Stephenie Meyer: "Being a mother, which is about the most full-time job you could have. And I had three little boys and there was no time to do something else, but I was obsessed with it from the first day. I mean here, I’d painted before, I’d done a couple of other little creative endeavors that always, they were good, you know? It felt good to be creative but it wasn’t completely fulfilling. And then writing, it was like I just found it, you know? Like you just found your favorite flavor of ice cream, all of a sudden there it is. 'This is what I should have been doing for the last 30 years. What was I thinking?' So I was, then I was in and then I had to just keep going with it."
How did you get it published?
Stephenie Meyer: "Sheer luck or fate or what have you. I had the easiest publishing experience in the entire world. I sent out 15 courier letters to agents, got five no replies, nine rejections and one I want to see it. A month later I had an agent. Another month later I had a three book deal with Little Brown. And it does not happen that way. If you expect that going in, get ready for heartbreak."
Did you believe this was happening?
Stephenie Meyer: "No, I still don’t."
You listened to Muse a lot when you were writing this. How important was it to you that they be on the soundtrack in some form?
Stephenie Meyer: "You know, I knew that that was out of my hands with the music. I think I would have always felt like there was something lacking in the soundtrack if they hadn’t been a part of it. And then even more so knowing what I know now, having seen how Muse brings that scene to life and how just, that's a moment when everything – music, action, atmosphere comes together so perfectly. I mean how could you not have that? I mean it would just not be right if you didn't have Supermassive Black Hole playing in that scene. It was so perfect. So, you know, watching that, I think that was one of the most surprisingly enjoyable things. I knew I was going to enjoy it but not that much. That was cool."
Why this enduring interest in vampires?
Stephenie Meyer: "Well my answer here has to be hypothetical because I am not a vampire fan and I never have been. I don’t do horror. I’m an enormous scaredy-cat. Hitchcock is about as much as I can handle and I love it, but anything more than that and you're not going to see me in the theater. And I have never gotten it – why are people obsessed with vampires, you know? I know a lot of people who are. I'm actually surprised now I know how many more people are, and so the fact I would write about them is wildly out of character for me and bizarre. And nobody who knows me believed it for a really long time. But this is my theory, having talked to a lot of people about why do you like vampires so much. Besides myself, it seems like everybody really loves to be scared in a controlled environment. Horror movies do really well, you know? It’s a big industry. People read a lot of scary books. So I’m missing that gene, but clearly we like to be scared and they look at the monsters we can scare ourselves with and most of them are disgusting and, you know, gruesome and they're covered in nasty things. We don’t want anything from them; we just want to get away from them. They're just there to scare us. And then we've got vampires who are often beautiful and eternally youthful and rich and cultured and they live in castles. There are so many things that are ideals in our culture that we want that they have. So there's this double-edged sword – they're going to kill us and they're terrifying and yet maybe I even want to be one. I don’t want to be a vampire. A lot of other people do and I think it’s that duel nature we have - you know, terrifying/intriguing."
Have you had any other dreams that have fueled future projects? And the second part of that, now you've had a taste of the Hollywood system would you think about doing a screenplay rather than writing a book first?
Stephenie Meyer: "Okay, with the screenplay, I may have to ask you for the other one because I get going and I forget everything else. Like I said, bad memory. I don’t think I could do that unless Hollywood is ready for a 14 hour movie experience. I tried once to write a short story and it was a horrible thing. I just, I don’t think in short. I have to explore every tiny, little detail of things. I really admire people who can come in and streamline it and get all the information across but they do it so simply. That's not my talent so I can't imagine doing that. Although my ideas are often very visual I’d have to have a partner who would know how to do it. Now give me the first one again?"
Have you had any other dreams…?
Stephenie Meyer: "Oh dreams. You don’t get a dream like that twice, you know? I got my chance and I do feel like I was supposed to be writing and this dream was my kick in the pants to get going. And once I started it I didn’t need another one because once I discovered how wonderful writing was for me, I was ready to go with it."
What sets your vampires apart?
Stephenie Meyer: "Well in general, because I know there's a lot of varying legends, you know, and there's the ones that turn into bats and mist and there's the ones that are more concrete. In general, my vampires don’t have fangs and they don’t need them. You know, strong as they are it’s kind of unnecessary. They're fairly indestructible. Wooden stakes and garlic are not going to get you anywhere. They don’t sleep at all. They're never unconscious. They have no periods of unconsciousness. And the sunlight doesn't harm them, it just shows them for what they are because they sparkle in the sun."
How about reflections?
Stephenie Meyer: "Oh they totally have reflections and you can take pictures of them. All of that is kind of these myths, in my world these are myths that vampires actually anciently spread around so that people would say, 'Oh this person can't be a vampire because I can see them in the mirror so I’m safe.'"