A USA Today story reports that Stephanie Meyer of the Twilight series is now “dominating” the paper’s bestseller list. These books of the undead, and the movie franchise they’ve spawned, are lively enough to have earned her publisher Little, Brown $40 million already. So the author has her own $4 million in royalties to bank.
By most accounts, though, the writing is weak. Especially compared to the Harry Potter series, which USA Today was quick to compare to Twilight. Bestselling seems to be the only point in common. A reading teacher reports as much in the comments on the USA Today site.
I’m a Reading teacher, its my job! And I must say JK Rowling’s books are far superior in writing, character development, plot, and readability, just to name a few things. Meyer is good, but Rowling is great! I put Breaking Dawn down utterly disappointed, compared to the tears of joy and sorrow that were gushing from my eyes when I put The Deathly Hollows down. Meyer may break records, but overall Rowling is Queen.
Does Stephanie love it, and live the creating like Rowling did? Her publicist reports that she’s taking a break from the romance of vampire passion.
When Meyer might publish a new novel isn’t known, says Megan Tingley of Hachette’s Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She’s “enjoying the writing process without a deadline or targeted publication date.
What writer wouldn’t enjoy that kind of writing life? Wealthy beyond her dreams, with only millions of Potter fans and the reading teachers of the world to sniff at her work. As for the publisher, they want the books as fast they can get them, to piggyback on the publicity. As the article points out, Stephanie has tapped the motherlode of young female readers with Twilight, Edward and vampire fantasy. If you desire good and popular writing all at once, working for the first might be a better place to start to get to the second. Unless you’re plugged in to the fantasies of YA-reading women. They buy a lot of books.
I’m reminded of the line from Citizen Kane, when his business manager Bernstein is interviewed. “Making a lot of of money isn’t difficult, if all you want to do it make a lot of money.” I’d be wary of starting a vampire novel just about now, though. When every publisher wanted the next DaVinci Code when it was soaring, imagine how many candidate queries poured in trying to be just like the Flavor of the Last Three Months. The time of just-average writing of vampire teen romances is gone by now.