Here’s the Q&A session Stephenie had during her visit to Hamburg, Germany. This Q & A was written (transcribed) by isabelle16 in LJ. Thanks to Sarah85
1. How did you get the idea to write a love-story about vampires?
Well, I’m not a huge fan of horror novels. I’m kind of a chicken! And I *we can’t understand what she said anymore* I dreamed about vampires and it was such an exciting dream that I just wanted to write it and that was the beginning of chapter 13 of Twilight and since then I have not stopped writing about vampires.
2. You said ‘I wrote it for myself and for mothers thinking of their first unfulfilled love’. What does it mean? Did you remember such an unfulfilled love when you wrote the story?
When I wrote Twilight I wasn’t thinking about any audience besides myself and I think it was a chance for me to go back and relive first love again. You don’t get that more than once. Sometimes you get something better later on but first love is a onetime deal and I wanted to go through all of that terror and passion and fear and happiness that comes through love and that is kind of a rollercoaster ride and it’s amazingly thrilling to ride it.
3. Then I read that you when you write you listen to music. You have your special tunes for example ‘Coldplay’, ‘U2′ and there is another special group ‘Muse’, right? How does it work? How do you write and when do you write because you’re a mother. Do you write at night, during the day or do you turn your music really loud? How does it really work?
Okay, I begin with headphones to I don’t wake the kids up because I write when they’re sleeping. It’s much easier. Uhm… I picked the music I listen to when I write as it fits the mood. When I wrote Twilight I was mostly listening to ‘Linking Park’. It has a very strong beat. It kept the story moving. Because, you know, it has kind of a driving beat to it. And when I was working on New Moon my music was a lot slower and more depressing. And that was when I discovered ‘Muse’ and from then on ‘Muse’ has always been a huge part of my playlist. They’re my very favorite band. With each book that I write I get to discover new bands and let the music sometimes write the scenes. When I was working on Eclipse in the very beginning I first listened to Muse’s ‘hysteria’ and I was listening to that song as my favorite over and over again and as I was listening the scene where Jacob and Bella kissed was choreographed in my head and if weren’t that song I don’t think it would’ve turned out quiet the same way.
(That woman who was translating everything to German was a little weird and didn’t really get it when Stephenie said that she writes at night. So, after Stephenie answered the music question that weird German woman asked again “And when do you write? At night?” and Stephenie answered with a “yeah, when the kids are asleep” and the woman said “Respect!”)
4. Do the actors for the Twilight movie look like you imagined them?
I am really excited about I would say 95% of the actors which I think is a really good margin. Particularly I think they did a great job with Edward and that is the most important. It could’ve been a really bad thing but I had a chance to me Robert Pattinson and actually have a really involved conversation with him about how depressed Edward was in Twilight. And I have to tell you, I know there is a lot of people who didn’t like him right away and there is some who are still holding out for some other actors… uhm… I gotta say I’m not getting this whole Gaspard Ulliel thing, I’m sorry. But, uhm, when I got the chance to talk to him we were having lunch and we could see him walking up the road and his hair was already dyed red and he had that long black coat and you could see the people on the street kinda stopping and looking at him and thinking… and it wasn’t like “who is that?” it was more like “What is that?” *Stephenie says that in a really mesmerized tone* He doesn’t even really look cute. I mean, he looked more like an Angel than a person. And he got such an interesting face and you sit there and talk to him you hardly know what to say. He would say “Why are Carlisle and Edward so close, they aren’t even real family” and I was looking at him saying “what is… what was that again?” *Stephenie does that in a really dreamy expression, kind of swooning* I think that he’s going to be amazing and that the actress who is playing Bella, uhm, you should’ve seen her when we were all together, she was over there and was like *Stephenie shows the way Kristen adored/drooled over Robert* He is perfect, really, you don’t have to need to worry.
5. How did you get the idea of the vampire family? All these characters… do you know somebody like them or are they all fantasy?
It’s 90% fantasy and then, uhm, I didn’t… The Cullens, when I was writing the story, they came to me really naturally I was writing about Edward and Bella and then it just seemed obvious that Edward has a sister named Alice who could see the future and all the rest of them came to me easily and, uhm, I didn’t really think about where they came from until I was doing an interview a couple of years later and the interviewer asked if “Bella’s family is like yours” and I kind of laughed because Bella is an only child with divorced parents and my parents were married for like a hundred and ten years and I have a bunch of brothers and sisters and I said “no, no I come from a big family and we’re really close. We are all very different but we all get along really well” And as I was hearing myself I was thinking “Oh my gosh, we are the Cullens!” That’s where they came from and my dad really is like Carlisle except that he looks a lot greyer. But, so I think the Cullens are based on my big family and the idea that even though we’re all very, very different and sometimes you probably think we’re crazy, underneath it all we’d die for each other.
6. Is it true that there will be a fourth book?
Yes, it is absolutely true. In fact, the fourth book, I’ve finished the rough draft. We’re working on editing and it should be out in the US on August 2nd. So, soon.
7. Edward once said that there was a list of people who like Bella more than she thinks and she’d be surprised who’s on it. Who are those people on the list?
