Jan 16, 2009

I might be related to Stephenie Meyer

I keep seeing my name around lately. One thing I'm glad of is that Stephenie pronounces it the same way as me. Not Mayer, but Mier. I haven't read the books yet. Mayb

I keep seeing my name around lately. One thing I’m glad of is that Stephenie pronounces it the same way as me. Not Mayer, but Mier. I haven’t read the books yet. Maybe I will someday. I don’t mind the odd bit of Undead sexual tension here and there. Sure, hype can often be a turn-off. And I’ve heard from a few trusted colleagues that the writing itself ain’t wonderful, but that she does tell a compelling narrative.

Sometimes it bugs me when people immediately roll their eyes if something is popular. Now, if you read this blog often you’d be quite aware that I prefer literary fiction, with well-drawn characters, complexity, layers, engaging issues, simmering subtext and hard-hitting themes or emotions. But I have been drawn into many narrative worlds that aren’t so dense, or aren’t realism, or are written to be fun, entertaining and/or escapist. There are many, various joys to be had through reading. Some texts I might find challenging and exhilarating, others I might speed through but be left compelled and satisfied.

I am personally a big fan of the Harry Potter series, for example. I began them as a teenager, before the films were released, and I have rarely had such an engaged, joyful experience of reading. There is a wealth of reference in those novels too for literary fans, history buffs, students of mythology and legend. I have met a lot of people who haven’t read the books but will judge me by my appreciation of them. I think this is strange.

So my point is, I won’t analyse this Stephenie Meyer ‘phenomenon’ until one day I feel compelled to pick up Twilight and have a look. And I will never roll my eyes at someone who loves the series. The only time I judge authors/books I have not read is when it’s clear the author/publisher is in the game for cash only and not for passion – when the books have the potential to dumb down; when the books are too easy, cliched and flat; when the books are now written by other people but the author’s name graces the cover, and he gets all the royalties while they get a one-off fee (you know who I’m talking about); when they hog the shelves every two months with a new release even though they have $40 million and could retire and write for fun. This kind of author leaves me steaming.

I don’t think Stephenie Meyer is like that, and hey, she might even be my third cousin or something. I seriously have religious Meyer relatives in the US. They’re quite distant. Not sure if they’re Mormons but wouldn’t be surprised.

I’d love to know who of you has read her? And what are your thoughts? Are the books crap? Are they amazing? Why/why not? Why do you think they’re so hot right now?

And do you see a resemblance?


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5 thoughts on “I might be related to Stephenie Meyer

  1. LiteraryMinded

    In Australian English, my name does not actually rhyme with beer! My name rhymes with tyre? Or fire? That one might work! We say beer as ‘haveabeeeeeeer mate’.

  2. michael

    what, you mean your name rhymes with “beer” ? that could come in handy for poetry 😀

    I haven’t read Stephenie’s books, and am not allowed to roll my eyes, or else my wife will drive a stake through my heart.

  3. LiteraryMinded – Let the Right One In. Sure does look good.

    Troy: I’m glad to hear from you first-hand that these books do lead kids onto other works of literature as well. That’s all it took for me as a kid – to be spellbound by something – and then I was hooked. And y’no what? It was a crappy, popular book series that frst got me mad about reading in Year Three – Goosebumps.

  4. troym7

    I also have a question: is it a unique issue with Australia?
    One day we have the very small literature media/commentary lamenting the lack of readers, then the next it is the same or similar sources screaming from atop a tower about what one is reading. To quote LM: I think this is strange.

    ‘And I will never roll my eyes at someone who loves the series.’ As a teacher I loved the rise of HP and now Twilight. I could see kids reading it, I could pass a list of books or writers and simply say if you like HP, you might like this. Both series have opened some people to the power of the written word.

  5. celluloidtongue

    I’ve nothing terribly against Twilight itself, I just have zero interest (though the film did look genuinely awful). For my coming-of-age-vamp-rom buck, I’ll take Let the Right One In, please.

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