Whether you're a Lodi "Twilight" teen obsessed with Edward and Bella's vampire love story, or a parent who just doesn't understand the craze, here is all you need to know about the book series and new films that sparked vamp explosion in Lodi and beyond.
'Twilight' saga basics
If you've been anywhere near a teenager, TV, bookstore or movie theater in Lodi in the past two years, you've heard of the "Twilight" phenomenon. You may not understand it, but you probably know that it involves vampires and boys that make rows and rows of girls scream in theaters.
"Twilight" was the first young adult vampire-romance novel in author Stephenie Meyers' "Twilight" series. "Twilight" opens with 17-year-old Bella moving from sunny Arizona to the foggy coast of Washington, where she falls in love with a vampire named Edward. As the young romance plays out, their relationship faces many obstacles and Bella must escape from dangerous circumstances.
The first novel was followed by three more books in the series: "New Moon," "Eclipse" and "Breaking Dawn." In the film adaptation of "New Moon," which opened in theaters last week, Edward leaves Bella out of fear that she will be in danger if she stays with him. After being heart-broken and depressed for months, she seeks comfort in her friendship with Jacob Black, who whom Bella discovers is a werewolf. Fans nationwide now claim "Team Jacob" and "Team Edward" in hopes Bella will choose the right beau.
Creator/author of "Twilight" series: Stephenie Meyer
"Twilight" director: Catherine Hardwicke
"Twilight Saga: New Moon" director: Chris Weitz
Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan
Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen
Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black
'Twilight' author Stephenie Meyers answers readers' questions
On her Web site, "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyers answers readers' questions about her writing process and what she thinks of the "Twilight" and "Twilight Saga: New Moon" films. Here is some of what she has to say.
Meyers on her favorite scene in "New Moon," the movie:
"I love so many things. Bella's and Edward's first conversation in the parking lot … the painting … Jessica's monologue … the scenes in Jacob's garage … the first time you see the werewolves! I could go on. It's all so good."
On creating the characters' unique names:
I'm not a huge research junkie, because I'm always more into creating the fantasy than the reality, but names are one of the things I do spend some research time on. For example, for Jasper's name I searched roll calls for the confederate army in Texas. Both "Jasper" and "Whitlock" are on those lists, but not together. The name Cullen exists on seventeenth century English headstones. Other names I find by time and place of birth — I look through the most baby popular names from that year or census records from that city. Some things are more random; if I'm really stuck for a surname, I'll flip through the phone book. For Edward, I wanted a name that had once been very romantic, but had fallen out of use. Bella was the hardest for me to name, because I needed a modern name but nothing seemed to encompass her personality.
On envisioning the characters after seeing the films:
When I read the books or think about the characters in a writing scenario, I still see them they way I first did. I can still see exactly what they looked like in that first dream. When I'm reading the script, however, it's all Kristen and Rob and Taylor.
On Bella's ultimate decision to choose Edward:
I wrote "New Moon" and "Eclipse" after I wrote "Forever Dawn," which is pretty much the rough draft of "Breaking Dawn." So I always knew Bella's destiny was with Edward, and as her relationship with Jacob evolved and deepened through the course of the middle novels, writing about it was sometimes painful. Even knowing Jacob's eventual happy ending, it was hard to put him through all the heartbreak. I do know what would have happened if Bella hadn't jumped off the cliff that day, but I always knew that was a could-have-been that wasn't the right way to go.
On Bella's life when the saga's over:
I always imagined that Bella would someday teach. She really admired that one part of Renee's personality — Renee may be dippy, but she's a great teacher and the kids love her — and I saw her taking her love of books in that direction. She would have taught older students, though. High school or college. Maybe she still will — in night school.
For fan questions and Stephenie Meyers' answers, visit her Web site at http://www.stepheniemeyer.com">www.stepheniemeyer.com.
Give the gift of "Twilight"
"Twilight" board game
Challenge your friends to see who knows more about "Twilight."
"Twilight" Lion and Lamb key ring or bag clip
Represents the love affair with charms of a lion, lamb, apples, beads and the "Twilight" movie logo.
"New Moon" lunch box movie set
Collectible lunch box and Thermos.
Protect yourself from the rain with an Edward umbrella.
"Twilight" winter set
Keep warm with a matching hat, gloves and scarf.
All items can be found at http://www.amazon.com">www.amazon.com.
How much do you know about the movies and books?
1. Where did Stephenie Meyer get the idea for her book series Twilight?
A. She dreamed it
B. She dated a vampire
C. She was inspired by "Interview with a Vampire."
2. When was Edward, played by Robert Pattinson, born?
A. April 10, 1992
B. June 20, 1901
C. March 29, 1983
3. Which tribe are the werewolf pack members from?
4. Where does Bella, played by Kristen Stewart, first see Edward?
A. In a tree
B. The school cafeteria
C. Science class
5. What is the name of the coven of "royal vampires" who live in Italy?
A. The Volturi
B. The Denali
6. What kind of car does Jacob drive?
A. A Mercedes
B. A Chevy truck
C. A Volkswagen Rabbit
What do you like about 'Twilight?'