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Mother Vampire Hasn’t Aged: Stephenie Meyer’s Birthday

Twilight Saga’s, Stephenie Meyer, is overcoming another milestone! On Christmas Eve Day, Meyer’s will be 46.

Born in 1973, Meyer’s (formerly known as Morgan) was the second of six children to Stephen and Candy Morgan in Hartford, Connecticut. Within the first few years of her life, Meyer’s and her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona. She wasn’t feeling as though she belonged in Arizona as if she were an alien in a strange land.

Image Via Teamwork

Despite the growing population of privileged, Meyer was able to graduate from high school in 1992. With her high marks, she was able to attend Brigham Young University with award money she received from the National Merit Scholarship majoring in English Literature.

At 21 years old, she married her childhood friend Christian Meyer. Within a year of their marriage and a degree in hand, Meyer’s had her first child.

Image Via New on Netflix: News

 

By 2003, Meyer’s aspired to become an author. It became apparent in her dreams, where she dreamt of a human girl and a vampire who was in love with her but desired to taste her blood. This dream may sound familiar to you, as it caused Meyer to write her 13th chapter of Twilight.

Within two years, Meyer’s published Twilight and consecutively published each book of the series every year after. The Twilight series rose to fame in 2005, winning the best seller. This caused the adaptation of the Twilight series into movies that still run today.

Currently, Meyer is working on her blog, ‘Stephenie Meyer’, with her producing partner Meghan Hibbett. She created this space to revisit the world of Twilight, news and updates, films, along with her other books, The Host and The Chemist.

Can’t wait to see what else Meyer has up her sleeve.

 

 

Feature Image Via Writers Write

 


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Author Fight Club: Stephenie Meyer VS Anne Rice

Two bestselling authors in the supernatural genre, who brought Vampires into the limelight with unique and original stories. One wrote of Vampires filled with tales sadness and grief, and the other wrote of Vampires who sparkled and loved.

Ignoring the broader themes of Chuck Palahniuk’s seminal work, Fight Club, we’re going to do what we do best and have two people fight each other.

Since we can’t talk about Fight Club (see rules one and two), we’re going to write about it. Specifically, we’re going to have two writers fight each other. Three rounds will determine their strength as we go through their power of description, their distinctive style, and their impact on the world at large.

 

Light your candles, for this will be a battle that the creatures of the night will surely love to sink their teeth into. Today we have Stephenie Meyer versus Anne Rice.

 

 

1-Impact and Influence

 

Image via wikipedia

 

Let’s start with the very popular and well-known Stephenie Meyer.

Touted as the world’s most popular vampire novelist since Anne Rice, there isn’t a soul who hasn’t heard about Stephenie Meyer, or at least know about her hunky Vampires and Werewolves. For years all people were talking about was if they were Team Edward or Team Jacob, even if it was just in mocking.

 

As far as critics go, there is good and bad, but more than that there is a lot of controversy around the relationship between the main characters Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Gizmodo wrote an article that sheds a light on the abusive nature of Bella and Edward’s relationship and how it meets all fifteen criteria set by the National Domestic Violence Hotline for being in an abusive relationship.

 

In spite of the controversies, there are still many who think otherwise, Meyer herself has dismissed these criticisms. While concerns of abusive relationships, which is only one example of the controversy with the Twilight novels, is very serious, it can, sadly, still be up for debate as to what a healthy relationship looks like.

The same thing goes for Feminism, another controversial issue with the Twilight books. It is a controversial issue in itself.

But all skepticism aside, Meyer’s Vampire novels were a booming success.

 

Image result for the muppet saga

Image via Pinterest

 

With her work tied so closely to pop culture, Stephenie Meyer’s characters have been referenced several times throughout entertainment. Aside from the Twilight parodies and references throughout popular media, Stephenie Meyer’s stories also blew up the Vampire genre into mainstream pop culture, which at least count for something.

The Simpsons had a Twilight parody of their own back in 2010, where Lisa was swept off her feet by the mysterious and, of course, devilishly attractive Vampire named Edmund. As the kids would say, “Still a better love story than Twilight.”

 

Fun fact, Daniel Radcliffe did the voice of the Vampire Edmund

 

All in all, Meyer made Vampire’s entertaining, and it brought her a great deal of fame.

 

 

Meyer’s work brought her a flourishing career with a tremendous amount of recognition. Meyer was named one of MSN Lifestyle’s “Most Influential Women of 2008” where she was described as a “literary luminary”. She earned other titles similar to this, such as Vanity Fair’s list of the “Top 100 Information Age Powers” of 2009.

Even author Jodi Picoult praises Meyer and is grateful that she has “gotten people hooked on books, [which is] good for all of us.”

Of course, there are others who don’t think as highly of the Twilight author, criticizing her writing, but we’ll do some criticism of our own later on.

 

Image via WWD

 

Now onto the prestigious Anne Rice.

 

Most known as the author who wrote the famous Vampire novel Interview With A Vampire, as well as its sequels, the Vampire Chronicles, Rice is a bestseller author, with iconic characters and influential themes, but in spite of that she is really not that well known. Her story and characters from Interview With A Vampire are by far more famous than she is. However, for those that do know her, she is a great writer with impactful stories.

Her Vampire Chronicles novels can stand for something. More on this later in the “style” section, but Rice has admitted that she was inspired by the vampires from Gloria Holden’s characters in Dracula’s Daughter, filled with raw emotions and sensitivities, which resonated with many groups of people.

 

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Image via aliexpress

 

Rice’s Vampire Chronicle series has received praise from an incredibly diverse groups of people.

Gay readers see in the vampires’ lonely, secretive search for others of their kind a metaphor for the homosexual experience. Feminists praise her strong sense of family. Experts on Christian liturgy admire Rice’s knowledge of theology, particularly her use of the eucharist as an image.

The New York Times, 1990

 

On top of resonating with so many different communities, Rice’s novels have also made a huge impact on the vampire genre by flipping the book’s perspective from the victim to the Vampire. No longer did Vampire novels have to be about the poor, helpless human having their life turned upside-down, but, thanks to Anne Rice, Vampire novels can actually be about the Vampires—the struggles and pain of being a creature of darkness.

