PERSONAL CORRESPONDANCE #3

Q:  Who would you say is more conscious about their looks – Rosalie or Alice?  I picture Alice as more of a tomboy, but she is the one who did all the fussing over Bella for the prom.  Maybe it’s the hair.  LOL!  I always have to remind myself that it was Alice and not Rosalie who did all that fussing.

A:  Rosalie’s true defining personal trait is her beauty.  Like Emmett’s strength–they’re both more intensely physical than intellectual, which makes them a perfect match.  Edward just doesn’t pay that much attention to how Rosalie looks.  Can you imagine how much that annoys her?
 
So Rosalie is much more concerned about her appearance than Alice.  Alice fusses over Bella before prom because she is, among other things, fascinated with being around a human.  When she said in the prom scene that she was trying to live vicariously through Bella (that was in there, right?  I keep getting stuff from Forever Dawn mixed up with Twilight rough drafts), that was a key phrase.  She is trying to experience humanity through close association with Bella.  Also, Bella is a very natural girl–not one for makeup or fixating on clothes.  Alice sees her as a blank canvass waiting to become a work of art.

Q:  I understand that Rosalie likes to keep her own last name.  But why would Jasper take Hale as a last name – and even further – why do they pretend to be actual brother and sister?  Why don’t they just say they, too, were adopted individually?

A:  About Jasper using the name Hale–it’s just for convenience.  He and Rosalie look a lot alike.  They actually look like fraternal twins–both the same color blond, both tall, him muscular and her statuesque (with the same pale skin, gold eyes and flawless beauty, of course).  The Cullens use many different subterfuges to try to keep people from looking too closely at them.  Anything that seems to be a certain way–like Rosalie and Jasper seeming to be related–they embrace.  They work within people’s expectations.  People assume the two blonds are related, so they let that assumption stand.  Plus, the more complicated a story is, the quicker someone gets bored trying to understand it, and gives up. 

They don’t always use the same story.  When it was just Carlisle and Edward, Edward pretended to be the young brother of Carlisle’s deceased wife.  Then, after Esme, Edward was again Carlisle’s wife’s younger brother (only this time, the wife was alive).  As the family got bigger, the explanations got more complex. Eventually, the Cullen’s home came to look like a refuge for troubled teens.  (Though the best-behaved troubled teens ever).
 
They could be Whitlocks, it wouldn’t make any difference to anyone accept Rosalie.  Jasper doesn’t care what anyone calls him.  But Rosalie clings to her human past with all ten fingers.

Q:  Did any of them have living family when they were changed?  And was it difficult for them to accept, or did they just run off and avoid telling family?  We ask because of that over active imagination wondering how Renee and Charlie would react to Bella should you decide to change her.  If the Cullens have experience telling family about the change, it might make it smoother.  On the other hand, if those experiences all went sour, it would only add to Edward’s anxiety over changing her.

A:  You know Carlisle had his father, and that Edward and Esme and Alice all had no one, really.  Rosalie, however, had two doting parents and two younger brothers.  After she became a vampire, she never saw them again.  Emmett was the youngest of a huge Scotch-Irish-American brood.  His parents and siblings were all still living.  Jasper had living parents and a younger sister.  Neither of them ever saw their families after becoming vampires.  There is a really good reason for this aside from the suspicion that would result (remember the brilliant red eyes?  Kind of hard to disguise before the invention of sunglasses and colored contacts).  That reason will be explored from several angles…in book three. :)  Sorry.

Q:  If the vampires don’t have blood, then where did it go?  Did it just dry up?  Evaporate?  Or were they nearly drained of it by the one who changed them?

A:  The blood left in a newborn vampire’s body is used–burned like fuel, the same way the blood they drink from others is used for fuel.  Here’s an analogy: think of it as the fat stores in your body.  You’re still eating, but you use those fat stores up, too, over time (though not always; more’s the pity, so the analogy isn’t perfect unless you are successfully dieting).  That blood left in them is used slowly over about a year.