Richelle Mead's bestselling Vampire Academy series has been published in over 30 countries. The dark, funny, fast-paced books are smart and relatable (even with the whole undead thing). And now, there's a movie from the director of Mean Girls and the writer of Heathers (hi, dream team). The adaptation of book one is out on Friday! We talked to Richelle about the books, the movie and her latest news: I Heart Daily: When you started writing Vampire Academy, what was your inspiration? Did you ever dream of it becoming a movie? Richelle Mead: Vampire Academy came from a combination of things. I’d studied Eastern European folklore in college and had come across the Romanian myth of Moroi and Strigoi. I loved that idea of two races of vampires in the world and really wanted to expand on it and build a culture and setting for them. Along with that, I’d also been wanting to write about a young, bold heroine in charge of protecting others, who was fearless in the face of danger but still had a lot of growing to do. I ended up merging these two concepts, and Vampire Academy was born. Although the events often played out cinematically in my head as I was writing, I never really thought much about it being movie. Even when we first sold its options, I didn’t really think a movie would materialize, so this has all been a bit surreal.
IHD: Are you excited about the team behind the movie adaptation? Mean Girls + Heathers people sounds kind of amazing... RM: The team is awesome, and I couldn’t be happier. Both Mark Waters and Daniel Waters really know how to balance a dark and serious story with elements of humor spliced in. They know when to make us laugh and when to tone things down, and the film came out beautifully as a result. That, and both of them are fans of the books and extremely respectful of the material. They were very conscientious of the decisions they made and weren’t afraid to consult me on details.
IHD: You've been to set! What's your favorite casting decision? RM: I don’t think I could pick a favorite casting choice. I’ve really been thrilled by all of them. What I especially love is that every character was hand-picked. They chose well-known actors when needed and unknowns when they were needed. After watching cuts of the movie, what really struck me was that every person -- even the smaller side characters -- really delivered their roles and understood their characters’ personalities. Everyone’s given it their all.
IHD: Any especially great scenes you can mention? RM: I have lots of favorite scenes! The ending sequence is amazing. All the main points are still there from the book, and then they made some small changes to make it play out really amazingly on the screen. I also love all the scenes with Lissa (Lucy Fry) and Christian (Dominic Sherwood). Those two have fabulous chemistry and can totally keep up with Rose and Dimitri!
IHD: Our always-last Q: What are you hearting right now? RM: I am hearting my new son, who was born a month ago. He’s definitely keeping me busy (and cutting into my sleep!), but we’re having a great time together.