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Meg has published almost forty novels for younger readers as well as adults, including The Princess Diaries series (on which two hit feature films by Disney were based), The Mediator series, and the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series (on which the television series, Missing, currently being broadcast Saturday nights on the Lifetime network, is based).
Statistics for Meg Cabot
Number of Readers that added this blog to their MyJacketFlap: 53
I just spent the past two weeks crisscrossing the US (well, mostly just the Midwest. I did West coast and East coast last summer, so it was the Midwest’s turn) on my book tour to promote Size 12 and Ready to Rock . . . which, just to get this out of the way, you can buy now for a special sales price of $7.99 everywhere ebooks are sold! Also, the first three ebooks in the series are only $4.99! My publisher is calling this the “Size 12 Days of Summer” sale.
This was my idea ^^^^^! I know, I should work for Target or something, I LOVE making up the names of special sales promotions!
(When I worked in a bookstore, I also loved making the window displays. Sometimes I would put one rude thing in it to see how long it took someone to notice. Often no one ever would. People don’t see what they’re not expecting!)
I know how people love having cute fun mysteries (with a dash of sexy romance) to read in the summertime. I long for these to read as I’m whiling away the long hot summer days, too!
(Actually right now all I’m longing for is some free time to while away, but whatever.)
Anyway, my book tour was an amazing mid-summer adventure and a smash hit (at least to me). Everywhere I went, readers defied the 100+ degree heat and turned out in what seemed to me (and to my publisher) like droves.
Over 400 people were at the Des Moines Public Library event (Des Moines! How fun were you? So much fun!), and over 500 attended the Cuyahoga Public Library in Cleveland! (OMG Cuyahoga! I still can’t spell or pronounce you but I love you!)
Awesome photo, whoever took this! Glamour girls with glamour background!
I had some fantastic signings at bookstores, too, like at Joseph-Beth’s in Cincinnati, Books and Co in Dayton, Schuler’s in Lansing, MI, and the Carmel, IN Barnes and Noble!
Schuler’s! And Whitney, the manager! Whitney rules! Why am I doing this with my face though? I don’t know.
Here are some of the highlights of my trip, and some of the valuable life lessons I learned along the way, which I hope, will you, as well:
There seem to be quite a few eight year olds out there in America who are concerned that they haven’t been published yet.
I know there are some 8 year olds who’ve gotten published. Believe me, I’ve met some of them. But here’s a little known secret:
The vast majority of them never published another book again.
If you want a long-lasting publishing career, I think the best way to spend your tweens and teens and early twenties isn’t worrying about getting published, but figuring out who you are and what you’re good at, experimenting with your style, and developing your own voice—in other words, just live your life.
As Heather Wells states in Size 12 and Ready to Rock, our brain doesn’t become fully formed until age 25 (if you don’t believe her, click here).
This could explain a lot (like why a certain under-25 starlet recently confessed to a fling with a certain married movie direct
It’s been a crazy week! Between the wildfires in the west, the storms in the northeast, and Tom and Katie, it’s starting to look like the Mayans might have been right about 2012.
But the Mayans didn’t count on brave firefighters, power company workers, and Katie’s crack legal team. So we shouldn’t pack our bags to run off with John Cusack quite yet.
I have to pack a bag, but only to leave for my two week long book tour (click on the link to see if I’ll be visiting somewhere near you, and if I am, stop by to see me!) for my new book, Size 12 and Ready to Rockwhich will be out on TUESDAY (YAY!!!). So I’m going to make this quick.
But look what was found in the vaults of the Cartwright Records building as they were remodeling to make way for the new Cartwright Televsion division:
I know! Heather Wells thought she’d never have to see that thing again, especially now that she’s quit the music business to work in residence life in a New York City college dorm and solve murders there.
But now, thanks to the Internet, this video is EVERYWHERE, mocking her!
Personally I think Heather is being too modest, and this video is hilarious (special thanks to the ultra amazing Brady Hall and his team, everyone at Avon/HarperMorrow, also my own home team of Laura, Louis, and HWSNBNITB, and especially Janey, whose idea it was). Please do me a favor and forward this video to everyone you know, before Heather takes out a cease-and-desist.
I get so many emails and Facebook messages and Tweets asking for more books about amateur sleuth Heather (way more than any other series, except possibly The Mediator), that I couldn’t resist signing up to write a few more books about her.
Heather isn’t just popular in the US. She’s popular all over the world. Here are a few of her international covers. I would like it noted that I’m not sure what is going on in most of these covers. Heather never loses weight. She is a victim of vanity sizing. Nor is she a prostitute. She solves crimes. But like Heather, I go with the flow:
As to WHY I think readers connect with Heather, I speculate a bit here on Huffington Post.
But who really knows? How can you not love someone who’s been beat up a little by life, but keeps getting back up again . . . and of course, who then catches murders?
