August 4 (The Guardian) – Twelve years after Stephenie Meyer put Midnight Sun, her telling of the Twilight saga from vampire Edward Cullen’s perspective, “on hold indefinitely”, the novel has finally been published – and is already topping book charts.
Meyer scrapped plans for the book in 2008 after a draft of her manuscript leaked on the internet, saying at the time that “what happened was a huge violation of my rights as an author, not to mention me as a human being”, and that she was setting the manuscript to one side.
After releasing a gender-swapped version of the story, in which vegetarian vampire Edward and human teenager and love interest Bella were replaced by Edythe Cullen and Beau Swan, Meyer announced in May that she would finally publish Midnight Sun on 4 August.
One million hardbacks have already been printed in the US, while in the UK, publisher Atom Books has printed 300,000 copies, and is anticipating a “huge” first week of UK sales.
“Midnight Sun was always going to be a big deal,” said publisher James Garbutt. “Fans had been able to read a few chapters years ago, so they’d had a taster of what is to come but wanted more. Now, more than a decade after that leak, they get to hear Edward’s full story. At a time when bookshops have only fairly recently reopened, we hope this will be a really significant publication for retailers.”
At Waterstones, children’s buyer Florentyna Martin said the book had been an immediate bestseller. “Meyer’s lasting impact on a generation of readers is palpable again today with the release of Midnight Sun, bringing with it the opportunity to re-explore the original series or dive in for the first time. Today is unquestionably buzzing with excitement.”
With the novel already topping Amazon’s UK charts – and just pipped to the top spot in the US by Fox News host Sean Hannity’s polemic Live Free Or Die, a look at how “the future of American freedom rests on Donald Trump’s re-election” – Meyer told the New York Times that “real reason the book took so long to write is because this was just a huge, pain-in-the-butt book to write”.
“I think the part that people won’t expect is: Edward is a very anxious character. Writing him made me more anxious, and that’s one of the reasons it was hard to be in that story,” Meyer said. “His anxiety combined with mine was potent. He starts off fairly confident, but boy does he get broken down by the end. Bella really breaks him into pieces. I think he comes across in Twilight being very strong and so super sure of himself, when that never was really actually the case.”
Meyer added that she would not be telling the rest of the series from Edward’s perspective, because “the experience of writing this book was not a super pleasant one” to undergo. “This is it for Edward,” she said.