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'Twilight' author Stephenie Meyer likes getting hands 'dirty' as 'Austenland' film producer

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - When Stephenie Meyer's name is mentioned, most people think of her "Twilight Saga" vampire books and films. But the author wants a new audience as a film producer.

Meyer produced "Austenland," starring Keri Russell and based on the novel by Meyer's friend Shannon Hale. The film, directed by Jerusha Hess, opens in limited release Friday.

Although Meyer was a producer for "The Twilight Saga-Breaking Dawn" films and the movie adaptation of her novel "The Host," this is the first time she's produced someone else's work. She said in a recent interview that she got to be "a little bit more hands-on, a little more dirty" with producing duties.

"Austenland" is a romantic comedy about a single 30-something woman (Russell) obsessed with Jane Austen novels who spends her life savings to visit a British Jane Austen theme park.

"We made a lot of mistakes and we learned a lot more because we are allowed to make mistakes," Meyer said of her "Austenland" crew, adding that she was "surprised that it all worked out so well."

Meyer said she enjoyed the "collaboration" and "socialization" of producing and found a "different kind of creative outlet."

She described writing as "a very solitary thing you do in a quiet room," while producing is "something you do in a room full of people shouting all the time."

Meyer has optioned the books "Down a Dark Hall" and "Anna Dressed in Blood" for film. She said it's a coincidence that she's turning back to the supernatural world with the two young adult ghost stories. "When you find a book that you're excited about you just act first and then realize you're stuck in a pattern," she said.

Meyer wants to continue to write but isn't planning any more "Twilight" novels. She says it is "possible," but that spending so much time on them "in some ways completely burned me out on that whole world."

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Online:

http://stepheniemeyer.com

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Follow Lauri Neff on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/lneffist

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