Of course, tastes vary. I’ve got a friend who’s become a little anti-princess since she became a mom, and is trying to raise her daughter to be princess-free. I’ve blogged about my feelings on this subject before (I believe in princess power), so Barbara Chai at The Wall Street Journal asked my thoughts on the new Pixar-Di
It’s here! The very first copy of the first Heather Wells mystery in five years, Size 12 and Ready to Rock, is in my hands!
Unfortunately, I only have this ONE copy. The rest won’t be released in the US/Canada until July 10.
But you can read the first three chapters (and find out why is Heather posing with a bunch of dolls, including Miss Mexico) here, as well as pre-order hard or e-book copies (or wherever else you shop for books).
So I’m hearing that if you haven’t read the first three books in the Heather Wells series, you don’t have to worry: It’s easy to catch up with what’s going on with Heather’s life in Ready to Rock (at least according to what people are saying on goodreads.com (where I SWEAR I only went because they’re very nicely giving away 10 free copies of the book, and I wanted to be sure to tell you about it, and I wanted to give you ACCURATE information about the dates of the giveaway: It’s from now until July 9. I wasn’t looking at my reviews. OK, I might have peeked).
But apparently, you can just jump right in with this one. (I didn’t do this on purpose at all. OK, I did).
I don’t know why there was a five year gap between the last Heather Wells book and this one (except maybe because I started a couple of other series in between. Hi, Allie Finkle and Abandon!).
But in the books, only three months have gone by for Heather and Cooper and the rest of their friends. That’s the fun thing about fiction: We age, but our characters don’t have to. Thank God, because if they did, then Yoda would have to play Batman instead of Christian Bale this summer.
Speaking of which, a lot of people have been asking about my summer plans. So just in case you’re wondering, too, after going on my Ready to Rock book tour (more on that below), I’ll be doing exactly what all of YOU will be doing:
Working (writing the sequel to Underworld, which I’m just reminding you will be called Awaken. OK, I’m reminding MYSELF), going to movies, watching TV, hanging out with friends and trying not to eat too much (and failing), and reading all the amazing books that are coming out this summer, some of which are anthologies I contributed to (so I can say they’re amazing because I know some of the authors, and I think they’re amazing, not my own stories, duh, I’m not saying MY stories are amazing, though I did work super hard on them because I wanted them to be as amazing as the stories of the authors I was competing against working with, right it’s not a contest).
So, first things first. Here’s where I will be this summer. If you’ll be in any of these towns, too, PLEASE COME SEE ME! I hate sitting alone in bookstores (although it does give me a chance to catch up with my Real Housewife celebrity memoir reading. Obviously I don’t buy this, I sit and read them while I wait to go on before book tour stops in the stores. This is also how I read the entire Left Behind series and Eat for Your Blood Type):
Meet Meg on her Super Sized Ready to Rock Tour This Summer!
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 Des Moines, IA
AVID Festival Des Moines Public Library
Hoyt Sherman Place
Questions! Have I read Shades of Grey? How do my book covers get chosen? Will there be a spanking robot in the next Underworld book? When’s my next book tour? How’s Henrietta? Etc.
I wasn’t able to get to all of your questions during my live video chat on Goodreads (but thanks to all of you who came! I hope you got to see Henrietta—her visit might have gotten cut off at the end due to her dislike of human contact), so I thought I’d try to answer some of the rest of them here. So here goes:
Q: Have you read the new Twilight fan-fiction re-styled into the mega bestseller Shades of Grey?
A: No, I have not, but thanks for asking! Right now I’m still hooked on reading British country manor house murder mysteries (I’m also hooked on the Sherlock re-tellings on Masterpiece Mystery. OMG SHERLOCK!!!!! Even HWSNBNITB watches it without falling asleep. Now that’s masterful storytelling).
But I’m always happy when any book by a woman is topping the charts, especially when it’s a story about two people who find love (aka a romance), so kudos to EL James and happy reading to her fans.
It does cheese me off a bit that her fans have been getting some flak in the press (“Mommy Porn?” Gross. What is that? And is “Daddy Porn” Cinemax After Dark? I guess so).
No one should get made fun of for their reading choices. I used to read nothing but romance novels in college (in preparation for writing my own, now out of print but you can still find them occasionally in used book stores. Read about them here) and people used to make fun of me for it …until the day I found the book that featured the hot space mercenary who was hired by the intergalactic council to save their princess from the cruel emperor who had hooked her up to…
…a spanking robot.
Hi I’m here to rescue you…hey, what’s that robot doing? I WILL DESTROY IT after first using it on myself.
As soon as I told people the plot of this book, EVERYONE in my dorm wanted to borrow it (sorry, one of the borrowers stole it so I no longer remember what it was called or who wrote it but it was AMAZING). Soon a huge romance reading craze was started (which included lesbian and gay romance), which obviously blossomed into a drinking game (hey, it was college), the particulars of which I will not get into on this site, but think the New Girl True American drinking game and you will have the gist. You can pretty much start a drinking game based on anything.
