TST’s Friday Fan Junket ClipJul 30th, 2010 | By Kallieross | Category: Featured Articles, Site News, Stephenie Meyer Interview
This week we are very excited to bring you another chunk from our interview with Stephenie Meyer! We are bringing you some juicy details about The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner, and how it ties to The Twilight Saga. So enjoy!
Q: So we really want to know, I mean this is like kind of 2 part and it’s totally unrelated but also related, where in the world Fred and Diego’s names came from? Were they old boyfriends, was it a gardener?
SM: No, I don’t tend to name people after boyfriends. It’s safer that way. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a character named ‘Dave’, cause I dated so many ‘Daves’! I’m surprised I didn’t end up married to a ‘Dave’ ‘cause that was sort of a pattern. Um, so I avoided that. And you don’t want people to be like: “Oh, that’s me.” You know? I mean come on. So, no, with Diego, I wanted a specific character. I had a real vision of him and what he looked like, what his ethnicity was and I love the name Diego. It’s sexy! So there was that. Fred, it was all about the alliteration. I wanted to have some kind of nickname for him. And so you know ‘Freaky Fred’ it worked really well that way. And then there was a bit of Scooby-Doo in that because you know Freddy? The blonde hair, the tall and the broad shoulders and kind of goofy and everything? And so there was this…I mean, he’s not…the character isn’t like that, but like the outer [appearance]: the blonde, the broad shoulders, everything. I was like “Yeah, you know ‘Fred’.”
?: I pictured him as like really big. Kind of overweight guy.
(Chatter about how they all pictured Fred)
SM: No. He should be, in his vampire form, quite good-looking.
?: Yeah, I literally just [pictured him] like a big guy who took up a couch.
SM: And for them that could’ve been him, because they’re just so unaware of him besides just “Ew!”
?: Right, maybe that’s why. That’s funny how that worked.
Elysa from Twilight Source: Bree and Diego. They seem, I dunno, they seem very tame in a lot of ways obviously in comparison to the rest of their group. How was it that they were capable of, I mean, human emotions in a lot of ways: compassion for each other, love for each other? And they were newborns, so that was really interesting to see.
SM: With the newborns it’s all about layers, because they haven’t lost. And you see that with Bella, all of those human emotions are there very strong. But as a newborn it’s so just overshadowed by being thirsty all the time and also, kind of this frenetic energy. Um, and you know, have you ever been so thirsty you couldn’t think about anything else? You know, I kind of thought about that and yeah, I live in Arizona I know what that’s like! Multiply it by a billion! You know where it’s just distracting you all the time. You know you try and think about something. But the other emotions are there, and I think when you kind of have a moment to be quiet; in the basement you don’t have that. And Bree, one thing that kind of counts in her favor is she is the smallest of the newborns, and so for her there’s no chance that she can’t get involved with those fights and everything. In self-preservation she, you know, figured the Fred thing out and saved herself. She really can’t get into all the squabbles ‘cause the anger and…It’s like teenage boys when they really hit that moment where they wanna just kill everybody…to have that all the time. I have a 13-year-old boy…
SM: I had three brothers too and it was funny that they were super sweet and then there’d be those moments where they get so angry. I remember the oldest of my younger brothers was unloading the dishwasher and someone said something to tick him off, and he took a cup in his hand was just like (Grrrr…) and punching holes in walls! And I was like: “Wow!” Matt’s like: “I never did that!” You were a nice teenager and your mother loves you.
SM: She [Bree] kind of had to stay away from that energy also. And then Diego’s been around for awhile. He’s starting to reach the cool-off period. Like things are starting to not make sense to him, and Riley can’t distract him as easily because these questions are unanswered. And when you stop and look at them they’re really big questions but they just never do. And you can also train newborns, which you know Victoria’s picked up, so that they have automatic responses. She’s done that with the daylight, and made it so ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!’ that they can’t…they don’t think about it. He’s done that with the routine all along so that they have a certain thing that’s easiest for them to follow and Diego’s got to the point where [he questions]: “Why am I doing this?” And he sort of pulls Bree out of it too because she doesn’t think about it very long but when she’s talking to him then she starts realizing: “Wait a minute…What is this?” They just don’t think about it till then.
Elysa: Bree Tanner made me realize actually just how pertinent the term ‘newborn’ actually is because I felt like you see so much how environment really shapes their behavior.
Elysa: I think in a lot of ways, at least toward the beginning of the series, you kind of assume that when you’re a newborn there’s absolutely no choice. You’re going to turn out a certain way no matter what. But we see with Bella and then with Bree a little bit, like you were just saying, that environment can make all the difference in the world.
SM: Well, you have Bella who’s like braced for it. She knows it’s coming, and one of the hard things about writing from her perspective is she’s very unique but then that’s the only viewpoint you get of being newborn or anything: “Oh, that wasn’t so hard!” And it is hard! But she just has so much preparation and a really strong willpower that helps quite a bit. And with Bree you have someone who… I mean generally you wake up as a vampire, right, and people say, “Hey, you’re a vampire.” Their behaviors are going to say, “Well, I can’t help that, you know. I’m a vampire…and people taste so good!”
SM: It was funny [because] my editor had a question for me she’s like: “Wouldn’t Bree stop and think about all these people she’s killing? Wouldn’t she feel some…she’s a good person. Wouldn’t she feel some pity?” And I was like: “No! No!”
Kallie: I love how you explained it in the book, too; how they smelled it [blood] or they saw their prey and they changed. Like they were crouching, and they were ready to pounce. You know, like it wasn’t even that they had a choice…it just was like a reaction.
SM: Very animalistic. You know and when someone tells you, “Okay, you’re special now and this is what you do, and this is who you hunt and don’t think about it.” You don’t think about it.
Kallie: It made Jasper’s reaction in New Moon so much more like “Oh, okay that makes sense then.”
SM: Poor Jasper, he’s not very good at the diet. Which we can all understand right?
Kassie (?): Alright, we wanna know kind of the timeline for when you created Diego, or when Diego, Riley and Fred were created as vampires.
SM: Um, you know Riley showed up in Eclipse. You know he was one of those characters that starts out as a tool without having much person to him, but then as you write about him. But then it was hard not being able to see much of him. That final scene with Edward, I felt much more pity for him than I did when I was writing Bree because here you have this guy who comes into it and he’s been lied to and manipulated more than anyone else. I mean the newborns have been manipulated, but not the way he’s been. And he’s been lied to more than anyone and Victoria is his whole life, and to have her dismiss him the way that she does. He has that moment where he could survive if he listened to Edward. And when Edward says, “I don’t want to kill you. You can walk away from this”, and he doesn’t. He makes the wrong choice which is hard. So he evolved then. Bree was just an example of a newborn when I was working with her in Eclipse, and then when I started with [?] being like,…Well actually it was Rebecca then. Rebecca saying, “What was going on?” I had to re-tailor the story to have more clues about what’s happening and she really wanted to know: “Tell me what happens in Seattle.” And so then I was looking at it, and that’s when you start getting the stories. Once the stories start you kind of have to write them down. So Diego formed really quickly. Originally the opening scenes started out with the Spider-Man theme song because it was just him skittering on the walls and sort of this crazy bizarre thing. And I knew she [Bree] needed someone to talk to and she needed somebody sane. So Diego showed up really quickly as somebody who’s outside of the newborn madness already and sort of already past that. Fred was a little bit later where I was thinking you know here you have this little girl who’s been thrown into this setup. How does she survive? And she wasn’t talented, but you know I figured if there was somebody else who was. It all kind of came together really easily and organically.
Kallie: Was Riley created while James was still alive?
SM: No, very quickly after his death.
Kallie: ‘Cause of their being so mature for newborns, I was just kind of curious about that…
SM: Victoria, you never see it from her perspective but some of the things about her character is she is so non-confrentational. She doesn’t take people on face-to-face because that’s not…she’s a survivor.
Matt: She’s evasive.
SM: Yeah, she’s the behind the scenes manipulator. You know James was always kind of the front guy, right? She let him lead the way, and she let him you know…And she was crazy about James but she let him take the danger for her ‘cause that’s who she is! Um, and so she felt very alone. You know, she’s lost this guy. Laurent’s run off and kind of gone off with the enemy as far as she knows and she picked Riley, he was big and strong and she felt like: “I need someone to stand in between me and everyone else.” And then you know she starts coming with ways to use him, and so he was really early in. You know, I love what Bryce has done with her. I love Rachelle and she had a great, strong, feral kind of Victoria. Um, but and I don’t know if this will be out there when the companion comes out: Bryce was the first choice.
SM: And she was pregnant and the whole bit, and so we always loved her and she comes in and makes Victoria the manipulator again. The ‘Victoria’ now isn’t the one who’s gonna stand up there like she’s ready for a fight. She’s the one who’s gonna be like: “You go fight them and I’ll be the one left standing.” And she does the voice, like the really sweet voice! Agh! She kills. She kills. And when you watch her do the manipulation thing and you see how it would work.
Matt: Her eyes are so big too. They’re like this angelic, hypnotic look when she’s telling Riley…
SM: Her face is insane, oh my gosh! Every time I watch it with the eyes, you’re like: “How does a human face do that?!” She’s gorgeous, and so nice like really, really fun. When she came in it was hard for her because you know everybody was freaking out over Rachelle and she was so sweet about it. When the whole mess went down with the scheduling she said, “Look, I’m not gonna do this unless… You know, I’m not cutting in on anybody.” She was really great about it. Very lovely.
Thanks go to *STEPHANIE* for transcribing this week! You are AWESOME!
To read our previous posts from the Stephenie Meyer Fan Junket 2010 click HERE!
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