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She may write a Mormon novel someday, but for now, she's happy working with her vampires.

"I have a novel I started that would be a Mormon comedy romance," she says. "I do wonder what it would be like, because I have these girls who will read anything I write, so I know they'll read it, and I can't imagine what their reaction would be. And what parents will think about their kids reading stuff that has quite a lot of Mormon doctrine in it."

After Eclipse comes out August 7, there will be one book left in the series, then Meyer plans on doing a book that retells Twilight from Edward's perspective. She's also gearing up for a 15-city tour behind Eclipse. In between, she's focusing on finishing her mainstream science fiction book, The Host, and has about 20 other story ideas in various stages of development, including one about cannibal mermaids.

Still, she's not the type to plan too far into the future.

"When the prom hadn't happened yet, I couldn't even think about (the trip to) Italy because there was nothing until prom was done. Now there's no life until I finish editing The Host," she says. "I just live from crisis to crisis."

Her current worry is that Eclipse comes out so close to the release of the final Harry Potter book. But if her previous success is any indication, she'll be fine. In June, she enjoyed a special honor: Twilight and New Moon both topped the New York Times bestseller list, one as a hardcover and one as a paperback, even after being on the market for so long.

That mark of success has a lot to do with how involved she stays with her readers. The Eclipse prom she hosted in May is a good example.

The idea actually sprang from fans in Pasadena, California, who came to a signing and told her that the next time Meyer came to town, they were going to wear prom dresses and have a party for one of the characters, just like the prom Edward and Bella go to at the end of Book One. Meyer and her publicist jumped on the idea.

The publisher turned the prom into a PR event for the release of the New Moon special edition and to promote the release of Book Three. But, in the end, it really was all about the fans. Fans formed the "prom committee," a group of girls (and grown women) from around the country who helped Meyer with decorations and logistics.

At the prom in May, Meyer signed more than 1,000 books and, by nighttime, had a blister on her finger. The naturally shy woman still has a hard time believing that it is all for her. She still doesn't believe she's as famous as she is and scoffs at the idea that she's approaching J.K. Rowling status. She says she's been recognized only twice, once by another author and once by two girls at an OK Go concert.

"Writer fame is like 100 percent better than any other kind of fame," she says. "Unless I'm going to an event, no one will recognize me."

But in small groups of fans, she lights up, relishing the chance to be one of the girls. At an after-party for the prom, a group of about 30 girls, and a few boys, are gathered in their pajamas, playing Meyer-themed games like Twilight Cranium. They're divided into teams: humans, vampires, and werewolves. Excitement erupts when Meyer walks into the room in her PJs, her hair still done up for the prom.

Meyer plops down in a chair and is immediately surrounded by girls. She pulls one onto her lap while another plays with her hair.

Through the cheers, one fan whispers to a friend, "See, I knew she'd come."

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Megan Irwin
Contact: Megan Irwin