Stephenie Meyer, born on December 24, 1973, in Hartford, Connecticut, is the best-selling author of the Twilight book series. Inspired by a dream, she wrote the first book and attracted the attention of agent Jodi Reamer, who secured her a three-book publishing deal. The books have sold more than 250 million copies, been translated into 37 languages, and adapted for a hit film series that includes five installments. The final chapter of the
Author Stephenie Meyer was born Stephenie Morgan on December 24, 1973, in Hartford, Connecticut, to Stephen and Candy Morgan. Meyer has called the uncommon spelling of her first name "a gift from [her] father," who added the letters "i" and "e" to the end of his name to create "Stephenie."
Four years after Meyer's birth, her family relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. As the second of six children, Meyer took on the duties associated with being an elder sibling in a large Mormon family. Between caring for her younger brothers and sisters, she developed a passion for reading, becoming an avid fan of classic authors Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and Margaret Mitchell, among others.
Though Meyer felt out of place among the privileged population of Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, she was an excellent student. Graduating from the school in 1992, her high marks earned her a National Merit Scholarship. She used the award to attend Brigham Young University, where she majored in English literature.
Marriage and Family
In 1996, between her junior and senior years at Brigham Young, Meyer became re-acquainted with childhood friend Christian "Pancho" Meyer (the two had grown up in the same social circles). The reunited friends soon began dating, and were married less than a year later, when Meyer was just 21 years old. Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University in 1997. That same year, she gave birth to her first son, Gabe. Sons Seth and Eli followed, and Meyer experienced a busy life as a stay-at-home mom.
Inspiration for 'Twilight'
On June 2, 2003, Meyer became an author in earnest. Following a compelling dream—the inspiration for the Twilight book series, and the basis for Chapter 13 of its first book—Meyer began a frenzied writing spree. The series' early chapters explored the romance between Edward Cullen, a vampire, and Bella Swan, a human girl. Influenced by authors like William Goldman, Orson Scott Card and Douglas Adams, Meyer worked diligently to flesh out the story, often writing while her children slept.
Within three months, Meyer had created a 500-page manuscript and begun searching for a publishing contact. Using advice taken from author Janet Evanovich's website, she was eventually contacted by Jodi Reamer, a literary agent at Writer's House. Reamer and Meyer worked together to polish the manuscript—among other things, Reamer insisted that Meyer change her first title, Forks, to the current title—and the book was soon presented to publishing houses. Not long after, Reamer secured a three-book deal from Little, Brown and Company, which included a $750,000 advance—the highest sum the publishing house had ever paid a new writer at the time.
Twilight was released in 2005 to rave reviews, quickly becoming a best-seller. An active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Meyer had eschewed strong sexuality in her writing, supplanting it with florid sensuality—a draw for her numerous (and primarily female) readers. Like J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter franchise, Meyer's book bridged the gap between teen and adult fiction. She also increased her popularity through her online accessibility, and frequently made herself available to her fan base.
Twilight was honored as a New York Times "Editor's Choice and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year." The following year, Meyer published her sophomore effort, the sequel New Moon, and sold the film rights to Twilight. With the third and fourth installments, Eclipse (2007) and Breaking Dawn (2008), Meyer's series has sold more 250 million copies, and has been translated into 37 languages. The books were also adapted for a film series amassing five installments, including The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2, released in November 2012. Grossing nearly $200 million domestically, the Twilight film series stars Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan), Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen) and Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black).
In 2008, Meyer released her first non-Twilight work. The Host, a grittier novel targeted at an adult audience, features an alien romance instead. Meyer's Twilight books, as well as the film franchise, continue to garner media and fan attention.
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