Time magazine profiles Stephenie Meyer, author of the vampire-ridden Twilight series whose first non-”Twilight” book, “The Host’ will be out next month. Citing her unlikely rise to best-sellerdom (Meyer was a Phoenix, Ariz. housewife when she penned the first “Twilight” novel) and her 5 million copies in print, Time compares Meyer’s success to J.K. Rowling’s. But where Rowling’s lightly held Christianity factored heavily in her Potter books, Meyer’s deeply felt Mormon faith is only hazily visible in her work.
Meyer refrains from explicit sex scenes of course (despite “pressure,” one assumes from her publisher, to include them. But the most Mormon part of her story is how her vampires choose to avoid killing humans by feasting on lower animals. “I really think that’s the underlying metaphor of my vampires,” Meyer tells Time. “It doesn’t matter where you’re stuck in life or what you think you have to do; you can always choose something else. There’s always a different path.” Similarly, the tension between her teenaged main characters is, in the words of Time’s critic, “the erotics of abstinence.”
A footnote to Meyer’s story, not noted in Time, is that Catherine Hardwick will direct the movie of the first of the Twilight series, due out in December. Hardwick, who broke in as a director with “Thirteen,” a sometimes scandalously bleak look at the world of the modern teen, would once have seemed an odd choice to make a movie that will appeal to Mormon audiences. After directing last year’s “The Nativity Story,” however, she’s apparently become the go-to girl for mildly religious fare.