A month before The Host is scheduled to hit theatres, author Stephenie Meyer admits that she hasn’t had much time to sit down to write. The young-adult novelist best known for creating the Twilight series has spent the past year helping to produce the movie-adaption of her latest book.
While The Host is intended to be a trilogy, Meyer—who has been busy with book signings, promotional appearances, and giving one of her three sons driving lessons when home—isn’t sure when her next book will be published.
“I am currently working on the second one,” Meyer confirms during an interview with the Georgia Straight at the Sutton Place Hotel on February 25. “I’d really like to get that one written. It feels very overdue to me now, like an overdue library book just sitting there racking up fines.”
The Host, which was published in 2008, tells the story of a young woman named Melanie Stryder, who is one of the last free humans alive after Earth has been attacked by an alien race called Soul. When a Soul named Wanderer inhabits Melanie’s body and accesses her memories of former lover Jared, Melanie must learn to work with Wanderer in order to find Jared and not be killed by other Souls or humans.
“It’s really about the ties you have to your community, to people you belong with, and the people that you love,” Meyer says. “Twilight is romantic love. From the very beginning it is about that all-encompassing first love, and sort of chasing that and pursuing that through the course of the novels.…Melanie is different in that she gets to be a more fully-formed human. It’s a more adult place where there are many things that pull at her than just one romantic love.”
Switching genres from vampire-fantasy to science-fiction isn’t the only change Meyer has experienced while writing her second series; she has also adopted a new writing process.
“I’ve just been writing The Host novels chronologically, which actually drives me nuts,” she says. “With the Twilight novels, I did a lot of jumping around in the story, which I think is a little bit easier, so I need to try and break out of my cycle.”
Meyer’s role as a movie producer through Fickle Fish Films, a company that focuses on “literature-related films and media” that she co-owns, has also required getting used to.
“When you’re writing, it’s a solitary thing. You have a lot of people in your head, which does provide quite a bit of company, but it’s different than having human interaction,” Meyer explains. “I’ve had to get a lot more confidence because I’m really quite a shy person at heart, so all of the time in front of cameras and talking to people is not my forte.”
However, Meyer is taking everything in stride, in the same way that Twilight’s tremendous success was the result of becoming an accidental novelist.
“I had the idea for Twilight and I didn’t want to forget because it was just so enjoyable. It was actually the process of writing it down to not forget it that I discovered how enjoyable writing was,” Meyer says. “One day, I became a writer—at least in the hobby sense—because I was like, ‘This is so much fun!’”
While fans of The Host are eager to discover what becomes of Melanie Stryder and Wanderer, Meyer plans on finishing the story in her own time, which she advises other authors to do.
“For me, what’s important is to write the story just for myself.…If I listened to what I was supposed to do, Twilight would not have been the same novel,” she says. “So I think you just tell the story to yourself until you’re really happy with it and then worry about all the nonsense.”