Hello dear readers! We have finally finished the main text which is a huge relief but now we dive into Meyer’s own words as she answered a Q&A on Tumblr. It is bizarre and stupid but I think it is important to read and discuss Meyer’s own words and thoughts on this book as remember she thought this mess was a good idea and her fans would be all over it. Let’s dive in!
Why did you choose “Edythe” as fem! Edward’s name, rather than the more conventional (and much more common for 1900) “Edith” or “Editha”?
I can answer this one pretty easily on her behalf! It is because Edythe is a special and amazing and wonderful and unique and special little snowflake who couldn’t have a name as common as Edith. That would be insane! Let’s see what Meyer said:
SM: As I began with the renaming process, I committed to keeping the first letter of every name the same, mostly to keep the swap from being too confusing. With Beau, I was looking for a “B” name that had a common nickname and longer, more formal version that the character could dislike. One of my younger brothers had a childhood friend nicknamed Beau, and I always liked the name’s vibe. I searched the internet for different long version options, and decided that Beaufort was perfect. Obviously, Beau was going to resist his full name if it was Beaufort. It’s not as mainstream as Isabella/Bella, but it suited him.
No, I seriously doubt that Meyer picked Beau because of a friend of her brothers. What does Bella mean? Beautiful. What does Beau mean? Beautiful. Yeah, I think we know that Meyer wanted to keep her ‘Beautiful Swan’ and so she did.
With Edythe, I followed the same process I did in naming Edward. I looked for a name that was out of style—if someone mentioned a person with this name, you would assume the person was in his or her late eighties. Currently, vintage names are in vogue, so a lot of grandmother names feel young again. “Edith” still felt dated, more than most of the other options, but it took me a while to warm up to it. It just wasn’t pretty enough for my gorgeous vampire girl. It was when I stumbled across the “Edythe” version that it started to work for me. (In the course of writing the book, Edith/Edythe has become a favorite name and I can’t remember exactly why I didn’t find it pretty at first.)
So basically I was right. Edith was just too ordinary for her vampire and needed a different and more unique spelling. Also, she is right that grandmother names are becoming popular but Edith is one of them due to ‘Downton Abbey’. She is trying to sound unique and special again which irritates me.
What if Bella and Edward met with Edythe and Beau?
I shudder to think what would happen if those self-obsessed psychopaths met.
SM: I imagine they’d all get along pretty well after they worked out the kinks. Edward and Edythe might start out castigating each other for being so reckless with the humans—lots of projected self-loathing. Bella and Beau would roll their eyes. Bella would never say it out loud, but she might wonder what Edythe saw in that totally normal human boy, and Beau likewise.
Oh God Lord! So basically Edythe and Edward would be total emos but also probably wank over their lovers. I am not surprised that both Bella and Beau would think that about each other as they are both arseholes who have no concept of personalities being attractive and only concentrate on looks. Does Meyer even realise how shallow they sound? Also these people don’t like other people so I doubt they would give each other the time of day. It would also destroy their opinions of how unique and special their match is as there is another one right there.
Hi Stephenie! I am incredibly intrigued by this new version! Thank you so much for writing this. My question is: Who was the hardest character to do the gender switch on? And why? Xxx
I can’t see how any of this would be hard as most of it was copy and pasted. She couldn’t even be bothered to make Edythe fit her new gender in terms of historical expectations and social norms for the 1900s.
SM: Thank you! Once I got started, it was pretty easy to make the shift. Bonnie was a little difficult, mostly because Charlie wasn’t changing. It made the dynamic between them different, and I definitely felt some stirrings of possible future romance by the end, which I hadn’t intended. Carine was absolutely the hardest to name, and I called her Carlyle (just tweaking the spelling) until everyone else involved (editor, agent, partner, mom) demanded that I chose a new name so readers wouldn’t be confused. (I still think of her as Carlyle, though.)
Of course it was easy! See my earlier point. How was Bonnie difficult? She barely appears and acts just like Billy. I think it’s because as if a divorced man can be friends with a widowed woman without them banging like ferrets. I really cannot see any sort of future romance as their interaction was minimal, we were just told what great friends they are but didn’t see much in terms of subtle flirting. She is just telling us things again and that really annoys me. I think it is because she is incapable of having single people in her books but also my earlier point of how men and woman can’t be friends.