 

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Image via Telegraph

 

The boy recoiled, sweat running down the sides of his face. The vampire clamped a hand on the boy’s shoulder and said, ” Believe me, I won’t hurt you. I want this opportunity. It’s more important to me than you can realize now.

Interview With A Vampire, Ch 1

 

 

In spite of all this positive feedback from critics, and general readers as well, there is also the controversy of Anne Rice’s reaction to fanfiction.

 

I do not allow fan fiction. The characters are copyrighted. It upsets me terribly to even think about fan fiction with my characters. I advise my readers to write your own original stories with your own characters. It is absolutely essential that you respect my wishes.

 

Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well Rice took it too far with fans by not only taking legal means to ensure that every piece of fanfiction would be taken down, but even targeted fanfiction writers, harassing them, striking fear into anyone who would even consider writing fiction about Rice’s work. There is an entire webpage warning writers against creating Anne Rice fiction, and advising them on exactly what to do if it’s already been written.

 

Head, Meme, and Run: put your head between your knees and kiss your bum goodbye In the event of an emergency | Chicken Run | Know Your Meme

 

Kotaku reported on this subject of legal lawsuits and fanfiction, sharing one fanfiction writer’s terrifying experience after sharing their Anne Rice fanfiction.

 

The attacks [from Anne Rice’s lawyers] consisted of, amongst other things, e-mailed threats regarding not only the writing of fanfiction but any writing that any fanfic author attempted to engage in (regardless of who owned the copyright), attacks on businesses that the fanfic authors owned and weeks of harassing personal letters sent to fanfic author’s e-mail addresses and guestbooks…The threat of personal harassment is very real. Anne Rice does not want you writing fanfiction and she has the money to make you stop.

 

On top of that, she has built a reputation for not taking criticism well at all. In an article from The New York Times, Rice commented on many of the repeating comments claiming she needs an editor.

 

I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself,” she wrote. “I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me.

 

 

So on one hand, we have the incredibly well-known and revered Stephenie Meyer, who made reading popular with her sparkling Vampires and jacked up Werewolves (admit it, you swooned at least a little), versus the highly regarded, but generally unknown Anne Rice, who did bring the Vampire genre out of the dark, but pushed her fans over the edge.

 

While Rice has made such huge impacts toward her craft, because she is rather unknown outside of hardcore booknerds, and she has such a horrible reputation with those that are, or at least were, her fans, those accomplishments don’t shine as well as they could have. Whereas Stephenie Meyer has a fantastic reputation and has almost become a household name, so to speak. Maybe Meyer’s writing has been criticized by some readers and critics, more people seem to approve of her as an author in addition to the Twilight series.

 

It’s a very close call, but Rice’s name is just not as big or as admired.

Meyer wins this first round!

 

Meyer=1

Rice=0

 

 

2-Power of Description

Image result for vampires

Image via the vintage news

 

Who’s writing really pulled us into the scene and placed the Vampire(s) and other supernatural creatures and phenomena right before our very eyes?

 

Since Meyer won the last round, let’s have Rice go first again.

 

 

Here’s Anne Rice’s first description of one of her Vampires, Louis, as the reporter, known as the Boy, prepares for their interview.

 

The vampire was utterly white and smooth, as if he were sculpted from bleached bone, and his face was as seemingly inanimate as a statue, except for two brilliant green eyes that looked down at the boy intently like flames in a skull. But then the vampire smiled almost wistfully, and the smooth white substance of his face moved with the infinitely flexible but minimal lines of a cartoon. ” Do you see? ” he asked softly. The boy shuddered, lifting his hand as if to shield himself from a powerful light. His eyes moved slowly over the finely tailored black coat he’d only glimpsed in the bar, the long folds of the cape, the black silk tie knotted at the throat, and the gleam of the white collar that was as white as the vampire’s flesh. He stared at the vampire’s full black hair, the waves that were combed back over the tips of the ears, the curls that barely touched the edge of the white collar. ” Now, do you still want the interview? ” the vampire asked. The boy’s mouth was open before the sound came out. He was nodding. Then he said, ” Yes. ” The vampire sat down slowly opposite him and, leaning forward, said gently, confidentially, ” Don’t be afraid. Just start the tape. ”

Interview With A Vampire, Ch 1

 

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Image via Vamped

 

Here we can fully see and feel the intensity of this supernatural character, the feeling of fear felt by the interviewer, and also the realization that there is more to a Vampire than what’s skin-deep. With a great deal of Rice’s explanation, she not only is letting us see what is happening on the surface, but also is painting a picture of what is being felt by the character’s themselves.

 

Here is Rice’s use of description when exploring the backstory of her vampire.

 

I remember the imported furniture that cluttered the house. ” The vampire smiled. ” And the harpsichord; that was lovely. My sister used to play it. On summer evenings, she would sit at the keys with her back to the open French windows. And I can still remember that thin, rapid music and the vision of the swamp rising beyond her, the moss-hung cypresses floating against the sky. And there were the sounds of the swamp, a chorus of creatures, the cry of the birds. I think we loved it. It made the rosewood furniture all the more precious, the music more delicate and desirable. Even when the wisteria tore the shutters oft the attic windows and worked its tendrils right into the whitewashed brick in less than a year . . . . Yes, we loved it. All except my brother. I don’t think I ever heard him complain of anything, but I knew how he felt. My father was dead then, and I was head of the family and I had to defend him constantly from my mother and sister.

 

With this, you have our Vampire’s history all laid out in a raw and expressive way. Louis isn’t just telling his past, he’s sharing how much it meant to him and also the minor details of his family dynamic. Not to mention when he talks about the swamp, you can really see and hear it all.

 

 

Now here’s Meyer’s first description of her Vampires.

 

They didn’t look anything alike. Of the three boys, one was big — muscled like a serious weight lifter, with dark, curly hair. Another was taller, leaner, but still muscular, and honey blond. The last was lanky, less bulky, with untidy, bronze-colored hair. He was more boyish than the others, who looked like they could be in college, or even teachers here rather than students.

