Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer (née Morgan; /ˈmaɪ.ər/; born December 24, 1973) is an American novelist and film producer. She is best known for her vampire romance series Twilight, which has sold over 100 million copies, with translations into 37 different languages. Meyer was the bestselling author of 2008 and 2009 in the US, having sold over 29 million books in 2008, and 26.5 million in 2009. Twilight was the best-selling book of 2008 in the US. The series led to a commerically successful series of film adaptations which consisted of five films.

Meyer was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and as a child, was an avid reader. She attended Brigham Young University, marrying at the age of twenty-one, before graduating with a degree in English in 1997. With no prior experience as an author, the idea for the Twilight series was conjured in a dream she had about an average human girl and a gorgeous male vampire discussing in love but concerned about his thirst for her blood. She wrote the novel soon thereafter and was encouraged by her sister to get the novel published. After many rejections, Little, Brown and Company offered her a $750,000 three-book deal which led to a four-book series and several spin-off novels and novellas.

Aside from young adult novels, Meyer has ventured into adult novels with The Host (2008) and The Chemist (2016). Meyers also works as a film producer and has her own production company, Fickle Fish Films. She served as the producer for Breaking Dawn: Part 1 and Part 2 and the film adaptation of her novel The Host as well as two other films Austenland and Down A Dark Hall. As of 2018, Meyers and her production company are developing a television series based on her novel The Chemist.

Meyer was ranked No. 49 on Time magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in 2008”, and was included in the Forbes Celebrity 100 list of the world’s most powerful celebrities in 2009, entering at No. 26. Her annual earnings exceeded $50 million. In 2010, Forbes ranked her as the No. 59 most powerful celebrity with annual earnings of $40 million.

Life and career

Early life, education, and family
Stephenie Meyer was born on December 24, 1973 in Hartford, Connecticut the second of six children to financial officer Stephen Morgan and his wife Candy who stayed home with the children. She was raised in Phoenix, Arizona, with her siblings: Seth, Emily, Jacob, Paul, and Heidi (after whom she named some of the caracters in her later books after). Meyer attended Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, where her former English teacher remembered her as “bright but not overly so.” She attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where she received a BA in English in 1997. Meyer met her husband, Christian, when she was four years old in Arizona, and they married in 1994, both aged 20. Together they have three sons. Christian Meyer, formerly an auditor, retired to take care of the children.

Meyer had no experience as a writer of any kind and had never even written a short story before Twilight. She had considered going to law school because she felt she had no chance of becoming a writer; she later noted that the birth of her oldest son Gabe changed her mind, saying, “Once I had Gabe, I just wanted to be his mom.” Before becoming an author, Meyer’s only professional work was as a receptionist in a property company.

The Twilight series
Meyer says that the idea for Twilight came to her in a dream on June 2, 2003. The dream was about a human girl and a vampire who was in love with her but thirsted for her blood. Based on this dream, Meyer wrote the draft of what became Chapter 13 of the book. In a matter of three months she had transformed her dream into a complete novel, though she never intended to publish Twilight and was writing for her own enjoyment. Her sister’s response to the book was enthusiastic and she persuaded Meyer to send the manuscript to literary agencies.

Of the 15 letters she wrote, five went unanswered, nine brought rejections, and the last was a positive response from Jodi Reamer of Writers House. Eight publishers competed for the rights to publish Twilight in a 2003 auction. By November, Meyer had signed a $750,000 three-book deal with Little, Brown and Company. Twilight was published in 2005 with a print run of 75,000 copies. It reached No. 5 on The New York Times Best Seller list for Children’s Chapter Books within a month of its release, and later rose to #1. Foreign rights to the novel were sold to over 26 countries. The novel was named the Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and a Times Editor’s Choice.

Following the success of Twilight (2005), Meyer expanded the story into a series with three more books: New Moon (2006), Eclipse (2007), and Breaking Dawn (2008). Meanwhile, Meyer wrote a short story “Hell on Earth”, about demons at prom night which was published in Prom Nights from Hell, a collection of stories about bad prom nights with supernatural effects. Other authors who contributed to the collection are Meg Cabot, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe and Lauren Myracle. Prom Nights from Hell was released in April 2007. Meyer’s fans urged her to expand “Hell on Earth” into a full novel, but Meyer was occupied finishing Eclipse.

