Q: This is going to sound insanely curious but… do the vampires bathe? Given that you said the hunting is messy (no clean puncture wounds), I’m assuming that they get dirty… or at least bloody. So do they take showers? Do they comb their hair? Brush their teeth?
A: Vampires do shower, but they don’t get dirty the same way we do. Outside dirt, yes–blood and mud and whatnot (though most vampires don’t get a spot on themselves when they eat–its all a matter of practice), but not sweat or body oils. They would never have B.O., ha ha. One girl asked me why Alice had a bathroom and if vampires have to pee. No, they don’t (they use all the blood, creating no waste), but they do shower. (And of course they have to have bathrooms–houses are just built that way, and when they want to move, it would look a little weird on the real estate listing: eight bedrooms, no baths.)
They do wash the dust and rain out of their hair, too. And Rosalie particularly spends a lot of time doing hers. (Hair is dead cells–the vampire transformation doesn’t affect it. If you’ve got split ends, sorry! Not getting better. Ha ha).
Q: Now here’s a question that came to mind while discussing the book with another friend. She’s a vampire romance novel -aholic and she wondered why Bella didn’t just prick her finger and let Edward drink from her every now and then. Personally, I thought that was a bit sadistic – like she would tease him with it. (I’m picturing Bella with a cut finger, waving it back and forth in front of Edward teasingly saying, "Come and get it!") Especially since we know how difficult it was for him to stop drinking from her the one time he had to. But still, what would happen, do you suppose, if Bella had a cut on her finger? Natural instinct is to put the cut to your mouth – at least it is for me. Edward tasted her tears in one scene. Would he be tempted to taste from a wound?
A: You picked up on the key to this question–why Bella doesn’t just let Edward have a sip now and then–in the difficulty he has stopping when he’s sucking out the venom at the end of Twilight. As Alice said, vampires frenzy like sharks when there’s blood "in the water," so to speak. (That’s why Edward was ditching Biology on the day they were blood typing. A normal vampire can’t handle being in a room with flowing blood. Carlisle is a one-of-a-kind exception to that rule. Edward is better than an average vampire, and he could probably resist a lot of finger pricks (Jasper could not handle that), but why risk it, right? The Cullens play it safe.) When Edward is drinking blood, he’s much wilder and less human than usual. That’s why Bella can’t go on a hunting trip with him. Once the blood gets flowing, all the Cullens (besides Carlisle, of course) become more like "real" vampires.
Edward can’t be around Bella when she’s bleeding without being in intense temptation–to the point of pain. A few drops would only make it worse. Like a few drops of water when you’ve been wandering in the desert for days… You’d totally suck down the whole gallon of Evian.
Several girls wanted to know if Edward would have a more difficult time being around Bella when she’s having her period. Answer: Yes, a little bit, but he would never say anything about it–much too much of a gentleman. And Bella would be way to embarrassed to ask. (It’s not the same as a cut, though. It’s sort of "dead" blood, if you get my meaning).
Q: Will you be publishing your version of Edward’s story? And if so, when might that be?
A: I have no idea if I am going to publish Edward’s version. I guess I will if the publisher wants it. I’d kind of like to have it printed up as a companion–a pretty little set. I’m not sure if the publisher will want Edward’s version. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book like that. The closest I can think of is Ender’s Shadow (Orson Scott Card’s companion to Ender’s Game), but that book tells the same story from a really minor character’s point of view, so it’s a very, very different book with huge sections that appear nowhere in the original. Edward is such a central part of Twilight that I’m locked in to following the original story extremely closely. Too closely? Is it too boring to print separately? Too much the same thing? These are the questions in my head. If the publisher doesn’t want it, I will post it all on my website. See, when I think about that though, I know that tons of people will be printing it off in its entirety. It doesn’t cost that much for a publisher to print up a small lot of books, especially if they don’t have to pay anything in marketing–I can’t imagine they wouldn’t want to print it if it would sell, whether it’s too derivative or not.
So for the answer: I don’t have a clue. And it’s going slow, so I’m not sure how much I’ll get finished before I have to focus on Eclipse BUT, I will get that first chapter up on my site regardless.
Q: Jasper is the one character I feel like I have no grip on. He’s like a void for some reason.
A: Okay, Jasper things. I love me some Jasper. Firstly, the reason Jasper has the most trouble with the Cullen diet is that he has been around since the Civil War and he has consumed a LOT of human blood. He has formed really bad habits. Also, my boy is a fighting machine (and I’m not talking about Civil War/human fights here, though he was a major in the Confederate army when he was human). The Cullen lifestyle is like an almost incomprehensibly peaceful retirement for him.
Secondly, he’s really mostly doing this for Alice. Alice is Jasper’s entire life. She is the most important thing in the universe to him, and he would do absolutely anything for her. For Jasper, there would be no limit to who or what he would destroy for Alice. Not that she wants him destroying anything. She’s the light side of their relationship–she makes him laugh (and he wasn’t much of a laugher before Alice). Jasper is the most "vampire-y" of the Cullens, and, while he’s fond of them all, he’s not bonded to them the way the rest of them are. The way Alice most definitely is. The whole high school thing really freaks him out. He’s trying to get better at being around humans, but it’s an uphill struggle.