Hopefully by now everyone has seen the New York Times article on the neuroscience of “Your Brain on Fiction,” explaining that research shows:
“Stories stimulate the brain and even change how we act in life. Individuals who frequently read fiction seem to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and see the world from their perspective. This relationship persisted even after the researchers accounted for the possibility that more empathetic individuals might prefer reading novels.”
If you need recs of good spanking robot books, or maybe something like 50 Shades, or even a good country manor house mystery, visit the
You know that old saying, April showers bring May flowers? Well, sometimes in April it can a little rain too much, bringing forth more than just flowers. This May at my house, April showers have brought forth:
- a new book (in stores TODAY!)
- an awesome book trailer contest (you could win an iPad!)
- a Goodreads video chat, and…
- possibly even opened a door in my local cemetery to the Underworld, releasing all the vengeful spirits who feel that they were wronged by John Hayden, Lord of the Dead. Of course that could be my imagination. Don’t mind me.
But before we get into all that, let’s talk about the usual stuff that’s supposed to show up in May, such as:
1) Prom. Aw, so cute!
2) Sweeps week: Who will win on Dancing With the Stars? Will Nick move out on The New Girl? Will Leslie Knope win the Pawnee City Council election on Parks and Rec? And will Dani get her dragons back on Game of Thrones?
3) Movies with aliens in them are a May staple: The Avengers! Men in Black 3! Battleship! I plan to see them all!
4) May means summer vacation is on its way! Which means lots of time to read . . . .
5) . . . New books!
This May is bringing one of my new books, Underworld (the sequel to last year’s spring release, Abandon), out NOW in US (and Canadian and Australian and NZ) stores (and on ereaders)!
Click here for a complete list of Underworld‘s worldwide release dates, as well as other updates and Extras (including a list of Isla Huesos’s MOST WANTED, a map of Isla Huesos, an Underworld playlist, FAQs, and more, coming this week!)
In case you didn’t already know, Underworld isn’t just about a girl and a boy. It was inspired by the myth of Persephone, but really, it’s about a storm . . . not a a silly April shower, or a “storm of love,” but the kind of storm that wipes out entire populations. The kind of storm we get here where I live in Key West (also known as The Island of Bones, which are commonly found scattered across the island after such a storm). The kind of storm that looks like this:
The New York Times called Abandon (the first book in the series) “scarier than senior year”:
“This is Hades as seen through the eyes of a 21st-century teenager . . . . Pierce struggles to regain the life of a normal teenager now that she’s seen what lies beyond . . . . Death is just getting warmed up.”
“Pierce is a rockstar narrator. She’s bold, gutsy, and hyperaware – she might even be too brave for her own good. We love a girl who isn’t scared to take action. Pierce might be a little reckless, but at least she’s never a damsel in distress.”
Did you know April 22-28 is National Princess Week? Of course you did!
(If you’re like me, you assumed every week was Princess Week and were surprised to learn this isn’t true.)
But according to Disney and Target, the only “officially” recognized Princess Week is this week. That’s when they will be promoting all princess-themed books and toys and movies in their stores, under the Julie Andrews Collection.
This collection includes Julie Andrews’ own books (yes! She wrote some! So did her daughter. They’re really cute), The Princess Diaries books and movies, and a lot of other great princess books, like Shannon Hale’s fabulous Princess Academy.
This is awesome in many ways. Who’s a better spokeswoman for princesses than Julie Andrews? (Some of you might be saying “Princess Mia Thermopolis,” but she was not available due to a “scheduling conflict.”)
It seems fitting to me that Princess Week should come in between Earth Week and the release of Underworld (May 8), since every truly empowered woman recognizes how important it is that we keep our planet safe, and Pierce, the heroine of Underworld, finds herself trapped in a royal palace beneath the earth (as you know if you’ve read the sneak peek opening chapters of the book), of which she may become queen (or blow up, depending on how things work out with her new boyfriend, ruler of the dead).
… but someone at Scholastic snuck me a special advanced copy!
Even though I’ve had over fifty books published, I still get really excited when I find a padded envelope in the mail addressed to me and I open it to discover a BEAUTIFUL BOOK inside that someone made from a bunch of words I wrote (and then actually paid me for)!
When this happens, I get really excited and dance around the house and show the book to whoever is around, usually the UPS delivery guy or the exterminator, neither of whom is ever impressed, though they politely fake interest.
It would be nice if getting your published book in the mail was as exciting in real life as it is often portrayed in movies. In the 90s so-bad-it’s-good cult classic, Aspen Extreme, for example, in which TJ Burke and his friend Dexter move to Aspen in hopes of finding themselves (and true love) on the slopes, TJ writes a tender article about his love for skiing and his wish that his good friend Dexter had not become a crackhead and (spoiler alert) been crushed to death in an avalanche, and sends the article off to Ski Magazine.
