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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By MONICA HESSE, Washington Post
Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight series and The Host, was in Washington for approximately 19 hours two weeks ago promoting The Host film, which will premiere next month. A collection of scenes, observations and stray meditations marking the occasion:
What must it feel like to be Stephenie Meyer?
Today, people have driven multi-hour radii — Buffalo, Richmond — to be in her presence. They arrive at 8:45 p.m. the night before the Thursday book signing, and they sleep in pastel comforters outside the Politics & Prose bookstore to ensure admission. What must it feel like to be on the sponge end of that much devotion? How many pounds of worship can one human body withstand before collapsing under the fervent, pawing weight?
Does it feel like an endless stream of sitting?
Is that what it feels like to be her? She sits for a sneak-preview screening of The Host at a Georgetown theater and the next morning she sits in a Ritz-Carlton hotel room undergoing a steady drip of journalists, and then she sits at the book signing at Politics & Prose, where attendees are limited to two autographs at a time, but then loop through the line again and again and again.
“It’s always interesting, the relationship between reader and writer,” she says at the hotel. “I spend a year working on a novel and another year editing it. They spend one day reading it, and they’re ready for more.”
At some point in the past five years, her hair got really good.
Stunningly, shinily good. What is in her conditioner? Avocado? Also her skin. Up close and personal, it looks like the texture of semigloss paint.
This new movie, The Host. Is it good?
It’s about a woman named Melanie, one of the last “wild humans” in a future society in which most people’s bodies have been taken over by an alien species. When Melanie also succumbs, she must fight for control over her own person and future. It’s beautifully filmed, and infinitely more adult and more complex than any of the Twilight stories.
At the screening, people want to talk about the Twilight stories.
Is she ever going to finish Midnight Sun, the Twilight companion novel that she abandoned after it was accidentally leaked to the public in 2008? Everrrr?
Her fans are so pure.
When she walks in a room, the fans go “Eeee!” or “Squeee!” or “Bleeee!” They burst into tears and explain their obsessive love for Twilight.
“I do a lot of deep breathing,” Meyer says. This is how she adjusts to the decibel level of a public appearance. She’s grown more used to it now. The public appearances used to make her nervous. She used to pep-talk herself: “I am going to live through this. Nobody is going to kill you today.”
Does she realize how polarizing she is?
Does she realize that her fans’ love for her work is equally balanced out by — “This passionate hatred that it spawns?” she suggests, in her hotel room. She laughs.
Stephenie Meyer: “I don’t really consider myself much of a writer.
I consider myself a storyteller. . . . I can definitely agree with the critics, because I see all the flaws” in the stories. She wakes up in the middle of the night, agonizing over the word choices that are too late to change. To her critics, “I just want to say, trust me, guys. I know.”
Nobody ever assumes that Stephenie Meyer knows. There’s a viciousness when her work is discussed in literary circles. A dismissive sneer, as though her books cannot be taken seriously simply because people enjoy reading them too much.