Cover Girl Stephenie Meyer: An Interview (Part Two) with Deb Smouse

We continue our chat with Cover Girl and phenomenal author, Stephenie Meyer. (If you missed it, check out Part One)

Most writers draw upon their own life, especially in early works…. How much have you drawn upon yourself and your life for each of your Novels?

Since I write fantasy, I can’t draw on many actual autobiographical elements. I think many of my hopes and fears make their way into the story, though. For example, my fear of the darker side of human nature is pretty clearly described from Wanderer’s perspective. Also, my intense love—and need—for my family comes through in Melanie’s side of the story.

Can you go through your process (do you outline, write random chapters, plot, etc)

“I self-edit all the time when I’m writing. I enjoy reading the story over and over, tweaking it as I go.”

My process has changed with every book. With Twilight, I had no outline and no plan. With New Moon and Eclipse, I had fairly detailed outlines, and I wrote out of order; I focused first on the scenes that excited me, and then did the transitions between them after most of the story was written. With The Host, I worked chronologically for the first time. I had a very long and detailed outline (around fifty pages long, and including dialogue in many places), that I kept redoing as the story changed in the writing.

Do first drafts go to your agent, a friend, or who? What is your editing process?

Usually my mom, dad, and a few of my siblings are my first readers, and then I give it to my agent. I self-edit all the time when I’m writing. I enjoy reading the story over and over, tweaking it as I go.

What advice would you give to want-to-be writers?

The most important thing you can do is to write for yourself. Don’t think about any other audience, don’t worry about a demographic, and don’t let the thought of publishing ever enter your mind. Enjoy the story and enjoy the creation process. If you aren’t enjoying yourself, then you shouldn’t be writing.

“The most important thing you can do is to write for yourself. “

After your story is all done, then you can worry about what comes next. But keep the storytelling pure, and focus on pleasing yourself first.

Many of our readers are creative types…and most of the writer’s I talk to write with a schedule in mind. Walk me through a typical day in your world…..

It’s changed a lot since I first got started. With Twilight I wrote all day and all night. Now I mostly write at night (I think better after dark for some reason). During the day I have a lot of business to keep up with—lots of emails to write, lots of phone calls to make. In many ways I miss those early days when I didn’t have anything distracting me.

Tell me about the promotional side of being a writer in this digital age….. Blogs, websites, Facebook, MySpace, etc

I enjoy the connection the internet lets me have with my fans. I feel like I have a real sense of who a lot of them are, and I think they know the real me. That kind of relationship was impossible when people communicated through snail mail. I also like that when I need to focus, I can simply shut the internet down.

Do you feel you are sometimes too accessible to fans or not accessible enough?

I do worry that I’m not as accessible as I could be. I wish I had the time to answer fan mail. However, I think most of the fans understand the limitations. I can either write letters or write books—I can’t do both. I’m pretty sure most people want my stories more than my replies.

Writing can be such a solitary career. How do you balance in your family and your friends while being true to your needs as a writer?

“At the same time, I never feel like writing is solitary. The characters are such amazing company. Yes, I have imaginary friends ”

It is hard to find time for everything. It’s a balancing act, and I don’t always do it perfectly. I make a conscious effort to spend time with my kids every day after school, and to read to them at bedtime. My office is in the middle of the house, and it has no walls. I’m always in sight, and they know I’m there if they need me. My friends (who are very cool people) totally understand about my limitations, and they welcome me with open arms whenever I finally stager out of my hole to join them.

At the same time, I never feel like writing is solitary. The characters are such amazing company. Yes, I have imaginary friends 

It’s a typical Sunday….where do we find Stephenie Meyer?

At church! Sundays are my no-work days. It’s all God and family.

What other projects are you working on? Will you carry over any of your characters from current works – or will your next book introduce us to someone new?

Right now I’m editing Breaking Dawn (book four in the Twilight Saga). When that is done, I’ll move on to Midnight Sun (Twilight from Edward’s perspective). After that, I’m a free woman, and I have a million ideas I want to play with. I have outlines for a possible The Host trilogy, but first I may write about ghosts or mermaids or even plain old humans.

For more information on Stephenie, visit her website: StephenieMeyer.com. You can also check out an excerpt from The Host… or purchase her amazing book.

Deb SmouseDeb Smouse is the Editor in Chief at All Things Girl. She’s is fast approaching 40…and spends her life fulfilling her roles as a consultant, mother, friend, reader, and writer. She loves to read…and appreciates the opportunity to hear from writers…. Find out more about Deb on our About Page.



