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Why did Stephenie Meyer write Bree Tanner?

Stepheniemeyer_inred Stephenie Meyer's novella "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner," a vampire-side addition to her Twilight series, can be read online for the next four weeks, for free. And readers who want an offline version can also buy the hardcover.

Selling books, though, shouldn't be much of a concern for Meyer. She's earned almost as many devoted fans as Harry Potter, and her books -- individually and packaged as sets -- have enjoyed many, many, many weeks on bestseller lists.

So what compelled her to write the new novella? The story of the new vampires -- newborns, in her parlance -- as she explains to USA Today:

While I was writing Eclipse, there was a lot going on behind the scenes, of course, things Bella didn't know about. Because I was focused on Bella, I couldn't delve too deeply into the newborns' story, however, there was always in my mind a general idea of what they were up to. I had to think about that while I was pacing the plot: Bella is at this point, the newborns are doing this. To keep it all straight, eventually I made a calendar of the months of May and June — which is all Eclipse deals with — and wrote down on each square what was going on with Bella that day and what was happening in Seattle. So the story of the newborns was always a big part of the story of Eclipse. And it made me kind of sad that there was no way to express any of that in the book.

Maybe, as critic Lizzie Skurnick suggests at Salon, the story would have been better left unexpressed.

In the introduction to "The Short Second Life," Meyer tells us, "Writing Bree was the first time I'd stepped into the shoes of a narrator who was a 'real' vampire -- a hunter, a monster." Wanting to stretch beyond supernatural beings who endear themselves to us with their winning traits is a worthy goal, but for those accustomed to Cullens and Blacks, life as a real-life monster, I am sorry to report, seems dismal indeed....

Meyer's talents lie not in filling in her characters' backgrounds but in maintaining them in a constant state of exquisite torment. Intelligent and gifted, Bella, Jacob and Edward are intrinsically glamorous to readers. But Bree is PVT (poor vampire trash) and she knows it. Unqualified to even understand her situation, much less change it, she inspires empathy in the reader, but not a whole lot of anticipation.

I'm not a Meyer fan nor a hater, so I have to take Skurnick's word for it. Or yours -- have you read it? What do you think?

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Stephenie Meyer. Credit: David Stone / Little, Brown and Co.

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I think 'The short second life of Bree Tanner' was just what the fans ordered. As a mother of two young toddlers, reading the Twilight saga was an escape for me. When I had 30 minutes to spare I could sit down and go into my own world. And I loved it. It was part of my everyday routine. Not to mention I became extremely depressed when I realized it was all coming to an end. Halfway thru 'Breaking dawn' it became all to clear to me that my 'escape' was over. Once I was finished with this book what would I do with my time. Obviously there is always plently to do when your a mother of two small children but I became so obsessed with this new world. I craved more. The first few weeks where hell without being able to sit down and escape it these wonderful books. I swear it was the worst withdrawl. I was ecstatic when I found out Meyer was releasing a book from Bree's point of view. It's interesting to see things thru the young vampires eyes instead of always thru Bella's. I loved the book and I do hope she continues on with writting twilight from Edward's point of view. In my opinion there is so much more to be told!! Keep up the good work Stephenie! We love you!!

This is a wonderful and unexpected Birthday Present!!!! Thanks!!!

Absolutely loved the twilight saga books and sad to say probably suffering Twilight withdrawal. Really looking forward to the movie coming out. Being able to read Bree's story on line was really great and had a twist that I didn't think about at the time.

I thought her new book was amazing. It was tradgic and sad but it gave us a real look at newborn vampires as apposed to bella.
Great Book.

Why did she write it?

To quote Warren Beatty from 'Reds'.... "Money."

(Joking, joking.)

I loved the book!!!!!!stephanie meyer is the best!!!!i adore the twilight series!!!lubbitlubb it!!
team edward !!!!
icant wait until eclipse!! and iloved twilight and new moon!!!
bree tanner was awesome!

I love the Twilight Saga, writing Bree was an amazing idea.Stephanie I beg you to please PLEASE continue writing Midnight Sun - Edwards story! i always find myself thing What was Edward thinking or doing when Bella is off doing something else. Thank you!

How on earth can you write a blog about books and NEVER READ THEM but will form an opinion based upon someone else's?!! I was skeptic about the book because I couldn't think of me being interested on this character at all. My curiosity end itself to what her perspective would be when she met the Cullens. However, to my surprise Stephanie wrote about character which I initially couldn't care less about to wishing she had not died. She draws you into caring for this unkown girl we all read about in Eclipse. Not only Bree but there are two characters that effect her life as a newborn which Stephanie pulls you into caring for as well. One of which I hope shows up in Breaking Dawn the movie because he's such a juicy character you just have to know more about him.

As a fan of Twilight, I'm finding it more and more disturbing of this story against the more juvinille story of Harry Potter. They are two different stories and franchises. The movie franchises themselves cannot be compared because WarnerBros. bought HP to make it into a blockbuster franchise and Summit made Twilight as a low-budget indie based upon a book which had an interesting story about a teenage girl falling in love with a vampire whose never been in love. WB thru millions at HP while Twlight barely had enough budget for any reshoots.

