This is an interview of Time Magazine with Stephenie Meyer, the author of Twilight, for their feature 10 Questions for last year.
I know it is a difficult video clip for intermediate students, even strong ones, but I also think the interview gives us a chance of getting to know one of the best-selling writers of the moment. Let's use this interview to show ourselves that we are able to understand some of the main ideas when we come face to face.
Watch the interview and say whether the statements below are true or false.
1 Stephenie Meyer only writes about vampires.
2 Stephenie doesn't participate in the films based on her books.
3 Stephenie prefers writing about young women.
4 Stephenie uses her characters as role models.
5 Religion influences the way she writes.
6 Stephenie is fascinated by Jane Austen.
7 Stephenie wrote 50 Shade of Grey.
8 She misses The Twilight world.
9 There won't be a sequel to The Host.
Stephanie Meyer is the author behind the mega phenomenon known as Twilight, but she doesn’t just write about vampires. In her bestselling novel The Host, an extraterrestrial soul struggles to find the balance with a human whose body it inhabits.
Human bodies take a lot of getting used to. They’re not like the others we’ve inhabited. Their emotions are powerful. If their will has survived along with their memories, she may resist from within.
The movie of The Host is in theatres March 29th and Stephanie Meyer is here to talk to us about it. Thanks for being here, Stephanie.
Thank you for having me. I liked that description, I may have to write that down.
So in addition to being the author of The Host, you’re also the producer of the movie as you were on the last two Twilight movies. How much creative input do you get on the movies?
On this one, a very great deal. We didn’t have a studio, and so it was basically me and one other producer, and the director, making all the creative decisions. That was a new experience for me to be that involved, and it was very cool.
Your heroine in The Host is a young woman and… so you’ve written a lot about young people and teenagers. What draws you to them as characters?
I write a book based on the story I want to tell, the ages in the book are usually, really shaped because of the story and what age the character needs to be to make things happen in a certain way. With Bella I wanted someone who was falling in love for the first time. So you can’t be too old. I mean, if you’re in your 20’s you probably had your heart broken a couple of times and you don’t throw yourself into relationships the way you do when you’re, it’s the first time and then with Melanie, I liked the hardship of her being young, and being a mother, and a survivor at the same time, you know, kind of having to take care of her brother that way, when she should be a kid and be able to, you know, live a happy normal life. There’s a little extra element of tragedy that she’s so young, and things she has to sort of tries to.
So when you have a book or movie about young people, I’m sure the question of role models comes up. And I know with Twilight some of the criticism we heard was about whether Bella was a pushover or Edward was sort of too aggressive. How do you think Melanie holds up as a role model for young women?
You know, I like to write about stories that I think are interesting. I never stop and think, you know, oh this is a role model for people. It’s fiction. The main character’s an alien. The main character isn’t a teenage girl. It’s an alien who is in a teenage girl’s body. I don’t really feel like we should be looking for our role models in fiction. That being said, Melanie is a pretty tough person. And I find Wanda, the alien, pretty aspirational. She’s a very good person, she’s kind of who I would want to be, if I always did the right thing and always thought of other people before myself. So I think they’re both really good people, but I still don’t think you should be using fictional characters as role models.
But if you have to have an alien in your body, you probably want Wanda.
Wand would be a good choice.
So also in The Host, the universe you’ve created is one in which the earth is just one of several inhabited worlds, and that reminds me a lot of sort of the Mormon view of cosmology. How does your faith influence the worlds that you create?
I think that being a religious person, sort of seeps in unconsciously into what you’re writing. I think that the way it comes out the most is that my characters think about what comes next. I think I find it kind of shallow in a character if, and it feels like they’re very much on the same page if they don’t have that kind of wonder and, and idea about the world and where they belong and where they’re going to go, because it’s something that I think about, so I think the people do, but that’s just my own specific thing. And so that’s where I think about mostly in what I write.
So another project you worked on recently was Austen Land, which was a big hit at Sundance, and that’s a movie about a woman who is obsessed with Jane Austen. Do you see any commonalities between obsessive Jane Austen fans and Twihards?
Well, the reason that I was drawn to that story is because I’m the obsessive Jane Austen fan so I never really looked at it from, oh, that reminds me of my fans, it was always that’s like me. I’m the crazy fan girl who would, I would love to go and stay at a regency theme park, where I got to dress up all day and ask like a Jane Austen character. That would be perfect as far as vacation goes for me. So, it’s I’m the crazy fan. So that’s why that movie resonates for me.
So I have to ask you about 50 Shades of Grey. How does it make you feel that E.L. James took something that you sort of created and used it as inspiration for something that’s pretty raunchy and made her a lot of money.
Well, I mean, for one thing it doesn’t, I don’t, I don’t think they’re like connected to me. I haven’t read it so I don’t know. I’m glad that she is doing well and succeeding and that’s cool. The raunchy part I wished that wasn’t attached to Twilight, just ‘cos I don’t like to think of it that way but, you know, it doesn’t, doesn’t hurt Twilight. Twilight is its own thing and it’s separate and it’s fine.
Is it weird for you that the protagonist, Christian, shares your husband’s first name?
I hadn’t even thought about that. I guess not. You pointed that out, that’s kind of weird.
Do you think you’ll ever return to the Twilight universe, and maybe pick up midnight sun?
You know, when the Twilight saga movies ended I kept thinking I was going to be really sad and I just felt nothing but relief. And I don’t miss that world at all, there’s so many other worlds that I’m excited about and I’m more interested in.
And what about The Host? You have sequels in the works for that, don’t you?
I’m working on the sequel, well not while I’m doing this, but that’s my plan when I get home is to shut myself in and lock the door and work on that.
Do you know what’s going to happen already or…?
Oh, yeah. Yeah. I’ve had the outline for that for literally years, that they’ve been sitting there waiting to be done.
Thanks so much, Stephanie.
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