Welcome my fellow Story Garden author, RITA winner and NYT bestseller, Maggie Shayne!
Writer Seth Grahame-Smith is a freaking genius. First he comes up with PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, and then he tops it with ABRAHAM LINCOLN, VAMPIRE HUNTER. I’m just on my knees worshiping the guy while uttering the phrase every writer knows is the highest compliment we are capable of giving to our competition-er-collegues; “I wish to hell I’d thought of it first.”
And I do.
I was just a little thing when I first began my love affair with vampires and monsters of all things that go bump in the night, mostly those made famous in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s by Universal Studios. (No, I am not that old, but film never dies.) My siblings read Archie comics, and I read Horror. My love of the macabre showed up when, in third grade, my teacher let us each choose which story she would read aloud to the class that week, and when it was my turn, I picked Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart. And then recited the opening lines along with her. From memory. I was ten. Yeah. Mom got a note home.
Anyway, my only complaint about those classic horror flicks I loved was that the monster clearly deserved to get the girl. (No, not GET the girl as in eviscerate her, but get the girl in the romantic sense.) I mean, who would want Jonathon Harker when she could have had the mysterious Count Dracula? The Wolfman was doomed to murder the woman he loved, unless he died first. The Mummy returned from the crypt to reunite with the reincarnation of his soulmate. Even the Gill-Monster was smitten, at heart. These guys weren’t bad, they were just twitterpated. And every one of those early films we called horror, were no more than thinly disguised love stories with tragic endings. Clearly their writers didn’t understand the rules of romance. Love always wins out, even over death. I’ve made my career setting that right. In my books, the monsters always get the girl. In the good way.
But now I’m thinking I need to jump onto this new notion with all due haste, so I need your help. We must think up more of these premises like Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Because it looks like Seth Grahame-Smith and Tim Burton, who is turning his novel into a major motion picture, are about to do for our 16th president, what Robert Downey Jr. has done for Sherlock Holmes. (And I love what Robert Downey Jr. has done for Sherlock Holmes!)
I’ve been racking my brain, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far. Read this in your head, in the voice of everyone’s favorite movie trailer voice-over guy. I know you know who I mean. You don’t, okay, wait, read this phrase… “In a world….”
Got it now? Good. Here goes.
Idea 1. In a world with too little compassion, she fed the starving, clothed the naked, sheltered the homeless–but when they tried to eat her flesh all bets were off. Mother Theresa as you’ve never seen her before, in ZOMBIE-KILLER, THE HOLY TERROR
Idea 2.Judy Garland reprises her role as Dorothy Gale in this blockbuster sequel. When a pack of lycanthropes set their sites on innocent little Toto, only one girl can take them down: (Cue close up on sparkly red shoes and the butt of a rifle. See Dorothy cock the rifle with that extra loud CLACK CLACK sound effect of the gun’s action working.) THE WEREWOLVES OF OZ. This time, it’s personal.
Idea 3.You knew her as the First Lady who staunchly supported her husband’s “New Deal,” but you never knew the secret life she led for her country. In a world where sometimes, you have to go rogue to get things done, Eleanor Roosevelt is, UNDERCOVER NINJA ASSASIN. The CIA got nothing on this kick-ass chick.
That’s all I got. 😉 And lest you think I was kidding about the vampire hunter movie, here’s a link to the trailer. It’s definitely on my Must-See list.
If you’re curious about me and my monsters, you can find more info on my web site, on Facebook, blogging solo at Shayne’s Shenanigans, and blogging with a group at Story Broads. On Twitter @Maggieshayne, I mostly post writing news and positive thinking/Law of attraction stuff.
Thanks bunches to the Riding with the Top Down gang for having me over today. I love it here.