Well, the Twilight saga is finally over and, from what we can tell, Stephenie Meyer is finally back to her old ways. She published the sixth and final book in the series – The Breaking Point – in April this year and it already peaked at number three on the New York Times Bestseller List, just one week after its release!
While the saga certainly made a lot of money for Meyer (her books reportedly made her a fortune), it didn’t end there. She recently teamed up with Reddit founder and CEO, Steve Huffman, for a weekly AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) session where the pair answered questions from fans and members of the media. During one such session in June this year, she revealed her new gig as an author and the success she’s enjoyed since publishing Twilight. Here, we examine her new-found career and whether or not it’s beneficial to men and women alike.
Back to the Present, and Not a Day Too Soon
We’d been away from Stephenie Meyer for a little while, but it seems like she’s been preparing for this moment her whole life. After graduating from high school in 1994, she attended UCLA where she majored in English and minored in creative writing. (UCLA)
In a 2016 interview with Variety, Meyer revealed that she spent three years “working on Twilight” and then another three “doing The Saga of Ariel – it was a very unusual schedule.” Even before Twilight, however, she’d been working on other projects like the vampire-themed novel, Vampyre. When asked about her writing process, she said:
“I generally start with a theme or a mood, and then I build characters and plot around that. It can be really cathartic — I feel like I’m not supposed to talk about this stuff … but it’s the only way I can process my thoughts. So much has happened in the past few years, and it’s been such a gift to be able to sit down and write about it.”
Meyer also cited the success of Game of Thrones – which she’d recently finished watching – as a reason why she should’ve gotten back into screenwriting. The HBO fantasy series, which ended its seven-year run in April, is considered by many to be one of the best shows ever made. It currently has a score of nine out of ten on Metacritic, with many reviewers citing it as the best show currently on television. The story of Game of Thrones is highly sexual, violent and graphic, and many viewers found the mature content challenging. For Meyer, who wrote the books for Twilight, The Saga of Ariel and Cinder, perhaps tackling such mature topics was a natural fit.
The Benefits of Being a Narrator – And Why It’s Not Always a Bad Thing
If you’ve ever read Cinder, you’ll know that its protagonist, Cinder Fall, is a very important character in the story. She’s described as “a woman who craves power and enjoys cruelty” and the role of the Cinder is one of the most challenging parts of the book. While it was originally intended to be a four-part series, Cinder became such a success that it was continued as a trilogy. The darkly comic book series The Twilight series is also part of what helped make Meyer’s name and, subsequently, her fortune. As the Twilight films became progressively more successful, Meyer became one of the most in-demand authors of her generation. She is, in fact, the highest-paid author of all time, with earnings of over $100 million. (Huffman)
It’s not all bad, however. While the Cinder and Twilight books were certainly successful – particularly the first two – Meyer had to work hard for her money. In the latest Saga book, The Breaking Point, we learn that Cinder is no longer a happy-go-lucky victim of fate, but rather an assertive and confident woman. She makes it clear that she’ll never be able to overcome her addiction to fireball – a drug with dangerously high addiction rates – and that, as a result, her life will never be the same again. Even before that, though, the darker side of Cinder’s character was a big draw. In the words of Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, “It is the mark of a great writer when their books lend themselves to multiple interpretations”… and Cinder is certainly that.
A Different But Not Unfamiliar Experience
While Stephenie Meyer has written some pretty remarkable books, it’s not necessarily the case that all of her work is quality. The Twilight Saga, particularly the first two books, are poorly written and often confusing. Even when the books are considered together, they don’t add up to a cohesive narrative. What’s more, some fans were disturbed by the way in which the Bella and Edward wedding was handled in Twilight, particularly after it was revealed that the union was primarily a product of Victoria’s desire for status rather than love. When the series was turned into a movies, many fans expressed disinterest in Meyr’s unconventional take on a classic fair isle white wedding and more interest in the Dark Saga stories that preceded it.
While there’s no question that Stephenie Meyer is one of the most popular and important authors of our time, it’s perhaps not the best thing for her career that the Twilight Saga is considered to be such a “brand”. When you consider that she’s probably the most well-known and, likely, the wealthiest woman in modern fiction, it’s not hard to see how much of an impact the “Twilight Saga” has had on Meyer’s life and work. Even before Twilight, though, she had found success with her other works. Now, with Twilight firmly in the past, she’s found a new passion for writing and it shows in her work. (Huffman)
There’s no question that Stephenie Meyer is one of the most important authors of our time, having written one of the most popular and best-selling series of all time. While it’s not always easy to find the right book at the right time, with Sober Nights – a collection of short stories about romance – being released in 2021, it seems like Meyer’s newest work is just what we need. The stories inside are both funny and sweet, and tackle some very interesting themes. While some may find it difficult to get into, it’s not difficult to see why Sober Nights – and subsequently, Meyer’s newest work – is such a hot commodity. (Huffman)
Breaking Down the Parts – and Reaching a Conclusion
When you’ve been waiting for this moment for as long as Stephenie Meyer has been alive, it’s not easy to keep expectations in check. After watching the trailer for Sober Nights and getting a feel for its story, it’s clear that its narrator – an aspiring journalist – will have quite an adventure ahead of her. It’s also clear that Meyer’s new work will break from her previous Twilight – and Cinder – novels, further diversifying her oeuvre. There’s a lot to look forward to, and while it may be difficult to know where to start with Sober Nights, the trailer is definitely a good place to start.
When it comes to Stephenie Meyer and her work, it’s important to remember that she’s a writer first and foremost. Even when she decides to act, it’s often in the service of her work, lending an extra layer of meaning to an already complex story. While the actress and singer Charlotte Church recently stated that she has no interest in pursuing a career in fiction, it’s clear that Stephenie Meyer still has a lot to say, and continues to prove that fiction can be as fascinating as non-fiction. (Huffman)