Midnight Sun Q&A with Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer is the author of the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga, The Host, and The Chemist. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature, and she lives with her husband in Arizona. Learn more at stepheniemeyer.com.


Midnight Sun
Hardcover

|August 4, 2020

$30.00 online

$34.99list price

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It's here! #1 bestselling author Stephenie Meyer makes a triumphant return to the world of Twilight with this highly-anticipated companion: the iconic love story of Bella and Edward told from the vampire's point of view. When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in…

 

Midnight Sun has been about 14 years in the making. What inspired you to return to the story, and to want to publish it now?

There have been a lot of stops and restarts through this process. Many times, I would get started again, then hit a roadblock and quit to work on something more amicable. One of the big helps came in the form of Life and Death, the gender-swapped version of Twilight I wrote for Twilight's tenth anniversary. Creating that let me get back to the characters in their purest form, just who they were as people, without any of the baggage from the movies or the fandoms. It made it easier for me to channel all their voices again. When I did finally get to a point when I knew the book would be finished imminently, I worked to get it published as soon as possible. I knew that readers had been waiting for a long time.

What was it like to revisit the iconic scenes of Twilight from Edward's point-of-view? Was it easier or harder to get into his mindset?<

It is just as easy for me to write from Edward's point-of-view as it is to write from Bella's, however, it's a more painful experience. Edward suffers more, overthinks more, feels more anxiety. It's a more difficult headspace to live in for an extended period of time. So, getting there is easy. Being there is hard.

Do you think there will be moments where fans will be surprised by Edward's innermost thoughts? What do you hope readers take away from his narrative?

I'm not sure if fans will be surprised by any specific moments or not. Every moment seems super obvious to me, but then, I've been living with both sides of this story from the beginning. I'll be very interested to hear what new readers find surprising—that's something I'm looking forward to. I think on a macro level, readers won't be expecting how much self-doubt Edward feels all the time. The only thing I ever really hope my readers will take away from any of my books is entertainment. I hope they get to have an escape from the real world for a few hours.

Without spoiling anything, is there a scene from Twilight you loved writing from Edward's perspective that readers will recognize? Or was there one that was hard to wrap your head around at first?<

This is a hard book to spoil, since we know most of what happens from Bella's perspective. My favourite scenes to write were all the ones where she was missing, though. It was so much easier to write without having to be tied into dialogue and specific actions. I could be freer, and just write what felt right. The chapters where I was locked into a lot of dialogue were the hardest.

It's difficult to make something so familiar newly interesting. A specific favourite scene of mine is the Cullen's race across the Phoenix highways to get to Bella in time. That was a very fast-paced chapter, very exciting to work on. And the meadow scene was incredibly hard. That chapter took literal years to write.

In Twilight, Bella is an outsider looking in on the Cullen family. What was it like to portray that family dynamic from Edward's viewpoint? Will we also learn new things about the Cullen family?

We definitely get to experience the Cullen dynamic in a much deeper way. There are key moments in Edward's history with his family members to live through in his memories, and then we get to spend a lot more time with them in the present. Due to Edward's mindreading, we get to see inside all of their heads frequently. I think readers will come away with a real sense of what it's like to be a part of the family.

With over 160 million copies of The Twilight Saga sold, the series is a true publishing phenomenon with a massive crossover readership—from the teens who continue to discover it today to those who read it 15 years ago and are now adults, and everyone in between. Why do you think Bella and Edward's story resonates with such a wide readership? What would you say to new fans coming to The Twilight Saga world through Midnight Sun?

I have no idea why Twilight spoke to so many different people on such a personal level. For me, it was an escape and a creative outlet, but I never would have dreamed it would have meant something to anyone else. It's still something I can't wrap my head around. As for readers whose first experience in this world is with Midnight Sun, I just want to ask them questions. I want to know what it's like to see this side first. I want to know what Edward's story leaves untold, what it makes them curious about. Hopefully I get the chance to talk to someone in that position.

You've been known to write while listening to music. Did any songs or bands inspire the writing in Midnight Sun?

I've been writing Midnight Sun for so many years, it might be easier to list bands that did NOT inspire my writing. I honestly don't remember everything I listened to over the years, but the songs that felt most personal to the story are all on the Midnight Sun playlist.

We're currently in a maelstrom of change with the global COVID-19 pandemic, and reading has provided a respite to many quarantining at home. What do you hope readers take away from Edward's and Bella's stories? Do you think books have the capability to transport us?

Books are the best form of transportation in the world, at least for me, anyway. They have been my favourite vacations from reality for my entire life. Real trips to real places never engross me the same way, never make me forget myself. I hope my readers enjoy the escape and find some respite in it. I hope the time away from reality fills their reserves and makes the real world just a little bit easier.