The girls were opposites. The tall one was statuesque. She had a beautiful figure, the kind you saw on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, the kind that made every girl around her take a hit on her self-esteem just by being in the same room. Her hair was golden, gently waving to the middle of her back. The short girl was pixielike, thin in the extreme, with small features. Her hair was a deep black, cropped short and pointing in every direction.

And yet, they were all exactly alike. Every one of them was chalky pale, the palest of all the students living in this sunless town. Paler than me, the albino. They all had very dark eyes despite the range in hair tones. They also had dark shadows under those eyes — purplish, bruise like shadows. As if they were all suffering from a sleepless night, or almost done recovering from a broken nose. Though their noses, all their features, were straight, perfect, angular.

-Twilight, Ch 1

Considering there are a number of characters, let’s give Meyer’s a little pass on the over-explanation. The most important thing is that we gain a sense of what these characters look like. On top of that, there is a lingering mystery on who these people are and why they appear the way they do.
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Image via Hollywood

 

Outside of hottie Vampire teens, there are other parts to Meyer’s story that need a good description to bring it to life. Since Bella is moving in with her estranged father in the beginning of the book, let’s take a look at her first experiences in her new home.

 

Breakfast with Charlie was a quiet event. He wished me good luck at school. I thanked him, knowing his hope was wasted. Good luck tended to avoid me. Charlie left first, off to the police station that was his wife and family. After he left, I sat at the old square oak table in one of the three unmatching chairs and examined his small kitchen, with its dark paneled walls, bright yellow cabinets, and white linoleum floor. Nothing was changed. My mother had painted the cabinets eighteen years ago in an attempt to bring some sunshine into the house. Over the small fireplace in the adjoining handkerchief-sized family room was a row of pictures. First a wedding picture of Charlie and my mom in Las Vegas, then one of the three of us in the hospital after I was born, taken by a helpful nurse, followed by the procession of my school pictures up to last year’s. Those were embarrassing to look at — I would have to see what I could do to get Charlie to put them somewhere else, at least while I was living here.

Twilight, Ch 1

 

Meyer’s description of Bella’s father’s home is clear, and like Rice it does also reveal some context clues about our heroine and her ill feelings toward her father. It also sets up the awkward dynamic that Bella and her father, Charlie, will have going forward in the story. Granted, some of the description is a bit too “on the nose”. Halfway through and til the end of what we have here is a good example of “showing, not telling”, it’s just that first half that takes one out of the moment.

 

Some moments of Meyer’s writing is a good balance of description and poetic prose that is written with a good pace, but, other moments are sorely lacking. We have this scene where Bella is entering her class for the first time.

 

The classroom was small. The people in front of me stopped just inside the door to hang up their coats on a long row of hooks. I copied them. They were two girls, one a porcelain-colored blonde, the other also pale, with light brown hair. At least my skin wouldn’t be a standout here.

Twilight, Ch 1

While the intention of sharing Bella’s insecurity and sense of relief is an important one, this does nothing to further the plot, at least the way it’s written. More than that, Meyer, there is such a thing as too much description. Including relentless filler into your writing to attempt to hold your audience until something actually happens does not make for engaging prose. It merely tests the patience of readers who are looking for more in their plot—like actual plot.
While Rice does tend run on and on with her descriptions and writing in general, it proves to be much more engaging and bring more to the plot than what Meyer’s does.
Point to Rice!

Meyer=1

Rice=1

 

 

3-STYLE (Who has the best Vampire?)

 

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Image via Knowyourmeme

 

If only we could have Sesame Street’s Vampire in this battle of bloodsuckers, he would win in a single count! Alas, it cannot be. So here we are at the nitty-gritty, the finale. Who’s style and who’s Vampires reign supreme? Let’s dig in to find out!

 

Let’s switch things up a little and let Meyer take the stage next.

 

Now we can see with Meyer’s style of writing there is a lot that leaves the reader wanting. With such a slow pace in the plot and too much description throughout, it can be such a challenge to read through her novel.

 

At least she has a sense of humor…

I stuffed everything in my bag, slung the strap over my shoulder, and sucked in a huge breath. I can do this, I lied to myself feebly. No one was going to bite me. I finally exhaled and stepped out of the truck.

Twilight, Ch 1

 

Who doesn’t love a little irony? “No one was going to bite me”, huh? Oh Bella how wrong you are.

 

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Image via Bustle

 

Aside from a little entertainment and some good quality prose here and there, Meyer’s writing is quite frankly terrible. It’s more so the romance and the supernatural society that is most engaging.

 

The basic rules for Vampires, and Werewolves, apply here, except the fact that these Vampire can actually stand in the sunlight without burning. Instead, they sparkle!

 

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Image via goodreads

 

While the mass majority of us were offended at the thought of a sparkling Vampire, some of us even broke down in laughter, there are some people who took the change in stride, which honestly I can respect. But I digress.

Vampires. Do. Not. Sparkle!!

 

Alright, now that I let that out of my system, more on the Vampire and Werewolf society.

 

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Image via Popmatters

 

Meyer continues her creative streak by making an diverse society of her Vampires and Werewolves, with different covens of Vampires and their own unique culture and set of rules to abide by. This helps to really spice up the plot with ever-changing dynamics in drama from one problem to the next.

 

 

Now onto Rice.

 

In spite of the author’s horrible character in question, Rice’s fictional characters are given praise for their dynamics and relatability. As mentioned before, Rice made a drastic change to the Vampire genre by making the Vampires the main characters and unveiling their very human characteristics, take this exchange during the interview.

 

” Ah, that’s the accent . . . ” the boy said softly. For a moment the vampire stared blankly. ” I have an accent? ” He began to laugh. And 3 the boy, flustered, answered quickly. ” I noticed it in the bar when I asked you what you did for a living. It’s just a slight sharpness to the consonants, that’s all. I never guessed it was French. ” ” It’s all right, ” the vampire assured him. ” ran not as shocked as I pretend to be. It’s only that I forget it from time to time. But let me go on. . . . ‘

Interview With A Vampire, Ch 1

 

Although the scene is brief and simple, Rice reveals a little about Louis without telling us point blank. It’s a mild moment of entertainment that, on top of fleshing out her character, also establishes a growing relationship between the two characters a scene that is very human. Normal conversations, even with a Vampire I can assume, aren’t cut and dry, and there are times when people interrupt others, joke with one another, and potentially stray off topic. We are imperfect creatures after-all, and this scene captures just that, a raw, authentic conversation.

