One year ago, cries of anguish rang out across the globe lamenting the end of the Harry Potter series. No one was more distressed than its publishers, who sat on their wads of cash and claimed there would never be another Potter.
Perhaps no other book will ever sell more than 11 million copies in the first 24 hours like the last Potter installment or ever reach the fervor of the Potter series. But author Stephenie Meyer is making a run for it.
Four years ago, Meyer was a Mormon stay-at-home mom in Phoenix, hesitantly mailing out chapters to publishers and looking to pay off her $10,000 minivan debt. She landed a $750,000 book deal and transformed herself into a New York Times best-selling author with the publication of the vampire tale "Twilight." She soon racked up an impressive fan base that avidly followed her through the publications of the sequels "New Moon" and "Eclipse."
The teenage love story of an Adonis-like vampire and his humorously human true love has enraptured millions of readers, or, as they prefer to be called, Twilighters. (They voted on their own nickname -- the rejected runners-up included "Twi-hards," "Fanpires" and "Twiheads.")
Die-hard vampire connoisseurs, be wary: This is a new breed of vampire. Gone are the fangs, mirrors and garlic. Though they still feel a constant urge, Meyer's vampires have chosen to abstain from human blood. At its center, "Twilight" is a simple tale of star-crossed lovers ?Ý who spend every moment struggling against his desire to drink her blood.
In true modern-entertainment fashion, the film adaptation of "Twilight" will come out in December, and its handlers have launched a multimedia attack on unsuspecting Americans who still yearn to fill the void that the Potter franchise left in their hearts.
The film stars Robert Pattinson as the hauntingly handsome Edward Cullen (most audiences know him as the hauntingly handsome Cedric Diggory in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire") and Kristen Stewart as his mortal love interest, Bella Swan. Twilighters need not wait until December, however, as the fourth and (maybe) final novel of the series, "Breaking Dawn," comes out Aug. 2 at 12:01 a.m.
Hoping to inspire the same fan fervor as Potter, Richmond's Barnes and Noble and Borders bookstores will hold countdown parties, full of scavenger hunts as well as karaoke and costume contests -- anything to encourage the zealous fandom that is making the Twilight series "another Harry Potter."