Stephenie Meyer answers questions about Breaking Dawn in Chicago on 8/5/2008. Bolded for tldr crowd.
Electra: Question #1 comes from Tori. Tori wants to know, was the final version of Breaking Dawn how you originally planned it or were there other plot lines you created and this was just the one that made the cut?
S: “I have known the ending of this series since about October, 2003. So it’s actually been a long time coming. The rough draft of Breaking Dawn, which you guys know is Forever Dawn, I was finished around February of 2004 and I really stuck to the original plan because once I got there, it seemed like the only possible ending. So really there weren’t other plotlines that I was choosing from, this was always the way it was meant to happen.”
Electra: Now how long have you had Renesme in your mind? Jacqueline _____ says Bella getting pregnant just threw her for a loop. I loved it, don’t get me wrong, I still had the ‘what?’ (reading from Jacqueline’s question)
S: Um, actually, Nessie was one of the reasons that Breaking Dawn exists. When I first started working with an editor, I had Twilight and I showed them what I was working on for Forever Dawn and they said ‘you know, we’d really like to keep Bella in high school for a little bit longer, develop that more, keep it more YA.’ And I said ‘Ok, there are some interesting stories to do in there. I first started working on it and they said ‘we’d just really just like it to be three books, and end with Eclipse. Can you make an ending that you’re happy with?’ And I said ‘no, I can’t make an ending that I’m happy with.’ This was a very hard fought battle and I was fighting for Nessie the whole time. She was a character that I was not going to allow her to be destroyed. She had to exist. So, she was in my Forever Dawn.
Electra: Will there be more movies to follow the Twilight Saga?
S: I thought I better throw in one movie question aside from ‘what is Robert Pattinson’s phone number’, which I don’t have. That is still undecided. I can say that I’ve had such a good experience working on Twilight that I would be open for it and hope that we can get that going.
Electra: Leah wants to know, and I do too, how is it physically possible for a male vampire to get someone pregnant? This question directly responds to being told that vampires can’t have babies. When you were first asked the question, did you not think that it specifically applied to Bella and Edward’s ability to have children together?
S: There were several questions along this line, as you might imagine. I picked this one specifically because I want you to imagine for the last year, me going online and reading all of these ‘Stephenie said this quote quote…’ that I never said. Um, there was quite a bit of mis-quoting going on and I was always, always very careful about how I answered this question because of course, I knew Renesme was on the way and I didn’t want to spoil that and take away some of the excitement of something new happening so I tried to avoid that as much as possible, but when I did I always focused on female vampires because physiologically speaking, there’s a lot of change that goes on when you’re pregnant with a child that couldn’t happen. So when I answered that question, that was all I ever really commented on. It is physically possible [sic: for males vampires], I don’t want to go into it in too much detail. I think what’s going to happen, it’s a whole long thing. I’m guessing, I think it’s going to have to show up somewhere in like the Twilight Saga guide that’s going to come out later.
Speaking of additional questions, I specifically pulled out two questions to show you what we’re dealing with here. The first question I have, I like the use of quotation marks “Stephenie, in Breaking Dawn I was hoping for more details about their first time. I was wondering why you didn’t “flesh” it out more.” The second question: ‘Why do Bella and Edward become so sex crazed in Breaking Dawn?’ It’s a fine line to walk and I wrote what I was comfortable with and what I wanted to see in the story. Obviously, you can’t please everybody all the time, so I wrote what was good. Yes, obviously so I wrote that and tried to do what I felt like was truest to the story.
Electra: Did James hunt a real Child of the Moon and is that what Victoria thought Seth was?
S: Yes, that’s exactly what happened. James was looking for a challenge and he did track down one of the few remaining Children of the Moon. So that was Victoria’s first instinctual thought, but if you really look at Seth closely, you would realize that was not really what was going on. I had fun putting that hint in Eclipse.
Electra: This one comes from Candice, she came from Kansas City to be here tonight. ‘Why did you choose the name Renesme other than what was listed in the book and will we hear more of her story? PS You’re awesome.’
S: Thank you. It’s funny because I have seen some reactions to the name Renesme and people are like ‘what is that?’ And it’s funny, I’ve been thinking the name for so long, it seems completely normal to me. But when I chose it, I really wanted something that no one else had. Because there’s no one else like Nessie and I wanted her to have something very deep and original. Note: lots of ‘awwws’ here.
Electra: Who was Embry’s dad?
S: That question was in there like 17 times. Now I know that a lot of people are mad when I say that I’m not going to say, because you know what? I’m not even sure that I know. I know that sounds crazy, but really there are secrets that my characters keep from even me. And I had that experience with Rosalie actually when I first started working on Twilight. I had no idea she didn’t like Bella and her character was really flat and sort of half way through I figured out ‘Oh, she hates Bella!’ and then she was easier to write. So sometimes my characters don’t tell me everything. I have my suspicions.
E: Joanna from California, she gets two questions. One: Why did Bella keep her baby when she knew she was dying?
