Interviews/ Q&A

Portland, Oregon

Q & A session from the Mall of America stop on the Host tour. May 20th, 2008

Reprinted with permission from The Host Index
Transcribed by:
Violet Quagmire ( Edited for length by THC)

Q: To me The Host examines all levels of love right?  What is the most powerful level of love in your opinion. 
A: A really good question because The Host really is about that.  For me it really was about looking at not just romantic love and love of community and love of self and who you will change your life for.  For me the strongest kind of love I have ever discovered is the love of a mother for a child.  And The Host was my first chance to explore that.  It was a surrogate relationship but that made the story really compelling and important to me. A very astute question thank you.

Q: This one is a bit of a spoiler so I'm going to try to phrase it a little differently.  Does Jared really lie or does he develop feelings for Wanderer herself.  (Ouisa's QUESTION!!!)
A: People who haven't read the book yet that probably doesn't make much sense yet.  But no he really doesn't lie.  I mean there are times when there are a lot of different truths and that's one when there are two very distinct different truths going on at the same time

Q: I cried several times when reading the Host, is there any particular scene that made feel the most emotional or tearful as you wrote or reviewed (VIOLET'S QUESTION).
A: There were several places but particularly at the end.  i think around chapter 57 i couldn't type and cry at the same time because I couldn't see the screen so i tried so hard not to cry that my throat was just aching for about 3 chapters and so I really do distinctly remember that experience, being done and gulping down ice water.  get very emotionally involved in my stories.  If they are feeling it, I'm feeling it too. 

Q: The Host had a lot to say about tolerance, forgiveness, and understanding.  What inspired you to delve into those particular themes (Violet again!!)
A: One of the things that has always fascinated me about being human and if this book is about anything it is about being human is the range that we're all capable of.  I try hard to be a good person to me that's an important thing and so when I watch the news and I see what people have done to each other and the kind of violence that actually goes on in this world and the things that some one that might look just like you and me could go up and do to a total stranger on the street .  It's a horrifying thing I can't really read the news or watch it because it's so upsetting to me and the idea that we have that in all of us .  And then you see the people that do things so amazing so self sacrificing that you wonder if you could ever be that good .  You know the highs and the lows are really interesting.  I think all of us want this to be a better world and this was one way of exploring what kind of price we would have to pay to have that.  I think this price in the host is a little too extreme.  Sure  the world's great but none of us get to enjoy it.  So it was an interesting thing to look at.  Most my books are about the relationships but there were a lot of compelling moments when  i was thinking about what it would really mean , what i would personally give up to have a world full of peace and goodness.

Q: What was your favorite part of writing the Host?
A: I have a lot of scenes that were really fun for me.  I found that writing violence is a lot of fun.  I'm not sure why I like torturing my characters.  So much but actually it's fun.  It has it's own beat when you are working with it, you can really feel it.  there were a couple of scenes that were homages to other works.   there is one scene in particular that was inspired by Julius Caesar by Shakespeare.  Points for anyone who comes through the line and knows that one.  and there is another scene, a bathing scene that's inspired by Ann McCaffery's Dragonflight.  I always really loved a scene where someone was kinda reborn into a new situation in that way.   And so it was fun to be able to incorporate some of my favorite things into the novel

Q: Have you started the next book in The Host series, whose perspective is it?
A: I do have an outline for a sequel, I don't know if or when I will work on it again.  But if I do, the second book in the series would be from Wanderer's perspective again.  But again a lot of people were noting in my questions here that I'm going on vacation for awhile.  After Breaking Dawn I'm taking some time off just to write, I really plan on just working on the things that I'm excited about so I'm not sure what that will be.

Q: Did you have troubles transitioning from the twilight series to the host?  How were you able to detach yourself from the characters in one series and focus on the others in the new book? 

A: That's a good question.  As a writer sometimes it can be hard to pull yourself from one story to another When I was working on the host I wasn't actually writing the twilight series i was editing it's a very different process and you aren't as attached to it, it's not a creative process for me it's more like homework, it's kinda like math in some ways , so unpleasant.  So when i was doing The Host what I would do was I would start reading it over, either I would read the whole outline or I would read through everything I had written and I would get back to those voices.  Once  i  was in character, so to speak  I never got confused.  I had a question before.  Someone asked if I had ever put in the wrong names and absolutely not I was so involved in that world that twilight barely existed , well it doesn't exist in that world so I don't even think of those characters when i am working on it.