Love Bites: The Unofficial Saga of Twilight

Love Bites: The Unofficial Saga of Twilight

by Liv Spencer


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With over 42 million copies sold and translations in close to forty languages, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels — Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn — have captured the hearts of a generation of readers. At the centre of the saga is the epic love story of Bella Swan and vampire Edward Cullen (not to mention werewolf Jacob Black), star-crossed lovers the likes of which haven’t been seen since Romeo and Juliet. The film adaptation of this beloved supernatural romance was a huge success, and as the ravenous Twilight fans embraced the movies, relative-newcomers Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart transformed into international superstars. Hitting bookstores when Eclipse hits theatres, Love Bites: The Unofficial Saga of Twilight features: • the story of Stephenie Meyer and her publishing sensation • a guide to each novel outlining the symbolism and literary allusions • bios of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, and the rest of the Twilight Saga cast • the “making of” the Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse films • fascinating tales of other famous vampires and werewolves • a chapter dedicated to the “Twihards,” the Twilight fans who have made the books and movies such an unprecedented success Love Bites: The Unofficial Saga of Twilight is a full-colour tribute to all the pieces of the Twilight phenomenon.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781550229301
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication date: 04/29/2010
Pages: 203
Product dimensions: 8.08(w) x 10.02(h) x 0.47(d)
Lexile: 1220L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 15 Years

About the Author

Liv Spencer is the author of "The Miranda Cosgrove and iCarly Spectacular!" and "Taylor Swift: The Unofficial Story." She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Read an Excerpt

Love Bites

The Unofficial Saga of Twilight

By Liv Spencer


Copyright © 2010 ECW Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-77090-166-7


Stephenie Meyer Storyteller

Stephenie Meyer may think the "fame thing" is "weird," but as the creator of the Twilight Saga and fictional superstars Bella, Edward, and Jacob, Meyer is something of a rock star herself. In August 2008, to launch Breaking Dawn, Meyer added a rock-concert element to her book tour, going on the road with Justin Furstenfeld, frontman of one of her favorite bands, Blue October. On each stop, Meyer took to the stage to answer questions from fans and, as the LA Times reported, "ear-piercing screams from the crowd punctuat[ed] the night — seriously, after every sentence, throughout the whole show" it was "as if Meyer was a Jonas Brother."

Who is the woman behind the story that has captivated a passionate, obsessed generation of vampire- and werewolf-lovers? Time describes Meyer as "smart, funny, and cheery." She comes across as calm and thoughtful in interviews, and, with her long dark hair falling softly around her face, her appearance is sunny. She explains, "The Goth thing is really not me," and freely admits, that despite having penned a hugely successful supernatural book series, "I'm not really an expert on the subject of vampires. I haven't read many vampire novels — maybe one, but I don't remember its title, and I don't think I have ever seen a vampire movie."

The premise for Twilight came to Stephenie in a dream — a dream her millions of fans are grateful she remembered. She explains, "In my dream ... I can see a young woman in the embrace of a very handsome young man, in a beautiful meadow surrounded by forest, and somehow I know that he is a vampire. In the dream there is a powerful attraction between the two. When I started to write this, I had no idea where it was going; I had no idea at all in the beginning that I was writing a book. I started writing out the scene from my dream [which eventually became chapter 13], and when I got done I was so interested in the characters that I wanted to see what would happen to them next. And so, I just wrote and let whatever happened happen." The thought never occurred to her that what she was working on would eventually be published. "It was just for me, for fun, and I never felt any self-imposed pressure."

At the time, Meyer was 29 years old, and on a typical day had "a million things to do" as she took care of raising her three young sons, Gabe, Seth, and Eli. Her creative pursuits were mostly limited to scrapbooking and making elaborate Halloween costumes. But the morning after her dream she "stayed in bed, thinking about the dream. Unwilling, I eventually got up and did the immediate necessities, and then put everything that I possibly could on the back burner and sat down at the computer to write — something I hadn't done in so long that I wondered why I was bothering."