S: That was just real serious and had a different tone from the others (referring to the question) and the only thing I can answer to that I have three children and I know what I felt like with each one of those children and if someone had told me ‘if you carry this child to term, you will die’, I would have done it anyway. That’s how I am. My experience as a mother is reflected in that part of the story.
E: Joanna, second question ‘Will Jacob ever rejoin the pack?’
S: I loved that she had two very different questions and the Jacob one’s an interesting one. Actually, no, because once you’re an alpha, there’s no going back from that. So now we have (fades here)
E: Liz from Milwaukee would like to know ‘Will Jacob stay immortal with Renesme when she reaches maturity?’
S: I do believe there’s some concern about that and the lovely thing about their relationship is that Nessie apparently will not age past you know, like around 18, 20. And Jacob, as long as he keeps turning into a werewolf regularly, will always be the same as well so they’re good to go.
E: (some name here, too much screaming) She wants to know what’s the meaning of the cover?
S: Yay for ? That’s a really good question. So this cover has kind of two things going on. One is a metaphor for the entire series because you have Bella going from being the weakest player on the board to being the most powerful one. So that’s the main meaning, that’s what I wanted to have on there. Then I also the feeling of a chess game because I knew that the end of the story was not going to be a great big huge battle scene. This was a court scene. This was maneuvering and having your plans and I thought that was really suited to chess so that was another reason I like that metaphor.
E: Liz Waters says ‘at Comic Con, you mentioned that your favorite Edward and Bella moment was book four and for obvious reasons, at that point, you couldn’t share what it was. So now, can you please fill us in?’
S: I should think probably most of you could guess what scene it is. And you’re wrong! (laughing) It’s the last two pages of the book. That was it, when Edward really sees how Bella feels about him, there’s just no match for that. (lots of screaming!)
E: Brandy….wants to know ‘Why was the date on Alice’s tombstone the same date that she was admitted to the asylum?’
S: That’s actually a really really long story, so I wouldn’t have pulled it because I don’t have time to get into it, it takes me several pages of writing to get through it. But, as I wanted to mention that there are things like that question will be answered in the Twilight Guide and other backstories.
E: Why was Bella able to skip the newborn vampire stage?
S: If you think about all the other vampires that have been created, you have the Cullens. None of them had a lot of time to think about this or were even asked, they were on their death beds and they awakened a vampire with no preparation at all. Then you have vampires like the Volturi, who become vampires and immediately expect to prey on humans because that’s what vampires do. Bella’s kind of unique in that she had a couple of years to think about what she wanted to be and she was going to do that. So she had way more preparation than anybody. And she was already a stubborn girl.
E: This is a very important question from Cassie ‘What color is Bella’s ____?’ (from a attendee up front this was clarified to be her car)
S: Isn’t this a little obvious, because….wanted it to be red? (couldn’t hear the main point of question or the answer, too much screaming)
E: Jordan….’Was there any significance to Alice’s use of the Merchant of Venice? PS: You’re gorgeous’
S: That’s not fair because she wrote the card before she saw me tonight so she didn’t know. There actually was significance to using The Merchant of Venice. When I decided to use A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it was because I knew that the love triangle that was so painful for everyone involved was going to be flipped around so that everyone was happy. With The Merchant of Venice, that was a little hint again about the end of the story, that we were going to have a confrontation that was solved by wit and planning, so that was kind of a clue for the end of the story.
E: Jenny had this question: ‘Bella was so relatable to girls in the first three books (faded here) in the fourth book, she seems different. How do you expect your teen readers to relate?’
S: This is one of the reasons why the Twilight Saga is four books long. I found also that when Bella became a vampire, her relatability was kind of lost. I enjoyed very much writing about her experiences because it was something really fabulous to imagine, but all along, at any point, I could have stepped in and been Bella, because you know she was just this clumsy human girl and I could do what she could do. But then when she was a vampire, all of the sudden she was this amazing creature with all of these powers and I couldn’t do that anymore. So I did feel like the book was going to have to end from her point of view after we got to that point. And I did want to do a very thorough job of settling her and letting you see what that was like but at the same time I knew she wasn’t going to be that teenager that we could all relate to anymore.
E: What are your intentions for the future of the Cullen clan?
S: Ok, I wrote that one. I did that because there were a gazillion ‘are you going to write about Alice and Jasper?’ ‘Are you going to write all of the books from Edward’s perspective?’ Right now, obviously, Midnight Sun has to happen. (lots of screaming) I’m glad that makes you happy. After that, I actually have a lot of other thing I’d like to work on. My whole life is not vampires, surprisingly enough and I kind of want to get back to my ghosts and my time travel and my mermaids, there’s a lot I want to do. And the Host, yes, (lots of cheers) I’ve got a lot of outlining going on with that so while I am not planning on doing anything right now, I may get back to the Cullens. There are several storylines that I find really interesting. I don’t think I can spend a ton of time on characters that I feel like I’ve had a chance to really explore already. I would have to say, the most likely narrators going forward in the future are Nessie and Leah.
Q: What musical were Bella and Edward watching?
S: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
So, my question is: Does this at all change your opinion of BD?