Stephenie Meyer is an American author, best known for her young adult series Twilight, the four novels of which were turned into five major motion pictures known as The Twilight Saga. She is the author of two stand-alone books and additional books to the Twilight series. Meyer was the bestselling author in the United States in 2008 and 2009, selling 29 million and 26.5 million books, respectively.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut on December 24, 1973, Meyer (born Stephenie Morgan) grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She has five siblings and is the second oldest child in her family. She studied at Chaparral High School and later Brigham Young University, where she graduated in 1997 with a bachelor's in English. While still in college in 1994, at age twenty-one, she married her husband Christian Meyer. The two had known each other since they were children. They have three sons together: Gabe, Seth, and Eli.
Set in Forks, Washington, Twilight is a young adult fantasy series that tells the story of a human girl, Bella Swan, falling in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen, despite the dangers that their close physical contact entails.
On the morning of June 2, 2003, Meyer awoke from a dream in which a human girl and a male vampire were having a conversation about their romantic relationship. This dream was the conception for the first novel Twilight.
In my dream, two people were having an intense conversation in a meadow in the woods. One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire. They were discussing the difficulties inherent in the facts that A) they were falling in love with each other while B) the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her immediately. -Stephenie Meyer
She had not written anything since the birth of her first son six years before but found herself so intrigued by the dream that she had to write the scene down. She began writing every day––some days only a couple of pages and others, a chapter or more. Starting from the scene in her dream, Meyer wrote the rest of the story before going back and writing the beginning to tie it all together. She finished her first draft in three months.
Throughout her writing process, Meyer sent the chapters as she completed them to her sister, who suggested she should try to get her book published. Although Meyer had not written the story with the intention of publishing it, she decided to pursue the idea. She sent about fifteen query letters to various publishing houses. Her first lucky break came when she received a response from an assistant at Writers House, which asked to see the first three chapters of the novel. After a few weeks, she received a request for the whole manuscript; one month after that, Meyer was contacted by literary agent Jodi Reamer, who asked to represent the book. The two edited the book together, then sent it out to nine publishing houses. The day after Thanksgiving weekend in 2003, Megan Tingley, a publisher from Little, Brown and Company, contacted Reamer with a lucrative book deal for Meyer. Reamer turned down the original offer and asked for more money. In late 2003, Twilight was put up for auction by Writers House. Eight publishing companies made bids, but Little, Brown and Company was the winner. On October 5, 2005, Twilight was published.
Twilight was an immediate bestseller, reaching fifth place on the New York Times Bestseller list within weeks of its release. Twilight and its later sequels were among the top bestselling books in the United States in 2008 and 2009. Although extremely popular, the book has received criticism regarding its plot line, characters, and Meyer's writing style. Twilight made the American Library Association's Top 10 Most Challenged Books Lists of 2009 and 2010 due to "religious viewpoints and violence."
After finishing Twilight, Meyer wrote multiple epilogues for the story, finding she wasn't ready to be done writing about the characters. One of the epilogues was well-developed, but when Twilight was accepted for publication, Meyer realized that its content was not suitable for a young adult novel. Instead, the storyline later became the basis for the fourth and final book of the series, Breaking Dawn.
New Moon, the second book in the series, was published on August 21, 2006. Like its predecessor, it was an immediate success and topped the New York Times list of bestselling children’s chapter books. The third book, Eclipse, was published on August 7, 2007. The fourth and final book of the series, Breaking Dawn, saw a midnight release on August 2, 2008. 1.3 million copies were sold the day of its release. Midnight Sun, the retelling of Twilight from Edward's perspective, was released in August 2020; it sold 1 million copies in the first week. As of 2020, over 160 million copies of the Twilight books have been sold.
The Twilight series was developed into a movie series known as The Twilight Saga, beginning in 2008. Each movie of the series was filmed by a different director, with the exception of Bill Condon, who filmed both parts of Breaking Dawn. Twilight was released in theaters on November 21, 2008. The cast includes Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson as the two lead roles, and Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black, Bella's best friend.
New Moon had a midnight release on November 20, 2009. At the time, it set a new record as the biggest midnight release in movie history, grossing $26.3 million in ticket sales in over 3,500 theaters. Eclipse was released on June 30, 2010, and grossed $68.5 million on its opening day. Breaking Dawn Part 1 was released in theaters on November 18, 2011, and Breaking Dawn Part 2 on November 16, 2012.
The following is a complete list of Meyer's written works.
- Twilight (2005)
- New Moon (2006)
- Eclipse (2007)
- Breaking Dawn (2008)
- The Host (2008)
- The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (2010)
- The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide (2011)
- Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (2015)
- The Chemist (2016)
- Midnight Sun (2020)
In August 2020, Meyer stated she has plans for two additional Twilight books.