Seth Grahame-Smith (born January 4, 1976) is an American best-selling author, screenwriter, and producer of film and television. He is best known as the author of the New York Times best-selling novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, both of which are being adapted as feature films. Grahame-Smith is also the co-creator, head writer and executive producer of The Hard Times of RJ Berger, a scripted television comedy appearing on MTV. In collaboration with David Katzenberg, his partner in Katzsmith Productions, Grahame-Smith is currently developing a number of projects for television and film.
Grahame-Smith grew up in Weston and Bethel, Connecticut, where he attended Bethel High School. He received a degree in film from Emerson College. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Erin, and son, Joshua.
Grahame-Smith's first widely published book was The Big Book of Porn: A Penetrating Look at the World of Dirty Movies, a non-fiction history of the erotic art form published in 2005. The next year, Grahame-Smith published The Spider-Man Handbook: The Ultimate Training Manual, an examination of Marvel Comics' Spider-Man, with an introduction by Stan Lee. In 2007, Grahame-Smith wrote How to Survive a Horror Movie: All the Skills to Dodge the Kills, a tongue-in-cheek guide to help readers escape situations most often shown in horror films. The book's introduction was written by horror film director Wes Craven. Grahame-Smith’s next book was the satirical Pardon My President: Fold-and-Mail Apologies for 8 Years, a collection of letters addressed to various parties intended to apologize for the wrongs they had suffered under the administration of George W. Bush.
The idea for Grahame-Smith's next novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, came from his editor at Quirk Books, Jason Rekulak. Using Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice as a platform, Rekulak suggested that Grahame-Smith mix a zombie plot into the public domain novel, effectively creating one of the first literary mash-ups. Enamored with the idea, Grahame-Smith immediately began working on the novel, first by reading Pride and Prejudice and then by meticulously plotting out where to insert the zombie elements, a process he has described as similar to microsurgery. Though Quirk Books was initially reluctant to publish the book in fear of alienating Austen’s fans, the novel went to press in 2009, with modest sales expectations. In the weeks prior to the release, however, the book’s popularity swelled dramatically as the cover and title of the novel circulated the internet. Anticipation for the book grew so rapidly that in its first week of release, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies surged to #3 on the New York Times Best Seller list. Since that time, the novel has sold over a million copies and been translated into over 20 languages.
Building on the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Grahame-Smith wrote another mash-up, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. As the title suggests, this book traces Abraham Lincoln’s life from childhood through assassination, relying upon his “secret diaries” to reveal his central role in a world-wide struggle against vampirism. Released on March 2, 2010, this novel debuted at #4 on the New York Times Best Seller list under the category "Hardcover Fiction."
In addition to writing novels, Grahame-Smith made his debut as a comic book writer on Marvel Zombies Return: Hulk with artist Richard Elson.
Both of Grahame-Smith's best-selling books are currently being adapted as feature films. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was optioned by Lionsgate Entertainment, with Natalie Portman producing and starring, and David O. Russell adapting and directing. Grahame-Smith is also attached as a producer for this project.
Grahame-Smith is also adapting his new book, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, for the screen, for producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov. He has been chosen to write the script for Tim Burton's gothic opera Dark Shadows, replacing longtime Burton scribe John August.
After receiving a degree in film from Emerson College, Grahame-Smith moved to Los Angeles, where he wrote and produced for several television series, including "Vendettas" and the History Channel’s "History's Mysteries." Building on these experiences, Grahame-Smith was hired to produce an innovative CBS online series, Clark and Michael, starring Clark Duke, Michael Cera, David Cross, Patton Oswalt, and Andy Richter.
While working on Clark and Michael, Grahame-Smith met another producer on the series, David Katzenberg, who would become his partner in Katzsmith Productions. Under the Katzsmith banner, Grahame-Smith and Katzenberg created, wrote, and produced a scripted comedy for MTV called The Hard Times of RJ Berger, which follows an awkward high-school loser who gains notoriety for his extraordinary endowment.
Through Katzsmith Productions, Grahame-Smith and Katzenberg are currently developing a number of projects for television and film.