In the middle of the first decade of the 21st Century, an aspiring writer from Phoenix, Arizona saw her first novel published. That story of about a human girl and her eternally-teenaged vampire boyfriend greatly affected the media portrayal of vampires and transformed the book into a franchise and its writer into a household name for young adults. Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” saga would span four books adapted into five films, plus spinoffs. She even rewrote the first novel with vampire Edward Cullen as narrator, only to stop in 2008 when her early manuscript chapters were leaked. For a time fans thought that was the end of things. It was not.
As The Guardian and many other media sources would happily report (from the POV of still-loyal “Twilighters” or “Twi-hards”), the thought-unfinished “Twilight” rewrite entitled “Midnight Sun” has finally come out this Tuesday, August 4. That makes it twelve years since author Stephenie Meyer put the task of retelling her first vampire young adult romance on indefinite hold after her partial work got out on the internet. It was not entirely a surprise however, since she put a countdown on her personal website back in May.
When fans from a decade past, excited out of their minds at the new release of a “Twilight” saga book, asked Meyer why she chose now to finally bring “Midnight Sun” back, the author simply replied that she had finally finished writing it. Followers might recall her statement following the 2008 draft leak, where she remarked that if she forced herself to continue writing she would have had the antagonist win against the heroes. It certainly took her some time but, as Meyer said she was aware that people still waited, she began taking steps to have the book published upon seeing that she was nearly done writing it all.
And what a treat “Midnight Sun” is for still-there fans of Bella Swann and Edward Cullen. Whereas the original “Twilight” as seen from the viewpoint of Bella was close to 500 pages, the same story as seen from Edward’s eyes registers as a 672-page journey. Social media buzzes from Twi-hards crowed at getting to binge-read that one-time literary phenomenon all over again with a different voice, and Stephenie Meyer notes that with COVID-19 keeping many people at home, now was a good time as any to give them a nice book to pass the time.
It is known that Meyer had started work on “Midnight Sun” as early as the first “Twilight” film from Summit Entertainment began filming for its 2008 premiere. She was said to have shown the early chapters to director Catherine Hardwicke and Edward actor Robert Pattinson to give them a feel for the vampire heartthrob’s inner world. Interestingly, even as work on the book was halted, Meyer was able to, in time for the 10th anniversary of “Twilight,” complete another alternate take on that original book, “Life and Death,” where all characters were gender-flipped (giving readers Beau Swann and Edythe Cullen).
It is also assumed that Meyer did not seriously resume writing “Midnight Sun” until after 2015, due to British author E.L. James “beating her to the punch” as it were, with the rewrite of her own hit book “Fifty Shades of Grey” as told by male lead Christian Gray. As many fans know, James retooled “Fifty Shades” from what was originally her “Twilight” fan fiction, under the pseudonym “Snowqueen’s Icedragon.” Stephenie Meyer has expressed no plans to rewrite the rest of the saga in Edward’s POV, at least for now.
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