How did Stephenie Meyer name Bella and Edward in Twilight?

28 Jan

Unlike 99 per cent of the world’s female population, the Twilight phenomenon somehow passed my friend Amanda by the first time around. And now that’s she’s finally discovered the pull of the Cullens and their kin, I regularly find myself roped in to help her play catch up. Which is how I came to be glued to the couch on a Saturday night watching New Moon.

As I patiently reassured her (again) I would pre-warn her about the “scary” bits (god forbid she ever discovers a real vampire movie) I tuned out a bit, being well versed in the bleak times endured by all the leads in this second installment. And it got me thinking about their names.

Like most fans, I knew the story had come to author Stephenie Meyer in a dream, but I had never read anything about how she christened her star-crossed lovers. So I turned to her official website for an answer. And here it is…

“For my vampire (who I was in love with from day one) I decided to use a name that had once been considered romantic, but had fallen out of popularity for decades. Charlotte Bronte’s Mr Rochester and Jane Austen’s Mr Ferrars were the characters that led me to the name Edward. I tried it on for size, and found that it fit well. My female lead was harder. Nothing I named her seemed just right. After spending so much time with her, I loved her like a daughter, and no name was good enough. Finally, inspired by that love, I gave her the name I was saving for my daughter, who had never shown up and was unlikely to put in an appearance at this point: Isabella. Huzzah! Edward and Bella were named. For the rest of the characters, I did a lot of searching in old census records, looking for popular names in the times that they’d been born. Some trivia: Rosalie was originally “Carol” and Jasper was first “Ronald.” I like the new names much better, but every now and then I will slip up and type Carol or Ron by accident. It really confuses the people who read my rough drafts.”

So there’s the story. And thank god Stephenie went backwards in time for the names rather than modern day, in which case we might all be in love with the story of Zaquisha and Monaro. In the meantime, only 10 months to go until Breaking Dawn: Part 2. The countdown is on….

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