"Breaking Dawn," the final book in the mega-successful "Twilight" series, about a sexy vampire named Edward and the girl who loves him, goes on sale Aug. 2. Author Stephenie Meyer talked to Susan Elgin about books, boys and blood:
Edward is so perfect—you've ruined regular men for a lot of teens. Do you feel bad?
Oh, a little bit, I guess. I just wanted to write for myself, a fantasy. And that's what Edward is. But it could be a good thing, too. There's nothing wrong with having high expectations, right?
Has there ever been an Edward in your life?
No, no, I wish. I've had very typical, normal, human relationships my whole life.
No, none of that goofy, swoony stuff. I was always a little grown-up for my age.
How do you kill your version of vampires?
If you tear them apart, they can be reassembled. But you can't burn them while they're still together because, well, obviously they can run faster than that. You must tear them apart and then burn them, to be sure.
That's pretty graphic.
Yeah, they're actually really flammable once you rip them apart. The venom is flammable.
You've really thought this through.
I've had to. You wouldn't believe the questions I get. People want to know every single detail. You know, I majored in English, not biology.
How much fan mail do you get?
An overwhelming amount. In the last five years I've struggled against the idea of having an assistant. I like control. I like to have my hands on things and know what's going on. Finally I've given in. When I get an assistant, the first thing I'd like to do is get the fan-mail situation in some kind of order. Right now it's just big bins full of fan mail everywhere you look. It's horrible.
But isn't that gratifying?
It is, and it isn't. It's a huge source of guilt. If I could stop time I would sit down and write everyone a three-page letter. There's just no physical way for me to do that, so I feel awful. It's great that people are that excited, but it's hard that I can't respond.
Last question: how does it end?
Good try. You had to ask, right?