Personal Correspondence 9

Once again I must thank Nimir-Ra over at the Twilight MySpace website for letting me post the Q&A from her site over here at the lexicon.  I am indebted to the forward thinking of the members of that site for how open they are with their questions.  Enjoy!

Q. Why did Bella get that electric shock or whatever from Edward when they were in biology?

A. Physical chemistry. The jolt you get when you brush fingers with the hottest guy you’ve ever seen… sigh…Edward… Ha ha.

Q. Are you planning on writing an Edward version of New Moon and Eclipse?

A. Probably not. (Though there is at least one chapter in New Moon that I WILL write in Edward’s POV, and then post on my site or whatnot.) See, once Edward gets to tell his side, people will "know" him well enough that his POV won’t be necessary for every book. I think it’s interesting that people don’t entirely get Edward. When I read through the fan fics (which I don’t have much time for anymore, sigh) it’s clear that people "get" Bella so much better than they get Edward. I’m always shocked by things that Edward would NEVER do or say, and I realize that people just don’t know him the way I do.

Q. Since vampires’ senses are heightened, do they feel pain more acutely than humans? Likewise, would sex be better for a vampire than a human?

A. Yes. Their senses are greatly heightened. Though it takes a lot more to hurt them, the pain would be more intense. Pleasure, also, would be more intense.

Q. Did Edward find it very hard to be around Tyler when he and Bella were in the hospital after the accident? Was Bella too distracted by how Edward had saved her to be sickened by Tyler’s blood?

A. I imagine Bella was a little woozy thanks to Tyler’s blood, but that overpowering hospital chemical smell really counteracts all other smells, for a human at least. I’ve written this part of the story from Edward’s perspective, and it is at this moment that Edward starts to grasp how Carlisle is able to handle being around blood. Here’s a paragraph from Edward’s version:

"It was amazingly easy to ignore Tyler, lying no more than four feet from me, covered in fresh blood. I’d never understood how Carlisle was able to do that–ignore the blood of his patients in order to treat them. Wouldn’t the constant temptation be so distracting, so dangerous? But, now I could see how, if you were focusing on something else hard enough, the temptation was be nothing at all. Even fresh and exposed, Tyler’s blood had nothing on Bella’s."

Q. Do the Cullens celebrate their birthdays?

A:  Sort of, in a joking way. Birthdays are pretty meaningless when you don’t change.

Q. You’ve said that when someone becomes a vampire, they sort of "freeze" where they are mentally. Is Edward emotionally still 17? He refers to the other teens as "children", but does he feel any affinity with them? Does he think of Bella as a child, and if so, does this have any impact on his attraction to her? Like, does he find her childish or juvenile at all?

A. Edward is emotionally and intellectually more adult than a modern seventeen-year-old, due to the times in which he lived. In his world, he was old enough to be considered a man. People his age were getting married and beginning their lives. He was about to join the military and go fight in the Great War. Developmentally, he was an adult. So he is able to understand and absorb this century he’s lived through, to gain perspective from it.

This perspective is what makes him think of his classmates as children, coupled with the fact that they are so helpless in comparison with himself. The vampires do have a bit of a superiority complex, heh heh. However, Edward still is a teenage boy in many ways. This is his first experience with romantic love, his first kiss, just as it is for Bella. He thinks of Bella as just one of the "children" until he becomes interested in her. Then he begins to learn how mature she is for her age, just like him…

The other girls at school are fairly immature and petty. Their minds are a turn off :)

Q. Ok so we know that Alice and Jasper are very close, so I was wondering how close are Emmett and Rosalie, and Carlisle and Esme? Out of the three couples which one has the closest relationship?

A. This is an apples to oranges question, because their relationships are so different. Rosalie and Emmett’s might be seen as the most superficial in a way, because their relationship is so intensely physical. But they are entirely committed to each other, so that’s hardly superficial… Esme and Carlisle have the most spiritual relationship, for lack of a better word. Their relationship is on another plane from Rosalie and Emmett’s. And then Alice and Jasper’s is the most…mystical. They just ARE together, and have been from before they even met. They are not complete without each other–and never were. That’s what makes them different from the other couples, the "never were." They were already not-whole before they met, waiting for each other.

Q. Bella speculates at the beginning of the book that Jessica tried to ask Edward out, or get him interested in her, but that she struck out. Is that what happened? Is the only reason Lauren doesn’t like Bella because she likes Tyler and Tyler likes Bella, or is Lauren jealous of Bella’s relationship with Edward too?

A. Jessica tried to flirt with Edward and was met with icy disinterest (of course). She was never brave enough to ask him out in the face of his obvious dislike.

