ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is Midnight Sun still dead to you, or can you see finishing and publishing it in the future?
STEPHENIE MEYER: It’s really complicated, because everyone now is in the driver’s seat, where they can make judgment calls. ”Well, I think this should happen, I think she should do this.” I do not feel alone with the manuscript. And I cannot write when I don’t feel alone. So my goal is to go for, like, I don’t know, two years without ever hearing the words Midnight Sun. And once I’m pretty sure that everyone’s forgotten about it, I think I’ll be able to get to the place where I’m alone with it again. Then I’ll be able to sneak in and work on it again.
Do you have the energy to start working on a new book right now?
Actually, I think being able to write would be the best thing for me. I have two projects I want to work on. But the movie has been so time-consuming — all the publicity and the merchandise to approve. But I want to get in and write something totally different, a whole new world, and lose myself in that. I think that will be the most healing thing for me. So that’s my goal.
What stories are kicking around in your head?
I’m a little more hesitant to say what I’m working on, though, because people for some reason seem to take that as some kind of contract: ”You said you were working on this so now you have betrayed my trust by not doing it!” But I’m thinking I’m actually leaning towards the mermaids’ story right now. Years ago…I tried to write an epic poem. It was supposed to be, like, ”The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” right? And I couldn’t make it work, it was horrible. But I loved the story in it. So that has become part of the back story to this one. Some of the characters are mermaids. Though, again, they’re not mermaids like you’ve known mermaids. They’re completely different. And I’m not going to use the word ”mermaid” in the book — they’re sirens.
After all the incredible highs and lows of the past year, do you feel tougher now?
I would say that I am much more fragile now than I was in the beginning of the year. I am not tougher. Nooooo. [Laughing] In a way, I’m really glad about that. As an author, you have to live in a glass house. If you have walls up, you can’t see the world around you to interpret it into your stories. And when people start throwing bricks at your glass, you can’t fill in the holes with cement. You just have to put more glass in and it’s just more delicate than it was before. Being vulnerable and fragile is kind of essential to being able to translate your emotions into a printed work. On the plus side of not being tougher, I don’t feel jaded. I don’t feel like I’ve lost my wonder at the good things or my horror at the bad. That’s good, right? If I stopped really feeling things I wouldn’t be able to write anymore.