation of an almost super-hero version of Lincoln. There seems to be something in it that appeals to the American sense of heroics.
So sometimes no matter how much you try, you just can’t seem to get the reaction you anticipated. Even if you are a best-selling vampire author like Seth Grahame-Smith, who was really expecting pitchforks and threats when he came out with his last book, Unholy Night, a re-telling of the biblical story of the birth of Jesus, which just happens to have some supernatural creatures in it instead of those three wise men, he finds himself surprised.
The vampire author recently told TodayOnline that “I hear from pastors, ministers and priests about how Unholy Night’s a great way to teach faith. It’s crazy”. It is almost as if Rodney Dangerfield is lurking in the background muttering, I just can’t get no respect. Except, of course, it is the opposite; it’s the respect that Seth finds so astounding, for the paranormal work he has done.