In its first week after publication, New Moon reached No. 5 on The New York Times Best Seller list for Children’s Chapter Books, and in its second week rose to the No. 1 position, where it remained for the next 11 weeks. In total, it spent over 50 weeks on the list. After the release of Eclipse, the first three “Twilight” books spent a combined 143 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list. The fourth installment of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, was released with an initial print run of 3.7 million copies. Over 1.3 million copies were sold on the first day. The novel won Meyer her first British Book Award, despite competition from J. K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard. The series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide in 37 languages. In 2008, the four books of the series claimed the top four spots on USA Today’s year-end bestseller list, making Meyer the first author to ever achieve this feat, as well as being the bestselling author of the year. The Twilight novels held the top four spots on USA Today’s year-end list again in 2009.

Twilight saga films
Main article: The Twilight Saga (film series)
Summit Entertainment optioned Twilight in April 2007. Catherine Hardwicke directed the film and the screenplay was written by Melissa Rosenberg. It stars Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen and Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black. The movie was released on November 21, 2008. Meyer makes a brief cameo appearance in a diner scene. The same year Meyer began her work in film with Jack’s Mannequin music video “The Resolution” which she co-directed with Noble Jones.

Following the success of Twilight, Summit greenlit a film adaptation of the sequel, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, in November 2008. Chris Weitz directed the film, which was released on November 20, 2009. Summit confirmed an adaptation of the third book in the series, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, in February 2009. David Slade directed the film, which was released on June 30, 2010. Summit also obtained the rights to Breaking Dawn in November 2008, and approved a two-part adaptation in June 2010 that started production in late 2010. The first part was released on November 18, 2011, and the second part on November 16, 2012. In 2011, Meyer started her own production company, Fickle Fish Films, with producer Meghan Hibbett. Meyer spent much of 2011 producing both parts of Breaking Dawn as well as the film adaptation of Shannon Hale’s novel Austenland.

Meyer in 2009
The Host
In May 2008, Meyer’s adult sci-fi novel The Host, was released by the adult division of Little, Brown and Company. It follows the story of Melanie Stryder and Wanderer, a young woman and an invading alien “soul”, who are forced to work as one. The Host debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list and remained on the list for 26 weeks. Meyer has said that she is working on additional books in The Host series and that she intends to write a trilogy, with the second and third books being called The Soul and The Seeker, respectively. In February 2011, Meyer stated that she had outlines for the sequels and had done some writing on them.

In 2009, Meyer teamed with the skateboard and clothing company Hobo Skate Company to produce her own clothing line, consisting of a line of T-shirts and skateboards related to her science-fiction novel The Host.

In April 2009, Meyer took part in Project Book Babe, a benefit designed to help pay her friend Faith Hochhalter’s medical bills after Hochhalter was diagnosed with breast cancer. Meyer donated many advance reader copies and original manuscripts for auction. The same year, Meyer teamed up with Hobo Skate Company to auction off a The Host-themed skateboard, which sold for $1500 that was donated to charity.

The novel was adapted into a film with Andrew Niccol directing and Saoirse Ronan starring as Melanie Stryder, Max Irons as Jared Howe and Jake Abel as Ian O’Shea. The film was released on March 29, 2013, to generally negative reviews.

As of December 2018, there have been no further developments, other than fan speculation, regarding a follow-up novel to The Host.

Subsequent Twilight publications
In August 2009, USA Today revealed that Meyer broke J. K. Rowling’s record on their bestseller list; the four Twilight books had spent 52 straight weeks in the top 10. The books have spent more than 143 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list. Upon the completion of the fourth entry in the series, Meyer indicated that Breaking Dawn would be the final novel to be told from Bella Swan’s perspective. In 2015, she published a new book in honor of the 10th anniversary of the best-selling franchise, titled Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined, with the genders of the original protagonists switched.

On March 30, 2010, it was announced that Meyer had written a 200-page novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. The book was released on June 5, 2010, by Atom and was available for free between June 7 and July 5 on the official website. In 2010, following the release of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, Stephenie Meyer donated $1.5 million dollars to the American Red Cross Relief Fund to aid victims of the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Those who look advantage of the free ebook were encouraged to make donations to the Red Cross.

Meyer mentions having several other book ideas on file, including a ghost story titled Summer House and a novel involving time travel, as well as another about mermaids.

The Chemist and television productions
In December 2015 it was announced that Meyer was producing a TV series based on Daniel O’Malley’s book, The Rook. The show will be shown on Hulu and a yet to be announced UK channel. Despite having purchased the rights for the novel with her production company, she left the project shortly after filming due to creative differences.

In July 2016, it was announced that she had written an adult action thriller titled The Chemist, about “an ex-agent on the run from her former employers”. The book was released on November 8, 2016. In 2018, it was announced that Meyer’s production company Fickle Fish would be working with Tomorrow Studios to produce a television series based on The Chemist.

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