I get asked about Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey more than any other books, including my own. Given that Fifty Shades started off as Twilight fan fiction (I kid you not), the two will always be linked. Unfortunately, it appears that with Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined, Stephanie Meyer is the one taking a leaf out of E.L. James’ book, who published her own reimaging, Grey, earlier this year.
Though I don’t begrudge anyone who loathes these works of “literature,” I don’t mind that they exist. Anything that gets people reading is fine by me. There’s no doubt that Twilight played a major role in the rise of young adult fiction. In a time where young people have more distractions than ever, it’s good to have books that they’re genuinely interested in reading.
The problem comes with the aftermath. Twilight was a tetralogy (a potentially confusing word to Twilight fans, also known as “Twihards”) and Fifty Shades was a trilogy. They’re finished. Done. Those series had a beginning, middle, and end. Now if you want to go and make more, fine. Hollywood does that all the time.
Was there really a need to reimagine Twilight with swapped gender roles? Granted, Meyer previously attempted a reimaging with Midnight Sun, an unpublished work that was going to retell the story through Edward’s point of view that was abandoned after the first part was leaked on the internet. It’s not like there’s absolutely nowhere to go with this story. Edward and Bella did have a kid.
Some people may point to money as the predominant reason. I’m not buying that. According to several sources, Meyers is worth $125 million. She doesn’t need the money.
Now, I don’t know her, but I’d be willing to bet that she misses the fame. Twilight is what she’s known for. Her only other book, The Host, was a hit, though the film adaptation didn’t do very well at the box office. There are apparently plans to do more Host books, but The Host isn’t Twilight and it never will be.
She wants people to talk about her. Mission accomplished. Problem is, the reaction isn’t really all that positive.
This is lazy. Meyer is lazy and what she is doing is bad for the industry. She is drowning out talented authors with this lazy, pathetic, crap. You could argue that everything she does is crap, and I won’t fight you, but she has a right to publish.
She has a right to do this as well, though it’s no different than if I were to not flush the toilet in my apartment after taking a dump when I had company over. I have a right to leave brown trout stewing in my own bathroom, but people aren’t going to like me if that’s the kind of respect I choose to show toward my peers.
People have asked me to do a version of Courting Mrs. McCarthy from Jackie’s point of view, which would sort of be the same thing. I get it. Even though she’s the title character, Mrs. McCarthy probably only appears in about a third of the text. I’m not going to do that. Why? It’s lazy. A sequel would continue the story. Who really wants to backtrack?
I hate that the publishing world seems to only get excited when books like Grey or Harper Lee’s highly controversial Go Set a Watchman surface. Why are we celebrating other people’s scraps when there’s so much out there? It’s sad.
Did I fuel the fire by writing this? Maybe, though I don’t imagine Stephanie Meyer would be too please to read this. If she likes it, maybe I’ll swap genders and write it again wearing lululemon leggings and a crop top.