The publication of Midnight Sun — the once-canceled novel that retells Twilight from Edward Cullen's perspective — has Twihards in a tizzy. And revisiting the Twilight universe 15 years after it first debuted also has author Stephenie Meyer in her feelings. So much so that writing Midnight Sun made her realize that there was one major thing she wished she could change about the book. Meyer thinks that Twilight's Edward would have said "I love you" sooner.
"When I was writing Twilight, things felt right," Meyer tells Bustle. "But then I realized [Edward] absolutely would have told [Bella] he loved her sooner. There's no way he wouldn't have. There were certain points where I'm like, 'Yes, he would have said it right here.' And I can't change that. And that's very frustrating."
Out on Aug. 4, Midnight Sun recounts the events of Twilight, this time following Edward instead of Bella. Meyer canceled the novel's production after portions of it leaked online in 2008, but announced in May that she would publish Midnight Sun after all.
The release comes just a few short years after 2015's Love and Death, a gender-bent Twilight story that focused on Edythe and Beau. Meyer said then that Edythe and Beau's inability to reproduce prevented her from continuing to tell their story in other books. And Midnight Sun presented Meyer with a whole new creative challenge.
"Part of the struggle of writing [Midnight Sun] was there wasn't much room for me to readdress and to make changes. I've been locked into the story," she says. "I knew what Edward was thinking and feeling [when I was writing Twilight]. So for me there aren't a lot of surprises, and I wish that there was more room for changes."
Changes like revising the timing of Edward's profession of love for Bella. In the original novel, Edward doesn't tell Bella he loves her until the second half of the book, just before the Cullen family's baseball game. However, Meyer now believes he would have said those three little words much sooner.
"He definitely would have after he saved her in Port Angeles. He addresses that mentally where he is kind of surprised, as he thinks over their conversation when he's talking to her again, that he didn't say it," she says. "He's like, 'Oh, is she not aware?' But still, I feel like if I had the freedom to rework it instead of just telling his side, there would have been some fun changes."
Edward's delayed "I love you" aside, Midnight Sun has plenty of new material for Twihards to obsess over. The new book is almost twice as long as its predecessor, according to Meyer, and includes scenes depicting the time Edward spent apart from Bella, early on in their acquaintanceship.
Stephenie Meyer's Midnight Sun is out now.