’Twilight’: Which One of Stephenie Meyer’s Books Was a ‘Surprise’ to Her?

Though she’s a multimillionaire and a bestselling author, Stephenie Meyer never set out to be a writer. Meyer was a young stay-at-home mom when she had an extremely vivid dream that stuck with her. In the dream, a beautiful and ethereal boy was telling a girl that while he loved her, there also existed a desire within him to kill her. This dream would serve as the catalyst for the first of Meyer’s books within The Twilight Saga.

Twilight author Stephenie Meyer signs a book for fans
‘Twilight’ author Stephenie Meyer | Amanda Edwards/WireImage

How ’Twilight’ went from a dream to a book series 

Unable to shake the dream, Meyer began writing with a fervor that was almost scary. But even as the pages of Twilight poured from her imagination to the page, she still didn’t know that she was writing a book. In fact, she never intended for anyone else to read the story. However, after the story was complete, Meyer’s sister convinced her to try to get the book published and the rest is history.

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Of course, there were still far more surprises in store for the writer. A few years later, her book would be adapted for the big screen and become a part of a multibillion-dollar film franchise. And following the success of Twilight, she was encouraged to write several sequels for the first novel. 

‘The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner’ was a surprise to Stephenie Meyer

But there was another book in The Twilight Saga that Meyer never set out to write. Fans may recall that the author gifted fans with The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. A novella, the book followed Bree, a newborn vampire that readers briefly met in Eclipse. This book actually was born when Meyer was making edits to Eclipse

“The reason why it’s a surprise was that I never intended to publish this story as a stand-alone book,” Meyer shared about The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner on her website. “I began this story a long time ago—before Twilight was even released. Back then I was just editing Eclipse and in the thick of my vampire world. I was thinking a lot about the newborns, imagining their side of the story, and one thing led to another. I started writing from Bree’s perspective about those final days, and what it was like to be a newborn.”

The ‘Twilight’ author gave some of the ‘Eclipse’ cast and crew advanced copies of her book

Writing from Bree’s perspective allowed Meyer to explain certain things about the newborns without compromising the story told in Eclipse. And the notes weren’t just helpful for Meyer. When Melissa Rosenberg, who was the screenwriter on Eclipse, came to Meyer with questions about what she imagined was happening to the newborns in Seattle, the author was able to share more details with the screenwriter. 

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Eventually, more of the Eclipse cast and crew wanted to get their hands on Bree’s story also for character and plot development. Meyer graciously shared the story with David Slade, who directed the third Twilight movie, and the three actors who portrayed Bree, Riley, and Victoria. But there were rules for the exclusive content. The actors were required to burn their copy of the story after they were done reading and referencing it. 

Why Meyer decided to make Bree’s story a book 

Even though Meyer’s short story was 200 pages, she didn’t consider releasing the story to the public until she was approached by her publisher. She agreed because she felt it served as a nice complement to Eclipse. Furthermore, she thought it would be a good opportunity for fans of the Twilight movies to get to know Bree better before they met her in the movie.

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Meyer may have never set out to write The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner or even Twilight, but clearly, both books were a success. And fans are still enjoying both books to this day.