Why was Carine so hard to name? I gave a perfectly reasonable Stuart England name for her to use. Catherine would have been fine but no she needed something fancy and French which was a total history fail. Also, Carlyle is a boy’s name which would have been utterly bizarre for a woman in the 1600s. I agree that it had to be changed but not for the reasons her editor gave as it is not confusing but just stupid.
One thing you have been discussing in other interviews is how Beau developed a slightly different personality than Bella. I was was wondering if you would say Edythe developed slightly different too? As a reader, I got the vibe that Edyth had a harder time convincing herself NOT to go after the baddies from the Port Angeles scene. I was wondering if that scene felt different because of Edythe’s personality or for editing purposes? PS. You’re awesome sauce.
My heart hurts.
How old is this person?! Who says ‘awesome sauce’? Do they have spell check?
Edythe is just a murdering psycho, why is this so difficult to comprehend?
SM: Thanks Edythe is very similar to Edward in temperament, but—good catch—she is just a tiny bit less patient. Many of the little changes are things I would have done if I had just been editing Twilight ten years later, without the swap. For example, I should have had Edward say the correct answer before Mr. Banner had actually spoken the question. It’s cooler that way. There are lots of little moments like that. But in Port Angeles, I think Edythe is slightly less restrained about her desire to murder bad people because Beau is never really afraid of her the way he should be. She pushes a little more to try to get him to see what she’s capable of.
Wow! So Edythe wants to scare Beau after he is almost murdered? That’s sensitive. I know he didn’t care about almost being murdered and was more scared of Edythe being hurt because he is an idiot but that is not the point. He could have been terrified and then Edythe decides to scare him more even though she stalks him? Why does Edward and Edythe want the person they apparently love to be afraid of them, that is disturbing.
No, Edythe answering a teachers question before they ask is not cool and makes them look like morons who can’t be bothered to even try and blend in.
Why is Edythe significantly awesomer than Edward?
She isn’t. She is just as much of a murdering maniac as Edward is.
SM: To quote Movie Jessica: I know, right? I feel a little guilty for loving Edythe so much. She’s a rock star. I love Edward, but he doesn’t have the exact same edge, does he? I’m not sure why this is. Is it because Edythe is a girl, so I more naturally put myself in her shoes? Now I’m the deadly, mysterious one? Or is it because of some indefinable Edythe-ness that came out of the ether and remains impossible to explain? I do not have the answer.
She is not a rock star but a murderer and stalker. Why is this so difficult to understand? Also, look at what she has said about putting herself in Edythe’s shoes, does she think I am stupid? I know full well that Edythe is her avatar due to her finding that she is more of an Edward then a Bella and her tendency to have characters wank over her self-insert. It does not surprise me one bit that she loves Edythe more as Edythe is who she wishes she was. Edythe is Edward in a wig, they are the same maniacs regardless of gender.
Hey Steph! I wish I could meet you someday! So, in what occasion will the Cullens find out that Beau is a shield? Is he also shielded against Mele? And what if Aro finds “Mel”? — a young boy this time. Are the Cullens protected because of Bella?
I’m not going to lie but I am so grateful that we skipped Beau discovering his shield as it was painful enough with Bella and no one needs a repeat of that. Of course Beau would shield Mele as he is awesome and the best vampire EVA!!
SM: I can imagine a few scenarios in which the Cullens would discover Beau’s talent. Maybe it would be when they have a reunion with the Denali clan. Being so strong at first, Beau would probably be a little cocky. He might want to see what Kirill’s electricity thing felt like. Or maybe Sulpicia would hear through the grapevine about the Cullens’ new addition, and request a visit. It wouldn’t be the same fraught encounter that Bella’s first trip to Volterra was, and there would have been more time to talk through the implications of Beau’s mental silence with the experts.
I think that Aro did eventually find “Mel” (long after Didyme’s death) and, after thinking carefully through the implications of Mel’s gift for a century or so, had him quietly destroyed. Aro wouldn’t like the thought of himself being replaceable.
Of course Beau would be a cocky little shit as that is what Bella was as a vampire. He would deserve to be shocked if he wanted to try it out because he is a cocky arsehole. Also, why would Sulpicia request a visit? Why would she even care that Edythe is finally getting laid? I don’t know why I even care.
