August 04, 2020

Stephenie Meyer

The ordinary magic of reading
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Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight Saga and Midnight Sun, offers BookPage readers glimpses into a life of loving books.

Midnight Sun is the Twilight story narrated through Edward Cullen’s perspective. What book would you like to read from a different character’s perspective?
Right now I want Jennifer and Mitch’s love story from Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments. We get pieces of it, but I want their whole lives.

Did you have a favorite library or bookstore as a child?
My first library was a tiny place in Phoenix, Arizona, that no longer exists. My favorite book to get again and again was The Lonely Doll by Dare Wright. The city built a bigger library when I was 9, and it was my favorite place in the world. That was where I first got my hands on books by L.M. Montgomery, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Paula Danziger and so many more. My mom took me and my siblings there every two weeks; I was the one who had to be dragged out. I would check out the maximum number of books allowed and read them twice. If I could have lived in that library, I would have.

As a teen, did you ever feel a strong connection to a fictional character?
Jo March was my idol. I wanted to be brave and buck convention and follow my own path, like she did. Anne Shirley had so much imagination and sweetness. I wanted to see the best in the world, too, and make magic out of ordinary things. Jane Eyre was another hero; she had an iron will and an unshakable commitment to choosing the right. I didn’t respond to her love story so much as to her self-discipline. I wished I could be that strong.

In addition to your work as an author, you also produced the film adaptation of Shannon Hale’s Austenland. Who do you think is the most underrated of Jane Austen’s heroines?
Fanny Price. For many, she is too much of a doormat, a weakling. But to me, she seems so real and understandable. After years of being told she was less than, it seems natural that she would be quiet and self-effacing. Not everyone can be brave all the time, and bravery can mean different things besides standing up to your abusers. It can mean enduring, surviving. It can mean holding on to your principles under pressure, even when you’ve been conditioned to give in.

What books or authors have you enjoyed lately?
I recently binged my way—twice—through the Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells, which was just pure enjoyment. Everyone should check out Laini Taylor, Leigh Bardugo and Holly Black. I read a ton of Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances recently. I don’t know how I’d missed them until now. The next thing on my to-read list is Deathless Divide, the sequel to Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation, which I loved.

Author photo by Jake Abel.

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Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun

By Jo Nesbo
ISBN 9780385354202

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