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I was watching the Google Hangout that you did earlier. You mentioned a couple of things. One of them was that you were working on a new project. You didn't get into any specifics on that, only that you were trying to veer away from anything that involved eyes. And the other thing was the possible sequel to The Host. Can you talk a little bit about what you have in the works and when we might expect to see another book?
Yes, I'm working on the sequel to The Host. I have no idea when it will be done. And when I say it's done, then I still have to do the editing process, which can be extremely long. It's going really slowly right now and I have this Host tour coming up, which I know is gonna - I can't work on the road. I'm really awful about that, but I cannot get the focus I need when I'm not having large amounts of time. I mean, it's not being on the road, it's being interrupted every hour. So I don't know how long that's going to take. I would love to get that knocked out this summer, but that's extremely unlikely. I'd have to cryogenically freeze my children. And my husband. And if someone knows how to do that, call me.
As far as the other project I was talking about, that was Down a Dark Hall, which was my favorite Lois Duncan novel as a child, that we optioned a while back. We're working on the script. It came up, just a little thing with a special effects on the eyes, and I'm like, "Nope, no eyes. Can't do it."
Since you've had such success, does it change your writing process to know that anything you write can potentially become a film?
You know, it changes my writing process more with the idea that what I write, someone's going to read, and that actually really slows me down. I did a lot better job writing quickly when I could lie to myself and say, "Well no one's ever going to see this but me." That's a very helpful tool for me. If I could convince myself that that was the case, I think I would be able to do it more quickly. But I second guess myself a lot, knowing that people are going to see things. As far as the movie element. I don't think that it affects me so much - Every now and then, it is true that I've kicked around the idea, I have this novel way on the back burner. I mean, it will be forever until I can get to it. But I like the idea of it because it's impossible to film. I just don't think you can do it. That actually does make it kind of intriguing. You couldn't do this [story] as a film. I guess there's something freeing about that.
What's the biggest change you've gone through as an author when you look back at things you've written and think, I wouldn't write that this way, now.
I hope I'm better. [laughs] I hope that I've gotten stronger as a writer. I look back at things and when I reread my stuff, I always find so many things that I would do differently. It's not so much in the story, but just in the way that I say it. There's words, I'm like, "Oh, I wish I wouldn't have put it that way. I wish I had taken that sentence out." It's really easy for me to second guess myself. That's one of the problems of knowing people are going to read your stuff. Once it's printed, you don't get to make changes anymore. For some of my other author friends that I've spoken to, that's a hard thing for a lot of them. Once it's out of your hands, then all of a sudden it's written in stone. You can't make those changes you still long to make. It's very, very hard.
Are there going to be any major changes from the book to the movie?
The major change is that we just had to cut out 500 pages, basically, of the novel. And so, it's definitely streamlined down to the essential relationships of the core story. Aside from that, I feel like it gives a very true vision of the world. The characters that are the main characters are very much translated into themselves. I don't feel like they've transformed into someone else.
Visually, I think it's actually a little heightened. Because in my version of the story, there wasn't that much of a change on the planet earth. It still looked a lot the same. But Andrew is such an incredibly visual person, and a genius. And so he came into it and made the Soul world just a little bit different from how the humans are. People dress nicer. They're cleaner, Everyone's a little bit shinier. There's a slightly different feel. It's still obviously planet earth, but not quite the place you can walk into and fell like you're a part of. And I thought that was brilliant. I really loved it.
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