A soulful montage ensues that includes a hot air balloon floating in the distance over the mountains (as often happens to us writers when we send stories off and are waiting to hear if they will be published).
Less than a minute later, TJ goes out to his mailbox, and what does he find inside? An envelope containing a copy of Ski Magazine with his name and the title of his story on the cover!
Spring is here (officially, if not temperature wise in most places), and you know what that means:
1) School’s out for Spring Break in a lot of places, so Key West (where I live) is packed with vacationers.
2) Some of those vacationers are staying in my house!
3) But that doesn’t mean new books aren’t getting written (and read and reviewed. More on these below)!
4) Official sneak peek excerpts are getting posted (see below) and Advanced Reader Copies are being released (again, see below)!
5) Ladies Fussypants and Slutty McSluts-a-Lot are ready to party.
During what I’m calling “Spring Breakaggedon 2012,” Lady Fussypants has already managed to develop a nasty addiction to catnip . . . .
EXPOSED: SNIFFING THE NIP!
. . . and Lady Slutty McSluts-a-Lot has been caught red-pawed in the company of several highly inappropriate suitors with whom she has been spied cavorting in the backyard, and from whom she has picked up some very unladylike habits . . .
CAUGHT IN A BOX!
Both have disgraced the House of Downton Cabot. We fear an advantageous marriage will now be impossibility for either of them. More on their slow descent into madness later.
On a brighter note, Underworld is officially on its way to a bookstore, Kindle, Nook (or whatever form of reader you prefer) near you! It will be available in the US and Canada on May 8th.
Henrietta during one of her more lucid moments
For those of you who can’t wait, click here for a sneak peek at the first two chapters of Underworld!
For the date Underworld is coming to your country, click here (coming soon).
What will happen to Pierce and John in Underworld? A LOT. In answer to one of your many frequently asked questions, yes, someone dies at the end.
But Spring is about rebirth/reawakening, so the real question is, will he/she STAY dead?
Release the Kracken!
On March 20 (the first day of Spring. Get it? The day Persephone was released from the Underworld?), I received a big box of uncorrected proofs, also known as ARCs, from Scholastic. There was much celebrating! Lady Fussypants even laid down the catnip pipe in honor of the occasion.
Some of you have already won copies of these ARCs, like Katie, whose amazing Pinterest board won our Meg Cabot Pinterest contest!
(Click here to see links to all the fabulous finalists!)
Just a quick post since I am (as always) on deadline!
Tons of authors (including this one) are offering up autographed books to raise money for the Red Cross for the recent Midwest tornado victims, many of whom lost everything, but especially their school libraries!
Here’s your chance to be a hero not just to book lovers in need, but whole families! And you get something GREAT out of it (besides a warm fuzzy feeling). Bid on one or more of these signed books these authors have generously donated to Authors for Henryville (Indiana)!
This has been a very tumultuous week at Downton Cabot. Here are the things you need to know if you want to keep up:
Lady Henrietta “Fussypants” Cabot has begun rising before 7AM every morning, insisting on being fed Whiska Temptations by hand.
Portrait of Lady Fussypants in the Powder Room, waiting for hand feeding
As there is no butler (I tried to hire one, but annoyingly, he wishes to remain with his current employer. Ungrateful wretch!), and I do not rise until 8AM (preferably 10AM) at the earliest, this is annoying.
The local surgeon (mobile vet) has been consulted to see if Lady Fussypants’ odd behavior can be explained (she’s also begun to express sympathy with a local street cat who claims to be the amnesiatic heir to Downton Cabot, and has had an affair with a married farm cat for which she’s yet to express the slightest remorse).
Lady Fussypants, caught in scandal!
Meanwhile, Lady Fussypants’s sister, Lady Gem “Slutty-McSlut-A-Lot” Cabot, killed a visiting Turkish noblecat with her vagina. Obviously none of us knew such a thing was possible, but somehow she managed it.
(Technically she might have done it with another orifice. The details are a bit sketchy.)
Like her sister, no remorse has been expressed, except remorse that killing a Turk with her vagina has made it impossible for her to marry the cat of her dreams.
Just when we thought things were calming down, the Spanish Influenza broke out. The local surgeon (for humans) was summoned to Downton Cabot.
“My God,” the surgeon cried, looking at that weird thermometer they stick in your ear at the doctor’s office. “100.7? You’ve got a fever! Does your throat hurt?”
Me: “Wait. I’m actually sick for once? This is awesome!”
“She always thinks she’s sick,” He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog explained, and pulled a list from his shirt pocket. “Let me tell you the diseases she thinks she’s had in the past few weeks. Spinal meningitis, dengue fever, that thing you get from cleaning out the litter box, walking pneumonia, whatever kind of cancer it was that guy had in the movie 50/50—”
Me (to doctor): “SHOULD my throat hurt? Are sore throats going around?”
Doctor: “Here, take Tamiflu if your body begins to ache. How long have you felt sick?”
