1. What made you decide to tackle Carlisle's POV in Ithaca?I was a weird cookie from the get-go. Carlisle’s story captivated me from the minute that Bella saw the cross hanging in the Cullen home in Twilight, and he was always the character I wanted to see most in the books from that moment on. I found the idea that he had decided to live off the blood of animals and become a doctor fascinating, and all through the books I wanted as much of him as I could get.
Then, about three weeks after I finished the saga, I was having a conversation with a close friend of mine about Carlisle and she said something that really struck me: “You know, I think Carlisle is so perfect because we only see him through Edward’s eyes. And truthfully, none of us see our parents very clearly until we grow up and start to realize they’re normal people, too.” Suddenly I knew that the story of who Carlisle really is as a man, and what that man meant to Edward, was the story waiting to be told, and there was no way to tell that story without diving into Carlisle’s head. That was the start of Ithaca.
2. You've crafted a uniquely multi-layered and intriguing version of Carlisle not often seen in fanfiction. Where have you drawn your inspiration for your vision of him?It begins with the fact that I find Carlisle to be hopelessly complicated! You start digging and there is no end to the number of things that have made him who he is. Two hundred and seventy years of more or less total solitude, a father who burned people at the stake (people who he thought were the beasts that Carlisle went on to become), several decades with some people who think it’s their job to kill everyone who disobeys them, and now trying to be a father and leader to a pretty strong-willed group of murderous demons—those kinds of things tend to really screw people up.
Yet despite all that, on the surface, Carlisle is this big ball of non-judgmental compassion—but there’s a lot festering under that. He’s very wise, but like Edward, he has a lot of self-doubt as well, and he occasionally lets his compassion get in the way of making truly sound decisions. There’s a tendency, I think, to just write the loving, happy Carlisle who can do no wrong but you start to explore him further and he’s got a side that’s very troubled, if not altogether “dark” in the traditional sense. Edward, I suspect, doesn’t always see that aspect of his father very clearly—I got to play with that in his reactions to Carlisle’s journal entries. So I remove the “Edward filter” as I call it, and it opens a more complex Carlisle than the one we seemed to see in canon.