The very last page of the April 15, 2013 issue of Time has the 10 Questions part of the magazine with Stephenie Meyer. The photo above is from the magazine, but there is more to it in the physical copy. Here are the questions and answers:
In addition to being the author of The Host, you’re also a producer on the movie. How much creative input do you get?
It was basically me and one other producer and the director making all the creative decisions. That was a new experience for me, to be that involved. It was very cool.
You’ve written a lot about young people. What draws you to them as characters?
It’s about the story I want to tell. With Bella [in Twilight], I wanted someone who was falling in love for the first time. With [The Host’s] Melanie, I liked the hardship of her being young.
How do you think Melanie holds up as a role model?
The main character isn’t a teenage girl; it’s an alien who is in a teenage girl’s body. I don’t really feel like we should be looking for our role models in fiction. That being said, Melanie’s a pretty tough person, and I find Wanda, the alien, pretty aspirational. She’s kind of who I would want to be if I always did the right thing and always thought about other people before myself.
In The Host, Earth is one of several inhabited worlds. That reminds me of Mormon cosmology. Does your faith influence the worlds you create?
The way it comes out the most is that my characters think about what comes next. I find it kind of shallow in a character if they don’t have that kind of wonder and an idea about the world and where they belong and where they’re going to go.
You also worked as a producer on the movie Austenland, which was at Sundance this year, about a woman who is obsessed with Jane Austen. You have firsthand experience with obsessive fans.
I never really looked at it as, Oh, this reminds me of my fans. That’s me. I would love to go and stay at a Regency theme park where I got to dress up all day and act like a Jane Austen character.
What else are you a crazy fan of?
The Brontës. And sometimes Jeremy Renner.
The literary establishment isn’t always kind to you. How do you deal with criticism?
A lot of it I really take to heart, because I know I’m not the best writer. I do try to learn from it. I feel like with each book I’ve written, I’ve gotten a little bit better. You sometimes have to tune it out, because it can be that voice in your head all the time and be really crippling.
You’ve described being a working mom as a delicate balance. How do you and your husband divide the work at home?
Right now he’s doing 100%.
Do you consider yourself a feminist?
I do. Everybody has a little bit different definition. But to me, what I think it should be is that you shouldn’t have to do anything or not be able to do anything because you’re a woman.
I have to ask you about 50 Shades of Grey. E.L. James took something that you created and used it as inspiration for something that’s pretty raunchy. How does that make you feel?
It doesn’t feel that connected to me. I haven’t read it, so I don’t know. I’m glad that she is doing well and succeeding, and that’s cool. The raunchy part, I wish that wasn’t attached to Twilight, just because I don’t like to think of it that way, but, you know, it doesn’t hurt Twilight.
Do you think you’ll ever return to the Twilight universe?
When the Twilight Saga movies ended, I kept thinking I was going to be really sad. I was waiting for it to hit. I just felt nothing but relief. And I don’t miss that world at all.