Also the Aro thing is a complete arse pull as it has been said time and time again that no two gifts are the same. So are they now? Also, I can’t see Aro throwing away a perfectly useful and powerful vampire. Chelsea is very dangerous and could brainwash the guard to follow her instead but Aro keeps her happy by getting her addicted to Corin’s happy smack. Surely he would do the same with Mel, just get them addicted to the smack so they stay loyal. Simple!
It seems that Beau had a much easier life than Bella, he has to go through faking his death but doesn’t have to deal with nearly as much as Bella. Was that intentional to completely change the story so Beau’s couldn’t follow what happens in New Moon and on or is their more to his story?
Have we just forgotten that he has had to give up his family (unlike Bella) and live with the knowledge that his parents think he died an agonizing death?
SM: As I said in the afterword, I think Bella got the better version of the story. Yes, she endured so much more physical and emotional pain, but in the end she gets to keep her human family. Worth it, in my opinion. Edward, also, did many things he regretted, but he can at least console himself that Bella got to make her choices and shape her future into what she wanted. Edythe will always have doubts about the way Beau was forced into his vampire life, no matter how content he may seem.
I changed the ending of the book because I always wondered how it would feel if the story had ended with Twilight. Now I know. Obviously, Beau has an indefinite number of years ahead of him, no doubt full of adventures, but I feel satisfied with what I’ve already written. I’m happy to leave those adventures to the imaginations of the readers.
I can’t believe that I agree with Meyer that yes, Bella did have the easier time of it as she keeps her family. She is also right about Bella choosing rather than being forced to change but I am sure that he would have started his “I WANT TO BE A VAMPIRE!!!” shrieking pretty quickly and the end result would have been the same.
I very much doubt he will have adventures. He will probably be the same as Bella and just hump all night long and play house during the day. Maybe he would dazzle a human or two but that would be it.
Is Rosalie’s vampire origin story still going to be steeped in heavily gendered trauma and revenge now that she’s a man in the new book? Please say yes.
Are we basically saying that only women can be raped? If so then this poster is an idiot as it can and does happen to men too. Also why is this poster so excited about heavily gendered trauma? I am confused. Do they want Royal to have been gang raped to death or do they want him to have a more ‘masculine’ death? Christ knows! I am also sick of rape being used as tragic backstory that has no effect on the actual character and their development. It’s just tacky and insensitive to use rape for drama.
SM: Not in exactly the same way, but there is definitely still revenge. As Royal explains while Beau is transforming, he was beaten (nearly) to death by the secret boyfriend of his erstwhile fiancée, and that boyfriend’s mafia colleagues. The feeling of betrayal is still there, perhaps even stronger. Royce King was loathsome, but he did have feelings for Rosalie—desire, at the very least. Rowena King was ice cold as she watched Royal die; she was entertained by the spectacle. As she laughed, he realized that she had never felt anything for him at all, except perhaps scorn and amusement that he was so easily duped. When he came for his revenge, he didn’t come in a tuxedo. He came carrying the broken body of her lover.
I KNEW IT! I knew that it was the mafia which means everything I said before about this stupid backstory was right and it was complete nonsense and historical fail. I won’t go into it again but Meyer has shown what an idiot she is.
Also how is this worse in terms of betrayal? Do I have to repeat myself again? I think getting gang raped to death, being so utterly violated is far worse. It is utterly bizarre that Meyer thinks Royal’s story is worse because his fiancé didn’t love him. How can it be a plus point that Royal felt something for Rosalie even though him and his friends GANG RAPED her to death. Jesus Christ, that is appalling!
Oh but she laughed while he was beaten! That makes her so much worse. NO! What she did was vile but Rosalie was and I repeat GANG RAPED to death. What is wrong with Meyer?!
Rowena? Wow, how Sicilian! Rowena is Welsh in origin and is found in Old English so that name is an utter fail. Rosa would have been far better choice for a girl of Sicilian descent.
Stephenie, does a male version of Leah exist in the Life and Death world? Will he eventually turn into a werewolf? Will he have the same relationship with the wolf pack as Leah? Thank you!
Oh God, I hope not! Leah was treated appallingly and we really don’t need to see a repeat. I am willing to bet though that Man Leah would get far more sympathy from Meyer as he is a man and the werewolves would be treated as bitches rather than understandable. Meyer has a real issue with woman in the original.