Reading had always been a favorite escape for Meyer, and even in her early years she delighted in literature through books and scholarly activity. She was born on Christmas Eve in 1973 in Hartford, Connecticut, to Stephen and Candy Morgan. The unusual spelling of her name came when her parents added an "ie" to her dad's name, Stephen. Stephenie says that her status as a Christmas baby has "always given me a bad attitude to birthdays in general." (An attitude she passed on to Bella.)

Stephenie's dad was a CFO for a contracting company, and the family transplanted to Arizona when Stephenie was four. Like Bella, she is fan of the temperate Arizona climate, and considers "temperatures under 75 degrees frigid." The second of six children, she is very close to her family. "I think that coming from such a large family has given me a lot of insight into different personality types — my siblings sometimes crop up as characters in my stories." In fact, she borrowed the names of all of her siblings for characters in the Saga: Emily, Heidi, Paul, Seth, and Jacob.

Stephenie attended Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. She was a very shy student who carried on inner dialogues with herself, which probably contributed to her ability to create rich fictional characters. A national merit scholar, she used her award money to help pay for her college education. She attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah (pictured below), where she majored in English.

Around the time that Stephenie's family moved to Arizona, she met Christian "Pancho" Meyer for the first time. While they knew each other as children from church activities — both are Mormon — they didn't really connect until Stephenie was a college student. Pancho was home in Phoenix after completing a mission trip, and Stephenie was visiting her parents on a college break. The two were married nine months later when Stephenie was 21 years old.

Pancho and Stephenie have been married for well over a decade. Since her writing success, Pancho has stopped working as an accountant and is a stay-at-home dad. She admits that her husband and children "all are slightly bewildered with my sudden career shift from mommy to writer." They live just outside Phoenix, in a large and modern house in Cave Creek. Overzealous fans have managed to track Stephenie down at home — but the Meyer family isn't interested in moving. Stephenie says that phone numbers are easy to change, and she loves her house and how nearby her parents and one of her brothers live.

Meyer is often asked what parts of her personal history she draws from to create her emotional stories, particularly the torturous breakup that Bella suffers in New Moon. "I have never suffered a heartbreak like Bella's. Nothing close. The few times I had my heart stepped on, I was not devastated, nor was I melodramatic. Life went on, and I went with it. I was very practical about my rejections, and I was well aware that it was never true love that I was losing. So where does Bella's pain come from? It comes from her. Even if I had experienced the loss of a true love, I know that my reaction would not have been like Bella's. She is a much less cynical person, much more open — to both pain and joy." Meyer often talks about the free will of her characters, how even she doesn't always know what to expect of them: "When writing New Moon, at first I didn't know how [Bella] would respond to having her true love taken from her. I was honestly surprised by the way she chose to cope with it."

And has there ever been an Edward in Meyer's life? "No, no, I wish. I've had very typical, normal, human relationships my whole life." She says that her husband thinks that all of the hot male characters in her books are based on him but that he's wrong — if her husband were like Edward, she wouldn't have needed to create Edward in the first place! Still, Pancho does not feel threatened by the fictional characters that inhabit his wife's universe. Meyer says that the character of Carlisle Cullen is much like her own father: they share a strong sense of integrity, and her dad doesn't compromise on his standards. Curiously, her mother-in-law Victoria shares a name with one of the most determined killers in the series!

Meyer had no expectations for her books, and is still overwhelmed by their staggering success. She enthusiastically reports, "I keep getting surprised. When Twilight hit the New York Times bestseller list at number five, for me that was the pinnacle, that was the moment. I never thought I would be there. And I keep having moments like that where you just stop and say, 'Wait a minute — how is this still going up?' I'm waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me. I have from day one because I'm kind of a pessimist. But it just keeps being huge." She adds, "I think that after 30 years of being the most normal person in the whole world, it's really hard to become ungrounded. When I'm not out on tour or doing photo shoots, I tend to just forget about it all."

Reading and writing are two pursuits Stephenie closely connects, and holds dear. "A lifelong reader, I didn't start writing until I was 29, but once I began typing I've never been able to stop." Stephenie elaborates, "You live a thousand lives when you read a thousand books." Her favorite books, like Pride and Prejudice, the Anne of Green Gables series, along with works by Shakespeare, heavily influence her own work. She is a strong advocate for independent bookstores, and posts book recommendations on She also loves C.S. Lewis, Orson Scott Card, and Louisa May Alcott. She encourages her readers to read more, and to ask for advice on what to read from booksellers and librarians: "Ask for guidance, and they will fill your arms with awesomeness!"

