Stephenie Meyer sat down with MTV’s Josh Horowitz at New York Comic Con today to talk about Twilight on its 10th anniversary. And we were there to pay witness to the madness.
I kid of course. I’ve spent a lot of the past 6 or so years being angry at Stephenie Meyer. I was a really big Twilight fan. But the more I heard Meyer talk about her characters, and her process, and that damn dream of a vampire in a meadow, the more I became disillusioned with her.
I was in Chicago in 2008, ticket for her huge signing event purchased months prior, and chose not to go. Myself and a handful of other fans were upset with some of the preachier portions of Breaking Dawn and didn’t feel like hearing her defend it.
I was there later in 2008 when Midnight Sun leaked. And the day Stephenie took her ball and went home was the day my invisible breakup occurred. I was over her.
And now it’s been 10 years since the beginning. And Stephenie Meyer pulled a Beyoncé and surprised her fans with (sort of) a new book. And here she is speaking at NYCC and I just couldn’t help my own curiosity. I had to know what she had to say about Life and Death.
I was pleasantly suprised.
First of all, when Twilight was at its peak saturation, Meyer always sounded put out to me. Like talking about her work to her fans was a chore. It bothered me to my soul. Hearing her speak today though was refreshing. She spoke from the heart about the friends she had made because of Twilight, and how much she liked that fans of the book had become friends because of it. She seemed genuinely proud to have played her part in creating new readers; and in adding to the list of female heroines. (I mean Bella is a little bit garbage, but she is still technically a heroine.)
When she talked about the decision to write Life and Death, she spoke plainly.
They were going to print the 10th anniversary regardless so I just decided this would be more fun.
She expounded on that point. She just wanted to do something other than write a sappy forward and hopefully bring a little bit of joy to her fans. And you know what? I believe her sincerity in that.
I think she’s completely tone deaf when it comes to her story’s flaws. I don’t think she understood what she was doing when she made Beau more boyish than Bella. She thought that by genderbending her story she was challenging gender roles. (She wasn’t.) But she also wrote Beau based on the attitudes of her teenage sons. So her actions are innocent, if not well thought out.
She also seems legitimately oblivious to what a damsel in distress trope is. She countered that point when it was brought up by saying “I don’t care if you’re a boy or a girl. You’re a human in distress. These people are superheroes! I mean I can’t lift a car over my head, can you?” See? It’s not even ignorance, it’s more like she just can’t comprehend it. At all.
She talked a little about the films and the actors, but what I enjoyed most of all was hearing her talk about Midnight Sun.
She called it cursed. That the leak in 2008 stung on a deep level. Add onto that all of the premature “this is crap” emails written about the draft and it just became a sore spot. She explained that writing Life and Death put her in a good place. And that after she finished it she actually sat down and wrote a few more pages of Midnight Sun.
The room cheered.
She halted her fans.
So what do you think was the top story on Yahoo the next morning? Grey. It was a literal flip the table moment for me.
Yeah, so she’s done with that for a while. But at least she tried?
Then there were some audience questions and when someone asked if Renesmee and Jacob could have babies and she sat there and said, “You know, I’m not sure. I’ll have to think on that,” I took it all as a sign that I should leave.
There’s only so much a former hater can take.