Stephenie Meyer (named after her father Stephen, thus the 'phen' in her moniker) was a little-known author when she quietly released a young adult fiction book entitled "Twilight" back in 2005.
Millions of copies later, "Twilight" produced a trilogy, with "New Moon" and "Eclipse" following. "Twilight" lands in movie theaters in December -- not soon enough for the book's passionate legion of fans who have been desperately waiting for the story of Edward and Bella to come to life.
On May 13, Meyer released her latest book, the decidedly different and equally compelling "The Host." This gripping novel is a departure for Meyer, yet her prose still exhibits an unmatched lightning bolt of imagination. As the plot races towards the finish line -- and as she has in her "Twilight" series -- Meyer leaves readers guessing until the final page is turned.
"The Host" is from an author who is quickly becoming the most prolific and imaginative fiction mind since another writer who explored vampire culture arrived on the scene: Stephen King. Although Meyer's books have struck a chord with young adult readers as opposed to King's macabre storytelling geared towards adults, Meyer possesses King's unrelenting mastery of the thriller.
Meyer spoke with SheKnows about "The Host," the writing process and the surreal nature of witnessing your imagination manifest through actors in a massive Hollywood set.
SheKnows: I would think that this whole year for you will be truly special, with "The Host" out this month, then the fourth "Twilight" book in the series in August
["Breaking Dawn"] and finally the film in December.
Stephenie Meyer: Overwhelming!
SheKnows: A few days have passed since "The Host" debuted -- how do you feel now that it has been released?
Stephenie Meyer: There have been a lot of really good things that have happened in the last week. Whenever I have a book come out, I tend to get really nervous (laughs). You just don't know. You might love it, but someone else might hate it. So far everything for "The Host" has been really positive and really good news with the bestseller's lists. It's very encouraging and gratifying to have people accept it and be so excited about it.
SheKnows: Is that the same way for you with each book? Was it especially different for this book, because it's a departure from the "Twilight" series?
Stephenie Meyer: It was a little different -- to a certain extent -- because I knew I was doing something that was in many ways,so completely different from what my fans are about. They're in love with one specific set of characters. On the other hand, this is very similar in my writing style. It sounds like me (laughs). I have the same focus and I am just hoping people would give it a chance. So, to hear how much people like it has been a little different. With the "Twilight" books, it was funny -- I was really nervous about "New Moon."
SheKnows: Really, after the success of the first, you had a built in audience?
Stephenie Meyer: I knew people were going to read it. I also knew people were going to be upset with me (laughs). With "Eclipse" I thought, "Everybody's going to be cool" -- and then when I had people that were upset by different things, I was surprised. I just never know how the reaction is going to be.
SheKnows: As you sat down to write "The Host," was it just you pen and paper so to speak, or was there something different about the road you were about to take?
Stephenie Meyer: It was still just me. The nice thing about when I was writing "The Host," I knew this was something I needed to work on because I couldn't work on ('Twilight') book four. I was having a hard time being away from the writing because the editing is a very different process. You don't get the same creative outlet from it at all. While those books were already written, I needed something. So, "The Host" is just for me. I didn't think about audience. I was just having fun again writing.
SheKnows: One thing that struck me immediately is the presence of human emotions in "The Host." It is something that is always part of your writing, but what aspect of
emotion struck you so much you drive the story with it in "The Host?"
Stephenie Meyer: I'm not exactly sure. I knew the middle of the story before I started writing. Then I did the end and plotted everything out. I knew how central to the story it was going to be, sort of a growing understanding of what it means to be human. It seemed to me that if you hadn't been human before, that would be something that would catch you off guard. Emotions, no matter how rational you know something, emotions could make you do something that is absolutely wrong. They're so much stronger than logic. I thought that would be something that would be surprising to a more logical creature.
SheKnows: They're so unpredictable -- it had to be an explosive story element as a creator.
Stephenie Meyer: It's really amazing to step back and think... Find out what Stephenie said on the next page!
ALSO SEE: Test yourself on this "Twilight" book series trivia!
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