SM: Ooh, fun question! The answer is yes, absolutely. The Clearwaters still exist. The shape-changer bloodline runs through both Holly and Saul Clearwater to their two children, Leland (Lee) and Sarah. Just like in the Twilight universe, Holly is in on the secret, and after Samantha Uley changes, she knows eventually that her daughter Sarah will join the pack. But she’s never dreamed that Lee could change, and the shock of that occurrence triggers her fatal heart attack.
Lee is every bit as horrified to join the pack as Leah was. He, too, had his heart broken by Sam. He, too, doesn’t want to have Sam’s love for Elliott—his former best friend—always there in his head. He, too, feels ostracized by the pack for his gender. He, too, is pretty harsh in his thoughts toward the pack.
So basically exactly the same? I am still certain that Sam would be vilified for leaving Lee for Elliot as they were bros and the bro code must not be broken compared to the constant explanations of how Sam was awesome and totally right to dump Leah for Emily. Luckily, I will never know.
Hey Stephenie! Could you explain the inspiration between the Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea epigraph, and Beau’s love for the book?
It’s obvious that she picked a well-known masculine Victorian classic as Beau is a man and needs man books but they need to be classics as he is smart and stuff.
SM: Ha ha, this is kind of a funny answer. Because we did this project so quickly, there wasn’t time to get an approval for any modern quotes (I initially thought of using lyrics). So I was limited to public domain novels and songs. I had to scan through options pretty quickly, and I wasn’t finding much. Knowing that I had to narrow it down if I was ever going to find anything, I decided to go with Beau’s favorite book, which is—not coincidently—my son Gabe’s favorite book. Once I had decided that Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was the source, it was easy to find the option that fit. I like that it’s also a little clue. Unlike Bella, Beau does find his destiny by the end of the first book.
Yeah, I think we know why. I doubt she would have considered a modern novel as she has beaten us to death with how Bella is so intelligent for liking the classics and it would clearly be the same with Beau.
With changing genders of the two main characters in life and death were you worried that the storyline might change to the point where people wouldn’t be able to see the similarities between that and twilight? love both books by the way
Why would she be worried? She is the author and was determined to make it the same so she did.
SM: I was not worried that Life and Death would become too different from Twilight for the story to be recognizable. It was obvious from the beginning of the project that my hypothesis was correct: switching the genders did very little to the plot.
YES! BECAUSE YOU ARE THE AUTHOR! So no, the gender swap didn’t change the plot but the sexism rocketed up. I will discuss it further in my final thoughts.
If you had kept the same ending from Twilight for Life and Death, how would Renesmee ‘fit’ in this new take? Would it be possible for Edythe to carry a child?
Meyer’s fans are so stupid. It has been said time and time again that female vampires cannot carry children. I am willing to bet that Meyer would draft in a wizard to change things though if she really wanted to as she is not averse to destroying her cannon for her own needs and wants.
SM: Even if Life and Death had ended the same way that Twilight did, the storyline would have had to take a sharp left when it hit Breaking Dawn. Edythe is not able to get pregnant, so all the post-honeymoon drama would vanish; Renesmee could not exist in this alternate version. Which means Ivan (Irena) would have had nothing to report back to the Volturi, and the entire second half of the novel would have been pretty uneventful. Maybe they would have gone to Dartmouth after all. Let the college hijinks ensue!
Thank God she has made it clear that the little Hell Beast couldn’t exist. Also, I would not want to see them in college dazzling the humans together. It would be agonizing.
I have skipped the question where she is asked about who she would want in a ‘Life and Death’ movie as it just Meyer throwing names around and it’s dull.
Would you consider making any of the other books into a gender swapped form like you did for twilight?
She couldn’t switch the other books as Beau is a vampire now unlike Bella at the end. Are these readers complete idiots?
SM: No. I did enjoy the experiment more than expected, but it was also very successful in answering the questions I had. I don’t feel like I need to do more.
It was not successful! Stop saying that! Also why couldn’t Meyer have just said what I said as it is perfectly valid and would mean she doesn’t come across as an arrogant peacock.
What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about (writing) Life & Death?
SM: My favorite thing during the process was probably getting to fix the little problems in Twilight that have bothered me for the last ten years; it was like scratching an itch. And then my least favorite thing was calling the story finished and turning it over to be printed, knowing that I’ll find another million tiny changes I will never be able to make.