Twilight goes against every Hollywood stereotype of how a blockbuster is made and who makes a blockbuster. These books were loved by females of all ages. Twilight is a diary. It's from the perspective of a teenage girl whose going into adulthood. The writting isn't supposed to be Shakespear or written on the level for only New York Times readers could understand. JK's Sorcerer Stone and Chamber of Secrets are written so juvenille I don't know where people are getting off slamming Stephanie for how she wrote Twilight. With both authors, as they went on, the books became more intense and with Twilight, dealt with more adult themes whereas Harry Potter touches on the kids being young adults but mainly deals with the magic or fantasy themes of the story (Harry vs Volddmort).

One book is dealing with the magical fantasy and the other is dealing with relationships whereas the "fantasty" i.e. vampires and werewolves are not the main themes but love and family are. HP was a man-made Hollywood blockbuster. Twilight was a self made into blockbuster that is driven by the fans and not driven by money like HP. That's why people don't get it and hate not because it's not a good story but it's a female dominated non-fanboy beyond successful franchise that wasn't built by a bunch of Hollywood suits to make millions but by a bunch of passionate females who just love the story the book brought to life.

This is something money can't buy...that's why Twilight is just as or even more popular than HP is today in the UK. It won the National Movie Award over the Half Blood Prince and now this little novella about a character that's barely mentioned and immediately is killed in Eclipse has the 3rd highest book sales so far at the fastest pace in the UK beating out all Potter sales except obe of JK's books. And nor to mention the book is going online for free as well.

It's not a fluke, a fad, or any other negative connotation you want to apply. Stephanie writes good characters and places them in situations that draw you in so you cannot stop reading about them and makes you want more.

Kudos to Stephanie with her success with Bree regardless of the negativity and the Twlight haters as per usual...

There's a really great scene in the movie, "How Green Was my Valley." After the boy is bedridden, his teacher brings him books to read and says, "I wish I could read Treasure Island again for the first time."

This is the tragedy of "The Second Short Life..." It doesn't give anything away about "Breaking Dawn," but it will change its reading. I enjoyed learning about New Vampires from Stephanie's perspective, and I felt sad at the end that our heroine must die. She made a good story out of it, at worst.

At best though, fans will see that we learn something of Carlisle, Esme and Jasper in seeing what Bree sees in the final scene, but it's remarkable to know what Edward now knows having Bree go through her memories of... I won't give it away. That is going to make "Breaking Dawn" a new read for me, and I would also really love to read it again for the first time.

I have just finished reading the short second life of bree tanner. I want to begin by giving kudos to Ms. Stephenie Meyer, for donating one dollar from each book sale to the American Red Cross.
Of course, as a true twilight fan I started to read the novella online as soon as it was released, thank you Stephenie for doing that for all of us, but as a true fan I had to purchase a copy of this book for my collection.
The only word that comes to mind to describe this book is….WOW!!! Although, I already knew how the story was going to end; I have to say that I definitely feel a lot of love for Bree Tanner, and I was sad to witness her death. This story definitely changed my view of newborn vampires. From reading eclipse, I knew that the “newborn gang” that Victoria created was mislead; but I had no idea to what extent these poor babies had been lied to. I found myself laughing at these incredibly strong and particularly indestructible creatures (newborn vampires) that were mislead to be afraid of the sun…ha ha.
The ending of this novella really touch my heart and it left me a little teary eyed. Before this book I gave no importance to the existence of Bree or much less her secret ninja lover Diego.
I am a little ashamed to say that I am behind on my reading and I am about ¾ of the way through the Breaking Dawn book; and I have one question that is lingering in the back of my mind. Maybe someone who has finished reading the entire series can answer for me. What happens to Freaky Fred? Does he make an appearance towards the end of the Breaking Dawn book? He had such an amazing gift and Bree wanted so much to repay him for his kindness...I can’t help but wonder what he did with his life. I would love to read a similar novella based on Freaky Fred.
What do all the twilight fans think about that?

I didn't love the Eclipse trailer and I was sure that the 3rd movie was not going to be as good. Now that I have read Bree's story, I can't wait to see Eclipse and the new born vampires (especially Bree, Diego and Fred) mentioned in this story. This book is a brilliant marketing move and it gives the movie trailer a whole new meaning. I loved this story and I will be so happy when Stephenie announces her next book!

This book did not need to be written. It was fairly boring and the "monster" she decided to follow, was more of a spin off of Bella than anything else. Sure, she killed people, but she was different than all of the other vampires. Spending her time reading instead of being driven by the thirst was not a proper way to explore a "monster"...sorry, Stephanie. I expect much better from Midnight Sun.

Yea Ashley! I think that Stephenie Myers would have been better off to put the betrayal of Midnight Sun being leaked to the Internet and finished writing that instead of Bree. I personally didn't like it at all. The last 33 pages were okay. Yes I'm Team Edward. But she said long ago that she was through with vampires. So I really don't understand why she wrote Bree. I loved the Twilight Saga and thought that the Host was good. Not sure what happened with the writing of Bree!!! Midnight Sun, please!

I am currently reading the book, and enjoying it immensely. Oh, how I've missed Stephenie Meyer's voice!


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