The Quileute mythology is just a secondary storyline in the novels, but it is what has kept me reading the books and watching the movies. According to the mythology, the early Quileute were changed from wolves. Meyer uses this facet of the mythology and elaborated on it, added to it as authors do. She created new and interesting facets such as having some members of the Quileute tribe transform into werewolves and imprint on others. What she did in adding to the existing mythology is so fascinating to me.
The mythology of indigenous people is really interesting to me, and I love what Meyer did in creating the wolves. She did take certain creative liberties in adding to the existing mythology of the Quileute people, but that is what authors do. The idea of the 'cold ones' is not an actual part of the Quileute people, but rather Meyer's own invention. Members of the tribe phase into wolves to protect the tribe against the 'cold ones.'
And so, Stephenie Meyer created Jacob Black, who at first she had not intended would play such a pivotal role in her novels. However, in writing New Moon, she realized that Jacob Black needed to be a greater character than she's originally intended. That is why New Moon is my favorite of all the novels. I love when Edward goes away for a long time and we get to see more of Jacob as he slowly begins to embrace the destiny that his Quileute origins require of him.
Twilight readers all have different reasons for loving (or hating) the novels. This is my reason. The Quileute mythology and what Stephenie Meyer added to it is what sucked me in about the Twilight books.
(wolf headdress-Quileute artwork)