Most of the boys, of course you know about Mike and Tyler and that, and uhm, the one that is on the list that she would be surprised about was the one that was kind of inappropriate and that was the biology teacher Mr. Banner.
8. How tall is Alice?
Alice, I think, is around four nine, four eight… uhm… I don’t know how to work that into meters. *someone screams her size in meters from the back* Okay, she’s one meter and forty-seven centimeters.
9. How long have you written on the first book?
How long did it take me to write it? Uhm… I wrote Twilight in three months. It was over the summer. I was extremely involved in the story. Uhm, the others have both taken a little bit longer because I can’t just write. I, uhm, have to do touring and editing and so it slows me down.
10. Will Jacob play a role in the fourth book?
Oh, I probably should have said this first. I don’t answer anything about the fourth book.
11. What’s your favorite quote? Out of all of the books?
Oh, a favorite quote? Oh, that’s… That’s too hard. I the last book, which should be the most recent, I can’t really remember because my head is all full with book four right now. But I think in book three one of my favorite ones was when Emmett is giving Bella a hard time about her hand. He said “You fall down again, Bella?” and she is like “No, I punched a werewolf in the face, Emmett.”
12. Are you going to stop after the fourth book and the Edward one?
I’m not sure. Right now I am a little bit tired of vampires. I have a lot of other stories and some of them I really like to work on. At the same time, I can’t imagine ever really stopping writing about my vampires and so after midnight sun is done and after I take a little time off I do have some other stories. They won’t be from Bella’s perspective. They will be from other perspectives. Uhm, but I think I will come back to the Cullens eventually.
13. Can vampires have babies?
Uhm, there is all kind of information about that online at the Twilight Lexicon. We’ve had a very long discussion. Uhm, but part of my non-answering questions about the fourth book is that I have been very careful not to answer the even the most hypothetical questions because if I pick and choose to which ones I’d say “oh, that will never be involved in this book” then people would be figuring out the ones I’m not answering. So, even when someone asks me “What happens if a vampire bites a unicorn?” I’m not gonna answer any ‘What happens’ questions.
14. You said you dreamed about the vampires. What exactly did you dream of?
In my dream, they didn’t have names then, but there was this beautiful, sparkly vampire and he was with a girl in a meadow and he was trying to explain to her why it was so hard not to kill her and in the dream I knew they were in love and all these problems they had and then when I woke up I wrote chapter thirteen, which is the meadow scene, and then, after I finished, I wanted to know what is gonna happen to them. Was he gonna kill her or how do they work it out. And so that is why I kept writing.
15. Did you create the vampires all on your own or did you have some kind of picture for them from another book or movie like “Interview with the vampire”.
No, uhm, before Twilight I think I had read one vampire book, one of Anne Rice’s. I don’t remember wich one, I read it a long time ago and I don’t think I really liked it. It was too scary. And, uhm, I’ve never seen a vampire movie in my life, I’ve never read ‘Dracula’, I’m just not into horror. So, when Twilight comes out in the theaters that will be the first time I’ve ever seen a vampire movie.
16. Who’s your favorite character? The one you feel most related to?
That’s… I can’t pick one. Because they’re all kinda like my kids and you can’t pick favorites. Uhm, but, you know, Bella is kinda like a sister to me, like a daughter to me. Sometimes I don’t like her decisions so much but then Edward and I can see things the same way. If there’s ever an argument going on in the book you can pretty much believe that I’m siding with Edward. And then there is Alice who would be the perfect best friend. I would love to be able to hang out with her. And then Carlisle and Emmet and… It’s hard… I can’t pick.
17. Okay, A friend on an online Forum ( jj_jule was asking this question for a friend) asked me to ask you this question. She wanted to know what would happen if one of the Cullens wouldn’t kill one of the animals they drink the blood of? They wouldn’t kill it. Would they turn into a vampire-animal kind of thing?
No, no. The vampires that are… are… their food… it’s just, the venom is too strong for animals. It would kill them.
18. Did you create Edward after your own fantasy of your dream guy? (The weird German translating woman did translate that question totally different and confused Stephenie with it. So, now Stephenie’s answer doesn’t really fit to the question).
I wasn’t really looking for someone that dangerous. I, I really… Edward was sort of… when I first came up with the idea of Edward in my dream… He wasn’t exactly like anything I’ve looked for but he did have elements… I always have liked red-heads quite a bit… so, there were pieces of him but he wasn’t based on anybody I knew before or any ideal I had.
19. Do you identify yourself with Bella? The whole thing that she doesn’t really know what she wants.
Well, uhm… When I was in college I was engaged with many people. So, uhm, I understand being confused and I understand loving different people in different ways. And, uhm, I think that if you’ve never been in love before it’s kind of hard to imagine ever getting past the first person you’ve loved. But after you’ve been through that and had your heart broken and moved on and found a different kind of love you start to understand how there are many good things and not all of them are even comparable. You can’t say this is absolutely the best and this is only secondary. Love comes in so may different forms and it is really hard to choose between them.
20. If you were Bella. Would you choose Edward or Jacob?
*long pause* I think I would see if they would agree to a sharing situation. I couldn’t make a decision