Hollywood's 25 Most Powerful Authors
Grahame-Smith claims he’s an “accidental novelist.” After years of trying to break into movie and television writing without success, he began writing such nonfiction books as How to Survive a Horror Movie and Pardon My President to pay the rent. The irreverent hipster books, published by indie house Quirk, found an audience at outlets like Urban Outfitters. Out of that came 2009’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which hit No. 3 on The New York Times best-seller list. Grahame-Smith found success jarring at first, “even though reading has always been a huge part of my life — my stepfather was a rare-books dealer, and my mother was a literary editor. Suddenly, after years of writing specs, I was a best-selling author.”
Hollywood took note, with a Pride deal that originally had Natalie Portman attached to produce (and is currently in development hell at Lionsgate). A year later, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, authored while Grahame-Smith was co-showrunning MTV’s The Hard Times of RJ Berger, solidified his career as a maestro of the mashup, and offers to pen Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows as well as adapt his own Abraham Lincoln came in. His third novel, Unholy Night, which came out in April, is set up at Warner Bros., where KatzSmith, his production company with partner David Katzenberg (son of Jeffrey), is housed. The duo also is developing an adaptation of YA author Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races and a remake of Stephen King’s It. “Because I have more of a film background than a literary background, my books tend to be cinematic,” says Grahame- Smith. “They are big, brash propositions. They are, in the most Hollywood terms, high-concept.”
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