Small Realities

Inside the mind of Lance Schonberg

The Vampire Stops Here

I’m not a fan of Stephanie Meyer or of her Twilight Saga, but I recognize that there are thousands of people who are and that vampires are hip and cool right now.  Miss Meyer is understandably upset at the moment.  According to an article on the Guardian UK website, which I learned about through the Adventures in Scifi Publishing podcast, she has a right to be.  But she’s not the only one.  Look around and you’ll find there’s a lot of angry buzz attached to her name.

Apparently, someone leaked the full (but not yet nearly complete) manuscript of the final volume in the series onto the internet.  Upset is probably missing the mark by several orders of magnitude.  She’s so upset that she can’t possibly finish the book.

Ex-squeeze me? A-baking powder?

Really.  ‘In any case, I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on Midnight Sun, and so it is on hold indefinitely.’  That’s a direct quote from the guardian article.  She feels… sad.

I have three points of view on this.

First, as a reader, WTF?  One person whom you trusted betrayed that trust, so you’re going to punish legions of readers by not finishing the story.  They’ve given you their trust, their belief, and their money and you’re going to throw that back in their faces because someone hurt your feelings and you’re sad?  Had I been a fan, I wouldn’t be any more.

Second, as a writer (and yes, not one with a bestselling series of books, only a single published story, which, oddly enough, also involved vampires, but this is all beside the point):  again, WTF?  Your fans have bought 5.3 million copies of your first three books, with a fourth released this past summer, and there’s a movie coming out adapting the first one.  (And how do you think the movie studio might feel about this?)  How can you possibly show them this level of disrespect and think any of them might ever look at something you write again?  Way to thumb your nose at the people who made you a success.

Third, as a parent, this is obviously the act of a spoiled, petulant child who needs to be sent to her room for a decades-long time out.  Suck it up, princess.  The universe does not revolve around you.  Five million copies and a movie?  Your fans have made you rich, probably rich enough that you don’t need to care what they think any more.  And obviously you don’t.

You do have a way out.  Bitch slap the person who released the manuscript until they’re sorry and you feel better, take a month off to relax, recuperate, and grow up, then come back to the keyboard and get to work.  But first, apologize profusely in a hugely public way to your fans and keep apologizing until you get it right.

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