BlogTalkRadio: I think the humans in the cave are in a tough spot when she shows up, when The Wanderer shows up. In your opinion, is it reasonable for them to extend kindness to The Wanderer and her kind? Was it more reasonable to ostracize her?
Asya M: You know, it’s funny because I think that it’s a very reasonable response to say this person, this being who has just walked into our secret lair, is one of the enemy. As far as all of these people hiding out in the caves are concerned, the aliens have taken away from them everything they’ve ever held dear, they’ve probably been responsible for colonizing loved ones of these people. I think that a hostile reaction is absolutely understandable and in a strange way that’s the most reasonable reaction. I think the people who open up their hearts to Wanderer are the anomaly. It’s like, how would you possibly be able to entertain the idea that one of these aliens is a good person? It takes a long time for that to happen with most of the people, but there are some people from the very beginning who are actually quite ready to hear her side of the story. I can’t tell for sure what I would do in that situation, but I think personally I would be one of the people who would consider her an enemy and do everything in my power to get rid of her.
BTR: I felt the same way. My instinct, my gut reaction, would have been, “That’s the enemy, get rid of them.” I think it comes from a place of self-preservation. But then of course after getting to know them and seeing what their desires were, it’s quite a different story.
So we actually have a question in the chatroom and it comes to use from shadyb. The question is, “Stephenie mentioned that during the writing process, Ian was a character that ‘refused to be ignored.’ Can you share any insight about how he started off as a minor character but eventually emerged as one of the major figures in the book?”
AM: Yeah, I have to confess that by the time I read a full draft of The Host, Ian was the character very much as you see him in the final book, in the sense that he was a strong character who transforms over the course of the book and goes in a direction that is very different from what you expect. So I think that I’ve also talked to Stephenie about the fact that he wasn’t always such an important character in the book, but I think probably most of that process of developing him happened in drafts before the ones that were delivered to me.
But I do have to say that I thought that he was one of the most interesting characters in the book because of the way he transforms because I think a lot of the characters who come on the scene in the book sorta played a type that you know what to expect from them or you kinda get a sense of what to expect from them, and they carry out their roles, often in dramatic ways. There’s obviously surprises in store for them and challenges for them but very few characters transform as drastically as Ian does. And yet it’s completely believable that he does transform in this way, so I think he’s a fun character to watch evolve.
I love that she refers to the people who aren't hostile to Wanderer as "anomalies". It's an interesting way of thinking of it. That's one of the elements that makes Ian such a great character, I think. His conversion is just ...so great.
(The audio of the interview is archived here @ BlogTalkRadio)