 

On top of that, Rice has made up a Vampire society of her own, just much less organized. On the Vampire Louis’ travels, he comes across a variety of characters including a theater troupe of Vampire who, in front of a live studio audience, feast upon their victims, assumed by the audience to be very good actors a part of the production. Horrifyingly creative, isn’t it?

 

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Image via 25yearslatersite

 

There is even more to happen in Louis tragic life as a creature of the night. The plot tackles the controversy of the Vampires need to feast on humans, and also the never-ending frustration of immortality. Take the character Claudia for example. She is a mere child when she is turned, and the disdain and frustration she feels of having the mentality of a 30-year-old with the body of a 5-year-old is a lot to bear—can you imagine after a long, hard day being stuck at the kids table when you need a hard drink of tequila?! I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!

 

There are a lot of different plot lines occurring, intermingling, and colliding with the opinions and feelings of other characters surrounding Louis.

Rice takes a good look at the possible life of these cursed, bloodsucking creatures, while Meyer takes those concepts, organizes them in a rather nice package, and smothers it with romance and hot sparkling bods.

 

At the end of the day, the two authors do a good job at creating an open world. Meyer’s story is for a much younger audience, while Rice is intensely more mature.

 

 

The one thing that separates the two is their characterization. While each of Meyer’s character has their own set role to play in this very straight-laced, supernatural saga, Rice’s characters are their own. They don’t even seem to be created, they just are who they are, which for a heavy genre like Vampire literature, that’s pretty important.

Although Meyer’s intended audience is younger, that doesn’t mean everything has to be so cut in dry. To stray just a little off topic, there are many stories, even ones for children, that can be a little on the chaotic and profound side. Young people go through their own dramas of chaos in life—we’ve all been through middle and high school guys, come one!—and it was for sure not all centered around the deep romance we had with the mysterious hottie.

Rice’s characters and Vampires are much better than Meyer’s by far!

 

Rice wins!

 

Meyer=1

Rice=2

 

 

The Match

Brought to us by the Fabulous Zariah

A heavy fog hung in the sky and a cold chill was attached to it. Stephenie Meyer shuttered before wrapping her sweater closer around her. The forest that surrounded Forks, Washington was colder than she remembered and a lot quieter. Her own breathing was all she could hear until the soft shuffling of feet against the forest floor. Meyer swiftly turned around and through the fog walked a figure shrouded in black.

The shrouded figure raised their hood and underneath it was revealed to be Ann Rice. Her gray hair bluntly cut and she wore an unamused smirk across her lips.

“A home advantage won’t do you any good, Stephenie.” Rice pulled off her black velvet gloves delicately before putting them in her handbag.

 

“I’m sorry, who are you?”

Anne Rice scoffed. “Oh, please, don’t act cute. This has been years in the making.” She took her cloak off, folded it and put it the base of a large tree along with her purse. “And it will be over swiftly.”

 

Meyer rolled up the sleeves of her cardigan. “Fine, old woman. I can take you on in my sleep.”

 

“Sleep? Wasn’t that the excuse that helped spawn your so called books?”

Meyer glared and walked closer to Rice but stopped once she raised her hand.

 

“I’d prefer not to get my hands dirty if that’s alright with you.” Rice motioned and through the trees emerged two men.  Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt stood proudly behind their creator. The men were in Victorian era clothing, their long hair rested on their backs. Their eyes were piercing, bright and unmoving. Each took a knee and kissed the back of her hands.

 

“Adorable.” Meyer clapped her hands. She sneers at the woman before whistling. Behind Meyer, two of her own blood drinkers emerged and besides them was a massive wolf. Edward Cullen in all of his bronze spikey glory stood with his adopted father Carlisle, looking strangely similar to Lestat. A low growl escaped Jacob Black’s throat as he readied his attack stance. He stared intensely at the rival vampires.

 

“Allons-y.” Rice sat on a lavish chair and pulled a cup of tea from the shadows behind her and began to sip it.

All of the vampires and wolf rushed each other and the sound of their collision echoed through out the forest.

 

“We don’t have to do this, you know!” Meyer called over the fighting. “I’m a huge fan.”

 

“Of course you are darling.” Rice said calmly, even over the snapping and clawing she didn’t need to yell. Her voice resounded clearly into Meyer’s ears.

 

“You are so pretentious!” Meyer yelled. “How you have a fan base is beyond me!”

Edward, suddenly filled with more than he ever felt reared back and punched Louis so hard that he flew back yards and obliterated several trees into splinters and dust. All of the fighting ceased for a few moments. Meyer looked at the result of her insult and laughed loudly. Without setting her tea cup down, Rice’s eyes flicker quickly to where one of her fighters got knocked to and back to Meyer.

 

“Your so called fans were nothing more than adolescent children who were brainwashed into thinking that having someone sneak into their room and watch them sleep was romantic.”

 

Lestat pulled his hair back before going straight for Carlisle, one on one. The Frenchman body slams the doctor layers deep in the ground, causing the earth to shake at an alarming rate.

Meyer steadied herself against a tree. “At least my fans actually like me. The can write fan fiction whenever they want.”  Louis ran back to the fight, jumping over exposed roots and cracking ground. He propels himself over the wolf and wraps his arms around his torso and squeezed tightly. Jacob whined momentarily before twisting out of his hold and head butted the vampire back. The large wolf then takes his paw and slams it onto Louis’ chest as the earth stopped rumbling.

 

“I encourage my readers to write their own stories, with their own characters not retread trash like yours over and over again.” Rice set her tea down the on the side that appeared but it seemed like it had always been there with black roots that had grown up it’s legs. “My characters belong to me.”

Louis got the upper hand on the wolf and rolled from underneath him. He got his arms around Jacob’s throat and twisted. He broke the wolf’s neck and as Jacob died the color drained from his eyes. He casually brushed away the dirt and debris on his velvet jacket.

 

“No!” Meyer yelled in anguish. Her nose began to bleed and she wiped it away in shock. “You, hag; so cosplay is suddenly okay? Generations were inspired by you and you give them the okay to play dress up?!”

