I’ve been hearing rumblings about Stephanie Meyer for some months and saw her books (in several places) the last time I went into Borders. But I had no idea that she’s reaching this level of sales and fan worship:
Stephenie Meyer, formerly a Glendale stay-at-home Mormon mom, is now a rock star of the highest teenage order. She has 25,190 friends on MySpace.com. Girls fly across the world to get her autograph. They sketch her, make rhinestone-studded Stephenie T-shirts and giggle, tremble and even cry when they meet her.
All of this is somewhat surprising considering that Meyer neither is dating Justin Timberlake nor is a Beyoncé Knowles incarnate. Meyer is a 33-year-old author. She has three young sons and a husband. She is shy. She also writes vampire love stories thicker than biology texts, addictive books her twitter-pated fans stay up all night to finish.
Hers are tales that suck you in, despite any objections to vampire love stories.
Her third and latest volume, the appropriately titled Eclipse, came out in August with a whopping initial print of 1 million copies and knocked Harry Potter off the top of USA Today’s best-seller list. Meyer is the next J.K. Rowling, buzz-churners say.
Boy, if the evangelicals hated Harry Potter and J. K. Rowling, what will they do when they face the popularity of vampire love stories written by a Mormon for teens and tweens?
Speaking of which…I just edited the Wikipedia article (about responses to Harry Potter) linked to in the previous paragraph to add a section on Latter-day Saint responses.
[UPDATED 01/07/09] Someone deleted that section from the Wikipedia article; I’ve reposted a short version of what I had before. Here’s my full original text (which included three citations, one after each clause in the second sentence; here I’ve put them in as links):
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) has expressed no official or unofficial reservations or cautions about the Harry Potter books — all of which are freely sold at the Brigham Young University campus bookstore. Most likely this is because the LDS Church leaders feel they have more important things to worry about , because LDS society places a strong emphasis on education and literacy, and because Church leaders trust that LDS children and adults will recognize these books as entertaining and thoughtful literature, and nothing more.
If someone who’s a more experienced Wikipedia editor than I would like to help restore this, please feel free. ..bruce..