'Twilight': How a book touched a town

Tomorrow is the much-anticipated opening of the film version of "Twilight," the first of Stephenie Meyer's wildly popular vampire-romance novels. Teen readers, Hollywood execs, and countless marketers are eagerly awaiting the release – but none are more excited than the 3,000-some residents of Forks, Wash.

Forks is the setting for much of the "Twilight" series. This Washington state burg is an unlikely choice as a backdrop for a romance novel. Forks was built up once upon a time on the timber industry but it's seen harder times in recent years. Until "Twilight," that it.

The book was published in 2005. Tourists began trickling in shortly thereafter. A year or so ago the trickle became a stream. Stores began stocking "Twilight" merchandise, a van tour was launched, area motels began filling up, and suddenly the downtown was showing a new vitality.

Some truly devoted (or obsessed) fans even moved to Forks.

Who knows what Forks will look like after the film's release.

Meyers herself confesses that she never saw Forks until after she wrote the first book. She chose it as a setting sight-unseen because she had heard that it was one of the rainiest places in America. (It averages 12 feet of rain a year.)

When she saw it, however, she says that she was much taken by the beauty of the scenery that surrounds it. She is also reported to have said that it seemed so like the Forks in her book that she kept expecting her characters to walk around the corner.

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