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Stephenie Meyer confesses: Killing Bree Tanner made me sad.

June 3, 2010

Edward who? Taylor Lautner as Jacob.

You can’t turn around nowadays without bumping into a vampire. No amount of garlic can make them go away–believe me, I know: I haven’t had a date in weeks, and yet here I am, writing about Stephenie Meyer again.

As USA Today reports, June will be a great month for fans of Meyer’s “Twilight” series of Young Adult novels about Edward Cullen, the broody teen vampire, and Bella, the rather dim human girl who loves him to death.

Not so long ago Meyer warned that she was done writing about vampires for the foreseeable future — and yet Saturday will see the publication of her new novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella.

It’s no coincidence that Bree Tanner arrives shortly before the June 30 debut of Eclipse, the third entry in the stupendously popular film franchise based on Meyer’s novels. And it’s not entirely a cynical marketing ploy to sell more books or draw synergistic attention to the new movie.

At this point, tricks are not need to move Meyer’s books or sell movie tickets. fter all, she is the biggest thing in publishing since the heyday of Harry Potter, while the movies could hardly be more popular, having made huge stars of young performers Kristin Stewart (Bella), Robert Pattinson (Edward) and Taylor Lautner (Jacob, the hunky Native American werewolf).

Instead, Meyer says, she was attracted by the opportunity to explore some of the “Twilight” action she has been unable to directly address in the novels, which are told exclusively from Bella’s point of view.

“Knowing that elements of Bree’s story were being incorporated into the movie, I hoped the story could somehow get out first,” Meyer says in this Q&A from her publisher. “Personally, I always want to read a book before seeing the movie. I like to make my own mental pictures before someone else’s picture intrudes.”

In the novel Eclipse, Bree is part of an army of “newborns” –freshly made vampires — created by the villainous Victoria to use against Edward and Bella. Bree appears in only 10 pages of the novel, but she is the only newborn named and she’s the one who lives the longest.

Alas, Bree meets the same fate in Eclipse and in the novella — although otherwise the novella’s plot is a closely guarded secret — and it made Meyer sad.

“It was harder for me to kill Bree than any other fiction character I’ve ever killed,” Meyer says, “even though I was killing her for the second time. (Before Bree, the saddest was Walter in The Host.)”

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner debuts Saturday, with many bookstores hosting midnight release parties Friday night. Little, Brown’s first printing is 1.5 million copies — even though the story will be available free online from June 5 to July 5 at breetanner.com.

“I wanted to be able to offer it to my fans for free,” writes Meyer at the website. “You all have bought a ton of my books, and I wanted to give you this story as a gift. My publisher was awesome and embraced this idea. We still wanted to also produce a physical book with a cool cover.”

Meyer and Little, Brown are donating $1 from the sale of each book in the first printing to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts in Haiti and Chile.

“I think it’s important that we not quickly forget Haiti and Chile now that they’re no longer the focus of the media,” Meyer says. “It takes a very long time to recover from such devastation and they still need our help.”

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Candice Simmons permalink
    June 3, 2010 12:54 pm

    Guess lots of people love vampires. I’m glad to see someone donating to a good cause!

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      June 3, 2010 5:13 pm

      Even I can do this math — it looks like $1.5 million.

  2. Tommy Smart permalink
    June 3, 2010 1:29 pm

    You ever notice there are no obese vampires?

    Six pack = vampire

    Best “Twilight” related video ever:

    http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1926101

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      June 3, 2010 5:15 pm

      There are fat vampires on True Blood, bet of the current brood of vampire dramas. And yeah, that’s a hilarious Twilight spoof, but it’s not the best ever. Here’s the best ever:

  3. rachel permalink
    June 3, 2010 1:38 pm

    I went to the movies the other night and I was forced to sit through a preview for one of the Twilight movies, and I was appalled: what are they doing running around in the daylight?

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      June 3, 2010 5:15 pm

      Not only do they run around in the daylight, they sparkle!

  4. June 3, 2010 4:23 pm

    Gawd, when will this fad run its course? Gag and double gag!

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      June 3, 2010 5:16 pm

      Apparently never. Where’s Van Helsing when you need him?

  5. Connie permalink
    June 3, 2010 5:53 pm

    I will never get sick of that Edward meets Buffy spoof. The T shirt says it all: ” And then Buffy staked Edward. The End.”

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      June 3, 2010 8:44 pm

      Indeed it does. Oh, by the way, Connie: I ran that beefcake of Jacob just for you…

  6. June 3, 2010 5:57 pm

    The fact that Twilight is being featured on what should be a literary blog makes me want to remove this site from my favorites. I won’t, but please don’t feed the trolls.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      June 3, 2010 8:47 pm

      What can I say? I like enjoy cruising the slums from time to time. Besides, if I don’t report on popular literary culture from time to time, how will you know what’s happening below the rarefied air of Mount Lit’rachure?

      We’ll be back on the high road tomorrow. Probably.

  7. June 3, 2010 6:13 pm

    First of all, I used to think I loved vampires. But now I think I just love Joss Whedon. Second of all, I can tell Taylor Lautner is a good looking kid. But he IS A KID. I read a story that 40 and 50 year old women are stealing his life size cutout from bookstores and movie theaters. That’s kind of disgusting. Hello, there’s George Clooney! George is very beautiful and MUCH more appropriate.

  8. Chauncey Mabe permalink*
    June 3, 2010 8:49 pm

    We live in a world where a show can call itself Cougar Town and get away with it. I wouldn’t be surprised if “MILF Island” is just around the corner…Isn’t George Clooney old enough to be your father?

  9. Sean permalink
    June 4, 2010 11:30 am

    Hey this is off topic but I just got done reading a new review of an old novel, and got so pulled into the review – which is not short – that now I’m thinking of tracking down the book. The reviewer, novelist Jonathan Franzen, is arguing that a book about a dysfunctional family in 1940s America, ”The Man Who Loved Children,’ by one Christina Stead (who I’d never heard of before), ought to be considered a great American novel. Check it out here:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/books/review/Franzen-t.html?pagewanted=4&hp

  10. Connie permalink
    June 4, 2010 1:12 pm

    To get things back to a gross, nonliterary level, I’d just like to say I appreciate the beefcake, even though I could quite obviously be the cute werewolf boy’s mother. I’ll take George Clooney any day, but even the most avid readers enjoy the eye candy.

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