We’d like to thank xhopeonaropex and Eggo17 for their coverage of the last two The Host signing events.
I went to the book signing event in Torrance today.
Unfortunately when we got to the event and they opened the doors, they announced that we were not allowed to take pictures or record. If we do, we will be escorted out.
Luckily, a Twilight fan sitting next to me called Alexis (big shout out to her!) had a notebook, so I wrote down the Q&A’s for the event. I will try to word it out as much as I can. So, here it is:
1. What inspired you to write The Host?
SM: Well, it was in one of my files on the computer. It wasn’t like Twilight- I had a dream and it was handed to me on a silver platter. I was actually driving through a hot desert one day and I started thinking "Hmm, what would happen if two people who lived in one body fell in love with the same person?" So, I wrote it down on my computer, and when I found that I wanted to start on a new project, I found that The Host was the best between them.
2. Why Cheetos??
SM: [She laughs]. I was thinking about living in a deprived society where you don’t have these foods. And the smell and taste of Cheetos is recognizable. And I also thought if I would ever enjoy eating something that I was deprived of it would be Cheetos and Twinkies. Plus Cheetos are so dang delicious!
3. Why do Sharon and Maggie remain stubborn against Wanda?
SM: The readers need to consider that th book was written in the alien’s perspective( Wanda), and so Wanda means no harm and the reader knows that as well. And even though Melanie wanted to save Sharon and Melanie’s body is back, Sharon knows That Melanie is not inside if that body and that Melanie’s gone. For Sharon and Maggie, this alien is what they fear, what they’re afraid my take their children in their sleep. These aliens are the enemy and the most dangerous thing for people. So humans SHOULD be afraid of them.
4. When the souls take over the body host and the humans disappear, where do they go?Like Jodie, she was there but when they tried finding her she was lost and couldn’t be found? Where did her soul go?
SM: It depends on what people think where the soul of someone goes after dying. For some people it’s like an afterlife. So wherever a person thinks someone goes after they die, that’s where the human souls go.
5. The song from your playlist for The Host for My Chemical Romance "The Ghost of You", who does this song relate to?
SM: This song reminds me of Jared. When Melanie and Wanderer come back and he sees Melanie’s body and not Melanie herself in there, it hurts him because he cannot have her back completely. And he feels that Wanderer’s presence haunts him. So I thought that song reminded me of Jared a lot.
6. Who do you like better? Ia, or Jared?
SM: [She laughs]. Depending on the mood I guess. Jared has that kind of cowboy character, tough, strong. And Ian is the poetic, sensitive sweet guy. So just depending on the mood.
7. How old is Ian?
SM: Ian is 25.
8. If you could pick one of the planets you could live on, which one would it be?
SM: Definitely not The Mists, because I hate the snow. I would rather live in a place where it is 110 degrees but I cannot live somewhere there is snow. I’d probably like to live in the Singing World or Planet of the Bats. I like how it’s run by music but I don’t really like that you’re blind, but at least you can fly.
9. If The Host were to be made a movie, who would you think would be good actors for the part?
SM: I was actually discussing that earlier, and I was saying that if I had the choice I think Maggie Gyllenhaal would play Melanie just great.
10. I find Jamie and Jacob very similar? Did you write Jamie intentionally as a character similar to Jacob’s?
SM: Actually no, I don’t think they are that similar. But I do feel the same kind of love that Melanie has for Jamie, like Bella has for Jacob. I grew up babysitting my brothers so I always had this motherly instinct and love towards it. I find both Melanie and Bella having that same motherly love for Jacob and Jared. They want to protect them, they want to take care of them.
11. Are you going to be writing sequels for The Host?
SM: Maybe. I’m not sure yet. If I do it would be a hard trilogy. Some mean things might happen in the books, but there will also be a lot of nice things to make up for the mean ones.
12. Who is your favorite actor in Twilight?
SM: All of them are good and very nice. Ashley Green who plays Alice is a very nice girl. She never played a main character before but she really impressed me. But I guess I would have to say that the linchpin would be Edward. [crowd goes wild]. I mean when we auditioned for Edward we were looking for someone to play him really well. I expected to see a good version of Edward. What I did not expect is seeing Edward himself [in Robert Pattinson].
13. Will Midnight Sun be published?
SM: I got a lot of people asking me that. Some people wanted it to be published before the last book. I told them well I’m only half way through and I was working on this book called Breaking Dawn. [crowd laughs and applauds]. But I was surprised to see a lot of people who wanted it to be published before it. And I went "But it’s the same thing as Twilight and you know what’s going to happen!!" [crowd laughs]
14. Are your characters inspired by real people?
SM:Edward was not inspired unfortunately by anyone. For New Moon I used my brother Jacob’s name but his character was completely different. When I used Jacob’s name my sister Emily was like "Hmm so you use Jacob’s name in the book, huh? What about me? Ohhhh so it’s all about Jacob now?" And so i used Emily and Heidi since the rest wanted to be in the book too. But their personalities are completely different. The only character that was the same was Paul. He’s very tempered and hairy. [crowd laughs]. In The Host, Doc was isnpired by Seth: He’s tall, thin fair, sort of blond. He’s also very sweet and is in medical school to become a doctor.