 

Carlisle and Edward regroup as it was just the vampires left. A silence fell over everyone as they sized each other up.

“We are nothing without them!” Edward and Louis resumed fighting, before his father and his opponent went head to head. They all dodging each other’s head on attacks. “You are nothing without them.”

 

The mind reader got the fancy dressed vampire on his knees and put him in a choke hold. Carlisle broke free and from Lestat and slammed his fist onto Louis’ head, chopping it right off. Blood pooled from the headless body and soaked the dirt beneath their feet.

 

Rice clutched her abdomen and coughed violently. Blood dripped from her lips but she blotted her chin with a white handkerchief she pulled from her sleeve. Meyer continued to wipe her nose as well.

“You might as well give up, Anne, the odds don’t seem to be in your favor.”

 

“Please, stop referencing better books, it should be beneath you.” Rice coughed. For the first time in the entire battle she stood up. Lestat grabbed each vampire by the throat.

“My books are classic; your success was a fluke,” Lestat chuckled as the vampires tried to escape his grasp. “You tricked an entire decade into worshipping you for nothing.”

 

“And at least the vampires I created are original, yours are a pale imitation of mine.” Lestat raised the vampires up until their feet were off the ground. His laughter grew until he sounded like he was on the brink of insanity.

 

You are nothing without me.”

Lestat ended the sparkly vampires by knocking them together so hard they exploded. Sparkles rained down over Lestat and he smiled wildly like a child playing the snow.

 

Meyer fell to the ground clutching her chest, she watched as Anne Rice, the victor walked over to her. Rice pulled Meyer’s hair, yanking her head back so she would be the last thing she would ever see.

 

“Quality over quantity, always wins darling.” Rice smiled. Lestat takes Rice’s arm and they walk back through the trees and fog rolled over Meyer’s body.

 

The End.

 

 


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5 YA Genres That Are Totally Dead

Young adult fiction is undeniably one of the most popular genres of all time. It was first categorized around the 1930s with Lauren Ingalls Wilder’s series Little House on the Prairie. Teachers and librarians were slow to accept books intended for younger readers, but young adult books today focus on issues in society with such a passion that even older adults love to read them.

YA subgenres have ebbed and flowed over the years, and the two ever-reigning subgenres seem to be fantasy and contemporary fiction. You can always find a unique new release of a fantasy novel or a self-aware contemporary love story. But what genres are so dead that publishers in 2019 will rarely publish them and why did young adults stop reading them?

 

 

1. Dystopian

Image result for the scorch trials city"

image via crosswalk.com

 

Ah, yes. Dystopian. Nostalgia for 2012, anyone? Maybe it was because everyone was talking about the Mayan calendar and the end of the world, but people were in a craze over dystopian society books like The Hunger Games and Divergent. Books about post-apocalyptic societies like The Maze Runner weren’t too far behind in the craze, either. Most dystopian subgenres are based on sci-fi and these particular subgenres started to oversaturate the sci-fi genre. Because of the immense popularity of books like The Hunger Games, every author wanted to replicate that fame and success. Understandably, readers got bored.

We became sick of tropes like “the chosen 16-year old who has a special ability that allows him or her to rebel and change dystopian society.” Readers began to pay attention to different genres and new authors, and the dystopian genre and its tropes slowly died out as YA readers found more relevant books. With the upcoming release of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakesit’ll be interesting to see how this dystopian writer tackles this so-called “dead” genre.

 

2. PARANORMAL / URBAN fantasy

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image via empireonline.com

 

When you think of paranormal YA, think vampires, werewolves, and zombies. So basically Twilight minus the zombies. For a while, the Twilight series was the reigning series for the paranormal subgenre. Teens were obsessed and buying t-shirts to show off their pride in Team Edward or Team Jacob. So what happened? Well, other authors tried to replicate the success of Twilight, and teens kept reading vampire and werewolf books until they wanted a taste of something different. Once the movies were released, Twilight stirred up even more controversy as readers began to release that Bella and Edward were an unhealthy relationship portrayal for young teens.

 

 

Still, it seems a bit disappointing that the whole vampire subgenre should die out because of one bad portrayal— especially when there’s so many amazing vampire stories, like Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. But never fear for those readers who were into paranormal or urban fantasy books other than Twilight, or even those who were into Twilight (no shame here)— these subgenres are making a slow return, starting with Renee Ahdieh’s new vampire novel The Beautiful.

 

 

3. STEAMPUNK

image via the portalist

 

Steampunk is one of a few YA genres that has never taken hold of a readership. Any successful steampunk books are technically classified under other YA subgenres and only have small steampunk elements. Those books that did attempt to focus solely on steampunk, an attempt that surged around the early 2000s, were usually adult books and were just too similar to each other to claim a place as a real subgenre.

 

4. Superhero

Image result for superhero ya books"

image via CBR.com

 

Superheroes certainly have a presence in comic books and movies, but this genre just isn’t present in YA. There’s no clear reason why superheroes are more popular in movies than books— maybe viewers would rather see sexy superhero actors and actresses blow stuff up rather than reading about them. Or maybe, like steampunk, superhero YA books have just been too similar with dead YA tropes like “the chosen one.”

 

5. TIME TRAVEL

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image via the next web

 

Time travel in YA sci-fi hasn’t been as successful as you might think, although time travel in YA fantasy has more of a presence. Maybe it’s because sci-fi books like H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine were written way back in 1895 and readers’ fascination with time travel has died out since then. Yet time travel is still popular in movies and TV, so it’s also up to speculation as to why this genre hasn’t taken off in YA.

If you’re interested in more about the book market or dead genres in publishing, check out this video by Alexa Donne, author of Brightly Burning. She explains all of these dead genres and tropes in-depth and also has some fascinating insights about the publishing world as well as advice for new writers.

 

 

 

Featured image via The Pilot Press

Author Fight Club: E.L. James vs Josh Lark

Two purveyors of smut and story, two literary giants who’ve gifted us with the steamiest, the sexiest, the naughtiest stuff to ever be in our hands; two individuals, who have used their words to bring us to our knees; two authors who can make our hearts pound⁠—as well as other things!⁠—are going to fight!

