Hello dear readers,
So, I gotta ask: what’s the deal with Stephenie Meyer, anyway? If JK Rowling is the richest author and James Patterson the best paid, poor Stephenie must be the most hated.
People love to take potshots at her. She’s become a running joke. Her success is openly mocked. Even my hero Stephen King stooped to denigrate her writing. Her weight is criticized in the media. She’s an author, people! Since when are authors expected to live up to film star ideals? Stephenie’s looks are not the point.
Lest you think I’m one of those Twihards or whatever the hell they’re called, I’ll say right up front that I don’t care for her stories, either. But Stephenie is writing for teenage girls. I know this is going to shock some of you, but I’m not a teenage girl. I read the first book; I didn’t like it; I moved on. I certainly didn’t lose any sleep over it, because I’m not her target audience. Some adults love the books, but they’re not her target audience, either. JK Rowling also wrote for kids, but we never poked fun at her. Yes, we liked her books, but we weren’t the intended audience for Harry Potter, either. If someone had told JK that her language was too simple or her ideas too fantastical, I suspect she would have laughed in his face…all the way to the bank. I hope that’s what Stephenie’s doing (she’s on that richest authors list, too, by the way).
The vitriol directed at Stephenie is shocking. On-line articles have sneered that she was an overweight, unpopular teen who longed to be more like Bella. That she’s writing a self-indulgent teen fantasy. Um, hello–again, she’s writing for teenage girls. Who is more likely to love an overblown teenage fantasy? There’s a reason she’s been so successful, like it or not. She knows her audience, and she’s writing for them. Nothing wrong with that. That’s what all authors are supposed to be doing.
I never in a million years thought I’d come to the defense of Stephenie Meyer. I admit I’ve laughed at some of the Twilight jokes. A few of them are really funny. And let’s face it, sparkly vampires are ridiculous in the extreme. But teenage girls like sparkles. Stephenie’s smart enough to know that.
The last straw was this link that a friend posted on my Facebook page. She asked if I agreed with the author’s assessment. Personally, I think the author has too much bloody time on his hands. If he is an author himself, his time would be better spent writing his own work than taking Twilight apart page by page. And if he’s not an author, his time would be better spent defragmenting his hard drive. Or playing Parcheesi. Or, God forbid, reading another book.
So please put away your fangs. I haven’t seen this kind of nastiness since Dan Brown made it big with The Da Vinci Code. We love to hate the immensely successful, don’t we? Because that’s what Stephenie Meyer is. As much as we may loathe her writing, all but the most dense among us have to concede that she is doing something right.