15. What was the most enjoyable book to write?
SM: They all were very fun books to write but very different. Twilight was a pure writing experience for me. New Moon was a bit depressing for me and hard. But it also had its beauty and evalation. Eclipse was like putting all the characters into one jar and shaking them up. The Host was different because I had to write about (a) different world(s).
16. Has writing the book make you want less fame?
SM: I don’t think I’m famous. I mean I’m famous for a good 15 minutes where I find 1600 people during a book signing, but when I go home, my life is back to normal and I’m not famous anymore. The thing I don’t like about fame is that you don’t really have a lot of time on your hands. And I also don’t like talking to the cameras.
17. When you were a teenager, did you enjoy writing and reading similar things you write today?
SM: I never wrote things when I was young. I never thought that i would actually end up as a writer. But i loved reading books. I didn’t read Stephen King though. That was too scary for me. But I did read a few westerns.
18. How do you overcome writer’s block?
SM: I rarely get times where I have writer’s block but when I do, the only good thing I found is that you go inside a room. Turn off the lights until it’s completely dark, then turn on rock music like really really loud until your head is cleared. The Muse is a good band to listen to for clearing your head.
That was the end of questions. She then personalized our Host books and signed two copies of whatever books we brought. I got out early since I was number 32 out of 1000. Yes, 1000. And I waited from 12 noon to get in early and the event started at 6:30. There were a lot of creative shirts that I saw. I saw a couple of Twilight Moms and I saw Kristine (bellas_ring) there and we stayed together through the event. It was an amazing day and when it was my turn to get my book signed I started breathing hardly and my heart was beating very fast. It was a good half hour for me and I do believe the wait was worth it. I would do it again for Stephenie. I thanked her for being a great inspiration to us young writer’s. She is by far, the most amazing person i have met.
There are a few more questions, but those were some of the most memorable ones!
I got to the venue at 12pm but the line didn’t start to form until about 3:45pm. I was #2 in line, so I was grateful to be able to sit in the front row. It was raining outside all day, so I was happy that they let us form the line inside. The event didn’t start until 7:30p, but the Warwicks people were nice enough to let us sit in the venue at around 5:30pm. There were an extraordinary amount of Twilight Moms at this event, and the infamous twilight baby (http://youtube.com/watch?v=vsH8nzzpEhI) was at the event. People were in a frenzy to see them. One of the twilight moms also had a collection of dolls representing every character. (http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y159/Eggo17/dolls2.jpg) It was pretty cool. One of the girls took charge and got everyone to play scene charades for about 20 minutes. Groups acted out scenes from the Twilight series and the audience would guess what scene it was. Right before they introduced Stephenie, they asked who had traveled the farthest, and while we had some people from New Jersey/New York, Canada, & Alaska, the person who traveled the farthest was from Australia. Stephenie came out at 7:30p & answered questions for about 20 minutes, then started to sign books. I videotaped the questions & will upload it soon…1 of the questions was mine! (yay!) I was number 2 to get my book signed, so I got to leave pretty early.
Questions are not word for word, but i did my best!
*Questions that have not already been asked:
Q: How did you come up with the Host, & why did you choose to write about aliens?
I didn’t have a dream like Twilight. The way I got started on the Host was a very boring car trip, & i had nothing else to think about & so the idea of these 2 people in 1 body was sort of in my head & i just thought "that would be really cool, very complicated relationship, i could get some ideas out of that"; but the reason is that it was about aliens since the beginning. It was natural for me to write because I grew up with Science Fiction. It is really my roots.
Q:Why do souls only invade 1 species per planet?
They tend to take the dominant species, because they don’t want a body that doesn’t have much intelligence because they couldn’t work with it as well. On fire world, they realized there were 2 intelligent life forms in that world, & they were trying to make it work.
Q:How did you have time to write the host with so much going on? (who do you like better Ian or Jared?)
It depends on what I’m looking for on any particular day. Sometimes you want the tough guy, & sometimes you want the poet. I found the time to write it because I was editing Eclipse. I started to work on the host before being able to start breaking dawn.
Q: (My question!)When you wrote those tense scenes between Jared & Ian did it remind you of Jacob & Edward? Although they are different characters the intense love triangle seems to resonate.
I hadn’t really thought about that. I really like to write complicated situations. If a girl falls in love with a guy & everything works out smoothly there’s not much to write about…so i like to have things more difficult to that. I guess there are some similarities, but the characters feel so different to me & the situation because there are 2 people in love with 2 different people, it doesn’t feel the same, but i can see the comparison.
Q:I sensed a young protective love of a child after reading the host. Is this relationship based on an actual relationship in your life or a fictional one?
I have a younger brother who is 10 years younger & another who is 8 years younger than me. When I was growing up, I experienced "mom nightmares" about my brothers because I was protective of them (& still am). I know how it would be to have those mother feelings for a brother, so that actually is from my own life.
*talked about covers
*about being involved in the movie
Q:Do you put any personal experiences into your writing?
Sometimes, but I don’t put really big themes. I’ve never had a really big love triangle where i’ve had to decide between 2 really hot men! But there are little things…for example, I actually burned off my finger prints.
Q: Is it usually easy to come up with your story
Yes, because I am a character writer. As long as I have interesting enough characters to write about, I don’t worry about plot.
Q: Have you ever had a crush on any of your characters?
The real question is, is there any character I don’t have a crush on? There are only very few, because I even have a crush on Alice. I can’t write someone being in love with someone else without falling in love with them yourself.