Ladies and gentle⁠—please be gentle⁠—men, we bring you E.L. James vs Josh Lark.

Ignoring the broader themes of Chuck Palahniuk’s seminal work, Fight Club, we’re going to do what we do best and have two people fight each other.

Since we can’t talk about Fight Club (see rules one and two), we’re going to write about it. Specifically, we’re going to have two writers fight each other. Three rounds will determine their strength as we go through their power of description, their distinctive style, and their impact on the world at large.

Bring out the whips and the aliens (we’ll get there), let’s have these two authors fight each other.

(Viewer Discretion is Advised)

 

 

1-Influence

 

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Image Via Pink News

Now let’s get this one out of the way. E L James wins. Her trilogy, made up of Fifty Shades of GreyFifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed, has sold over 125 million copies worldwide, over 35 million copies in the United States. Bloody hell, she even set the record in the United Kingdom as the fastest selling paperback of all time!

Plus, in 2012, Time magazine named her one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” and she’s even had film adaptations of her works: Fifty Shades of GreyFifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed.

Simply put, you know her name.

But let’s not leave Lark in the dark, let’s give him his due.

 

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Image Via Amazon

A self-published author whose work is massive, to say the least, Lark has written everything from college dorms to Area 51 aliens.

Huge beyond belief, Lark notes that ever since he discovered his attraction to men “he has been writing erotic stories about them”. He tells us that “[i]n his free time, he enjoys playing 7-card stud poker and gay rugby.”

He’s a force of wonder, but sadly he loses this match up.

Point for James!

 

James=1

Lark=0

 

2-WHO’s more DESCRIPTIVE? Who’s more steamy?

 

Ana

Image Via Deadline

 

It’s porn vs porn. Who’s the better writer? Who can make us just tremble with their words? As a side note, I don’t give a snot that Ana orgasming with every other touch isn’t realistic, I just want it to be described well!

 

Let’s tackle this passage from the first novel in her infamous trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey:

 

I pull him deeper into my mouth so I can feel him at the back of my throat and then to the front again. My tongue swirls around the end. He’s my very own Christian Grey-flavored popsicle. I suck harder and harder… Hmm… My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.

 

The phrase ‘Christian Grey-flavored popsicle’ is hilarious. Also, the image of Ana’s inner goddess ‘doing the merengue’ is the strangest image. Both of these phrases, placed so close together, takes me out of the moment. Don’t get me wrong, they’re hilarious, they’re memorable, but they aren’t exactly descriptive. Plus, they take me out of the scene.

 

Here’s another passage from the last book in the series, Fifty Shades Freed:

 

He groans loudly and thrusts deep, again and again, over and over, and I am lost, trying to absorb the pleasure. It’s mind-blowing…body blowing…I long to straighten my legs, to control my imminent orgasm, but I can’t…I’m helpless. I’m his, just his, to do with as he wills…Tears spring to my eyes. This is too intense. I can’t stop him. I don’t want to stop him…I want…I want…oh no, oh no…this is too…

“That’s it,” Christian growls. “Feel it, baby!”

I detonate around him, again and again, round and round, screaming loudly as my orgasm rips me apart, scorching through me like a wildfire, consuming everything. I am wrung ragged, tears streaming down my face—my body left pulsing and shaking.

 

Much better! On a related note, FEEL IT, BABY!

But that brings me to the dialogue. Every so often during the sex scenes, the people talk. Lines like “Feel it baby” take me out of the scene, making me wonder if Christian Grey is unsure if Ana ‘feels it.’

 

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Image via gyfcat

 

So some of the sex scenes are bad, while others are great with some wonky dialogue thrown in just to knock down our expectations.

 

Now That I'm A Ghost, I'm Gay (A Paranormal Sex Straight Seduction Story) by [Lark, Josh]

Image Via Amazon

 

Now that’s a picture! On a related note, let’s switch to Lark and see what he has to offer. This passage comes from Now That I’m a Ghost, I’m Gay:

 

Even so, the tingle where we touched made his thighs quiver at the first sensation of what I was doing down there. When I had first taken Jason’s entire length, tickling under his balls as I did, he bucked his hips forward into my face.

 

Now that’s a picture! Short and to the point, it’s exactly what we want. Plus there’s this scene.

 

I only caught a glimpse of him naked, the water running in beads down his broad chest to his broad chest to his narrow waist, little rivers running off the end of his dick…

 

No metaphors, no comparisons, just flat out smut.

Comparing this to James’ work showcases how she isn’t that descriptive. She leaves a lot to the reader, and thus we don’t get images of water running off the end of someone’s penis like “little rivers.”

When it comes to descriptions, Lark knows just what words to use to make us tremble.

Point for Lark!

 

James=1

Lark=1

 

3-WHO’s got More Style

 

Got Style?

GOT STYLE? / Image Via StyleCaster

 

Humor is a style, and James is hilarious. Throughout the book, and usually after sex, the characters will be forced to talk to each other. For instance, Christian tells Ana that, “I know that lip is delicious, I can attest to that, but will you stop biting it?”

Maybe the line is supposed to be sensual, reminding us both of what just took place and what will take place, but it’s hilarious. You needed to tell her that her lip was delicious? How thoughtful!

Even in one of the earliest scenes in Fifty Shades, Ana and Christian decide to go out for coffee. What follows is a farce. We go through the intricate details of getting the keys, determining what car someone should go in, where the keys are, and how this whole situation, a billionaire wanting to go out to coffee with Ana, is quite insane.

But Lark is also funny. Just look at his Amazon descriptions. They’re erotic, they’re funny, and they come with incredibly helpful warnings. His story about a man giving his sister’s boyfriend a blowjob has a warning that reads:

 

WARNING: This 5600-word erotic story by Josh Lark contains explicit descriptions of a hot straight virgin giving his sister’s college boyfriend a hot gay blowjob, including forced fingering and cum eating. Pray that your e-reader doesn’t melt before you get to the end.

 

His story about a gay doctor who has to suck out snake venom from a cowboy reads:

 

WARNING: This 4900-word story by Josh Lark contains explicit oral sex between two men, anal fingering, and a cumshot that will have you milking your own snake of its venom.

