open the pages, read the words, savor the magic

Interviewing Seth Grahame-Smith

Last week, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing not only one, but two, Hollywood film people via phone. The purpose of the interview was movie-related: I was doing an article for my magazine on the upcoming historical fantasy Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and the reps from the studio that distributes the movie gave Total Film Indonesia the opportunity to do a phone interview with some of the people involved in it during a junket in Sydney, Australia. But since the movie is adapted from a book, I decided to relate the tale of my phone interview adventure in this blog.

On Wednesday, 6 June, I got on the phone to talk with actor Benjamin Walker, who is the star of  Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter. He plays none other than Abraham Lincoln… and he’s an up-and-coming star who’s already played another US president on Broadway and married to Meryl Streep’s daughter. So interviewing him is kind of a huge deal although he’s not exactly that famous yet.

However, being a bookish person at heart, it’s the interview on the next day that really excited me, because it was with the one and only Seth Grahame-Smith, the author and screenwriter of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Imagine you being on the phone with your favorite author. Then imagine him answering your questions in an easygoing but concise and clear manner in a cool voice that sounds like it could belong on the radio. Then imagine being able to tell them how much you love his work. Finally, imagine him thanking you for a cool interview.

If you can picture all of that in your head, then you know how I felt when I was talking with Mr. Grahame-Smith on the phone. But to be honest, this account of how the interview happened and my own memory of it pale in comparison of the real event. It’s probably un-‘journalistic’ to fangirl over your interview subject but this is Seth Grahame-Smith. The closest I got to talk to him before was to touch the front cover of his book in a bookstore before taking it to the cashier. And there I was talking to the man who came up with Pride And Prejudice And Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Surreal.

For this interview, I woke up early and had to scramble to get ready. I used my cell phone – that has a loudspeaker – for the interview, as well as an iPad to record the conversation (because my phone doesn’t have enough memory for a direct recording on the device). And next to them, I also had my work laptop opened so I could read the questions from the monitor. Technology usually confuses me but that morning, by whatever luck God has deigned to bless me with, I was able to operate all these devices, even though my phone decided to act up some 15 minutes before the call.

All in all, it was an eye-opening experience, being the first time and all… but sadly it has also made me want more. (Hey, I’m human after all.)

I wish all the famous authors I like would do book tours to Indonesia.  But since I know that’s not exactly possible, I wish I lived in the US – or at least in the middle of US holiday – so I could attend a book signing during their tours in a nearby bookstore. When I think about this – about my wishes and how enthusiastic I get about being able to talk to famous book people on the phone – I become even more aware of the fact that, sadly, I live in this country and not anywhere near those famous book people.

Thanks to this wonderful experience, I was inspired to promote Seth Grahame-Smith’s works even more and I’ve decided to do a free giveaway! People who frequent this blog and/or follow me on Twitter and live in Indonesia will now be able to stand a chance to get a copy of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter from me – absolutely totally free! I’ll be releasing the instructions, terms and conditions of this giveaway soon.

Later on, once the embargo has been lifted, I’ll also be able to post here the interview with Seth Grahame-Smith from Total Film Indonesia.

Until then, just keep your eyes on this blog or my Twitter.


2 comments on “Interviewing Seth Grahame-Smith

  1. Brigida.Alexandra
    June 20, 2012

    Oaaah I’m jealous of the interview experience!
    By the way, I know how you feel. I always want to join the rest of my family to US, but still stuck in here with job and school. Well, the internet is quite helping to interact for interview, etc, with those famous book people (or phone, like you did). Guess, it won’t feel enough though, compared to meeting them in person instead. And, by the way, book signing just sounds more dazzling than a useless *cough* socialite’s gala party to a booknerd like me :p

    Anyway, can’t wait to see your interview result, complete with the layout on TFI magz ^^

    P.S. *woof woof* oh yeah, I want the book! *turning into a dog, excited, waging tails for the giveaway*


    • mavieenlair18
      June 20, 2012

      It always sounds more glamorous when I write about the experience on my blog. The truth is, the preparation stage can be quite confusing.

      But, you know, I’m not picky. I consider it a very good thing that there’s an opportunity, at the very least, to talk to these authors on the phone. If it doesn’t happen to me, I hope it can happen to a fellow book lover, who can appreciate these precious moments and share it with us the rest of us culturally thirsty readers. :) And of course we would be more interested in book signing events – I’ve always felt there should be more events like that. Local authors have already been doing this regularly, so I’m sure we can dream for something more. If the likes of Meg Cabot and Ken Follett can come to Singapore, why can’t someone else of their caliber come to us here in Indonesia, right?

      Interview is already published in the magazine. The fully designed layout can only be fully enjoyed there. The interview transcript I’m going to post here (in the next few days) will only have the content but not the layout. Hope you can get the magazine and read it!

      I’ll be sure to post info on the ALVH giveaway in the next few days as well.

      Thanks for your comment and enthusiasm. :)

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