Meg Tingley is about to celebrate her 25th anniversary at Little Brown, the company that publishes The Twilight Saga novels and companion books. She talks to Big Think’s Pub Crawl Blog about what her instinct was when Twilight came across her desk and why she is proud of the series.
Pub Crawl: When you first read it, did you know that Twilight would end up being what it is today? Why did you pick this book when others had turned it down?
Megan Tingley: Did I ever imagine that girls would be screaming and crying at Stephenie’s book signings, or women would be naming their baby daughters Isabella, or that Twilight would propel an explosion in paranormal literature? Of course not! That said, I did have a distinct feeling when I read it—my heart was racing and my mind was reeling. The scenes came alive for me in a such a way that I felt I was right in the action with the characters. And I could see it as a book immediately. In fact, the text excerpt that appears on the back of Twilight is a passage I circled on the original manuscript while I was reading it for the first time on the plane—before I had even bought it. So, there was never any doubt or hesitation on my part that the first novel would be successful, but obviously I couldn’t have predicted the extent of that success.
PC: When it comes to books for young readers, are there other forms of success besides NY Times Bestsellers and blockbuster movies?
MT: Bestsellers and movies are exciting but to me success is more about creating an enduring work. The idea that people will still be reading and loving some of the books I have published many, many years from now is deeply gratifying. With Twilight, the thing I am proudest of is that this series instilled a passionate love of reading in so many young people. So many teens have said Twilight was the first book they loved reading and we get letters from parents thanking us for getting their kids reading and writing. Stephenie is an inspiring role model and it is so great to see kids idolize a writer alongside the usual rock bands, sports stars, and celebrities.