 

Plot Story Circle

Image Via Teachers Pay Teacher

 

How are their plot structures?

With James, well, there’s no flow. Her novels retain their fanfiction roots where stories would come chapter by chapter. Plot points are introduced and dropped in the same chapter, which makes everything clunky. For instance, the villain in Freed is Jack Hyde, a publisher who was fired by Christian Grey for harassing Ana. But he actually didn’t care about Ana, and hates Christian because he was adopted into a bad household and Christian was adopted by a millionaire family. But Hyde isn’t the true villain because he’s been taking orders by Mr. Lincoln, a man who has one appearance and is mentioned briefly at the end. Why doesn’t the Ernst Stravo Blofeld of the Fifty Shades universe appear more?

It makes everything seem like it was written without an outline, which some authors do, like Stephen King, but it’s less successful here.

 

Foggy Mirrors
Image Via The Clever Homeowner

 

Let’s look at Lark for a hot second. Each of his books follows a similar structure: introduce the characters and the premise, the characters get closer, they have sex, the story ends with everyone happy. It’s simple, straightforward, but let’s dive deep back into Now That I’m a Ghost, I’m Gay.

In this story a college student dies and is transported to the shower, where his roommate is stepping out. Oh, no, our main character is secretly in love so him but he never told him anything. Gradually, the roommate realizes that the dead student is there as a ghost. He’s frozen with fear, and our main character writes on a foggy mirror, “I am,” but stops.

What should he say next? That’s he’s dead? Or that he’s gay?

Things go quickly after that. They have sex, they finish, and our main character looks back at the mirror and finishes the sentence I AM with SO GLAD.

See? Every plot point is necessary, and there’s a lot of time spent in the bedroom. We know what we’re getting into, and we know what to expect. It’s like a circle.

 

Ring Around the Rosie

Image Via Giphy

 

Of course, is it fair to compare Lark’s utilizing every page to James just flittering them away with pointless plot points? Is James’ clunky storytelling and laugh-out-loud descriptions a style though?

 

Snowqueens Icedragon

Image Via bUsiness Insider India

 

A little history…

Erica Mitchell rose to fame as Snowqueens Icedragon on FanFiction.net, writing Twilight fanfiction in staggering succession. She started with Safe Haven, a point of the story through the eyes of Edward, and later wrote Master of the Universe, a loose retelling of Twilight.

From there, thanks to her large outputs and responsiveness, Master of the Universe continually graced the top charts. Eventually, Australian Publisher, The Writer’s Coffee Shop, agreed to publish her story as a trilogy. Since then her stories have been pulled from FanFiction.net and the archives.

That’s not to say her novels are Twilight ripoffs. The names have been changed; the supernatural elements are removed in favor of BDSM. Plus, she’s added some weird stuff.

 

Fifty Shades is abusive

Image Via Letter2Self

 

Christian is an abusive boyfriend.

Take this scene in the first Fifty Shades of Grey. When Christian asks Ana what her hard limits are and she tells him she’s a virgin, Christian stomps around the room before he decides to take her virginity as “a means to an end.”

That’s not mentioning the other stuff.

Plus, in Fifty Shades of Grey Christian tells Ana “I’m a dominant,” when Ana asks him, point-blank, “Are you a sadist?”

Come Fifty Shades Darker, “I’m a sadist, Ana I like to whip little brown-haired girls like you because you all look like the crack whore—my birth mother.”

So he’s a liar who’s having sex with this woman because she reminds him of his mother.

The whole thing is Stephanie Meyer but WAY more problematic.

 

How to Turn a Wolf Gay (An M/m Werewolf Submission Erotica Story) by [Lark, Josh]
Image Via Amazon

In Now that I’m a Ghost, I’m Gay our main character sees the boy he’s in love with, and doesn’t go straight to screwing him. In fact, when they see each other, the main character notices the “…widening of his eyes, the hitching of his breath, and the almost imperceptible contracting of his balls made him seem so intimate and naked.”

Note how he isn’t doing anything, besides being dead. They just look at each other and let things go from there. No needless stomping around. Plus, unlike James, who doesn’t tell you about the rampant abuse that takes place within her pages, Lark lets you know all the eroticism that’ll take place in those warnings we mentioned earlier. It’s a “check out the box. Oh, it’s my fault I told you there was a poisonous snake in that box” vs “this box contains so much gooey gold you might just explode if you reach inside it” type of thing.

As Lark writes in his Amazon description’s warning for his book, How To Turn a Wolf Gay:

 

WARNING: This 4200-word erotic paranormal story by Josh Lark contains oral and anal sex between human men and a male werewolf, at one point partially morphed. If you think the rough punishment sex inside is too hot for you to handle, go read a boring Twilight knockoff and leave this one to the big dogs.

 

James=1

Lark=2

 

 

Winner: Joshua Lark

 

 

The Match

He walked to the center of the field, empty handed. It would be alright, he told himself, they would sort out their differences. It was a misunderstanding, after all, he didn’t mean to call her out like that in the Amazon description for How to Turn a Werewolf Grey. She would come, he would throw his hands up, and they’d have a cup of coffee. Or tea, if she pleased. He looked down at his watch. It was fifteen minutes after three and her car was nowhere in sight.

The grass around him started to shiver. A gust of wind slapped his face. His eyes rose to the sky.

Up in the sky a single black dot grew and grew, slowly descending, the clouds parting to the sides in fear. His eyes were wide. “Christ,” he muttered.

BANG!

He threw his head to the side. A used condom was beside him. He looked back up, squinted, and with eyes like sniper rifles he saw that the side door to the helicopter was open and he saw E.L. James holding an actual sniper rifle. She fired.

He jumped to the side. She was shooting used condoms at him. They burst around him, splattering around, exploding like bursts of blood. The ground was littered with rubber and fluids. He ran back, but a wall of condoms exploded in front of him. To his right, to his left, behind him, in front of him, all around him, nothing but condoms.

He looked to the ground. Fitting, he thought, and he smiled.

The smile didn’t leave his face because, slithering through the rubber, was a snake. He tilted his head, the snake looked up at him, and he knew those eyes.

