Q and A with Shannon Hale

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Q and A with Shannon Hale

Postby Openhome » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:19 pm

What did you think of the Question and Answer section at the beginning of the book? Did you learn anything new? Does this change your perspective on the saga in any way?
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Re: Q and A with Shannon Hale

Postby marielle » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:49 am

I just got the Guide and I have to get this off my chest...
Reading the Q & A got my stomach turned...I really liked SM, her story about how Twilight came to her and everything but after reading this chapter I don't know if I like her that much....

the first thing that irked me was the Jacob bit, she is just on loved with Jacob. Jacob is perfect in her eyes while she says Edward is not perfect... in my eyes neither of them are perfect (I'm a Edward fan) but I was blown away even more by how she explains Jacob's exsistence...it's just so weird. I do get it that Edward would never have been able to say the Vampire word out loud but she could have let the Jacob part as an ignorant friend...

the second thing that got me breezing was the fact that she kept the story a young adult story because the publisher marketed the first book with that target group in mind...I think as a writer you should never ever let somebody influence the essence of the story you write, your story just get compremized. I honestly think that if she had let it flown naturally the story would have been even better, it would have been more realistic for this time...

the last thing I really hated about this chapter is how much it shows that SM hates what her story has become. I really got the idea that she really dislikes the story for what it has become with the movie and everything...it's almost like she wishes that it wasn't as big as a succes as it had been...
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Re: Q and A with Shannon Hale

Postby Openhome » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:14 pm

You are not alone in your thoughts Marielle. There is a reason behind it, and I think you will understand better where the feelings come from if you read the post I put on some of the other threads. Here it is:

I wanted to step in here and try to explain something that Pel was able to explain to me. Like you, I was puzzled and a bit upset about how Stephenie responded to the questions in the interview. She came across as almost crass and as absolutely team Jacob. It was rather shocking to read, and I didn't understand how and why she could say some of the things about the characters. Then I went back and re-read it, and I noticed the date on it.
August 29th, 2008. This was after hell month for her.
Pel confirmed just how awful the month was for Stephenie and just how long ago all this information was gathered. Here is a list of just SOME of the things that happened in August.

Here is what August 2008 was like:
Aug 2 released midnight signing of Breaking Dawn, 1,000 people
Aug 3 backlash
Aug 5 Chicago signing 1,000 people
Aug 7 Los Angeles 1,000 people
Aug 12 Seattle signing 1,000 people
Aug 20th or so Midnight Sun leaked
Aug 28 Midnight Sun put on Stephenie's site
Aug 29 Interview With Shannon Hale


I think the reason it comes across so insanely harsh is that she was reeling from what was a horrid month. It was even a bad one for the Lex, as that was the month we were hacked and shut down by haters.

My question now is why they didn't put a new interview in the book??? That one is wonderful as a piece to show where she was at in 2008 (it's almost heartbreaking to think about it now), but I'm not sure it shows us what she believes now. I have a feeling, after reading Bree, that Edward is a little more important to her now than he was then.

So, please take the interview with a grain of salt, and join me in wishing the editors had had enough sense to give us something new that showed us her current mindset.
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Re: Q and A with Shannon Hale

Postby marielle » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:20 pm

Kayla, than I don't think it was the smartest decision to place that interview in the book. it might explain a lot but she is really giving fans the idea that she hates the monster that her cutre little story has become.
I understand that at that time, after being mangled by fans, critics and other idiots, she really feels like that. She must have been so tired...

still they really need to explain the desicion about intervering with the original story just to write it to the right marketing group...
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Re: Q and A with Shannon Hale

Postby missp » Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:40 pm

I'm so glad someone else has finally said the DISLIKE word! I was blown away in a positive way by some of SM's comments in the interview, but some of her responses just rubbed me the wrong way. I am one of the biggest Jacob fans around, and I completely understand her take on Jacob and Edward. I also agree with her that the characters chose their own paths and most of the endings are inevitable. What I took issue with was her somewhat non-chalant view on the fans of the saga... the adult fans, that is - which, truth be told are her largest audience. The part where she said she "toned" down the violence kind of surprised me. All in all... I loved the interview because it absolutely solidified my knowledge that I AM A WRITER - even though fanfiction's existence is never mentioned in the interview at all. However, SM does make mention of the NAYSAYERS or the CRITICS maybe being spurred on to write their own stuff.
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Re: Q and A with Shannon Hale

Postby marielle » Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:11 pm

Tonise, that's exactly what bugged me, from her reactions to some questions I get the real feeling that she let the opinion of those who make money for her influence the story.
So what if there was violence, so what if it isn't suitable for the target group, if the story takes that road than let it go.
I still can't believe that they have hold on to their idea of what is good for a young adult group, I mean they are allowed to play games that conclude shooting others or watch movies that shows somebody having sex just because it's fun...
I'm not pro-violence or anything but I am for the freedom of artists and it almosts sounds that SM let her art being influenced.
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Re: Q and A with Shannon Hale

Postby suzzeeQ » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:27 pm

p. 36

"We live in a time where having a baby is not much more dangerous than giving blood."

