I found this interview that Library Journal did with Stephenie on Monday and wanted to share it. (For some reason the link won't work, so I just copied and pasted the whole thing for you to read)
LJ Talks To Stephenie Meyer
Patricia Altner -- Library Journal, 5/5/2008 7:29:00 AM
Stephenie Meyer’s wildly popular young adult “Twilight Saga” series, which centers on the strong bond between a teenage girl, her vampire boyfriend, and his family, has sold over three million books in the Unite d States in just two years. Recently named one of Time magazine’s100 Most Influential People of 2008, the author has now written her first novel for adults. Blending science fiction with romance, The Host revolves around a most unusual love triangle involving only two bodies. Meyers brings to this tale the same intensity of her YA series in exploring what makes all of us, alien or otherwise, human. For more on The Host, check out Neal Wyatt's RA Crossroads No. 4.
You are well-known for your YA series. Why did you decide to write an adult novel? How does this differ from writing for teenagers?
Like the “Twilight Saga” (this is probably the only way The Host is like the series!), this was just a story I had fun telling myself. My personal entertainment is always the key to why a story gets finished. I never think about another audience besides myself while I’m writing; that can wait for the editing stage.
What inspired the story of The Host?
I was driving from Phoenix to Salt Lake City through some of the most dreary and repetitive desert in the world. It’s a drive I’ve made many times, and one of the ways I keep from going insane is by telling myself stories. I have no idea what sparked the strange foundation of a body-snatching alien in love with the host body’s boyfriend over the host-body’s objections. I was halfway into the story before I realized it. Once I got started, though, the story immediately demanded my attention. I could tell there was something compelling in the idea of such a complicated triangle. I started writing the outline in a notebook, and then fleshed it out as soon as I got to a computer. The Host was supposed to be no more than a side project—something to keep me busy between editing stints on Eclipse[the latest “Twilight” title]—but it turned into something I couldn’t step away from until it was done.
What type of research did you do for this novel?
One of the advantages of fantasy is that research rarely applies. I created most of this world straight from my imagination. The main setting is the desert, which is home for me.
In The Host and the “Twilight” series you describe so eloquently the pain of love and the meaning of friendship. Why are these themes important to you?
Aren’t these themes important to everyone? Like a lot of writers, I find myself drawn to themes that are deeply human, and The Host, though written from an alien perspective, is no exception.
The characters of Melanie and Wanderer are very different. How were you able to make them come so completely to life even though they share the same physical body?
Wanderer and Melanie were very distinct personalities to me from day one; keeping them separate was never an issue. Melanie is the victim—she’s the one that we, as humans, should identify with; at the same time, she is not always the more admirable character. She can be angry and violent and ruthless. Wanderer is the attacker, the thief. She is not like us, not even a member of our species. However, she is someone that I, at least, wish I was more like. She’s a better person than Melanie in a lot of ways, and yet a weaker person. The differences between the two main characters are the whole point of the story. If they weren’t so distinct, there would have been no reason to write it.
What is your writing environment like?
I have an open office in the middle of the house. This can be pretty chaotic, but I like my kids to be able to see me, and know I’m there if they need something. Also, I can’t concentrate if I don’t know what they’re up to.
What writers inspire you?
Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, and Orson Scott Card. I can’t go through a year without re-reading Austen. Shakespeare and Orson Scott Card— whose styles, oddly enough, have a lot in common—are the bar that I try to reach. Both of these writers put their characters in fantastic, impossible situations. Then they make those characters so human, their reactions so real, that we instinctively know that we would respond just the same way if that situation ended up being possible after all—if there really were fairies wandering around sprinkling love dust on our eyes or if we really were at war with alien space bugs. The stories are perfectly true to human nature, despite the fantasy element.
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