Lauren is jealous of EVERYTHING about Bella. Before Bella came to Forks, Lauren was the most sought after human girl. She hates all the attention Bella gets, even more so because Bella doesn’t try to get attention (or want it).

Q. When Bella and Edward are sitting in her kitchen before they go to meet his family, Edward wants to know if Bella is going to introduce him to Charlie as her boyfriend. Bella says she was under the impression that he is "more than that." What does Bella mean by that? How do each of them see their relationship?

A. As many people have guessed, the word "boyfriend" seems sort of trite and schoolyard-ish in the light of how Bella feels about Edward. He is her entire world, and she knows that’s not going to change. Soulmate would be her preferred word. And Edward feels that way even more strongly.

Q. What did Esme, Rosalie, and Alice’s wedding dresses look like?

A. I don’t have any pictures of that. Alice’s was an adorable 50s number, and Esme’s was a very traditional ornate-lace-and-orange-blossoms affair. Rosalie has had one for nearly every trend.

Q. On pg.20 when Bella first sees Edward and his family around the table and he starts talking, what is he saying?

A. Here’s another teeny piece from Edward’s version:

"Jessica Stanley is giving the new Swan girl all the dirty laundry on the Cullen clan," I murmured to Emmett.

He chuckled under his breath. I hope she’s making it good, he thought.

"Rather unimaginative, actually. Just the barest hint of scandal. Not an ounce of horror. I’m a little disappointed."

Q. Do all the vampires Carlilse has turned live in the same house, or are there others that he didn’t have live with him and if so why?

A. Carlisle has only changed Edward, Esme, Rosalie, and Emmett. There aren’t any others that live elsewhere.

Q. Can Edward read Alice’s mind while she’s having a ‘vision’?

A. Yes–he can see it just like she sees it.

Q. Can vampires get drunk?

A. No.

Q. Do the Cullens and Hales usually attend school dances, or where they just going to the prom on the behalf of Bella?

A. They were mostly going for Bella. Extracurricular school activities are not the norm for the Cullens. Rosalie loves the chance to dress up and show off, though.

Q. This is not meant to be offensive in ANY way, shape or form, but do gay vampires exist? What if someone changed a human, intending them to be their permanent companion or something and it turned out they were… er… well, gay?

A. If someone was to bite a gay person, that person would still be who they were before, so they would still be gay.

Q. And also, will the whole series have an official name, or is it just going to be called The Twilight Series or whatever?

A. Good question. Wish I had a good answer! Right now the powers that be are calling the Twilight Series because they haven’t come up with anything else. I haven’t thought of anything good, either.

Q. When are Esme, Emmett, Rosalie, Jasper, and Alice’s birthdays?

A. Because these haven’t figured into the story yet, I haven’t chosen exact days. It may never come up, or it may show up someday. *shrugs*

Q. What is the deal with Alice? In the beginning everyone is apprehensive about her meeting Bella, but she seems extremely nice and approving of her, so why is Edward so weird about it?

A. Alice is nice to Bella because she’s going with the assumption (from a tentative vision she had) that Bella is going to become one of the family. Edward doesn’t want Bella to become a vampire, so he’s not especially happy with Alice’s motivations.

Q. I was just wondering you need a degree in literature in order to publish your work?

A. You don’t need any degree at all to be published. Christopher Paolini and others were in high school when they got published (ah, I see someone else mentioned the author of Eragon…). Studying literature and the English language definitely does help with the writing. I learned everything I know about writing from all the reading I did in my life.

Q. This may seem a bit random but do Edward or any of the other Cullens/Hales like to ski? For some reason it seems like a sport they’d like because it’s so… fast.

A. I imagine they enjoy skiing a lot. I’ll bet Emmett prefers snowboarding, though…

Q. How old are Renee, Charlie, and Phil?

A. Renee is 37, Charlie is 41, and Phil is 29 (Renee is a cradle robber!!).

Q. Why don’t the vampires in your books rule the world? Don’t get me wrong, I am glad they don’t, but they’re basically indestructible. Let’s face it, in reality it would be totally likely some crazy Adolf Hitler vampire could totally try to take over the world. He could enslave humans or something and if he got enough vampire followers, who could stop him or her? And what vampire wouldn’t want to join in and rule the world?

A. Vampires have their own world within ours. They don’t see the distribution of power quite the same way we do. To most vampires, humans are like a herd of cows. Who wants to be king of the food supply? There is a power hierarchy of sorts within the vampire world, and that will be dealt with in future books.

Q. Would a vampire’s hearing be good enough to be able to hear someone/something in a sound-proof room?

A. That would depend on how close the vampire is, how loud the sound inside the booth is, and what the booth is made out of, etc. But it would be possible.

