By Andy Williams
The Celebrity Profile Examiner
If any fledgling writer has made a worthy bid for the throne vacated by J.K. Rowling when she published her final Harry Potter book, it would have to be Twilight author Stephenie Meyer. While the 40 million books sold in the Twilight series (so far) is only a tenth of the 400 million Harry Potter books sold, Meyer’s success is still pretty staggering. Especially for a Mormon housewife who had never written a book before
Stephenie Meyer (née Morgan) was born on December 24th, 1973 in Hartford, Connecticut to Stephen and Candy Morgan. The Morgans later moved Stephenie and her five siblings to Phoenix, Arizona. Stephenie attended Chaparral High School in Scottsdale. Later, she received a B.A. in English at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. While still growing up in Phoenix, Stephenie met Christian “Pancho” Meyer -- the two were married in 1994 and have three sons, Gabe, Seth, and Eli.
According to Stephenie, the inspiration for Twilight came via a dream she had on June 2nd, 2003. It involved a human girl and a vampire -- said vampire was in love with her, but torn by his desire for her blood. Writing a transcript of the dream (which eventually became Chapter 13 of the book), Stephenie spent the next three months turning it into a novel. The fact that she was taking care of three kids under 5 at the time, typing with one hand and holding a baby with the other, makes it all the more remarkable. When she was finished, she found an agent and quickly signed a three-book deal with Little, Brown and Company for $750,000.
PROFILER’S NOTE: WOW!
Twilight was published in 2005 and quickly garnered staggering sales and numerous honors, including: Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, New York Times Editor’s Choice, Amazon.com “Best Book of the Decade So Far,” The American Library Association “Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults” and Teen People “Hot List” pick.
Though many of the reviews were mixed, the book’s huge sales and translation into 20 languages speak volumes about the compelling nature of the story. Striking while this iron was smoking hot, Stephenie followed this with three sequels, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. In 2008, the four books claimed the top four spots on the year-end bestseller list -- a first for any author.
After Breaking Dawn was published, Stephenie claimed this would be the final novel told from Bella Swan’s first person perspective. Midnight Sun was to be the fifth book -- a retelling of Twilight from vampire Edward Cullen’s point of view. Yet after rough versions of the first 12 chapters were leaked online, Stephenie announced the book was to be postponed indefinitely.
Stephenie cites many classic novels as inspiring her Twilight series. Specifically: Twilight: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. New Moon: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Eclipse: Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. Breaking Dawn: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
A film version of Twilight was produced by Summit Entertainment in November 2008. Thought nearly every studio in Hollywood had turned the property down, the film (starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) went on to gross over $350 million worldwide. It’s sequels were quickly fasttracked for release over the next two years. Stephenie makes a cameo appearance in Twilight in a diner scene.
In May of 2008, Little, Brown and Company published The Host, Stephenie’s first non-Twilight novel. It debuted at #1 on the New York times bestseller List, remaining there for 26 weeks. Stephenie has two sequels in the works, The Soul and The Seeker.
Up next: Figuring out how to spend all that Twilight money.