June 25, 2010 – I Have Fallen Into the Abyss of “Twilight” (God Help Me)

Okay, darlings, I am going to bless you with a blog post today.  Yesterday I finally picked up Twilight.  I have been avoiding reading it because I didn’t want it to influence my book.  But my book is finished and only needs grammatical revisions (and I may cut the Prologue out, depending on the comments I get back from the other people that have copies to read).  I think the point for influence is over.  Besides, I haven’t had any decent fiction to read since the last Harry Potter book came out.

I started to read Twilight during lunch.  I had to stop right in the middle of a good part to go back to class, and as soon as I was done with class I had to run to the student lounge to read through to the end of the chapter, just so I could drive home.  When I got home, I deposited myself on the bed and completely ignored my husband, reading like there was no tomorrow.  I fixed some soup for supper, and ate while reading.  I finally put it down around 10PM, finished.  It took me over an hour to go to sleep, though (not good since I had to get up at 6 this morning to go back to class), because I was so keyed-up.  Good books always do that to me, at the end.  I get so engrossed in their world that I get something like culture-shock when I come back to reality.  The thing about my own book is that I stay in it, more or less, all of the time, so I never come back out.

Anyways, as soon as class was finished today, I didn’t let the door hit me on the way out.  I made a beeline to McKay’s Used Books in Nashville and wandered around, looking for the sequels.  I only happened to find them because I noticed that Harry Potter was filed under Young Adult.  Sure enough, when I looked for Stephanie Meyer in that section, there were all of the books.  Once I had them (I went in looking for three books and came out with exactly three books; surely a first for me at McKay’s—that Devil’s Den of temptation), I made a beeline home.  Even now I’m scarfing down my lunch (giving a slight bit of attention to the husband—“Yeah,” “Mm-hmm,” “Really?”) and typing this out really fast so that I can hurry into the bedroom and flop down with the next installment. 

Geez, I try not to be lame like this, but there are times when I just have to give it up.  By the time the sixth Harry Potter book came out, I was standing in line at Books-A-Million at midnight to get my copy.  No, I did not go in costume, but I still felt out-of-place, like I was a 20-something adult seeing a pediatrician.  God help me, but I made conversation about the books with a boy standing in line in front of me who looked to be about ten. 

I just hope Meyer knows when to quit.  As much as everyone hated to see the end of the Harry Potter series, having it reach a conclusion kept it from becoming sucky.  I once had the same ravenous appetite for Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series.  I’d lock myself in my apartment and forgo all personal hygiene until I had a book read.  But the series never stopped.  By the time book number six came along, it was starting to slide, like the Roman Empire, into the Dark Ages.  I don’t remember what book was the last one I read—maybe 10?—but it was so horrible that it didn’t even seem like Hamilton could have possibly written it.  Surely some really poor-quality ghostwriter did it.  It didn’t have any of the plot depth her early books had contained; it had descended into nothing but orgies, occasionally punctuated with a gruesome killing and some gun brandishing.  I recently heard she’s on book 16 of the series.  Oh, Laruell, you should have stopped after Blue Moon—which itself was the weakest of the books you wrote, although I wasn’t too fond of Bloody Bones

Anyways, I hope Meyer knows when to quit.  My husband and I have already discussed the fact that I will not allow my series to continue on indefinitely, getting progressively suckier.  I have plans to make the original plotline into a trilogy.  I doubt I will have anything left on that plotline to warrant more than that.  Certainly I will make five be my limit.  With the exception of Rowling, who built up expectation of a 7-book series and made it terminate in a logical way, most authors seem to start losing their edge around book 5.  There’s only so long you can make a single plotline work for you.  Books series, like TV sitcoms, must one day come to an end.

But then you get spin-offs, and I’m all about those (not in TV, but in books).  My series is just begging for some spin-offs.  I mean, I have all of these vampires who have lived hundreds of years.  There’s always room to write a book featuring one of them as the main character and have a very different sort of plotline.  I have plans for Isaac and Alice, Rose, and Joshua to all have their own books.  In fact, I’ve already started Rose’s book (mentioned on here before).

Okay, that’s enough talking.  Time to get to reading.  When I manage to tear myself away, I’ll put some eye-drops into my bloodshot, dry eyes and come write my review of Twilight.  I warn you now, it won’t be a typical book review; it will be writer comparing other writer.  Style versus style.  Sizing up the competition.

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