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From The Archives: How Writers Made It BIG - Stephenie Meyer

Updated: Jul 27, 2020

Like her or not, you've probably heard of Stephenie Meyer.

But the question begs, how did she make it big in Young Adult Literature?

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

It started with a dream. A literal one. One about a lion falling in love with a lamb, a vampire falling in love with a human.

"Though I had a million things to do, I stayed in bed, thinking about the dream. Unwillingly, I eventually got up and did the immediate necessities, and then put everything that I possibly could on the back burner and sat down at the computer to write—something I hadn't done in so long that I wondered why I was bothering,” Meyer said.

Quickly after, Meyer developed a plot for this dream she had, and three months later, she finished the novel we know as Twilight.

Like most of us (and we're being honest here), Meyer was quite naive about the publishing process. She thought, and I quote, "I thought it worked like this: you printed a copy of your novel, wrapped it up in brown paper, and sent it off to a publishing house." But knowing what we know now, the publishing process doesn't quite work that way. Eventually, Meyer subscribed to Writer's Market and found a few literary agencies and publishing houses that she liked. She then sent out a total of FIFTEEN query letters, receiving a few rejections along the way, and then getting picked up by literary agent, Jodi Reamer, a month later. Together, Reamer and Meyer worked on Twilight for two weeks before sending it to Megan Tingley (of Megan Tingley Books, of Little, Brown and Company ) and then, well, the rest is all history--no, seriously.

In six months, Meyer dreamt, wrote, and published Twilight.

Within one month it was number five on the New York Time's Bestseller list, and within a year, Twilight was named one of Publisher Weekly's best children books of '05. In the next three years, she completed and published the series, and it became the best selling book(s) of 2008 and 2009. Today, her books have been translated into 37 different languages. Rejections:  I'm not sure how many total rejections Meyer received for Twilight, other than the two she mentioned on her web page. According to the good ol' wiki, she got rejected 14 times. Which means that all of the agents, except for one lucky one, rejected her project.

Why Twilight worked for Meyer: Twilight worked because it was the purple cow of the industry (at the time) . I mean, hello: vampires who sparkle in the sunlight instead of die, and a teenage girl who devotes her life to someone who wants to kill her. That's pretty strange if I say so myself, but people want strange--better than that, they want strange romances!

Where are they now:  As of October of this year, Meyer is on a new project: The Storytellers--New creative voices of the Twilight series. Meyer is teaming up with filmmakers and producing short films on a broad number of characters from the Twilight saga.

Also, current update: Meyer has decided to finish Midnight Sun! The release date is currently set for August 4th, 2020. In this book, it retells the story of Twilight, but through Edward's perspective.

And I'm not gonna lie, but, the teenage version of myself is freaking out to know how this story ends.

How can we learn from Meyer? If you have a dream--one that you are so completely in love with--don't run from it, run with it.

Because within a year, you could write and publish that dream novel.


Like these posts? Like them and share them in your writing community; it helps me know that I should make more. Till next time blog world!

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