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12 Responses to “Cover Girl Stephenie Meyer: An Interview (Part Two) with Deb Smouse”

  1. jess loves twilight 03. Jun, 2008 at 10:58 pm #

    i really want her to write about mermaids lol. stephenie is such a great author, and so down to earth. she is just awesome.

  2. Tess 04. Jun, 2008 at 1:05 am #

    Stephenie Meyer is such a creative inspiration. I thought I was in love with the Twilight series, but now that I’ve read The Host I know that I’m in love with all of her work. It’s kind of unfair for one person to be so talented, but I still love her for it. Thank you for an interview that included something beyond the standard questions for her.

  3. dbert 04. Jun, 2008 at 7:19 am #

    I really liked your questions, they were a bit more unique and it gave a bit more insight to the fabulous writer.

  4. Tracy 04. Jun, 2008 at 9:36 am #

    Keep Writing Stephenie, dont worry about us fans, we love what you do so look back….just keep the stories coming….

  5. Shelby 04. Jun, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    I can’t believe how easy it is for her to write. As easy as it is for me, I can easily write, but not to where every page is amazing and makes the reader want to keep reading. I can agree with her, I write best at night as well. Its kind of like a bedtime story that you tell yourself. I hate when it is too late for me to finish it.

    I love how she doesn’t care about what everyone else thinks but writes for herself. I try my hardest to do that. She’s a great example to anyone who wants to be a writer!

  6. Lauren 04. Jun, 2008 at 1:39 pm #

    gosh! she’s so amazing!

  7. cullengirl1 11. Jun, 2008 at 11:46 am #

    I enjoyed reading the interview with my favorite author, Stephanie Meyer, in the May-June issue. The thing is – she was my favorite author before her latest “adult” novel, The Host, was published. Prior to that, Stephanie was known as “the author of the popular Young Adult Twilight series, fantasy novels whose main characters are (mostly) vampires.” I recognize that expression on your face; it’s the same one my family members give me when they see me buried in one of my Twilight novels. It’s followed by the comment, “You’re too old for that, that’s a teenage book.” Well, I am here to tell you that I am not too old for Twilight and there are many other women out there my age that are just as passionate about this series.

    Tis’ true that the main characters in Twilight are teens, but the story is so captivating that you don’t have to be a teen to enjoy it. In many ways, a mature woman can enjoy the story even more. After all, how long has it been since we felt like teenagers, experienced the irresistible power of first love? Twilight takes you back there; it sweeps you up in a love story fraught with peril and full of emotion. It’s a theme park ride; like that Disney commercial where the parents turn into kids after riding Space Mountain or visiting Cinderella’s Castle. That’s the feeling you get from reading these books, and it’s so refreshing.

    And then, there’s Edward Cullen, the leading male character in Twilight. Though he’s technically a teen, he’s wise beyond his years. (You’ll have to read the book to find out why – no spoilers here.) In Edward, Stephanie Meyer has created the ideal man. Yes, he is brilliant, talented, gorgeous, and rich; but more importantly, he’s sensitive, kind, compassionate, loving, protective, self-sacrificing, and totally devoted. He speaks in what Meyer describes as “gentle cadences,” uttering phrases that make you go weak in the knees. And, as if that weren’t enough, he doesn’t eat (no cooking required) or sleep (no snoring). Now that’s the perfect man!

    So herein lies my confession. I am a middle-age Twilight fanatic, a “twilighter” as we have been so appropriately named by the media. Just like the teen fans, my fellow mature “twilighters” and I are waiting with baited breath for the fourth book in the series to arrive in August; and the Twilight motion picture to open in December 2008. In the words of the Twilight teen fandom, Stephanie Meyer rocks!

  8. Sharon 04. Sep, 2008 at 10:59 pm #

    I know that Stephenie may never see or hear this. I was on her website the Sept. 2nd and I my heart broke for her regarding what happened to her rough draft with Midnight Sun. We love you Stephenie!! Spend time with your precious kiddos! God will heal those wounds and we’ll still be patiently waiting!!! Take care. Sincerely, A most devoted fan.

  9. Elena D. P. 03. Feb, 2009 at 12:35 am #

    Dear Stephenie Meyer,

    i really wish you could publish Mdnight Sun. It really does not matter that someone put your book on the internet. But i’m a really big fan of the twilight series books and i’m really desperate to read Midnight Sun. Don’t worry i will not read the book. i really dont want to. but can you please write the book. there are a lot of fans that want to read on and on. Thank You.

    Sincerly, Elena Parapunova

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