Ten years ago, Stephenie Meyer published “Twilight,” the first of a four-part saga following Bella Swan in her adventures with vampires, werewolves, and — above all — true love.
Just three years after the first novel was released, a leaked manuscript called “Midnight Sun” found its way online. In the unfinished work, Meyer had rewritten the first book from the point of view of Edward instead of Bella.
“Midnight Sun” may have been a hit with fans, but Meyer was deeply upset by the leak of what she called a “messy and flawed” draft.
In response to the leak, she publicly posted the 12 unfinished chapters, but warned fans that it would likely remain incomplete. “I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on ‘Midnight Sun,'” Meyer said in a 2008 blog post, “and so it is on hold indefinitely.”
And so this remained the case, until recently.
In October 2015, Meyer published a different re-telling of “Twilight.” Instead of swapping perspectives, Meyer changed the genders of Bella and Edward, making them Beau and Edythe. Titled “Life and Death,” the book was inspired by Meyer’s desire to celebrate the saga’s tenth anniversary.
But the first question on disappointed fans’ minds was simply: “Why isn’t this ‘Midnight Sun’?”
During a 2015 New York Comic Con panel, Meyer spoke out about the unfinished business of “Midnight Sun.”
“I have a feeling ‘Midnight Sun’ is somewhat cursed,” the author said.
She explained how unhappy she had felt about the work after the leak, and how her plan was to just shelve it entirely. But then the opportunity arose to write “Life and Death,” where she felt she had the chance to “fix everything that bothered her” about the original story.
Only after completing “Life and Death” did Meyer feel comfortable revisiting “Midnight Sun.” Meyer said after she “started back into it, it felt really good.”
The crowd at Comic Con cheered loudly when Meyer said she had recently written two more paragraphs.
But Meyer cut into the celebration: “So what do you think was the top story on Yahoo the next morning? ‘Grey.'”
The audience groaned.
“Grey” is a spinoff from author E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” series. The popular erotic series actually started as “Twilight” fan fiction and was written from the point-of-view of Anastasia, a female protagonist based on Meyer’s character Bella.
The spinoff, “Grey,” is a retelling of the first book from the perspective of Christian (the equivalent of Edward in “Twilight”). In other words, the same idea as “Midnight Sun.”
“It was a literal flip the table moment for me,” Meyer said.
That was the final straw. Meyer is more definitive than ever about leaving “Midnight Sun” unfinished, and fans have “Fifty Shades of Grey” to thank.
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