Dear Stephanie Meyer,
I have returned home from the movie theater, where I went with my brother, sister, and her husband to see Twilight, which is based on your novel.
I will say these general things first:
1. The actor chosen to play Edward was really hot, sure, but good heavens, we get it, he's intense. Please send a memo for him to lay off all that jaw clenching and eye squinting in the next movies. It needs to be turned down a notch. Otherwise he was nearly a joy to watch. *ahem*
2. I liked the story but sometimes I wasn't sure if the dialogue was supposed to be funny or not. I get the whole teenage thing, because I am only 26 years old and remember all too tenderly those years, but at times when we laughed we were the only ones laughing because we were the oldest ones in the theater. Were those jabs at teens? Or an attempt to connect to them?
3. The scenery was beautiful. If I could go back to being 14 and 15 I might move the setting of my vampire novels to Washington state but I don't want to copy you.
Which brings me to the less general...
OH WAIT BUT YOU COPIED ME!
Really, Mrs. Meyer, I was pretty stunned by the similarities between my vampire novels of my days of yore, and your Twilight-etc, storyline. I actually WAS a teenager when I was writing those stories about Lydia, Jeremiah, and Lucas and their struggle between humanity and vampirism, so I never made fun of teenagers, so there. And my vampires didn't sparkle in the sun (seriously, whaaaaa?) and go to the prom.
BUT my vampires didn't kill humans (except in self defense- Jeremiah once saved Lydia this way) and they lived in a large, beautiful, secluded home where they could live their quiet, gentle vampire lives without nosy neighbors asking them to come to the barbeque which they could never be able to go to because of the sun! Also when they live out in the woods, it's easier to hide the carcasses of the animals they've sucked dry instead of people.
My lead vampire man loved his lead human lady fiercely and was irresistibly drawn to her sweet scent, her mystery, her beauty. He had been waiting "forever" for her. He was also torn on the decision to make her a vampire. "And so the lion fell in love with the lamb," you wrote. That was good. But I'm still mad.
Because even though I am working on other stories I was aiming to return to my vampire novels someday and finish them. Because I am no longer 14 or 15 years old I was thinking about making my vampires older too, but still, after all this Twilight craze people will be bored with vampire stories just like after the Interview With a Vampire movie came out in like 1994, there were no other major moves in literature or film to recapture that same fascination with the immortal and undead.
It's been fourteen years and now you're here, after you found my spiral bound notebooks in the landfill or something that had my handwritten stories and put your own twist on them, and what, am I supposed to wait another fourteen years for your hype to die down? Until I can put the market ablaze with what used to be my original ideas? I mean, by then I'll have to make my vampires forty years old because when I am forty I won't want to write about twenty-something vampires. And then Jeremiah's struggle with stealing Lydia's human youth and being responsible for her life of blood-sucking animal carcasses in the woods (I mean, she was vegetarian for Pete's sake!) will have less pull on my audience. Not that I think forty is old, but it is when your whole story exists because of the sweet, vibrant teen/young adult blood of your main female character.
Despite all this, I mostly forgive you and enjoyed watching Twilight and I will try to read ahead in the series before the next movies come out. Because I'm curious to see how my series would have evolved. wink.
It's ok, Stephanie Meyer. I'm just messing with you. I don't imagine there being an actual giant chasm between all teen vampire story ideas. I mean of course the girl is sweet and young and pure and doesn't mind giving up her summer tan and mortality for the man she loves. Of course the leading man is handsome and mysterious and yearning and drawn to her. Of course there's a struggle over mortality, immortality, eternity, damnation, blood, blah blah blah.
But is it ok that since I am at least eight years older than your target audience, I thought Bella's dad was hot? Yet another eternal question...
xoxo, Nora McCourtney-Wolf