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Wednesday, February 24

Dawn of the Dreadfuls Author at UNC

Steve Hockensmith, the author of the new prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, visited the University of North Carolina to speak at the Collaborations: Humanities, Arts & Technology festival. On his website, Hockensmith (pictured at right) described his work history in a way that made one realize he was the perfect candidate to write Dawn of the Dreadfuls. Hockensmith has worked as an entertainment journalist, covering "pop culture and the film industry for The Hollywood Reporter, The Chicago Tribune, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Newsday, Total Movie and other publications. He spent a year as editor of The X-Files Official Magazine (thus explaining his morbid fear of David Duchovny) and more than three years as editor of Cinescape, a nationally distributed bimonthly magazine devoted to movies in which things explode (i.e., science fiction or action films or anything produced by Jerry Bruckheimer)."

Speaking about his part in writing Dawn of the Dreadfuls, to be released on March 3, Hockensmith pointed out that he did not attempt to mimic Jane Austen. "I just can’t imagine anything more painful for me or for the reader than me trying to sound like Jane Austen." - Emily Stephenson, The Daily Tar Heel, Feb 18, 2010

Jason Rekulak (at right), associate publisher and creative director at Quirk Books, also spoke at the event. It was Jason who came up with the idea of P&P& Zombies when watching YouTube videos:

"He said he made a list of classic novels in the public domain — anything published before 1923 is considered public property. Down the other side of the page, he listed additions that could make the stories more interesting — robots, ninjas, pirates and monkeys.

He drew a line between the novels and the monster additions. As soon as he linked “Pride and Prejudice” to the word “zombies,” Rekulak knew he had found something." - The Daily Tar Heel

So, how well did Pride and Prejudice and Zombies do? Since its debut in Arpil 2009, over one million copies of the book have been printed. It debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times Best Sellers list and spent more than 40 weeks there. And as all readers of this blog already know, Natalie Portman is slated to star as Elizabeth Bennet, zombie slayer, in the movie. Click on The Daily Tar Heel link above (on which this article is based) for more about the UNC talk.


Karene said...

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was the first zombie book I have ever read (horror is not a genre I peruse), but I enjoyed this book because it made me laugh. I think I will pick up the prequel because I do want to know why there are zombies lurching about Regency England! And I really hope it will be as amusing as P&P&Z.

Nonna Beach said...

I am not amused at all...just 'cause something becomes public property doesn't mean it has to be stolen. I do like the fact that people are reading books but I have no patience for this sort of thing !

Anonymous said...

I attend this session at the CHAT Festival - where Hockensmith and Rekulak spoke. One young college student boldly (and almost sarcastically) asked, 'So, how have Austen fans reacted?'...he was met with laughter, sighs and head shaking -- the audience WAS Austen fans! Rekulak said that long before the novel came out - Austen bloggers around the world had already found out about it and made it one of's highest pre-order books ever!

I think its brilliant - just another excuse to re-read P&P yet again. Rekulak has single-handedly created a clever new genre of writing that crosses fan lines that no one would have ever imagined. I'm anxiously awaiting Hockensmiths upcoming prequel - if the writing thing doesn't work out for him - he's got a great career as an incredibly engaging, humorous speaker!

Enid Wilson said...

Pity I'm afraid of Zombies, X-files, and excessive violence. I'd have loved to read the boook and watch the movie.

Steamy Darcy

ChaChaneen said...

It still pains me to see the cover of the book... I'm such a Austen fan!