Interview by Benjamin Locoge - Paris Match
Stephenie Meyer's books are on the top 4 of French book chart. Her "Twilight Saga" is a phenomenon among teenagers and the movie has been seen by more than 3 millions people so far. Here is her exclusive French interview.
When Stephenie Meyer starts writing "Twilight" in June 2003, she would have never imagined that her work would become one of the most popular saga of the decade. Her heroes are modern days "Romeo & Juliet": Bella discovers that Edward is a vampire and tries everything is in her power to be with him. Besides this simple plot, the four books keep worldwide teenagers in an increasing suspense!
The phenomenon could only but reach France, where book sales are even higher than "Harry Potter" saga at its time. The movie is a huge success. Stephenie Meyer is today a star today, and her public appereances are very discreet.
Here is the exclusive interview.
Paris Match: How do you explain "Twilight" success?
Stephenie Meyer: It is more and more mysterious, but it's deeply moving. When I started writing, the Vampire's theme was a pretty strange subject. I did not think to write a novel about it. Then I was intrigued by the characters, by the story. I could not stop playing with them, to let them evolve. When I realized that it was going to be published, I imagined a saga of 4 books. In the meantime, people had already put their hands on the first book...
How did you create Edward Cullen's character?
It's Edward who forced me to write. It's a gift of my subconscious. I had a dream, that I put on paper when I woke up. Edward was in it. I did not need to invent him, I knew him. It was more difficult with Bella, the saga's heroine. It was harder to understand and define her.
Did Vampire' stories belong to your childhood?
Not at all! Since childhood my favourite writer was Jane Austen. At that time, Internet did not exist, nor Game Boy. Reading was the perfect escape. I did not think of becoming a writer.
Who gave you the taste of writing?
My parents. My father used to read us some stories at night. He always stopped reading when suspense was at its high. It must have touched me somehow... looked like I was sleeping, and then I went and pick up the book to continue reading. And the bigger is the book, the more you can read. That is the way I become addicted to books. I could read 3 or 4 books a week. Then starting writing became natural. My biggest career sacrifice is that sadly I cannot read as much as before.
Where does this love for fantasy fiction come from?
From Orson Scott Card. His fantasy novel are so real...He writes about events that can never happen, his aliens are alive and in real situations. They react in a real way. You may think that it can happen, and exactly in that way. That was my goal with "Twilight": have a fantasy world in real life. If I came up with a vampire story is only because of the dream I told you about. Until then, I never thought about it.
Teenagers are so fascinated by "Twilight"...
Yes. Thanks to the books, lots of teenagers got into a bookstore and started reading. It is the greatest reward...
Is a continuation possible?
I do not know yet. There are so many ways to explore, the characters can still evolve. I think Bella has a bright future...But I am not working on it at the moment. I need to leave my vampires alone, before starting over. I wrote other stories, I have other ideas. And if I want to see Eward and Bella again , I will go and bother them!
Do you still have time to write?
No, because the movie took lots of my time. I was not there during the shooting, but I had my saying on the art decisions, the actors, the artwork, and even the music. When I found out that Robert Pattinson was given Eward's role, it was a terrible moment for me. Edward existed in my head, he had a face, a smile. I was really skeptical. But when I saw him, I was immediately conquered. I can understand why girls are so attracted by him... Robert Pattinson has done a terrific and impressive job. He his exactly how I imagined Edward.
What do you think of the comparison with J.K. Rowling?
We can compare a lake to an ocean: they are both filled with water, but they are not the same thing. I am a fan of her books. Even if mine are sold in a phenomenal way, there will not be another J.K. Rowling. Of course I am flattered when it is mentioned, but that's it.
How do you live your celebrity?
I do not know really. I used to live without being recognized. When I am stopped on the road, I am always shocked. People are always very kind. Some mothers come and see me telling me that they have read "Twilight" with their daughters. That they are closer now. I think it's exciting to provoke this kind of situation.
It could be the plot for a new novel, by the way.
No I will continue with the fantasy world. I need to dream, to imagine. I am not sure the real world is that fascinating. Full stop!
**Hopefully one day Edward will force her to finish Midnight Sun.