Meyer, Stephenie

Meyer, Stephenie (1973–)

(pop culture)

Stephenie Meyer is the author of the Twilight series, four novels about a teenage girl’s romance with a vampire. The novels were published by Little, Brown and Company beginning with Twilight (2005), and followed by New Moon (2006), Eclipse (2007), and Breaking Dawn (2008). A fifth manuscript, Midnight Sun, was the expected companion to Twilight but was never published; Meyer completed only the first twelve chapters of Midnight Sun before it was illegally leaked on the Internet. The incomplete and unfinished manuscript is now posted on Meyer’s website www.StephenieMeyer.com.

Stephenie Meyer was born on Christmas Eve 1973 in Hartford, Connecticut, although her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, when she was four years old. She was one of six children and was raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly known as Mormons). She attended Brigham Young University as an English literature major and was graduated in 1997. Meyer and her husband Christian Patrick Meyer were married in 1994; she was a homemaker and mother to three sons before she embarked upon her first book.

Meyer has said that she received her inspiration for Twilight on June 6, 2003, when she had a “very vivid dream” of an average girl and a young attractive male vampire having an intense conversation in the woods. That dream eventually became Chapter 13 “Confessions” in Twilight. Meyer has stated that she had no interest in vampire literature prior to writing Twilight and hadn’t even read Bram Stoker‘s Dracula. And she has viewed only parts of the movies Interview with the Vampire and Lost Boys, since she generally avoids R-rated films as a follower of the Mormon faith.

Although Meyer doesn’t write overtly Mormon literature, she has said that her religious upbringing has filtered into her stories. She avoids any type of sexual explicitness in her writing; in fact, her books’ appeal lies in “their fine moral hygiene” according to Time magazine. “What makes Meyer’s books so distinctive is that they’re about the erotics of abstinence,” the magazine explained. And the theme of free agency or individual choice throughout her books also draws from Mormon doctrine.

Her science fiction novel, The Host (2008), follows Twilight’s themes of love and choice and also includes nonhuman creatures. The Host is set in the near future on Earth, which is inhabited by parasitic aliens who take over the bodies of humans and annihilate their hosts’ personalities.

Sources:

Beahm, George. Bedazzled: Stephenie Meyer and the Twilight Phenomenon. Nevada City, CA: Underwood Books, 2009. 248 pp.
Burton, Ryan. Female Force: Stephenie Meyer. No. 1. n.p.: Blue Water Comics, 2009. 32 pp.
Grossman, Lev. “Stephenie Meyer: A New J. K. Rowling?” Time (April 24, 2008). http://www.time.com/time/0,8816,173483,00.html.
Irwin, Megan. “Stephenie Meyer’s Vampire Romance Novels Made a Mormon Mom an International Sensation.” Phoenix New Times (July 12, 2007).
Kirschling, Gregory. “Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Twilight’ Zone.” Entertainment Weekly 10 (August 2007). Posted at http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20049578,00.html. Accessed March 19, 2009.

Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight. Boston: Little, Brown Young Readers, 2005. 512 pp.

———. New Moon. Boston: Little, Brown Young Readers, 2006. 576 pp.

———. Eclipse. Boston: Little, Brown Young Readers, 2007. 629 pp.

———. Breaking Dawn. Boston: Little, Brown Young Readers, 2008. 754 pp.