Me: “How would I know? I just sit in bed all day reading my own writing and hand feeding Whiska Temptations to my 20 year old demented cat. I always feel sick. Wouldn’t you?”
Doctor: “Good point.”
Husband: “—whatever they got in the movie Contagion, whatever all the people have in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, every disease anyone has ever had on Dr. G. Medical Examiner—”
Lady McSlut-A-Lot retires to her bed of Padded Envelopes in shame
The first month of the year is already gone and I haven’t even bought a 2012 wall calendar yet for my office.
But what do you do when you get to OfficeMax and the only calendar choices left over in the store are Indy 500 and Glee? No offense to either of these fine institutions but sometimes I fall asleep in my office (aka my bed). I do not want to wake up and see a car crash or Mr. Shu looking at me first thing in the morning.
Although it’s a bit ironic because I’m from Indiana (home of the Indy 500), and I just found out from D-Listed that Heather Morris (Brittany from Glee) and I have the same birthday (making us both February 1st D-Listed Birthday Sluts). Which I should have known because Brittany and I have so much in common, given our mutual love of cats, rainbows, and unicorns.
Since I didn’t get what I wanted for my birthday (a cat, rainbow, and unicorn office wall calendar, or to wake up in the body of mixed martial artist Carla Gugino), I decided to order Rob O’Neal’s wall calendar online. He’s a local Key West photographer who was badly injured in a scooter accident. All the proceeds from sales of his calendar to go to help his recovery. His photos of the ocean are very soothing to wake up to, I find.
Anyway, I was so touched by how many of you wrote to wish me a happy birthday! You’ve already made my year, and the year’s just getting started! There’s still so much to do before I leave for my mini-book tour for the release of Overbite in paperback on February 7 though!
Overbite’s sexy Italian cover
I have to, for instance, learn how to become a mixed-martial arts expert like the guys in Warrior (which the Oscars ignored, except for Nick Nolte. Whatever, Oscars! And no best supporting actor for the guy who played the monkey in Rise of the Planet of Apes? I give up).
It’s gonna be OK, buddy. Look, my arm grew back from last year.
I’m leaving for Dallas, TX (LOVE YOU DALLAS) where I’ll be on Saturday, February 18 from NOON to 3:30PM (check it out! This event had a time change!) for Tea at The Adolphus on 1321 Commerce St!
(Actually, with the time change, this is now more of a lunch. YUM)
I hope I’ll see you there! There are still some tables left, so click here to make a reservation!
What you’ll get if you go to this event:
*A delicious lunch.
*One of the first copies of Overbite in paperback, signed (I’ll sign all your other books, too. Even books not written be me. I’ve done it before. Sorry, JK Rowling, the kid was convinced I was you. Also, I signed that copy of Webster’s Dictionary. I wasn’t going to tell that kid no.)
*An edifying talk about unicornsprincessesKeynesian economic theory writing, the creative process, how to get published, and live your dream. Or at least how to deal with the fact that you are not a mixed-martial arts fighter (yet) but that dream could still come true if you get a
Hi, it’s me, Princess Mia Thermopolis! I stopped by Meg’s blog to post for her because she’s so busy promoting Abandon, which just came out today for the first time in paperback!
You would think that as a royal, I’d be the busy one, what with going to college and helping my dad to rule a country (for the last time: he only died in the movie version of my life. He is alive and well in real life).
But I’m getting pretty good at multi-tasking. I’m actually writing this during my Interactive Media class (blogging counts as interactive media, right?).
Anyway, a lot of you have been writing to ask where I’ve been lately, and why I haven’t updated my own blog in so long.
Unfortunately, blogging isn’t as emotionally therapeutic as I’d hoped. I hadn’t counted on the fact that everyone can read it (hi, Mom).
I thought Tweeting might be more fun so I’ve been doing that a bit (you can follow me here), but again, those pesky privacy issues.
I really think I’m better off journaling. Who knows, maybe I’ll have something else for my royal biographer to publish someday. We’ll see how it goes.
In the meantime, since so many of you seem to have questions for me, I thought I’d try to answer a few of them. So here goes:
Dear Princess Mia,
Do you still go to the Plaza in New York City for tea with your grandmother? Because I went there over winter break hoping to get your autograph, and you never showed up.
Wondering If You’re Even Real
As a matter of fact, I am real. I don’t get to the Plaza for tea as much as I used to because I’m in college now and don’t have to take princess lessons anymore (thank God).
Due to my busy study and travel schedule I won’t be making many public appearances in the near future. However, if you’d like to meet my biographer, Meg Cabot, she’s got TWO public events planned for the month of February in advance of the release of Overbite in paperback! If you’ll be in either Texas or California, you can have tea (or lunch) with her, and even sit at her table (if you buy a ticket in time).
The details of those events are:
Saturday, February 18
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Tea at Fresh Fiction
1321 Commerce St
Friends, books, chat, and high tea! Who could ask for anything more? Not me. An exclusive luncheon with Meg Cabot in the famous French Room at The Adolphus!
