sigO exclusive interview: TwiLite author

5 08 2009

a few months ago, a controversial parody hit the Twi-world. some called it blasphemy, some called it a masterpiece.  author Steve Jenner calls it TwiLite: A Parody. who is this person who mocks my Twi???

i found my way to TwiLiteParody.com where excerpts from the book are available for free preview. sigO hollerway and i read the excerpts together over the phone and found ourselves with tears streaming down our faces from

laughing. SO. HARD.

165 pages of sheer hilarity

165 pages of sheer hilarity

Forks = Sporks

Bella Swan = Stella Crow

Edward Cullen = Edweird Sullen

Jacob Black = Yakob Brown

if you can have a sense of humor about Twilight, you will love it. what’s an obsession if you can’t have fun with it? TwiLite has the slapstick feel of Scary Movie coupled with clever and unexpected twists in both the plot and dialogue. think Anna Faris meets Spaceballs meet Vampires.

i was able to catch up with Mr. Jenner, and scored an interview! he’s just as witty off the pages. find out why he wrote the book, who would win a UFC cage-match between him and Stephanie Meyer and the age-old question plaguing all twi-hards worldwide. which team is he on?

read the entire interview after the jump!

What inspired you to write Twilite? Is there someone in your life who is a fan of the original Twilight saga?

Last summer my wife suggested that I read Twilight (“The next Harry Potter”).  I had never heard of it before, but she was already a fan. (For the record I’m a 40-something guy). We had Twilight as a book on tape, which I listened to on my Metro commute to and from work.  As I was listening to it, I found a few things quite peculiar:  Why did Bella have to describe how perfect Edward was every time she saw him?  Once, twice, three times was fine – but it never ended.  I also found it strange that the Chief of Police was pretty darn oblivious to the fact that vampires and werewolves were residing not only in his town, but in his own house!  I told my wife that this book was just begging to be parodied — that it would pretty much write itself.  She suggested I go for it, and I just started typing away during the evenings. I eventually bought the book Twilight to use as a reference.  Working on and off, it took me about 4 months to write.

Did you see the movie first, or read the books? Did you read all four? If so, which of Meyer’s books would you consider to be the most interesting, from a male perspective?

I did read (well, listen to) all four books before the movie came out.  I suppose from a male’s (this guy’s) perspective, Eclipse had a little more action than the other books.  The interesting/frustrating part (for a guy) is that Bella is such a “playa” — although Edward does most everything right and you know they should be together, she still strings Jacob along and even has thoughts about changing teams.  What’s up with that? Reminds me of my high school days – oooh, too painful to go there… Next question, please.

If you and Stephanie Meyer were in a UFC-style cage match, who do you think would win? And what form of martial arts would you use to fight her?

Stephenie would kick my ass.  Indeed, 20-years ago I was this amazing physical specimen – me being the bastard child of Bruce Jenner and Venus (or is it Serena?) Williams.  But those days are gone.  Stephenie is also about 10 years younger than me, and I think she has a mean streak. My martial arts strategy would be a combination of Tiger and Crane Kung Fu. And pulling hair.

There was quite a bit of “product placement” throughout Twilite. Do you love Dairy Queen, and if so, what are your favorite menu items?

I don’t know exactly how or why I chose this running gag with DQ. Of course, who can resist their M&M Blizzard?  I guess I liked having DQ there because it is so mundane –certainly not some place where you’d expect this amazing family of vampires to end up.  It was just another way to bring the perfect Sullen family back down to earth with the lowly, boring human race.  (PS – One of my edits was re-writing the Preface, which had specifically mentioned DQ.  The last line was:  There I stood, trapped behind the soft serve machine, with Mister Softie bearing down on me; his twisted, pointy head ready to cream the life out of me). (Shrug)

Who was your favorite character to re-create?

I had most fun developing (well, reducing) Charlie.  As I mentioned before, despite being the Chief of Police, the poor guy just doesn’t have a clue.  He was a simple guy in the original books, and I just made him that much more…special.  In the end, the sad thing is, Charlie and “Harley” are really not that different.

As with any parody, the backlash from hardcore fans is to be expected. Can you tell us about some of the run-ins you may have had with the more “rabid” sects of Twi-hards?

A few weeks after Twilite was published word of its existence made it to the very popular NewMoonMovie.org website, and the hate and expletives started to fly.  I figure at least 2 out of 3 people really despised the book (well, me), and none had actually read the book.  They just didn’t want anyone ever messing with their perfect characters and storyline.  Since then, I’ve been very pleased with the response I’ve gotten, at least those who have written me from the Twilite website (Twilightparody.com – which my wife designed).  Once in a while I still get a hateful email; my guess is that those are usually from the younger readers, who are just so emotionally connected to the books.  I commend them for wanting to defend something they love so much – I just wish they’d write out their messages and curses with real words rather than in the “texting” language.  It’s a little hard to take that seriously.

Your bio says you have a PhD in a field unrelated to writing. Tell us more about “the real” Steve Jenner.

I actually grew up in [the DC area], went to U. Md and then to Texas A&M for grad school in organizational psychology.  Right out of school, and for the last 17 years, I have been investigating train accidents for the NTSB.  I am part of a team that goes to the accident site, and I specifically interview the operating crew to determine if human error was the cause of the accident, and then I write my report.  Not a whole lot of room for comic relief, though it can be interesting.  I’m married with an 11-year old son (who is mentioned in Twilite – “Four time pinewood derby pack champion Michael Jenner”).

Have you ever considered pitching Twilite to be made into a movie parody?

I was not successful pitching Twilite to a major publisher, so I don’t expect I’d have much luck pitching it to Hollywood.  But how cool would that be?  Ben Affleck as Edweird, Rosanne Barr as the Mother, and the comic genius Julia Roberts as the young and not so innocent Stella.  (And the Oscar for the Best Picture goes to…)

Would you consider yourself Team Edweird or Team Yakob?

As much as I’m pulling for the underdog (Yakob) I’d say right now I’m team Edweird.  He’s more fun, and someone you can hang out with for a couple hours. After that he’d probably get on your nerves.  I’m just afraid I’d get too many fleas or lime disease from Yakob if he got too close.

my signed copy of TwiLite. thanks, steve!!

my signed copy of TwiLite. thanks, steve!!

available for sale on TwilightParody.com, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Virtual Bookworm. you won’t regret it!

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3 responses

7 08 2009
Ashlern

Hey JJ, Did you ask him if he investigated the Red Line Crash?

I’m going to guess that they found no evidence of Edward being near the crash, because if he was he would have stood between the two trains and held them apart, keeping them from colliding.

But, in all seriousness, was Steve Jenner assigned to investigate the Red Line DC Metro Crash?

7 08 2009
Steve

Hi – Just checking on the latest and greatest when I saw this comment/question. No, I am not investigating the Red Line crash (though I pass through the site – with much delay – on the way to work). I was actually in Rockford, IL for a freight train derailment when the Metro accident occurred, and they sent some people from Rockford to the Red LIne. Very sad.

7 08 2009
Alliecupcake

Edward wouldve saved everyone. Sadface. Steve is hilarious. That is all.

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