Monday, September 01, 2008

Stephenie Meyer's Next Book "on Hold Indefinitely"

I suspect that most writers consider the internet to be the most useful new tool for promoting their work to come around in the last half century. Via the net, authors can create virtual book tours that include interviews and conversations with readers that are of a much higher quality than is possible by physically traveling across the country - all at a tiny fraction of the cost. Word-of-mouth can be a wonderful thing when it comes to selling something, and the sheer number of reviews that are being written exclusively for the internet ensures that even obscure authors and books have a real shot at building an audience for themselves.

That's the good news, but there is also some bad news. Sometimes, still relatively rarely for written material, a new book will be leaked to the internet before its publication date by some thief who is totally unconcerned about the harm being done to the author. According to Jack Schofield of the Guardian, that is exactly what has recently happened to Stephenie Meyer and the theft is apparently going to have a serious consequence for her fans:
"I did not want my readers to experience Midnight Sun before it was completed, edited and published. I think it is important for everybody to understand that what happened was a huge violation of my rights as an author, not to mention me as a human being."
...
"My first feeling was that there was no way to continue. Writing isn't like math; in math, two plus two always equals four no matter what your mood is like. With writing, the way you feel changes everything. If I tried to write Midnight Sun now, in my current frame of mind, James [a vampire tracking Bella] would probably win and all the Cullens would die, which wouldn't dovetail too well with the original story.

"In any case, I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on Midnight Sun, and so it is on hold indefinitely."
Schofield goes on to wonder whether Meyer's decision to put the book on hold might have been influenced by all the negative comments coming from readers regarding her most recently released book in the series. Maybe so, but if that's the case Meyer is making a big mistake by letting the criticism influence her to make such a drastic choice about her new book.

I can't resist noting Schofield's next-to-last sentence, "Well, the internet has no shortage of self-righteous assholes, as we know only too well." Nice, that. But he should keep in mind that the internet does not have an exclusive on that type and that the print medium has more than its share of the same folks. I stumble across some of them on a daily basis, in fact.

6 comments:

  1. I've never read any of her novels (nor really had much desire to), but this is just awful. I feel for her and the fans who have been anticipating the release of this novel.

    I wonder if, after a few months (maybe even weeks) she won't be able to resist the urge to come back to her story. I've often heard writers say that often their characters won't leave them alone even when they'd like them to.

    In any case, why in the world would anyone want to read an unfinished, unedited book? That's just dumb.

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  2. I don't know quite what to think of all this fuss. Never read any of her books, but I know lots of people love them. To deny all the other fans the next book, because one person screwed up? It's rather like when one kid in a group can't follow the rules, so they all loose a treat. Kinda juvenile.

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  3. I wonder if it was meant less as a vindictive sort of thing and more of a fan just wanting to read an authors new work. I can understand how she would feel very annoyed (to say the least). I've not read the last two of her vampire novels, but I know she has quite a following. You wonder how this sort of thing happens.

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  4. I do suspect that she'll eventually change her mind, J.S. If not, it sounds more like she may have been fed up with the whole thing herself, especially the demanding fans she seems to have attracted who pretty viciously panned her latest novel in the series.

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  5. Jeane, I think there may be something more to this story.

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  6. Danielle, I have to wonder where the leak was and how someone could get hold of a copy this early on who does not work for the publisher...that may be the thing that angers the Meyer more than anything else.

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