Updated 05/05/2020: It's official: there's a new chapter of 'The Twilight Saga' headed to bookstores in 2020.
On March 4, 2020, following a mysterious online countdown, author Stephenie Meyer took to her website to announce Midnight Sun, a new take on the original Twilight story as told by Edward Cullen instead of Bella Swan.
In a video announcement on Good Morning America, Meyer announced the book will be released on August 4. She added: "It's a crazy time right now and I wasn't sure it was the right time to put this book out, but some of you have been waiting for just so so long it didn't seem right to make you wait any more."
It appears as though the new book will be something of a prequel to the first Twilight novel, which involves vampire Edward Cullen's tumultuous first meeting with human Bella (remember that fateful first encounter in science class?).
Per the book's publisher, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: "Meeting beautiful, mysterious Bella is both the most intriguing and unnerving event [Edward] has experienced in his long life as a vampire.
"As we learn more fascinating details about Edward's past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle on his life. How can he let himself fall in love with Bella when he knows that he is endangering her life?"
In the past, Meyer has gone into detail about the writing process of Midnight Sun on her website, stepheniemeyer.com (which appeared to have temporarily crashed as a result of the announcement). She initially started writing the book after authoring the Twilight series, but went back on plans to release the book after a major portion was leaked in 2008.
Since then, Meyer has discussed the prospect of the book on her website, and even released a draft of the first chapter that people could read, which has now been deleted. However, there's no need for any more speculation, as the book is now well and truly on its way.
We can bet that plenty of self-isolating Twilight fans will be over the moon about this announcement.
Original 04/05/2020: Is Stephenie Meyer about to announce a new Twilight book to give fans something to look forward to during quarantine?
A mysterious countdown on the author's website, stepheniemeyer.com, has been set up as of early May 2020. It's set to end on May 4, 2020 (around 10:30pm AEST), and some fans are speculating it'll result in a release date for Meyer's much-discussed Edward Cullen spin-off, titled Midnight Sun.
As a hotly-anticpiated accompaniment to the Twilight book series, Meyer has touted the idea of Midnight Sun in the past. Interestingly, she's explained it would take shape as a new version of the original Twilight story as told by vampire Edward Cullen, instead of the protagonist, Bella Swan.
Though Meyer has gone into detail about the inspiration behind Midnight Sun on her website before (and even included a partial draft for fans to read), she's never actually announced a release date for the book, despite serious anticipation from Twilight fans.
Per CNN, there's also speculation abound that Meyer could be releasing a sequel to her post-apocalyptic 2008 novel The Host, or even some kind of film/TV series. However, all rumours are unconfirmed at this point.
As fans know, the original Twilight books are one of the most-read book series of all time, and culminated in a wildly popular film series starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.
The aforementioned stars achieved stratospheric fame as a result of the series, which ended up becoming one of the most bankable film sagas of all time.
The only time Meyer has released a fictional Twilight book unrelated to the main four in the series (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn) was a 2010 novella named The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, dedicated to a vampire character who appears briefly in Eclipse.
Considering the legion of still-dedicated Twilight fans, it's no surprise this countdown has sent some people into a tailspin, but we'll have to wait until the clock stops ticking to find out what it means. Whatever happens, it looks like Meyer is giving fans something to look forward to during self-isolation, and for that we can thank her.