**Spoilers contained below**
These questions are the ones I’ve been answering most during my tour Q and A events. Some of them are the questions as they were asked to me verbatim. Others are distilled from a lot of questions into a more universal and concise form.
- Did Jacob Imprint on Bella?
- Who was in Bella’s house—the scent no one recognized?
- What is the most pivotal plot development that happens in Eclipse?
- What are the characters’ biggest mistakes in Eclipse, their tragic flaws?
- What’s the deal with Bella just falling in love with Jacob in the eleventh hour of Eclipse?
- Can a werewolf imprint on a vampire?
- Can you get book four out faster?
Did Jacob imprint on Bella?
No. And this is how you can be sure: in New Moon, after the first time Jacob becomes his wolf phase, he is mean to Bella. He won’t tell her what is wrong. He says he can’t see her anymore. If he’d imprinted on Bella in that moment (and it happens the first time you see the person after you’ve phased), he would have answered all her questions. Pretty much, he would have given her anything in the world she wanted. (When he’s staring at her on the bottom of page 173 in Eclipse, he’s trying to make himself imprint on her. But that’s not something you can force.)
Who was in Bella’s house—the scent no one recognized?
It was Riley. He is not a totally wild newborn—he’s past his first year and better able to keep his perspective. If he’d been as strong as the younger newborns in the clearing, Seth might not have won that fight. Also, Victoria prepared him very carefully for the foray. He was (to phrase it delicately) quite well fed before he went to Forks.
What is the most pivotal plot development that happens in Eclipse?
In both Twilight and New Moon, Bella commits to becoming a vampire without once really examining what price she’ll pay. In Eclipse, Bella fully comprehends that price. And then she chooses to pay it. Every aspect of the novel revolves around this point, every back story, every relationship, every moment of action.
What are the characters’ biggest mistakes in Eclipse, their tragic flaws?
Bella’s is a lack of self-knowledge; she never would have pursued her friendship with Jacob if she had realized how much more than friendship it really was. You don’t give up your friends when you fall in love; however, you do give up your other romantic interests. If Bella had understood herself better, she could have saved everyone a lot of heartbreak. Sometimes that happens when you try to do the right thing.
Edward’s big mistake is overreaction. It’s in his nature to be too extreme (see: New Moon). He’s a very all-or-nothing kind of person, and it makes him unreasonable. In the beginning of Eclipse, he’s too overprotective. When he sees the error of his ways, he goes too far in the other direction. He could have chosen a middle ground—maybe admitted to his jealousy and asked Bella to choose him, rather than watching her get in deeper with Jacob. Of course, he has other issues that make forcing this issue problematic. What if Jacob is better for her? What if Bella could have a more complete life with him? Should Edward really insist that Bella give everything up for vampire life? Or would it be better to let her make a fully informed choice? Can you see his dilemma? Part of Edward wants Bella to choose Jacob (and life).
Jacob doesn’t have a tragic flaw. He has one goal and one hope. His goal is to save Bella’s life. His hope is that he’ll win her heart in the process. He fails at both. But that doesn’t mean he regrets trying. If he could do it over again, he’d do the same thing. Jacob couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t give saving Bella his best effort—he knows it’s going to hurt when he loses, but he knows it would hurt worse if he didn’t try. Does he do everything right? Heck, no! But he’s sixteen and he’s making it up as he goes along. Those who are upset by some of his tactics should consider his youth and the fact that he is, after all, right. Bella is in love with him. (In the end, it’s truly healthier for her to be aware of this as she goes forward with unalterable decisions.)
What’s the deal with Bella just falling in love with Jacob in the eleventh hour of Eclipse? Don’t you believe in true love anymore? What happened to blacken your soul, woman??
First of all, let me say that I do believe in true love. But I also deeply believe in the complexity, variety, and downright insanity of love. A lucky person loves hundreds of people in their lives, all in different ways, family love, friendship love, romantic love, all in so many shades and depths. I don’t think you lose your ability—or right—to have true love by loving more than one person. In part, this is true because you never love two people the same way. Another part is that, if you’re lucky, you learn to love better with practice. The bottom line is that you have to choose who you are going to commit to—that’s the foundation of true love, not a lack of other options.
Next, Bella does not fall in love with Jacob in Eclipse. Bella falls in love with Jacob in New Moon. I think it’s easy to understand why this fact doesn’t occur to her. Bella has only fallen in love one time, and it was a very sudden, dramatic, sweep-you-off-your-feet, change-your-world, magical, passionate, all-consuming thing (see: Twilight). Can you blame her for not recognizing a much more subtle kind of falling-in-love?
Does this love devaluate her love for Edward? Not for me. For me, it makes that perfect true love stronger. Bellahas another option. She has a really good one. An option that’s easier in many ways, that takes nothing—like her family, present or future—away from her. She would have love, and friendship, and family—an enviable human future. But she chooses Edward over all of this. This makes it real for me.
Allow me to quote from Steve Oedekerk’s brilliant Star Wars parody, Thumb Wars:
Loke Groundrunner: “I will go with you and fight!”
Oobedoob Benubi: “Oh, big sacrifice; everyone you knew is dead! Glad you could tear yourself away!”
Can a werewolf imprint on a vampire? What happens if a vampire bites a werewolf? Will Renee and Charlie flip out about the engagement? Is Jacob gone forever? Will Bella have a superpower as a vampire?
I’m not going to comment on any speculations about future events. No matter what the answer is (ex: *snort* “No, that’s crazy!”), I’m still giving you something about the future. I don’t want to spoil anything about book four.
Can you get book four out faster?
Ha ha ha ha ha!
(Seriously, I’ll be lucky to get it out on schedule.)
Read anything good lately?
Yes, I have. Lots of flying = lots of reading. I’ve been reading mostly advanced reading copies, so none of them are available in bookstores yet. I really enjoyed Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley, a fantasy so realistic you start to believe it’s nonfiction (and plan your trip to Smokehill National Park). I also loved Runemarks by Joanne Harris, a core fantasy much like the stories of David Eddings or Terry Brooks, with a cool twist on Norse mythology. And my very favorite recent read was Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. Her narrator, Dashti, has made her way into my top ten favorite heroines of all time, along with people like Elizabeth Bennett, Anne Shirley, Jane Eyre, Harriet Morton, and Jo March.
Are you going to post outtakes and extras for Eclipse?
Outtakes, no. Why? Because I don’t have anything good. I didn’t cut anything major or funny this time.
Extras, not for a while. I do have a couple of fairly large extras I want to do, but I can’t work on them until I’m done with book four. Eventually, I’m planning to write the story from Bree’s perspective—how she met Riley, how life was amongst the newborns, how she found and lost love in the middle of the chaos, how the Volturi were involved, etc. I’d also like to write the alternate ending that I once considered for Eclipse, back when I was under pressure to end the series at three books. I’m looking forward to writing these both up, but don’t hold your breath; it’s going to be a while.