Stephenie's work is also influenced by popular and indie music, and she creates playlists to let readers know what she was listening to as she wrote each book. "I listen to music always when I write," she told Rolling Stone. "When I hear music on the radio, I'm like, 'Oh! That's a song for this character' or 'This one would so fit that character in this mood!'" One of her favorite bands is Muse — she even dedicated Breaking Dawn to them for inspiring her while she was writing. "I spend a lot of time with my characters outside of the book — just letting them live outside the story. When I am in the car, for example, I am often listening to music with my characters in mind."

If she could have a special vampire power, Meyer says: "I think I would just be happy with not having to sleep and not aging. That would be kind of cool." Because her life is so busy, Stephenie does most of her writing at night "often at the sacrifice of sleep" and agrees that her writing habits do fit in well with the vampire theme! She is very open about her process: "Writing done during the day is more likely to be editing rather than the creative kind of effort — it's kind of hard to get into a story when every five seconds you have to get somebody juice or an apple, so anything accomplished during the day was usually rereading and revising." Plus, she adds, "I can't close doors and write. Even if the kids are asleep, I know that I could hear them if I needed. I feel better if I'm kind of in the center of things and I know what's going on."

And for Stephenie, writing is never really finished. "Even today, if I turned to any page in the story, I could probably find at least five words I would want to change, so you never really finish; you just find a good place in the process to quit." Stephenie credits her sister Emily for being her greatest support. "While I was writing, no one except my big sister, Emily, knew that I was actually writing what would eventually turn into a book. She is still my biggest fan and loves everything I write. She read each chapter as I finished it, and she was the one who encouraged me to attempt to get the story published. She is my biggest cheerleader, and I am very grateful to her."

Stephenie can't help but read fan websites and message boards, and she loves interacting with the people who love her books. She is gratified by all of her fan mail but acknowledges: "It's a huge source of guilt. If I could stop time I would sit down and write everyone a three-page letter. There's just no physical way for me to do that, so I feel awful. It's great that people are that excited, but it's hard that I can't respond." But know that Stephenie takes her readers' comments to heart. "Sometimes the feedback is helpful," she says. "I want to be a better writer ... I read these other authors and I think, 'Now, that's a good writer. I'm never going to reach that level.' But I'm going to be a good storyteller, and what a thing to be!"

She has spent countless hours responding to fan questions — about everything from vampire logistics to the future of Edward, Bella, and Jacob — on her website, on fan forums, and in interviews. She is realistic about the value of her posts and responses to her fans: "People are going to pick apart every line I write for inconsistencies, which of course will exist, because I am not infallible. Sigh."

Stephenie decided to publish Twilight because she loved her characters, and she thought that they deserved to be known. She wanted other people to love the story she dreamed into existence as much as she did. She also believes that writing is what she's meant to be doing with her life. "Writing is now my best escape," she relates. "For me, it's more fulfilling and takes me farther away from the real world than reading does." Along with the Twilight Saga, she has also authored a bestselling science fiction novel, The Host. And while she thinks there are definitely more books in her future, she's not yet sure what shape they might take. "People write for different reasons. I have always written to make myself happy. If I'm enjoying a story, feeling the creativity flow, engrossed in a world, then I write and I write fast. If I'm not into it, I can't write. I've never been someone who writes on demand and I can't imagine working that way."

When USA Today compared her to J.K. Rowling, whose Harry Potter series similarly took the entertainment world by storm, Meyer said, "There will never be another J.K. Rowling. That's a lot of pressure on me, isn't it?" But she is quick to add, in her characteristically self-assured manner, "I'm just happy being Stephenie Meyer. That's cool enough for me."

She doesn't know why exactly her writing has attracted so much attention: "All I can guess is that when I write, I forget that it's not real. I'm living the story, and I think people can read that sincerity about the characters. They are real to me while I'm writing them, and I think that makes them real to the readers as well." And ultimately, to Stephenie, "Putting words down is where the magic is."


