The fact that vampires are sweeping the fantasy genre (again) comes as no surprise to any of us. They are and always will be ingrained into our literary history. After the popularity of Anne Rice's work there was a bit of a breather. Anne Rice was phenomenal in her time and she appealed to a large audience which is not easy to do. Then along came Laurell Hamilton. In the beginning I loved Laurell's books about Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. They were full of action and suspense. Then around book four or five the character took a dive from an independent woman with morals and standards to a sex addicted slut who couldn't stop herself from sleeping with every breathing man out there. If I had been looking for a porn book that would have been fine, but I wanted my action hero back, the one with morals. It was not going to happen so I stopped buying her books altogether. Did she commit career suicide? No, she just changed her target audience and ended up losing some readers while gaining new ones.
In Laurell's wake a lot of good authors have emerged who write a pretty good vampire story but none of them really grabbed the market by the throat until Stephanie Meyer. Did I read Twilight? Hell yes, I had to just to find out what was so great about this writer. And I loved it, couldn't get the next book fast enough. So what is so great about this writer? Ask different people you'll get different answers, and really your answer lies in that. She has figured out exactly who her target audience is and what they want. Which is why most men will roll their eyes when you mention Twilight and most women will go all dreamy eyed. I don't necessarily like that (SPOILER!) Bella gives up everything, including her humanity, for the man she loves at such a young age, but it didn't ruin the story for me.
Getting Stephanie's mojo is as easy (and as difficult!) as figuring out who your target audience is and what they really want deep down. Know your readers and you will be successful!
For an extra treat check out this link to see what Laurell says about Stephanie. The claws are out on this one girls! http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/07/31/this-weeks-cover-vampires/?xid=rss-feed-todayslatest-Vampires%21+First+look+at+EW+cover