"Dawn" breaks at midnight tonight

Scheduled for release at midnight tonight is "Breaking Dawn," the fourth and final installment of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" saga about teenage vampires.

Teenage vampires? Yes, it sounds a bit odd but if you don't know these books it's only because you haven't got a teen of your own. About 8 million copies of the first three books are now in print in the US (according to USA Today) and when the fourth goes on sale at 12:01 tonight there will be midnight parties at bookstores across the country.

There are plenty of adults reading the books as well although for many of us older folk the most interesting part of this plot is the story about the author. She's a 34-year-old stay-at-home mom, a devout Mormon who majored in English at Brigham Young University and who says that the idea for the series came to her in a dream. Interviewers indicate that she seems to handle her global fame (her books are now translated into 20 languages) with remarkable poise.

Like their author, these books are different from what you might imagine a bestselling teen-vampire series to be. The first three "Twilight" books are violence-light although Meyer warns that "Breaking Dawn" gets a little rougher.

Teens, however, swear that it's the characters and the love story that draw them in.

And for the kids who snap up those books tonight, it doesn't look as if they need to worry about running out of reading material anytime soon. Meyer is on record saying it's her goal to try to write five more books next year.

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