Twilight author Stephenie Meyer has announced she will finally publish Midnight Sun, a retelling of her bestselling series from vampire Edward Cullen’s perspective, 12 years after she abandoned the manuscript following an online leak.
Meyer, one of the bestselling authors in the world, has been trailing an announcement on her website since last week, with a timer counting down to Monday’s announcement. The website immediately crashed when the countdown ended, as her army of fans attempted to find out what was going on, with some speculating that the Volturi, the army of evil vampires from the Twilight saga, were to blame.
“I am very excited to finally, finally announce the release of Midnight Sun on 4 August,” Meyer said, in a prerecorded video broadcast on Good Morning America. “It’s a crazy time right now and I wasn’t sure it was the right time to put this book out, but some of you have been waiting for just so so long it didn’t seem right to make you wait any more.”
Publisher Little, Brown said the book would see Meyer draw “on the classic myth of Hades and Persephone” to revisit human teenager Bella Swan’s romance with the vegetarian, sparkly vampire Edward, in “an epic novel about the profound pleasures and devastating consequences of immortal love”.
“This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting beautiful, mysterious Bella is both the most intriguing and unnerving event he has experienced in his long life as a vampire,” said the publisher. “As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he let himself fall in love with Bella when he knows that he is endangering her life?”
When the manuscript of Midnight Sun made its way illegally on to the internet in 2008, Meyer called it “a huge violation of my rights as an author, not to mention me as a human being”. She made a fragment available to read from her website, but put the project on hold indefinitely, saying that “if I tried to write Midnight Sun now, in my current frame of mind, James [a vampire tracking Bella] would probably win and all the Cullens would die, which wouldn’t dovetail too well with the original story”.
She began Midnight Sun as a writing exercise. “The more I wrote, the more I became convinced that Edward deserved to have his story told,” she wrote on her website. “At first I was planning to post it all here on my website, but I changed my mind for two reasons, the most important being that Edward’s version is much longer than Bella’s – Edward over-thinks everything.”
She later said that she would never write about the Twilight universe again, telling Variety in 2013 that she would only do so if it was “three paragraphs on my blog saying which of the characters died … I get further away [from Twilight] every day. For me, it’s not a happy place to be.”
The four-book Twilight saga has sold more than 100m copies, with the five-film adaptation taking $3.3bn (£2.6bn). Since its publication, Meyer has released a gender-swapped version of the story, Life and Death, in which Edward and Bella were replaced by Edythe Cullen and Beau Swan. She said at the time: “I know there is going to be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth because this new bonus material is a), not entirely new, but mostly b), not Midnight Sun.”
She was later reported to have described the time she discovered that EL James, whose Fifty Shades of Grey books were originally written as Twilight fan fiction, had rewritten her bestelling series from the perspective of male romantic lead Christian Grey as “a flip-the-table moment for me”.
In addition to the Twilight books, Meyer has also published two thrillers for adult readers, The Host and The Chemist.
Source: The Guardian