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Stephen vs. Stephenie: Meyer announces ‘Twilight’ novella for June

March 30, 2010

And trumping news of Stephen King’s baseball novella, Stephenie Meyer announced today a ‘Twilight’ novella will be published in June. Previously the humongously popular novelist had said she was done with teenage vampires for the foresseable future.

Titled The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella, the book runs to 192 pages, and will be published at 12:01 a.m. on June 5, according to USA Today.

The book has a first printing of 1.5 million copies, with a dollar from each book going to the American Red Cross International Fund, says Publishers Weekly.

Given the timing of Meyer’s announcment, could this be a smackback at King, who said in a February interview that “Stephenie Meyer can’t write wroth a darn. She’s not very good.”

Meyer’s novella expands the story of “a newborn vampire” introduced in Eclipse, the third full novel in Meyer’s ‘Twilight’ series, which currently runs to four books.

Bree is part of an army of newborn vampires created by Cullen family nemesis Victoria. Thirsty for revenge after the Cullens kill her vampire lover James, Victoria’s plan is to use her army to kill the Cullens and Bella.

In statement issued today, Meyer says Bree’s story was originally intended for The Twilight Saga: The Official Guide, but outgrew that venue.

“I’m as surprised as anyone about this novella,” Meyer tells USA Today. “When I began working on it in 2005, it was simply an exercise to help me examine the other side of Eclipse, which I was editing at the time. I thought it might end up as a short story that I could include on my website. Then, when work started on The Twilight Saga: The Official Guide, I thought the Guide would be a good fit for my Bree story. However, the story grew longer than I anticipated, until it was too long to fit into the Guide.”

PW reports that Bree will be included in the Eclipse movie, due out June 30. USA Today says Meyer gave the film’s director, David Slade, a draft of the novella to read during production. Plot points from the new story made their way into the movie.

In addition to the print edition, PW reports, the book will be available to read online for free from June 7 to July 5 at www.breetanner.com.

[S]ince this story had always been an extra for me, and was meant to be released with the Guide, I wanted to be able to offer it to my fans for free,” Meyer said in a post about the book on her Web site. “You all have bought a ton of my books, and I wanted to give you this story as a gift.”

Meyer suggests fans enjoy this unexpected gift, because she’s still not writing the fifth full novel in the Twilight series, Midnight Sun.

“I think they’re all waiting for Midnight Sun,” Meyer tells USA Today. “But I’m not writing about vampires right now.”

So who’s the winner in the Ultimate Literary Death Match: King, the cagey veteran, or Meyer, the hot young rising star? You call it.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Karla permalink
    March 30, 2010 1:28 pm

    Seriously, MAKE IT STOP, MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!

    • Tommy Smart permalink
      March 30, 2010 1:45 pm

      I hope your incantation works, cause I too have had enough.

      Great stuff about donating a dollar to the Red Cross, except now every time I donate blood I will probably think of those cruddy books/movies and K-Stew.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 30, 2010 3:55 pm

      I’m just reporting the facts, ma’am. And sir. My suggestion: Read the King as a way of purging your mind of the Meyer.

  2. Candice permalink
    March 30, 2010 1:41 pm

    I think it is nice that she is donating some of the profit to the Red Cross.

    Hey, I need the new definition of novella. 192 pages doesn’t sound like novella to me.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 30, 2010 3:58 pm

      “Novella” is a very flexible term, and it can mean just about anything a publisher and author want it to mean. I’ve seen 110-page books called “novels,” and books like this one, at 192 pages, called “novellas.” Breakfast at Tiffany’s is generally considered a novella, and the current Vintage edition is – voila! — 192 pp.

  3. Tommy Smart permalink
    March 30, 2010 1:47 pm

    A King of any suit beats a blood red Queen any day.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 30, 2010 3:59 pm

      Still, I don’t want to get stuck holding a Suicide King.

  4. Candice permalink
    March 30, 2010 2:24 pm

    Don’t listen to Mr. Smart, Chauncey Mabe. I rather enjoy the competition. Like a baseball game.

  5. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    March 30, 2010 4:00 pm

    Yeah, me, too. Although I’m not likely to read the Twilight book. But I don’t begrudge those who do, and enjoy it.

  6. Connie permalink
    March 30, 2010 4:57 pm

    I respectfully decline to read either one. Though I’d probably lean toward the vampires over (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz) baseball.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 30, 2010 11:12 pm

      Connie, your parents have a lot to account for.

  7. March 31, 2010 8:18 am

    The best Baseball book this year and probably in a long time is, Ed Achorn’s “Fifty-nine in 84”

    If he had the fame right now we would not even be talking about these others. That is the fame business. A quick review is in the capecodtoday.com.

    I do question why King would slam Meyer’s like that. I think they are both good. Truth be told neither actually blew me away. I like them and I think both are good. I guess it pays to be famous.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      March 31, 2010 10:44 am

      Fame and talent are not the same thing, as you know. I’m not familiar with Ed Achorn. Thanks for the recommendation.

  8. rachel permalink
    March 31, 2010 9:29 am

    Oh my gosh! Just wanted I wanted for my birthday: to read the “Twilight” novella on-line, for free!

    Candice, I agree. Since when does a 192 page book not constitute a novel? I generally think that the cut off for a novella is about 150 or so. 192 is awful close to 200 and that’s a lot of pages. According to J. M. Tyree over at Esquire it “is anything in the 45 to 145 page range.”

    Yes, right now I’m just not writing about vampires, just after I’m done with this “novella” and my guide to vampires and. and. and.

    It is kind of amusing that she’s all about the free reading, the giving back to the people, as opposed to King’s being all about the limited edition (hurry, buy yours now).

  9. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    March 31, 2010 10:56 am

    Very funny, Rachel, I had not thought of the irony of Meyer declaring she’s done writing about vampires while churning out a guide and a novella. Good catch. As for King and the limited edition (hurry, buy yours now!), it may not be quite as mercenary as it seems. Out of the view of ordinary book culture, the horror and dark fantasy worlds have a long, deep tradition of premium limited edition versions, almost always with specially commissioned artwork, that horror fans snatch up as collectibles and investments. I only know this because I used to be friends with a collector. I’ve lost touch with him now, but I hope he’s well and sitting on a fortune of collectible books by King, Peter Straub, Joe Lansdale and etc.

  10. March 31, 2010 11:27 am

    Ed is a newspaper man for the Providence Journal. His dad was a newspaper man and editor for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. I grew up with them back home. Wonderful people. I think you will like the book.

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