There's been a ton written about Twilight, both positive and negative. Realistically, nothing I say here is going to matter one bit; it's not going to convert someone who hates Twilight into a fan, it's not going to add to Stephenie Meyer's well-deserved success or otherwise move the world from its normal course.
It will however let me be true to the fact that I owe Twilight and Stephenie a real debt of gratitude. I grew up reading books, loving books really, and somewhere along the way I realized I wanted to be a writer. I racked up 5 novels and a dozen or so submissions to agents and then drifted away from writing. I think there were a lot of reasons: chiefly work stresses and discouragement that most of the agents never even responded to my queries, but I'd essentially abandoned my dream before really giving it a chance to be realized.
In mid-2007 a friend recommended Twilight, and I picked it up almost against my better judgment (I'd never really been a romance fan), and found myself placed back firmly on the path I'd strayed from.
I'm not sure I can really fully explain everything I loved about Twilight. Maybe it's just the simple elegance of a story where the characters are willing to risk everything else for a chance to be together. I've always been a more deliberate, careful kind of person when it comes to my relationships, but that never stopped me from wishing I was a bit more like Edward and Bella.
Whatever it was that captured me, really got me. I read Twilight and New Moon in less than 48 hours, and then hit the internet in an effort to find out when the next book was due to release. I found a group of people just as rabid as me, and it was wonderful. I didn't participate in many of the discussions, but simply seeing that there were others just as enthralled with Stephenie's cast of characters was an amazing experience. It was a bit like what I felt like standing in line for one of the latter Harry Potter books, but smaller, more ground floor than buying the last Harry Potter book.
I'll never forget the night Eclipse released. I helped convince my local bookstore to do a release party that Thursday night, and then when I found out that they didn’t have much of anything planned, I ran out and bought a dozen roses for them to use as prizes in a trivia game.
I've been amazed at just how much bigger Twilight Fandom has grown. It was already awfully big even by book three, but once the movies hit it seemed like it really exploded. I'm glad Stephenie has been so successful, but sometimes I find myself missing those earlier, more intimate times.
It was those earlier, high energy days combined with the story of someone turning a fragment of a dream into a bestselling phenomenon that ultimately started me writing again. My most recent novel, Torn, is a direct result of finding Twilight and enjoying hours and hours following a boy and girl who were perfectly meant for each other.
You don't need my thanks, Stephenie, but you have it regardless!