This will be Meg’s only appearance in Texas and a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon! Click here to sign up!
You’ll also get one of the first copies of Overbite, which will be out that month in paperback, which Meg will sign! (She says she’ll sign all your other books, too. Well, the ones you bring/buy at the event that were written by her.)
Maybe she’ll even give you some spoilers about the next book in the Heather Wells series, Size 12 and Ready to Rock, coming out this July, and the sequel to Abandon, Underworld, coming out in May, too!
Happy New Year! By the time you read this, it will most likely be 2012. How could another year have passed so quickly?
I don’t know. All I know is that 2011 went by like lightning.
Like most writers, I am a person of deep reflection (mostly when it concerns the lives of my characters, and celebrities, too, of course), so I realize that most of the highlights of 2011 — for me, anyway — involved all the traveling I did for the books that I wrote that came out this past year (Abandon and Overbite, not to mention my short story for the anthology What You Wish For) . . . not just this past month in France , but over the summer, too, when I got to go to places like Cedar Rapids and Tulsa and Boston and San Francisco.
Shop window in Strasbourg
Amazing French rugby shirt and fun poem courtesy of Florence – who wins the prize for coming to the most signings in a single country: every single one of them except one! Florence, you rock. I can’t thank everyone involved in my French tour enough for all their kindness. Merci!
2011 was especially meaningful to me since it was the year I finally found the answer to a question that is asked in nearly every interview I have:
“Which 5 people, living or dead, would you most like to have over for dinner?”
How can anyone answer this? I know everyone thinks you can tell something really deep and important from the way a person answers this question, but I personally feel that this question is incredibly stupid, and that no one can tell anything about anyone from the way they answer it – at least not anything deep or meaningful, unless the person mentions 5 dead members of her own family. And this is why:
Everyone expects authors to answer that they’d have someone literary to dinner, such as Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte or maybe Ernest Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald. And I’m ashamed to admit that upon occasion, I have answered in this way.
But the truth is, I was lying. Except for a few of my author friends, I do not want to entertain any authors (except ones I already know) in my home. If you look at the great writers in history, almost all of them have had some kind of mental problem (presumably from being tortured by the burden of their genius, as one of my professors in college explained to us), and have self-medicated to numb the pain of their exceptional intelligence and creativity. This is true of nearly every great artist and musician as well (poor Amy Winehouse).
Most of us who grew up in large Catholic families already know how dinners like this go (generally there is a fist fight, then someone passes out on the living room floor).
It would totally spoil my enjoyment of Pride and Prejudice if its creator came over to my house and threw up on my carpet after too many vodka and cranberries.
Jane Austen. Crazy eyes?
Another way people expect you to answer the “5 People” question is with religious or political figures. Like, “I’d just love to have Jesus Christ, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, and Buddha to my house for dinner.”
So this morning I’m getting on a plane for my book tour in France. This is exactly the kind of glamorous thing that I always imagined I’d be doing if I were ever a published author!
But here’s a little known secret: in real life, hopping on a plane to Paris for your book tour turns out to be less than glamorous (at least if you’re me).
Because right now I can’t find the leggings I just bought (two pairs!) for this very trip.
And I’ve suddenly realized I only have one hour to change planes in Atlanta, which means my suitcase (which weighs 75 pounds even without the leggings, because I’m bringing 3 pairs of boots) will never make it onto the plane.
And my 19 year old cat Henrietta has decided that the floor of the office across the hall from the laundry room where her litter box is actually located is really the most convenient place for her to go to the bathroom (number two only).
Oh, and the touchpad of my MacBook Pro died, just when my revisions are due for Underworld. I have my trusty MacBook Air, but it only has 2 hours of battery, for some reason. Perfect for a 9 hour plane ride during which I hoped to get some work done.
Obviously I shouldn’t complain because
a) I am incredibly lucky (and thrilled) even to be having a book tour in France, and
b) things can only improve, right? By the time I get there and see all those smiling French faces, everything will be fine. Even my suitcase will show up eventually!
But until then, zut alors!
Anyway — yoga breath — this week, Abandon is being released in France. It has the same title in France as it does in America (and England).
My French publisher’s amazing website has the lowdown on all the contests and fun stuff that’s going on online while I’m there. But below are some of the places you can stop by to say hi to me in person (sorry I don’t have links for all of them. You should contact the stores to make sure the information is accurate and up-to-date. I do think you might need bracelets and stuff in advance to get in to some of them, so it’s worth double checking).
Friday, December 2
Signing at Le Furet du Nord bookstore
5:30 – 6:30PM
Saturday, December 3
Signing at Sauramps bookstore
3:00 – 4:30PM
Wednesday, December 7
Signing at La Librairie Kleber bookstore
4:30 – 6:30PM
Thursday, December 8
Signing at FNAC Montparnasse
And if you have questions you’d like to posez you can posez them here (I have a question. WHERE ARE THOSE LEGGINGS?).
