NEW YORK — She is the brains behind the book series that’s rivaling Harry Potter. She has millions of loyal Twilighters at her beck and call, many of whom would devour you in a moment if you dared to say anything bad about their Edward and Bella. She’s also a very nice lady, who is every bit as cool to hang out with as you’d hope.
She’s Stephenie Meyer, and just after midnight on Friday (actually 12:01 a.m. on Saturday), she will wrap things up at her New York book launch and officially invade the bestseller list again with “Breaking Dawn,” the book that concludes her “Twilight” series.
Mere hours before she becomes responsible for making bleary-eyed teens around the world stay up all night, she sat down with MTV News’ Kim Stolz for a (spoiler-free, we promise!) discussion about that controversial “EW” cover, the toughest questions she’s ever been asked — and whether you’ll be able to trade in your underwear for an official “Twilight” thong.
MTV News: How does it feel to suddenly have so many people obsessed with you and your writing?
Stephenie Meyer: It’s kind of cool. No one’s ever accused [the Twilighters] of not being passionate, and it makes me feel really good that they care so much about everything. Even when they weren’t sure about the movie things, they cared — and that’s what matters.
MTV: Are you worried about doing something with the movie that’s going to tick off all your fans?
Meyer: Not really [laughs], but now I will! I’ll be worried now. Mostly, I just worry that they’re going to ask me something I don’t know that I should.
MTV: What’s one of the harder questions you’ve had to answer?
Meyer: There are a couple different kinds. There’s ones [with] just one totally tiny detail like, “On December 1st of 1981, where were Emmett and Rosalie that night [at] dinner?” It’s just like, “Oh gosh, I don’t know these things!” Then sometimes I get ones that are a little more aggressive, like, “Do you think Bella is an anti-feminist hero?” I actually enjoy answering that one, because I like to explain my version.
MTV: Can you elaborate on that?
Meyer: Well, there’s an idea out there that to be a strong female role model you have to know kung fu and the whole line of Prada products from that year, and I think you can be a strong person by just being who you are and being really strong mentally. I don’t think Bella gets enough credit for just knowing who she is, [possessing] her confidence, and also making some really tough decisions.
MTV: It’s hard to reconcile [the notion of her being a strong female] with the idea that Bella is so beaten down when Edward leaves her.
Meyer: Yeah, but how many shows do you see where the guy leaves and the girl eats a bunch of chocolate, watches sad movies, listens to sad music and then she’s good? If you notice with that, the guy’s always, like, something she’s really better off without. I wanted to write about really true love — the kind that when they leave it’s really not an easy thing. She doesn’t listen to sad music or mope around; she goes on with her life, just a little bit different than before.
MTV: What is it about this vampire thing that has made the tween demographic, and older people as well, so obsessed with you?
Meyer: I think it’s because vampires are scary and sexy at the same time. Think about all the other monsters: People love monsters and seeing scary movies, but they’re usually really gross and oozing and stuff. Vampires are really terrifying — but at the same time, hot! [Laughs.] And they’re usually immortal and they have castles and stuff.
MTV: Did you purposefully plan out the demographic you were writing for?
Meyer: The surprise was really the young adults, because when I wrote “Twilight” it was for me, and I was 29. So it was for the moms who still remembered what it was like to be 17. But then it really caught on with the 17-year-olds, and I’m not surprised at all by the 30-somethings. I love them all! [Laughs.]
MTV: Do the tweens and 30-somethings get different things from your novels?
Meyer: One of the things I’ve noticed — and this is just a generalization and I know there’s a lot of exceptions — but it seemed like the moms were more willing to give the idea of second love a chance. Whereas a lot of people who have never fallen in love before want to think that when you fall in love, that’s it, and you won’t again.
MTV: The cover of “Breaking Dawn” has already proven quite controversial. What are your thoughts on the response it has received since you released the image?
Meyer: It’s kind of like “Ouch!” because I really had a lot to do with this cover. But I think when I can finally explain what it means, people will be like, “Oh yeah, OK.”
MTV: How about the equally controversial cover of Entertainment Weekly, where we recently got a sneak peek at Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart?
Meyer: It was interesting, because on the one hand it’s really visual. You can see that across the store, and that’s the whole idea when they sell magazines. I was like, “Wow!” I have to say, I prefer Rob’s styling in the movie; the hair [on the magazine cover] was a little different. But they still look gorgeous. How could they not?
MTV: What did you think of the fan response?
Meyer: I think the funniest one was a letter where someone said something about Donald Trump’s toupee being on Edward’s head. That totally made me laugh.
MTV: When a movie hits it big, merchandising always follows. We’ve already seen the “Twilight” candy bar, so what’s next?
Meyer: They ran some things by me, but I don’t know anything that’s official yet.
MTV: Which do you like best?
Meyer: I don’t know how much I’m supposed to comment, but I’ll say that I’ve always had a dream of … not action figures so much as really pretty dolls. I’m hoping that’s going to happen.
MTV: Any products that you definitely would not want to have?
Meyer: Gosh, anything that was sleazy, that would suck. But I get approval on that kind of thing, so that’s good. There’ll be no “Twilight” thongs. [Laughs.]
Every Tuesday is “Twilight” Tuesday here at MTV News! Check back here each and every week for the hottest scoop on the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s beloved vampire series, and we’ll still bring you breaking “Twilight” news throughout the rest of the week. And make sure you check out the MTV Movies Blog for our ongoing “Twilight” discussions each and every day.
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