Q. What came first, the vampire or the bite?

A. If you go with Edward’s version of intelligent creation, then the vampire.

Q. Is the house the Cullens live in real?

A. I made up the house. I have no idea if there are any three story mansions on the outskirts of Forks.

Q. Do you have your own favorite quote from the book? Or what part did you enjoy writing the most?

A. I can’t really pick a favorite quote–there are too many that are special to me. My favorite parts to write were…the meadow, because it was first and started it all…the conversation in Port Angeles and on the way home was so much fun…The Angel chapter after Edward saves her from James made me cry when I was writing it (that was a first)…the baseball game…her visit to the Cullen’s house…her conversation with Jacob Black…okay, I could probably name them all :) Writing Twilight was an incredibly enjoyable experience from start to finish.

Q. I was wondering what Bella got Edward for his birthday.

A. He didn’t tell her it was his birthday. Can you believe that? Men!

Q. Have any of the Cullens ever owned a motorcycle?

A. Not recently.

Q. Alice’s visions-are they animated or like photographs?

A. Both, but more often like still photographs. She gets motionless images most of the time. The moving visions (and the ones with sound) are only of things that are very concrete and sure (usually the ones that are almost about to happen).

Q. How many periods (hours) are there before lunch in Forks High?

A. Four

Edward’s schedule

1) Calculus
2) Government
3) English
4) Gym
Lunch
5) Biology
6) Spanish

Bella’s schedule

1) English
2) Government
3) Trigonometry
4) Spanish
Lunch
5) Biology
6) Gym

Q. What exactly happened the first time that Edward kissed Bella?

A. I get this a lot. To understand, you have to put yourselves in Edward’s shoes. Okay, so you’ve never kissed anyone in a hundred years. Now you really want to kiss this girl, but you’re terrified that if you get too close to her, instinct will take over and you will crush your teeth through her jugular vein, and probably break her neck in the process. So you’re being very, very cautious about every move you make. You expect this girl–who knows that you are a vampire, for crying out loud–to be just as careful. Actually, you’re expecting her to be terrified to be so close to your teeth. You’re expecting her to maybe pull away, or at least to freeze in place. You touch your lips to hers–and hers are all warm, which doesn’t help you as you try to concentrate on anything other than her blood–and suddenly, she locks her fingers in your hair, trying to pull you closer, blood rushes to her face (you can smell and feel that), and her lips encourage yours to open… Of course you panic. Your reflexes are all demanding that you bite. The best you can do is freeze and try to get some space before you kill her.

Are we all clear now?

Q. So my question is, If the blood inside the newborn vampire is used over a year, does that mean the vampire doesn’t have to feed for the first year?

A. No. Newborn vampires are voraciously thirsty and almost unthinkingly wild. It’s a hard transition.

Q. Hey, I was just wondering when the paperback version of Twilight comes out, how many pages is the first chapter of New Moon going to be?

A. I’m not sure of the exact date–I think May or June. The first chapter of New Moon is 27 pages long (29 if they include the preface).

Q. I was wondering if Bella had any other interests besides Edward?

A. Bella is a first and foremost a bookworm. She also likes to cook. She enjoys drawing, but she doesn’t think she does it very well. She takes care of her parents–bookkeeping, housekeeping, shopping, etc. She likes the house run just right, ha ha.

Q. When Bella was in the hospital she slipped and asked Edward why he didn’t just let her turn into a vampire.

A. I don’t want to get into this too much–Edward’s reasons are more clearly dealt with in New Moon. But he does have reasons, and they are serious ones (not the "she won’t be soft and warm and smell tasty" reasons that I see floating around a lot. He’d much rather she didn’t smell tasty, and "soft and warm" = really breakable. Also not a good thing).

Q. Why does Edward always kiss her neck more than her lips?

A. It’s a little be safer (her reactions put her in danger). Also, because he’s just so SEXY!!

Q. If Rosalie still disliked Bella by the end of Twilight (which I’m not sure she did, but they had no interaction at the prom) and then was messing with Bella’s hair by the outtakes, what happened to make Rosalie soften up a bit?

A. Didn’t I put this in the note? That outtake was written before I’d really developed Rosalie’s character (she was still Carol back then). Rosalie didn’t have any problem with Bella in the rough draft–or much of a personality, either. It was only later that her personality came into focus for me. Suddenly I realized that Rosalie didn’t like Bella at all, and then I completely "got" her. It’s funny, because it was as if Rosalie had always had this problem with Bella, but she’d just been hiding it from me. Yes, my characters are WAY to real to me. :)