Fans travel far to meet Twilight author at Anderson’s
By david Sharos For The Sun March 11, 2013 11:02AM
This Feb. 19, 2013 photo shows author Stephenie Meyer speaking in Miami. Meyer, author of the "Twilight" saga says she's working on a new series. She wrote "The Host" as an escape from editing of one of the books in the popular vampire series. The movie adaption of "The Host" premieres March 29. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Updated: April 14, 2013 6:12AM
Anderson’s Bookshop offered some real star power Monday afternoon bringing in Stephenie Meyer, autho,r of “The Host.” She brought along actors Max Irons and Jake Abel, who both star in the film version of her book.
Meyer, author of the immensely popular “Twilight” series, was promoting the re-release of her first adult novel, which was published in 2011. The science fiction thriller involves parasites from space attempting to cure all the social and physical ills of earth. Meyer has been touring with the two stars from the film as the release in theaters approaches March 29.
The event was unique given that most book signings at the store occur during a shorter time period in the evening, and seldom authors are accompanied by a Hollywood entourage. Extra goodies were included Monday as well for the crowd, which was easily one of the biggest the bookstore has had on site in months.
“Those customers that bought a copy of the book also received a mini-movie poster promoting the movie,” said Candace Purdom, who handles publicity and events for Anderson’s Bookshop. “By 1:30 this afternoon, we had already sold somewhere between 700 and 800 tickets for this event. We heard that someone who called to reserve a copy of ‘The Host’ got up and was driving here this morning from Pennsylvania.”
Throughout the afternoon, store aisles were jammed, while others were forced to wait outside in a light drizzle. Veda Smith, of Valparaiso, Ind., was one of the lucky ones who perched just inside the store with friends.
“We drove down today, and it was just a little more than an hour’s drive,” Smith said. “I thought the ‘Twilight’ series was really good, and I really like her (Meyer’s) story lines. This new book has a part that happens in Arizona where I have hiked many times, and I think her description of it is pretty good.”
Smith said she appeared at the store at 2:45 and already had been waiting about 45 minutes. Store manager Kris Nugent said that by 3:30, 760 tickets had been sold and that “there were people that actually flew in for the event.”
“We’ve overheard stories about people having to catch a plane back to wherever they’re from later today, and others have taken the day off and just not gone to work,” she said. “There have been students here from North Central College who said they were either missing exams for this or had to get back to take them.”
Christopher Gilbert, a science teacher from Pennsylvania, said he headed out of town after work Sunday so that his wife, Nicole, could meet Meyer on Monday afternoon and get her books signed. Gilbert added that he had to leave immediately afterward in hopes of getting back home sometime around midnight.
“This isn’t a ‘maximum effort for minimal return’ sort of thing,” Gilbert said smiling. “I wanted to do this for my wife, and the smile on her face makes this all worth it. I took a personal day and have to get back to teach science tomorrow, but my wife’s smiling is all I needed to see.”
Anita O’Brien was another out-of-town visitor who came from Williams Bay, Wis. She said she has a niece here in Naperville.
“This is by far the farthest I’ve ever gone to meet somebody, and actually, I’ve never met a celebrity,” O’Brien said. “I’ve been waiting here about an hour, but I’m really excited to meet Stephanie Meyer. And if I get bored, I can just re-read one of her books. I mean — I’m in a book store — it’s my favorite place to get bored in the world.”
Naperville residents such as Cecelia Reimer spoke glowingly of Meyer’s writing abilities, adding that “the ‘Twilight’ series wasn’t just for kids.’”
“My daughter lives in Indiana, and she’s 31 years old, and she asked me to get a few books signed for her,” Reimer said. “She’s the one that got me into Meyer’s books, and the pacing of them and the stories are excellent. There are books where I’ll skip a few pages now and then and feel like I haven’t missed a g. But with her books, you want to read every word.”