On this day in 1973, Stephenie Meyer, author of the “Twilight” novels, a vampire romance series for young adults that became a literary phenomenon, is born in Hartford, Connecticut.
Meyer, born Stephenie Morgan, was raised in Phoenix, Arizona, the second of six siblings. She married at 21 and graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English in 1997. Meyer was a stay-at-home mother of three boys in 2003 when the idea for “Twilight”—the story of teenager Bella Swann and her handsome vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen—came to her in a dream. Three months later, Meyer, who had never written seriously before, finished the manuscript for “Twilight.” After a string of rejections from literary agencies, she landed an agent and a $750,000, three-book deal. “Twilight,” released in 2005, went on to become a huge best-seller. Three more books in the series, which developed a massive following among young girls as well as grown women, followed: “New Moon” (2006), “Eclipse” (2007) and “Breaking Dawn” (2008). The books have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and been translated into dozens of languages. Meyer’s Mormon faith has influenced her writing: While her “Twilight” characters aren’t Mormons, they don’t drink or smoke and there are no graphic sex scenes in her books.
In the summer of 2008, Meyer released a science-fiction novel marketed to adults, titled “The Host,” which like her earlier books became a best-seller. In November of that year, legions of “Twilight” fans, known as “Twihards,” flocked to movie theaters for the Hollywood adaptation of Meyer’s first novel. The film, starring Kristen Stewart as Bella and Robert Pattinson as Edward, was a box-office hit, and the other three novels in the series later received big-screen adaptations.