According to Stephenie Meyer, the idea for her sensational debut novel, Twilight, came to her in a vividly detailed dream in 2003. Over the course of three months, writing at night when her children were in bed, the young Mormon mother of three developed that dream into the spellbinding story of 17-year-old Bella Swan, who moves from Phoenix, Arizona, to the tiny town of Forks, Washington, and falls in love with a beautiful, mysterious vampire named Edward Cullen. After feverish writing, painstaking editing, and a brief but frustrating round of queries, submissions, and rejections, Meyer finally connected with an editor at Little, Brown who fell in love with the manuscript and signed her to a three-book deal.
Twilight debuted in October, 2005. An immediate sensation, it appeared on several year-end best books lists and earned its author a rabid cult following among teenage girls. Since then, Meyer has continued Bella and Edward's story in bestselling sequels that have proved equally successful. Young readers cannot get enough of these riveting novels -- a captivating blend of vampires, romance, and suspense -- and parents rest easy knowing the books do not contain the graphic language and sexually provocative material that pervades some YA series.
Whether or not the Twilight Saga proves to have "Harry Potter legs" remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Meyer continues writing. She forayed into adult fiction with 2008's The Host, a chilling science fiction tale about the end of humanity, told from the perspective of an alien invader. And she makes it clear the door is open for further installments in her vampire romance. Clearly, this talented author has many more stories to tell.
Good to Know
Here are some fun facts from Stephenie's "unofficial" biography on her website:
"The unusual spelling of my name was a gift from my father, Stephen ( + ie = me ). Though I have had my name spelled wrong on pretty much everything my entire life long, I must admit that it makes it easier to google myself now."
" I met my husband, Pancho (his real name is Christiaan, but no one calls him that—it's not a long story, but it is a stupid one, so I'll skip it), when I was four, but we were never anywhere close to being childhood sweethearts. In fact, though we saw each other at least weekly through church activities, I can't recall a single instance when we so much as greeted each other with a friendly wave, let alone exchanged actual words.
This may have been for the best, because when we did eventually get around to exchanging words, sixteen years after our first meeting, it only took nine months from the first "hello" to the wedding."
" I am also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that has a huge influence on who I am and my perspective on the world, and therefore what I write (though I have been asked more than once, 'What's a nice Mormon girl like you doing writing about vampires?')."
"I can't write without music, and my biggest muse is the [British rock] band Muse."
A transcript of the dream that inspired Twilight appears in the book as Chapter 13, "Confessions."