i was 21.
it was April.
it was April and i was graduating in May and i was a snob, and this part is important.
i was attending a small global-minded university serving Kantian ethics for breakfast, the Bhagavad-Gita for lunch, and Natsume Soseki for dinner. i studied the greatest authors, the greatest poets, the greatest stories in history. i spoke different languages, studied different languages, traveled around the world and fancied myself intelligent.
because i was so fancy, you see.
it was my last semester of college and i was taking six classes just because i felt like it. i liked books and i liked critical theory and i was working on my senior thesis. i was dissecting The Tale of Genji and Pride & Prejudice and creating an entirely unique argument for two of the worlds' greatest female authors in history and my oh my I WAS SO VERY PLEASED WITH MYSELF.
i was going to be a fancy fancy intellectual oh so fancyyyyyy mmmmmmmm
"have you seen Twilight?" my friends said to me.
"vampires? that sounds ridiculous," is what i said to them.
"have you seen Twilight?" my brother asked of me.
"i can't believe you would see it," is what i said to him.
who cares about Stephenie Meyer when there is Murasaki Shikibu?
who cares about Vampires when i have Dostoevsky sitting on my bookshelf?
WHO CARES ABOUT THIS NONSENSE WHEN NOTHING WILL EVER BE AS GREAT AS HARRY POTTER?
"here is the book," my brother said to me.
"no thanks," i said so politely.
"just take it," he insisted.
"i don't want it!" is what i exclaimed.
it was 7pm.
i remember because i kept looking at the clock.
i had 30 pages left to write and research and edit edit edit for my thesis and i was itching to procrastinate. that book had been sitting on my desk for a few weeks now. i'd only taken it from my brother on account of his insistence, and because i didn't want to hurt his feelings by telling him how embarrassing the whole thing was. how offensive, really, that i could even contemplate reading a book like that. but at 7pm that Friday night anything was better than staring at my computer screen for the 549th time.
so i read it.
and i never recovered.
i had to read her book to realize i was wrong about what i wanted to do for the rest of my life.
say what you will about Twilight, good and bad and in between, but Twilight has changed the landscape of the publishing world forever. Stephenie Meyer is responsible for breaking down a million walls in the Young Adult world. she's the reason teens are devouring books again, she's the reason Young Adult authors have a fighting chance, and she's the reason why so many of us started writing.
whether you read it and thought, "OMG IF THIS COULD GET PUBLISHED, WELLLLL, LOLOLOLOL"
or if you thought, "WHAT AN INSPIRATION I WANT TO DO THIS, TOO"
it doesn't matter.
Stephenie Meyer is the reason people are paying attention to our books these days, and for that, i can't help but say thank you.
i make jokes about glittering werevampires and volvos made of diamonds, but at the end of the day i owe Stephenie Meyer a hug and a lot of gratitude. because people like her are getting kids in libraries and bookstores. people like her are getting adolescents to save their money to buy books instead of something worse. people like her are giving US the opportunity to have a voice in the industry.
so to every Young Adult author who's given the YA world a fighting chance?
i just wanted to say thank you.