Vampires. They’re everywhere, you know. On HBO, at the movie theater, at amazon.com…. They might even be lurking on your Netflix list. After all these centuries, the vampire’s popularity shows no sign of waning. The bloodsucking being from world folklore continues as a reliable fixture in books and movies. In that sense, I guess, vampires really are immortal.
I’ll admit that, except for a good ghost story, I’m not much for the supernatural. When it comes to fiction, I’d much rather follow human characters wending their way through everyday life than follow mythic creatures as they zoom through the night air. So I feel a little behind the curve on publishing and pop culture phenomena such as True Blood and the Twilight series. When I got the assignment to edit a USA Today biography of Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight novels, I was a little worried. This would be, I thought, like the time I edited the how-to book on football.
But what I discovered—and what tickled me so much about the biography—is that Stephenie Meyer seems like the person least likely to write a vampire novel. She’s a sensible, upbeat soccer mom who lives in sunny Arizona. And one night she had a dream about a teenage vampire struggling with his bloodthirsty impulses. That she managed to turn that dream into a novel, then into sequels, then into a veritable empire … it’s an amazing story. Katherine Krohn details how Meyer created her fictional world and how she suddenly found herself at the center of a pop culture storm. Kate also does a great job of examining what it is about the Twilight stories that so appeals to readers.
As for my lack of references in editing the book, I need to acknowledge some colleagues. Both the production editor, Jen Garske, and the photo researcher, Erica Johnson, are huge Twilight fans. They did a great job of finding and choosing photos, kept me from identifying Edward as Jacob in captions, and were otherwise invaluable. It was a great example of the collaborative nature of getting a book into production.