Top Moments from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Panel
Just two days after the release of the 10th Anniversary edition of Twilight hit stores, the subject on everybody’s lips in Room 1A10 was the surprise release of a gender-swapped version of the story called Life and Death. Many of the assembled Twihards spent their time in line and in the room before the panel began reading the newest addition to the Twilight Saga. Author Stephanie Meyer took the stage to excited applause and talked with MTV’s Josh Horowitz about about what it was like to write Edward and Bella as Beau and Edythe, fandom, what books she’s currently reading and more. Here are the best tidbits from the panel:
She is “totally aware” Life and Death isn’t a “real book”
That’s not as harsh as it sounds, just the author acknowledging that the new novel–which comes with the 10th Anniversary reprinting of the original–isn’t really a standalone work. Instead of writing, “some really wistful foreword,” for the new edition, Meyer wanted to do something a little more fun for longtime readers. She came up with the idea after years defending Bella for being just a damsel in distress and wanted to prove that the story wouldn’t be that different with the genders switched. While publisher Little, Brown and Company tried to convince her to release the story as a separate book, Meyer was insistent that it was “bonus material.” She also made it clear that while the original Twilight Saga was multiple books, Life and Death is a one-off. “I cannot do Breaking Dawn with Beau,” she said, referring to the horror movie-level pregnancy Bella has in the book, “there’s a limit anyway.”
Meyer said that writing Life and Death, “let [her] go back to Forks in a way that was totally positive and really therapeutic.” So much so that she even picked up writing the long-delayed version of Twilight from Edward’s perspective, Midnight Sun. The book was first put on hold after an early draft leaked online and the criticism it received discourage Meyer. This time, it was the release of Grey, James’s retelling of the first Fifty Shades of Grey novel from the titular dominant, which the author called a “flip the table moment.” “I have this feeling that Midnight Sun is somewhat cursed,” she explained.
She’s read Twilight fan fiction
She hadn’t known Twilight fan fiction even existed until a friend told her about it, but she found reading stories told from outsider perspectives–AKA not Bella or Edward–was easier to stomach because there wasn’t a disconnect between her versions of the characters and what others had written. “It wasn’t my characters talking,” Meyer said of the experience. She did say that she would have written fan fiction had she known about it earlier in her writing career, pointing to Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight as a probable fandom.
She doesn’t like to take credit for the female-led YA fantasy craze
“Hunger Games still would have blown everybody’s minds,” she said when asked about how Twilight changed publishing and pop culture. Meyer also had high praise for writer Rainbow Rowell, whose work she started reading this year (Rowell’s new book, Carry On, coincidentally hit stores the same day as the 10th Anniversary edition of Twilight). She recommended Tom McNeal’s Far Far Away as well, calling it a, “dark fairytale of awesomeness,” that she’s sad she can’t read again for the first time.
She has a new book coming out in 2016
Meyer said she couldn’t talk much about the upcoming release, but teased that it’s not YA and not fantasy. “Nobody will like it but me,” she joked and then added, “I just write ’cause I have fun.”