Twilight author Stephenie Meyer recently found herself in the spotlight after appearing on Oprah to help promote the upcoming film based on her novel New Moon. But Meyer otherwise chooses to live a very private life. What's wrong with that?
Meyer's Twilight series is a legitimate phenomenon, with over 70 million books sold, but in a recent profile of the author by the Daily Mail's Caroline Graham, much attention is paid not to Meyer's work, but to the way she chooses to live her life, and how, well, boring it seems.
Graham's piece revolves around Meyer's desire for privacy, which is completely undermined by several "friends" of the author who come forward to speculate on everything from her sex life to her intelligence ("She was bright, but not overly so," says a former teacher) to her connections with the Church of Latter Day Saints to her worries over her weight: "She's trying to watch her figure," a waitress at a local restaurant says, "She says the Press pictures always make her look fat." (Graham herself describes Meyer as a "slightly plump brunette.") Meyer's wish to live a quiet life seems to be the talk of the town, which is too bad, as the town can't shut up about Meyer's private business.
There's a quiet sense of disappointment that runs through Graham's piece, that this woman who has created a world of sparkling vampires and teenage werewolves is just a quiet mom who "doesn't even drink coffee" and would prefer to be left alone. Meyer's unlikely success story, much like fellow author J.K. Rowling's, is the stuff underdog dreams are made of, and in both profiles of Meyer, the well-known story of how she had a dream that inspired her to write (and a book deal only three months later ) is trotted out once again.
But now that Meyer is a success, it seems that her "fascinating story" has stalled a bit. She's not out getting wasted at clubs, she's not building herself a haunted house to live in, she's not changing her name to Vampira X. Cullenface, and she's not on the air every five seconds trying to grab the Twilight spotlight. I'm not sure, exactly, what people want from Stephenie Meyer; she's living a terribly ordinary life, and from the Daily Mail article, you'd think it was the worst possible thing she could do, when in reality it's just the opposite. The book-deal scoring dream may be the more glamorous success story, but for Meyer (and Rowling), perhaps the greater success is the ability to maintain some sense of normalcy in the real world, even as the fictional universe you've created continues to spin out all around you.