On the days I don’t have events listed, I will still be working — behind the scenes, doing interviews and videos and stuff you’ll see later! I do get a little time off, but this is a work trip! Besides, I used to live in France, so going there is like going home!
OK, I’m completely making that up. But when I was six, my family moved to Grenoble, France for a year so my dad could teach there on sabbatical. I went to French school and actually learned to read in French, from some of the best books of all time . . .
. . . because they saved me from my overwhelming confusion at suddenly being plopped into first grade in a foreign country:
So much book cover stuff is going on, not just with my own books, but other people’s too, that it’s all I can think about.
Which is not good because I have so much to get done before I leave for my mini – book tour at the end of the month in, of all places, FRANCE. I have deadlines to meet and French to learn and suitcases to pack for the Salon du Livre Jeunesse! (If you’re going to be in France at the same time, also look for me in Lille, Montpellier, Strasbourg, and other bookstores of Paris! I’ll be putting up a real schedule soon, but in the meantime, check out my French publisher’s site, Lecture Academy, for updates.)
Meanwhile, both the covers for my 2012 releases have been released, and, if I do say so myself (and I can, since I had nothing to do with them), they’re pretty gorgeous.
But your input is vitally needed for one of them.
But first, OK, the cover for Underworld? OMG. So amazing. Don’t even get me started, I love it so much:
Underworld won’t be in stores until May 8, 2012!
Yes, that’s the same model from the first book! Isn’t she amazing? Just LOOK at her. And yes, that’s John’s arm.
Blue is my favorite color (to look at, not to wear), FYI.
But for my next book in the Heather Wells series, Size 12 and Ready to Rock (in stores in July 2012), I completely need your input! Because we’ve got two covers and we couldn’t decide which one was better! So I was like, “What if we just asked everyone what THEY thought?” and my editor, Carrie, was all, “YES.”
I know some of you are looking at these covers and thinking, “What is the difference?”
But to some speople (like me) there is clearly a major difference (I will not tell you my preference so as not to prejudice the voters, but I do have one. Although honestly, either one would be fine).
And thank you to the amazing people at William Morrow for letting everyone have their say! You have no idea how many covers we went through to narrow it down to these two! We saw Heather in black dresses, gold dresses, red dresses, green dresses, jeans, on and on.
But this was hands down our fave. It’s just so . . . Heather. Sometimes you have to let your heroine dress up a little. Even if she’s solving a MURDER.
Anyway, here are some of the other things in my life that I’m excited about:
Of course, Princess Mia Thermopolis has a Twitter page and has started Tweeting. Mostly she’s just quoting Grandmere’s advice right now, but occasionally she has her own stuff to say. If only that lazy royal would update her blog.
(It was pretty sad when Princess Mia went to start
I love reading all your comments and questions on Facebook and Twitter. But some of them require answers that are too long to write in 140 characters. And let’s face fact: I write 55,000-100,000 word books for a living. It’s hard for me to write anything in 140 characters.
So I thought I would try to answer a few questions from Twitter and Facebook here. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see one of yours. Or a friend will see yours, and Tweet you about it. That is what social media is all about!
From Malena Hi Meg? What are you going to be for Halloween?
Am I the only person freaking out because Halloween is this week and I still haven’t figured out what my costume is going to be? I did come up with one, but when I showed it to some people, no one knew what I was until I explained. See if you can figure it out:
Get it? I’m one of those people who always writes “First” under an online news story whenever he/she is the first one to comment.
OK, never mind, maybe I’ll just go as a witch again, like last year.
From Ana Christina Helo Meg, how is your cat Henrieta doing? We haven’t heard about her in a while.
Well, thank you for asking, Ana Christina. Henrietta has a bit of arthritis, and now requires special stairs so that she can reach the side of the bathtub on which she likes to stand to drink out of the caps from water bottles, which are the only receptacle from which she will consume liquid. But other than that (and being completely insane) she is doing well.
From Cristen Hey Meg, I was wondering if you happened to know when Underworld is coming out because the suspense is killing me!
The suspense is killing me too! I’m glad you want to know more about Pierce and John (and this is a good time of year to wonder about them, since Coffin Night just took place here in Key West! Once again, no coffin burners were actually caught)! Look for Underworld, the sequel to Abandon, in stores in May 2012.
From @janelleminniti Hanging out for @megcabot to release the next heather wells book…..
That’s funny, because my editor and I were just hanging out, trying to pick a cover for Heather Wells #4! I’d show you what we finally decided on, but then, of course, I would have to kill you. Size 12 and Ready to Rock will be out in late Summer 2012!
From Daphne I just finished “Overbite” and it was really engrossing! Loved everything about it. I would love to see/read about what happens to them next!! ♥
Thanks Daphne! I’m super glad you liked it. The ending of Overbite certainly left the door open for a third book (with a very intriguing premise for a heavenly love triangle . . . ha ha get it? Heavenly?), but for now I’m concentrating on Heather Wells and the Abandon sequels (and maybe some other surprises if I drink enough caffeine).
