Stephenie Meyer Answers Fan Questions

Recently, Stephenie Meyer took over the NOVL’s Tumblr page to answer questions from fans.  We’ve compiled a list of ten tidbits she revealed during that Q&A, including information on her upcoming work, regrets about Twilight, and what music she listened to while writing Life and Death.


A male version of Leah exists in the Life and Death world

The Clearwaters still exist.  The shape-changer bloodline runs through both Holly and Saul Clearwater to their two children, Leland (Lee) and Sarah.  Just like in the Twilight universe, Holly is in on the secret, and after Samantha Uley changes, she knows eventually that her daughter Sarah will join the pack.  But she’s never dreamed that Lee could change, and the shock of that occurrence triggers her fatal heart attack. 


Lee is every bit as horrified to join the pack as Leah was.  He, too, had his heart broken by Sam.  He, too, doesn’t want to have Sam’s love for Elliott—his former best friend—always there in his head.  He, too, feels ostracized by the pack for his gender.  He, too, is pretty harsh in his thoughts toward the pack.


How the Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea epigraph came about

Because we did this project so quickly, there wasn’t time to get an approval for any modern quotes (I initially thought of using lyrics).  So I was limited to public domain novels and songs.  I had to scan through options pretty quickly, and I wasn’t finding much. Knowing that I had to narrow it down if I was ever going to find anything, I decided to go with Beau’s favorite book, which is—not coincidently—my son Gabe’s favorite book.  Once I had decided that Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was the source, it was easy to find the option that fit.  I like that it’s also a little clue.  Unlike Bella, Beau does find his destiny by the end of the first book.


How changing genders altered the plot

Even if Life and Death had ended the same way that Twilight did, the storyline would have had to take a sharp left when it hit Breaking Dawn. Edythe is not able to get pregnant, so all the post-honeymoon drama would vanish; Renesmee could not exist in this alternate version.  Which means Ivan (Irena) would have had nothing to report back to the Volturi, and the entire second half of the novel would have been pretty uneventful.  Maybe they would have gone to Dartmouth after all. Let the college hijinks ensue!


Who she would cast in a film adaptation of Life and Death

Thank you for letting me pick actors that are not alive, because my only Carine is Grace Kelly, from the Rear Window era.  All the rest of my actors are alive, but few of them are the right age.  I will give you context.  For Beau, I would cast 2013-ish (post-Perks) Logan Lerman. Edythe is harder, because she’s a perfect vampire, but my favorite choice is Emma Stone around the time of Easy A; she’s adorable.  For Jules, I chose an actress I’ve never seen in action, just based on looks—Amber Midthunder.  Archie is Nicholas Hoult, right after he finished filming Fury Road and his head was still shaved; there’s a picture floating around the internet—he’s wearing an off-white jacket, sitting on a brick wall—that’s perfect, but I can’t find a source for it. I like Tavi Gevinson for Jessamine.  The closest I could find for Eleanor was circa-2011 Gina Carano. I think last year’s Liam Hemsworth is probably the best option for Royal.  My favorite Earnest is Tom Hiddleston, 2010-ish. And then the baddies: Joss—Tatiana Maslany, Victor—Brian Balzerini, and Lauren— Léa Seydoux.


She wouldn’t do a gender swapping experiment again

I did enjoy the experiment more than expected, but it was also very successful in answering the questions I had.  I don’t feel like I need to do more.


How satisfied she is with Twilight

I wouldn’t change anything in the plot (the writing, obviously, I’m always open to polishing some more).  I wrote the story the way it made the most sense to me, and I’m happy with it.


What genres she will work in next

I plan to visit both conspiracy thriller and high fantasy in the next few years.


How many pages she writes per day

When I’m really on, I can write more than twenty pages in a day (this is a rare thing).  When I’m off, I’m lucky to get one sentence in an hour.  On average, though, when I’m fully engaged in writing, I would say I do about 5-10 pages in a day.  Being fully engaged is the tricky part—life is full of distractions.  


She uses a thesaurus

I do use a thesaurus, mostly just to remember words, rather than finding better words than the one I’ve already chosen.  I have the worst memory glitches: I know the word exists, I can define it, often I can even tell you the letter in begins with—I just can’t pull it up in my brain.  For example, I few answers ago I used the very common word “cliché.”  I knew the word I wanted was out there, I knew it could be defined in the realm of a stereotype or an adage, and I knew it started with a “c.” But I had to look it up on the online thesaurus.  There’s probably a name for what’s wrong with my brain, but I don’t know it yet.


What she listened to while writing Life and Death

I was mostly listening to three albums on repeat during the Life and Death process: Royal Blood by Royal Blood, Seeds by TV on the Radio, and 2.0 by Big Data.



Excerpts courtesy of; Featured image courtesy of