On the Twilight series

Introduction: A New Dawn

By Ellen Hopkins

Tread carefully, dear readers. There’s a new vampire in town, and Edward Cullen is so not your mother’s vampire. Okay, he does have a few things in common with more classic bloodsuckers like Anne Rice’s Lestat. He’s cultured. Insanely alluring. Downright dazzlingly sexy. Drop-dead gorgeous, in fact. (Sorry, couldn’t help the double entendre, and you’ll find more in this book. Authors just love stuff like that.) But what makes Edward so damn addictive is not his undeadness. It’s his abiding humanity. Okay, confession. I was at first dumbfounded by the success of Twilight and its sequels, Eclipse, New Moon, and Breaking Dawn. Oh, I’ve always understood the lure of the vampire. For many years I was, in fact, a dedicated horror reader. Stephen King and Dean Koontz were always at the top of my reading lists, along with classic authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley. When Ms. Rice came along, I devoured her books, much like her characters devoured their unsuspecting victims. If I could have faulted Rice’s books, it would have been for their heavy descriptiveness, which at times overpowered the action. I preferred the pacing of King, whose storytelling fascinated me on an instinctual level that I didn’t understand until I became a writer.

You see, as writers, we often analyze the works we loved to read. What drew us to them? Why did they work for us? What kept us turning the pages? When I went back to consider why I loved Stephen King’s  …

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