What? Giving birth is still very dangerous. Much more dangerous than giving blood.
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Re: Q and A with Shannon Hale

Postby RebeccaCullen » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:10 pm

Not adding in violence is something I think is one of the biggest differences between Jo Rowling and SM because the HP series was market towards the children's market and grew progressively darker each book, where as with the Twilight Saga, SM tried to keep it light. And HP isn't the only book I've read that have been marketed toward a young market. Look at The Mortal Instruments: part of the plot of part of book 1, all of book 2 and most of book 3, without giving to much away, was Jace and Clary's relationship, and each book had them fighting demons, Downworlders and Valentine, and the writer has decided to expand on the series and from what I can tell, she kept to her story board for the first three books. I've read some of the House of Night books, and from what I remember, those are slightly dark. And the Hunger Games, which I haven't read, has characters fighting for survival by killing each other. So why is the Twilight Saga the anomaly among those books?
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Re: Q and A with Shannon Hale

Postby skatepixie » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:02 am

This was one of my favorite parts of the guide. It was great to hear more about her process, especially character development. It actually helped me stand up for my own characters when, just a few hours later, some of my critique group members were suggesting that they do things that are 100% out of character and wrong by their standards. Sure, I could type those words, but it would come out garbage because it wouldn't be authentic.

I also loved the speculation about readers who feel so strongly about various parts of the series. How they should "join the dark side" and write because they are storytellers themselves.

RebeccaCullen wrote:Not adding in violence is something I think is one of the biggest differences between Jo Rowling and SM because the HP series was market towards the children's market and grew progressively darker each book, where as with the Twilight Saga, SM tried to keep it light. And HP isn't the only book I've read that have been marketed toward a young market. Look at The Mortal Instruments: part of the plot of part of book 1, all of book 2 and most of book 3, without giving to much away, was Jace and Clary's relationship, and each book had them fighting demons, Downworlders and Valentine, and the writer has decided to expand on the series and from what I can tell, she kept to her story board for the first three books. I've read some of the House of Night books, and from what I remember, those are slightly dark. And the Hunger Games, which I haven't read, has characters fighting for survival by killing each other. So why is the Twilight Saga the anomaly among those books?


The violent content seems to be unchanged, it is simply that the descriptions themselves were toned down. While Harry Potter grew in violence, The Hunger Games series has always been violent. Readers know what they are getting into with The Hunger Games. Mortal Instruments is the same way -- fighting from Chapter One on. As for Harry Potter, the books grew steadily darker with each new book. The Twilight Saga wasn't all that violent, prior to BD. People who pick up the fourth Twilight book expect a violence level similar to the first three.

Twilight is much, much less dark than Mortal Instruments. As a fan of both series, I can see where there wouldn't be a 100% target market overlap. For goodness sake, the first sentence of the prequel mentions "blood and ichor." Many Twilight fans read for the romance. Mortal Instruments has major themes that are much darker than those found in the Twilight series, that some Twilight fans would be put off by. Not that I'm saying that this makes either book better or worse -- just that, even though they are marketed to the same *age group*, they may not fully share a target market, in terms of what the reader is looking for in a story.

As for the Twilight fanbase itself, many fans found the level of horror surrounding the birth to be too much for them. So, in light of that, it seems that the author tried to find the right level of violence/horror for BD. Since, as a paranormal romance, Twilight isn't a horror novel, she was advised to tone it down a bit. Since she didn't seem to upset (in fact, she seemed PROUD that she had pushed the boundary in that way), I don't think any of her core story, or even core details, was compromised.
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Re: Q and A with Shannon Hale

Postby RebeccaCullen » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:44 am

skatepixie wrote:As for the Twilight fanbase itself, many fans found the level of horror surrounding the birth to be too much for them. So, in light of that, it seems that the author tried to find the right level of violence/horror for BD. Since, as a paranormal romance, Twilight isn't a horror novel, she was advised to tone it down a bit. Since she didn't seem to upset (in fact, she seemed PROUD that she had pushed the boundary in that way), I don't think any of her core story, or even core details, was compromised.


Honestly, I found the birthing to be a bit gruesome myself, which I find odd because I can sit through watching a person being beheaded among other things on a show I watch with no problem at all. My problem stems with the lack of violence in BD is that we're finally given a Bella that can actively do something other then slice open her arm to help. To me, the birthing came out of nowhere because in the prior books nothing like that was ever put in; the worst we got was vampires being ripped apart and those piece trying to put themselves back together in EC.

TBH, I was expecting something to happen when the Volturi showed up over getting Bella ripped apart and felt let down when I read Bella being ripped apart from Jacob's pov, and Bella and a bunch of vampires standing around talking about Renesmee.
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