9/12/2009--Forks, WA, USA..Longtime business Leppell's Flower and Gift Shop was on the brink of closing in February, according to owner Charlene Leppell. But then she started printing up "Bella for Prom Queen" T-shirts and applying glitter to red ceramic apples. Now her business, renamed "Twilight Central", shown here, is doing so well that "the question isn't whether or not I could afford to take a vacation this year," Ms. Leppell said, "but whether I could take off time from the store."..Sept 12th, 2009 was 'Stephanie Meyer' day in Forks, WA, to celebrate the birthday of 'Bella', a character from Meyer's Twilight vampire books; hundreds of fans of the books came to Forks to celebrate the events and visit sites from the book in the actual town. Over the last year or so Forks, a rainy no-nonsense town whose main industries are logging and two correctional facilities, has morphed into a mecca for "Twihards." Visitors have more than tripled for the first eight months of this year, compared to the same period last year. Lodging occupancy is up, and local merchants are busy selling Bella Burgers, Edward lunchboxes, and Jacob jigsaw puzzles...Twilight is a series of four vampire-based fantasy/romance novels by American author Stephenie Meyer. It charts the life of Isabella "Bella" Swan, a teenage girl who moves to Forks, Washington, and finds her life radically changed when she falls in love with a 104-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen. As of 2009, the series has sold over 70 million copies worldwide with translations into at least 38 different languages around the globe. ..©2009 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved.