1. What were your first thoughts about Edward's age and human history? Were you creeped out at all that he was so very much older than she was?
I wasn't creeped out, I found it very interesting. I love the backstories of all of the characters. The fact that he spoke in 'older cadences' and all had sort of hinted that he'd be pretty old.
2. Edward tells Bella very little about the process of becoming a vampire. Why do you think he chose to keep this from her when he is being so very open about everything else?
So that Bella wouldn't start considering becoming one herself, I think. It's not what he wants for her. Also, he wants to shelter her, and the process of becoming a vampire is very graphic.
3. We learn that many vampires are gifted with supernatural traits. Stephenie has told us that vampires are drawn to special humans, and therefore when those humans become vampires, their special qualities are enhanced. If that is the case, I simply must ask the question everyone one of us has asked at some point. If Bella were to become a vampire, what would her trait be? And is it possible for her to not have any special trait at all?
It's hard to answer that question, knowing her trait already. I figured she'd have a special trait; if I'd thought about it hard enough, I guess the hints were there that it would be something to do with her being very privately minded.
4. Edward lets it out that he's been watching Bella as she sleeps. Again, did this creep you out or make you fall even harder for Edward?
I think it would have been creepy, without the supernatural elements. You have to keep in mind that he's a vampire who can't sleep, with a fixation on one human girl who's thoughts he can't read. Once you get past that, you can get past him watching her sleep; it's not the most shocking thing. Considering his reasons, I guess fall even harder; he did it with the most innocent of intentions.
5. Edward says two possibly conflicting things in this chapter. First, he explains that in the last few days, he has put mind over matter and has been able to control his thirst for her - that the temptation isn't as strong. He later says that he doesn't think it would ever be possible for them to have an intimate relationship because it would be too difficult for him to control himself. Do you think he's being honest with himself, or do you think he's just trying to protect Bella again?
Both. I think he finds it very difficult to be so physically close to her - he can feel her blood under her skin, and he knows that touching her and feeling her blood puts Bella in a lot of danger, if his restraint was to slip. The easiest way to avoid that is to not have a physical relationship. I don't think he's being entirely honest with himself, though; he doesn't give himself enough credit for his restraint, and he doesn't have any confidence in it. If if did/had, it might have encouraged him to try for a relationship.
6. Along those same lines, we learn that both Edward and Bella have never had a real relationship with another person before this. Many people have debated the issue of Edward's virginity, and that has been put to rest by Stephenie herself. Did you think that maybe Edward had been intimate before, he just hadn't had a real serious relationship with anyone he loved, or did you get it right from the start that he was just as innocent as Bella was in this matter?
Oh no, I knew he was being honest. He came from a time when couples were chaperoned; in his human life, he wouldn't have had the opportunity. And he spent too much time in his vampire life being full of self-loathing for his bloodlust, and also being sort of scornful of humans for their thoughts. There's no way he'd want to get close enough to anyone to try to be intimate.