What E.L. James didn’t know, what most people probably didn’t know, was that AREA 51 was based on a true story. That snake was a shape-shifting alien, and they had been friends for quite a long time. It was the story of ET, but without the ending and with more sex.

Reaching out, the snake extended his neck, expanding, and soon it became a hose. Gently holding the snake by the neck, he turned and held up the hose, aimed. “Hasta la vista,” he said, and fired.

The horse shot out great gallons of fluid, striking the helicopter, and it spun out of control. Lowering the hose, letting it fall to the ground as it turned back into a snake, Josh Lark sighed, but his sympathy turned into curiosity because E.L. James had dropped her sniper rifle, jumped off the helicopter, and from her back pocket took out a whip. She spun it around her head and, like a helicopter, she slowly descended to the ground.

Her black eyes were locked with Joshua Lark’s.

The snake jumped back into Josh’s hands and quickly morphed into a hose. Josh squeezed the neck and his alien-snake-hose friend fired, but E.L. James was avoiding the blasts, zigging back and forth. Alright, Josh thought, let her come close and…

E.L. James had one hand on the whip, swinging it above her head, but with her other hand she pulled out a squirt gun. The squirt gun had been in the sun, and its fluid was piping hot. Before she would get close, she would fire and he would fall.

He fired at her. She maneuvered to the left, aimed, and fired.

Josh Lark saw the blast coming at him.

It was close.

Closer.

The snake was in front of Lark, mouth expanded, and it swallowed the fluid. Josh smiled, and tapped the snake on the neck. “Go,” he said, and the snake fired.

James fell, crashing to the ground, slapping into a pile of clear goop.

Josh smiled, the snake leaned close to his chest. “Thank you,” Josh said, “I’ll offer you some tea. You’ve met my husband, right?”

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon, Writer Write.co, and Penguin Random House
'Twilight' Cast: Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson

Catherine Hardwicke Wanted Diversity in ‘Twilight.’ Stephenie Meyer Didn’t.

A lack of diversity is hardly the main criticism levelled against Twilight, a controversial yet highly popular vampire franchise of the mid-2000s. Allegations of relationship abuse and sexism are far more prominent—and, if sexism weren’t prevalent in the novel, it certainly pervaded the series’ filming. Right before filming, execs famously told director Catherine Hardwicke that she needed to cut $15 million from the budget, or they would pull the plug despite the overwhelming international success of the source material. She was hopeful that, once Summit saw the number of stunts and set pieces she would have to remove, the studio would understand that these cuts were impossible. Instead, they told her, “great.”

The film that “would be interesting, at most, to 400 girls in Salt Lake City” grossed $393 million.

Evidently, Summit considered Twilight low-priority because of its predominantly female audience, a somewhat baffling outlook, given that the novels have sold over 100 million copies. But the studio seemed to downplay the interests and investments of women—especially Catherine Hardwicke.

 

 

In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Hardwicke revealed that she wanted the film to feature a more diverse cast. In her imagination, all the vampires had different skin tones; Alice, in particular, Hardwicke imagined as Japanese. Meyer disagreed. “She could not accept the Cullens to be more diverse,” Hardwicke imagined, “because she had really seen them in her mind, she knew who each character was representing in a way, a personal friend or a relative or something. She said, ‘I wrote that they had this pale, glistening skin!'”

 

 

Image result for glittery edward gif

Gif Via Tenor

 

(Does naturally glistening skin mean the Cullens are always sweaty? Where are our answers, Steph???)

Hardwicke was able to convince Meyer that Laurent, one of the antagonists, could be a person of color. In the novels, Meyer described his skin as “olive” in complexion, which gave Hardwicke some leeway in the casting. Eventually, Meyer became open to the idea of Bella’s high school friends being more diverse, hence Christian Serrantos and Justin Chon’s casting. But the vampires were off-limits.

Many feel that Twilight isn’t a film—or a story—in which diversity is an issue, largely because of the large Native American presence in the story. (Although it’s worth noting that Taylor Lautner’s claims of ‘very distant’ Native heritage are dubious at best… and, supposedly, were conveniently discovered only after his casting.) Casual fans and trained academics have pointed out the racism in Meyer’s portrayal of the Quileute: specifically, that Meyer relies heavily on stereotypes in their depiction. Characters fit into ‘noble savage,’ ‘bloodthirsty warrior,’ and ‘stoic elder’ archetypes. By associating a Native American tribe with werewolves, creatures associated primarily with violence and aggression, the narrative presents negative stereotypes. While anyone can become a vampire, only Quileutes can be werewolves, inherently associating this trait with racial & ethnic characteristics. The gulf between werewolves and vampires deepens: these white vampires develop supernatural abilities which make them more individual. When Quileutes become werewolves, their individuality ceases. They share a pack ‘hive mind’ and get matching tribal tattoos, reducing them to a homogenous group as is the case with racial stereotyping.

 

 

Shirtless Jacob Black, displaying Quileute werewolf tattoo

Image Via Business Insider

 

It’s also worth noting that the film conspicuously sexualizes the Quileute werewolves—to the point that even Edward asks, “doesn’t he own a shirt?” Then there’s the matter of the tattoo: while the Quileute people don’t have a ‘werewolf tattoo,’ the tribe reports that they were not consulted regarding the use of tribal imagery. Since the film’s release, many a horny white girl has gotten Jacob’s tattoo in a classic example of cultural appropriation. No, the Quileute people are not werewolves. But the tribe itself is very real—as have been the consequences of Meyer’s writing.

In associating her werewolf mythology with a real tribe, Meyer put the Quileute people in the compromising position of having their land and traditions disrespected by Twilight fans. In 2010, an MSN film crew disrupted the graves of Quileute elders while filming without permission on the reservation. When filming in Forks, WA, of course, the crew had the decency to ask the Chamber of Commerce. The Quileute Nation also says that they were never consulted for merchandising rights of their cultural artefacts and have seen little profit from the souvenir shops selling Quileute-inspired goods.

No one is saying that you can’t enjoy Twilight. But perhaps you shouldn’t without at least being aware of the racial bias within the narrative and the broader consequences of Meyer’s imaginings.

 

 

Featured Image Via The Quiz.