The Dream Comes True

On June 2, 2003, Stephenie Meyer woke up from a dream about a heartbreakingly beautiful boy and a girl in a meadow. The first seed of the epic love story of Edward and Bella was put to paper and the Twilight Saga was born. From a dream to an international phenomenon all within the brief span of four years — how did it all happen?

Meyer says that the story poured out of her. "It gushed. On a good day I would write 10 or 12 pages, single-spaced. That's a good chapter and then some. So it was coming very fast. And then there were other parts that were slower, but it pretty much flowed. I began [Twilight] June 2, 2003, and I finished by the end of August."

On a lark, and encouraged by her sister Emily, Meyer got up the nerve to send Twilight out to a few literary agents. She went to the Writer's Market website to look for agents who might be interested in her manuscript, which was simply called "Forks" at the time. After seven or eight rejections, one of the most prestigious literary agents in the U.S., Jodi Reamer of Writers House in New York, took on Stephenie as a client.

Stephenie still wasn't sure exactly what kind of book she'd written. "I had a hard time deciding what genre it was exactly, and also for what audience it was written — I really didn't have predetermined ideas about these things, and I don't think it fits exclusively into only certain categories. I actually sent the manuscript out to agents of both adult fiction and young adult fiction. It just so happened that the first agent to invite me into a working agreement was an agent of young adult literature. I was writing it for my 29-year-old self, and I have a sort of fan club of 30-something friends who love the book, so I would say that it is probably appropriate for adults and teen readers, but not too young."

Megan Tingley of the children's division of Little, Brown knew that she had something special in her hands when Reamer, Meyer's agent, presented her with the manuscript. She knew that teenagers were interested in supernatural stories and she was drawn to the romance in Meyer's book. Little, Brown initially offered Meyer $300,000 for a three-book deal. Reamer countered, asking for $1 million, and they eventually settled on an advance of $750,000! A massive sum like that is pretty much unheard of in the book world, especially for a first-time author. "I'd been hoping for $10,000 to pay off my minivan," says Meyer.

Little, Brown's gamble paid off — the books were a massive hit. Twilight, released in 2005 with an initial print run of 75,000 copies, was one of the most talked-about novels of the year and extraordinarily popular with its young adult audience. It debuted at number five on the New York Times bestseller list. The book received countless awards and accolades, including being an "Best Book of the Decade ... So Far."

By September 2006, the sequel, New Moon, was highly anticipated, and fans crowded bookstores for its release. New Moon topped the New York Times bestseller list for more than 25 weeks, selling out its initial run of 100,000. The third book, Eclipse, launched on August 7, 2007, with a series of midnight parties across North America. The initial print run was one million, and the book sold 150,000 copies in the first 24 hours alone.

Anticipation was at a fever pitch by August 2, 2008, Breaking Dawn's release date. Little, Brown printed 3.7 million copies for the U.S. alone, and sold 1.3 million in the first 24 hours. "I kept saying that there will never be another book in my career like Harry Potter 7," said Borders' director of children's merchandising, Diane Mangan. "Who would have thought a year later we'd be talking like this again?"

Meyer's Twilight Saga continues to dominate bestseller lists across the globe. In a Vogue profile, Meyer was described as "cruising, driving in a fast lane that few authors ever make it to. Meyer has sold a gazillion copies (actual number, 28 million [in English]), so that it sometimes seems as if the interiors of Barnes & Noble are built not with bricks and mortar but with the phone-book-thick volumes of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and, of course, Breaking Dawn."


Excerpted from Love Bites by Liv Spencer. Copyright © 2010 ECW Press. Excerpted by permission of ECW PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Love Bites: The Unofficial Saga of Twilight 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Respond on the reveiw is this a good book
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Well i am team jacob sorry eward fans man he soooooooo cute with out no shirt he is also in grownups two
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone who says otherwise is dead to me
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Ikinda need some one to tell me what this book is about, like today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I love twilgh team edwad all me freindas are tooooo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TEAM JACOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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TEAM EDWARD!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Team edwardddddddd
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TEAM JACOB BLACK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TEAM EDWARD Ten year-old, Kylee
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Team Jacooooooooobbbbbbbbb :D