Interviews / Q&A

 Mall Of America (2008)

Q & A session from the Mall of America stop on the Host tour

Reprinted with permission from The Host Index
Transcribed by: Ouisa

SM: Hi! Thank you guys for coming out tonight! This really exciting for me to be here at Mall of America and to hear the screaming all down the hallway. It's exciting for me to be here for the Host because I have been doing a lot of vampire things! But I'm excited to for this book because in some ways it's more important to me. I feel like this is some of my best writing so I'm really pleased to have a chance to share it with everyone and to show that I could do something else. I had a presentation to do with a reading and all that but then I heard that you guys were going to be standing and they brought me some questions that people that got here early got to fill these out. So as I was going through the questions they were things I was going to be talking about anyway so I decided the easiest thing for me would just to answer your questions.

Q: Were you ever an obsessed fanatic about a book like so many of your fans are?

A: I don't know, I never drove 8 hours to see anybody. A lot of that was because I never had a car. So I didn't really have that choice. I really got into my fanaticism later in life. Muse, when I discovered them in 2004, that was a new thing for me, to find someone I was so obsessive about. There were some books when I was growing up, I would have never have dreamed of trying to contact the author or going to see them because wow I just felt like I was such a distance from them. They were this amazing other creature and I was the mere mortal and I wasn't going to bother them. But I loved Anne Mcaffery. If I could have one book be real it would be Dragonflight. I would have loved to have lived in that world. And then as I got older I discovered Orson Scott Card. I don't know if I want to live in his world but when you read his books you think that you are. Which is so cool. So those are some of the things I'm fanatical about but I'm not one to camp out overnight because, seriously, soft beds are about the best thing in the world.

Q: We know you had a dream that inspired Twilight. What Inspired The Host?

A: I think a lot of people have the impression that I wait around for a dream before I start writing. It doesn't actually work that way. That was a one time experience. But ever since I was a little kid I [movie cuts out here and it is suggested we go here for the answer]

Q:  What music inspired the Host?

A: Well, obviously Muse, one of the signature songs from playlists, which I didn't send to my brother to have him put on the website. I don't have it on this computer, so when I get home I will put the playlist up. Sorry. Futurism by Muse, Origin of the Species by U2, My name is Love by Rob Dickenson. Off hand I can't think of all of them, but I was listening to similar music that I usually do, but there were specific songs that jumped out at me and said this is a Host song. If you listen to the words of Origin of the Species it's like, "Wow Bono wrote this one just for me. That was so nice of him!"

Q: Why are there 3 blank pages in the Host?

A: I don't want to say too much because not everyone has read that far but I will tell you the blank pages are intentional. Nothing got left out. They are there for a reason, which I'm sure you will understand when you get there. [These pages are before chapter 59]

Q: Do you think you will write a second book to The Host?

A:  Another very good question. This is the thing. I'm kinda tired. I want to be able to write, but I don't want to have to be under pressure of a deadline. So I'm gonna sorta let myself see what I want to write and go from there. I do have an outline for the next book and about 2 chapters of it already so if I were to go ahead with it, the trilogy would be The Host, The Seeker, and The Soul. But I don't know, I'm sure I will get around to it eventually. One of the things that is hard about writing the sequel to the Host is that
.. [ The video cuts out here but the lexicon's reporter fills in. She mentioned that one reason in particular is that she's grown fond of the characters, and in order for the sequels to be written, characters would need to die and she doesn't want them to.]

Q: Being a mom, do you ever get to bring your kids with you when you travel?

A:  If I wanted to! Oh my gosh I can't even imagine! I did recently for the first time take my kids
. I took my husband with me when I went to Italy because I honestly think he would have had the locks changed if I left him home, he really wanted to come. And then after being on tour with me for a week he was like "wow this really isn't fun" and I was like "see!" He stopped calling it "when you get back from vacation" after that. Being on tour is a lot of different hotels every night and interview after interview after interview so it's not really a kid thing, but I did take my kids to the movie set last week, 2 weeks ago. And it was pouring rain. And the sand was so wet you literally had to lift your feat up every 3 seconds to keep you from getting sucked it and they kept taping up the monitors and my kids were like this sucks when are we going and I was like okay fine this is your last chance I'm not taking you back and they were like oh we are so out of here. So my kids don't want to be here and I'm just happy to have them at home where they are getting their baseball games and everythings fine.

Q: Which character in The Host did you find it most fascinating to write for?

A:  And that's a really good question. One of the things I enjoy most about writing is that, occasionally, I would say one out of twenty characters gets away from you. You have a plan, you've got an outline, this is what is supposed to happen and then this one character refuses to do what you told him to do. In The Host, that character was Ian. Ian was supposed to be the back up bad guy. You know, the guy who stands next to the other bad guy and is like, "Yeah, we're gonna catch you". Just that backup guy. But Ian would not be that person for me. There was just much too much to him and I was amazed how he morphed into this other guy that I didn't anticipate. And I just love the characters that I don't anticipate. He was my favorite to develop. But I love all of them. Jeb was someone that just came out of nowhere; from the beginning, he was himself. His way of talking, the way he thought was so unique to Jeb and not anyone I know. He just was.

Q: Did you know as a child that you wanted to be an author, some kids know what they want when they grow up. When did you know?

A: I did not. When I was a child I want to be a paleontologist, but when I figured out that it would mean taking a lot of science I skipped out. When I was in first grade, I wanted to be a ballerina and then I wanted to be a lawyer for a really long time and I thought that would stick, but I was majoring in English so I could read books for my homework and I would never have to take another math class again as long as I lived. And I never did so it worked out perfectly.

Q: Have you ever slipped and called your husband Edward?

A: (And you can add into that or Jared or Ian or Jacob) No one in a million years will mistake my husband for Edward. Usually when I step away from my computer I'm pretty good about reawakening to the real world and remembering that they are all not real