Meet Bellevue author behind 'Vampire Academy' movie



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Posted on February 6, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 6 at 7:56 PM

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Yes, it's another vampire movie with ties to the Pacific Northwest. But few people know that the woman behind it is a retired middle school teacher living in Bellevue.

When the sun set on the "Twilight" saga, fans looked to sink their teeth into another series. "Vampire Academy," the story of two best friends who attend a secret boarding school, is the next bestseller to hit the silver screen.

The book's author, Richelle Mean, conjures up her characters at her home in Bellevue.

"You'll see a little piece here, like a character trait that is funny in a person, then see something outlandish on the news that inspires a story," Mead said.

The mother of two now has 21 books under her belt, and a huge international following.

"Before my sons were born I'd do three week book tours," Mead said. "And you're in a different city every night and talking to a few hundred people."

Now those fans can see her characters come to life. Mead feels the movie is in good hands.

"Definitely a fan of Mark Waters, he directed 'Mean Girls,'" and then his brother Dan Waters the screenwriter, who most famously did 'Heathers,'" said Mead. "They know how to balance humor with a serious story. Because that is what 'Vampire Academy' is."

Humor and her main character are what sets this story apart.

"Her  name is Rose, and she's pretty feisty. She's brave and she's bold," said Mead. "She hits first and asks questions later. She's not afraid to rush into situations."

Mead admits she's a bit more reticent, herself. The reality of her success is still sinking in.

"The other day day I saw a bus in Australia with a movie poster on it," said Mead. "That gave me pause."

But the support from her fans is her lifeblood.

"The fan base is so passionate and excited about the books," she said. "And they excite me."

Mead says if the movie sees success at the box office, her fans may just see a sequel. "Vampire Academy" is the first of a six book series.