Hi, Steph! Does Bella also like Monty Python or is that just a Beau thing?
SM: Bella is also a big fan. This was mentioned briefly in my Midnight Sun manuscript, which is where I pulled it from for Beau.
It would have been nice to know as it would have given Bella a smidgeon more personality than the empty bucket that she is. Anyway, Beau never talks about Monty Python after the first line so I can’t take this seriously.
I am skipping the next question too as it is just Meyer saying she knew what the characters look liked in her head. She describes them all in flat terms so it seems pointless to anaylse it. Same with the next question as it is about ‘The Host’ which isn’t relevant here.
Was there any one minor character or couple (not Bella, Edward, Jacob) in Twilight that surprised you by how popular they became in the fandom? And thank you so much for writing these books! I love them still and I’ve met so many amazing people because I love them and found friends online who love them too!
SM: Actually, no. Maybe it’s egotistical, but I’m so interested in the characters that it doesn’t surprise me when other people are into more than just the main three. This sounds like a contradiction of what I said before about being surprised by the popularity of the books, but I’m looking at it more on a case-by-case basis. Yes, I’m shocked so many people like Twilight, but if you do like Twilight, how could you not be into Alice and Jasper? Or Esme and Carlisle? Or even the tumultuous ups and downs of Mike’s and Jessica’s volatile relationship? I care about them all, so when someone enjoys my little world, I’m happy that they get excited about more than just Bella and Edward.
Also, thanks for the compliments, and I, too, have made some life-long friends through Twilight. That was an unexpected bonus.
Wow, she sounds very arrogant there. Just like Bella they say something but then admit that it may sound wrong but hey the admitted it so it’s OK! They were asking about minor couplings like say Sam and Emily, not the main cast such as Alice and Jasper. Why couldn’t she just try and answer the actual question without hand waving it.
If you could have changed one thing about the way the original Twilight series ended, if any, what would it be?
I think we all know the answer to this after her tantrums after the ‘Breaking Dawn’ fall out.
SM: I wouldn’t change anything in the plot (the writing, obviously, I’m always open to polishing some more). I wrote the story the way it made the most sense to me, and I’m happy with it.
Yeah…. After all these years it seems that she still refuses to acknowledge that ‘Breaking Dawn’ is not the masterpiece she thinks it is. She could have said one small thing to at least acknowledge some of the complaints she had but no she refuses to even think of any possible changes. It’s perfect so there haters!
Hey Stephenie, what made you decide that Emmett and Rosalie should be together? I like them both a lot, but they just seem like such polar opposites, and I was wondering if you have something else to say about it. Thanks!
SM: Sometimes the clichés are true, and opposites do attract. But Rosalie and Emmett do actually have a lot in common, aside from the difference in their general outlooks on life. They’re both very physical people, rather than being more cerebral or introspective. They both would much rather do something active about a problem rather than sit around and think about it. They’re both a little Machiavellian—they don’t care how they get there, as long as they get there. And they both worship Rosalie’s beauty, ha ha. In many ways, Rosalie is the pessimistic version of Emmett.
It would have been nice to have actually have seen some of this. However, they are probably the healthiest coupling in this entire series which isn’t saying much to be honest.
I am not bothering with the other questions as it just advice to aspiring authors and I can’t criticise her as I’m not a creative writer in the slightest so I have no idea if she is giving good or bad advice.
That is the end of the Tumblr Q&A section and from what we have seen is that Meyer genuinely believes she made a point when it comes to gender and how she is so not a sexist. We have also seen that her opinion of ‘Breaking Dawn’ has not changed. Interesting tid bit though is that in other interviews she has stated that ‘Midnight Sun’ is dead due to the release of ‘Grey’ which I find pretty funny as she will blame everyone but herself for not releasing that book.
Next time will be the final installment of ‘Life and Death’ which will be my final thoughts where I discuss everything now that we have gone through the book. I will then finally burn this damn book as sadly I can’t donate it to charity as there is too much red ink notes that say “DICKHEAD” or “FUCK YOU”, I really don’t think a charity shop would accept that and I refuse to let this thing live on my bookshelf mocking me.
So get the champagne ready as we say goodbye to ‘Life and Death’ forever! WOOO!!!!!