From Sanny Appy Gal Hey Meg!! I love all your books. From the first word I read in the first Princess Diaries Series I fell in love with all your books! I always wanted to know where you get all those awesome ideas!! Can you share your secret?
Hi! Well, it’s officially fall. School has started, all of our favorite shows are back on (and some new ones have been added—check below for some completely partial reviews!), and some new books have come out (not any of mine, except the anthology I’m taking part in. Which, if you want to see me talk about LIVE—via Skype—at the United Nations, you can win tickets to! Just click here).
Fall also traditionally brings us the birthday of the most FANTASTIC PERSON IN THE WORLD (again, I am completely partial), someone with whom some of you might be familiar. . . He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog.
Yes! It is true! On October 5, HWSNBNITB will be half a century old (just like George Clooney, HWSNBNITB was born in 1961, obviously the best year for men).
As you can tell by this recent photo, HWSNBNITB is still filled with youth, vitality, and many other things:
(Yes, HWSNBITB still refuses to allow me to mention him or put his photo on my blog. I thought you would enjoy looking at this photo of George Clooney instead. HWSNBNITB is actually younger by six months than George, but of course a better cook and even more handsome and erudite)
So I hope you will join me in wishing HWSNBITB a happy birthday (only you can’t go to his Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Linked In, or Google + pages because he is old school and doesn’t have any of those things. You will just have to wish him happy birthday to the air).
To celebrate, we are going to do super fun things, many of which I am almost done planning (birthday plans should never be left up to me).
Fall also brings us Banned Book Week, a very important week that has passed (another example of my planning) when the American Library Association celebrates the importance of the First Amendment (the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might not be your personal cup of tea).
But as we scan the lists of the Most Banned Books in America, it’s important to remember that the vast majority of books disappearing from our library shelves are not even on these lists!
Because library patrons (and parents) have caught on that rather than going to all the trouble of asking for an official ban, it’s much easier simply to remove the offending book from the library and pay the fine.
The library rarely has the budget to replace the missing book with a new one of the same title. The book is gone, and 7 – 15 bucks later, nobody’s the wiser.
For every book challenge that’s been reported, research suggests at least as many as four to five have gone unreported, and who knows how many books have simply gotten “banished” due to material inside that a single patron found personally distasteful!**
**Thanks to Author’s Guild Board of Directors member Rachel Vail for the above data.
How can you help libraries get more money so they can replace books that have been “banished?” Contribute when you hear your local library is having a book drive (every penny counts), and enter your zip code here:
What do authors Alexander McCall Smith, R.L. Stine, John Green, Ann M. Martin, Cornelia Funke, Jeanne DuPrau, Mia Farrow, Karen Hesse, Joyce Carol Oates, Nate Powell, Sofia Quintero, Francisco X. Stork, Cynthia Voigt, Nikki Giovanni, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Gary Soto, Jane Yolen, and me have in common?
We all have a book out today! It’s called What You Wish For.
We each contributed a story or poem for this book to the The Book Wish Foundation for free, so that 100% of their proceeds would go to the UN Refugee Agency!
That means if you buy a copy, you’ll be helping to build libraries all the way across the world, where they barely have any books, let alone libraries, or even pizza.
And if you buy a copy through this link, 100% of their net profits from the sale will go directly to the Book Wish Foundation, so they’ll get even more funds than they would if you bought a copy anywhere else.
So what are you going to do today? I think you should make sure you get a copy of What You Wish For, which contains “captivating, inspiring, sometimes creepy and ofttimes funny stories and poems” that “offer hope about things we all wish for.”
Not to mention, my story has romance AND pizza in it, both of which the world needs a lot more of (it goes without saying it needs more books and libraries).
Sunday will be the tenth anniversary of 9/11. For those of you who don’t know, my husband (also known as He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog) was working in an office building across the street from the Twin Towers, and was sitting at his desk when the first plane hit.
I’m going to re-post an entry I wrote a while ago about the experience my husband and I shared on 9/11, not because I think it’s so well-written or anything, but because I think the memories from that day shouldn’t be forgotten.
But I also know that some people come to this blog looking for an escape from bad memories, not to relive them (hey, that’s why I come here, too). So for all of you, I’m also posting a link to this Back To School quiz. May the Force be with you.
For the rest of you, here is this:
On 9/11 I got woken up in my Greenwich Village apartment by a phone call from my friend Jen. I was still asleep when the first plane hit. 9/11/2001 was one of those rare days where sloth was rewarded. I know several people who are still alive today because they were late to work that morning, or stopped to get coffee to help them feel a little less groggy.
“Look out your window,” Jen said.
That is when I saw the smoke.
I called my husband’s office first thing. I couldn’t see his building from our apartment, but I could see the building ACROSS from his, which was the Trade Center, and black smoke was billowing out of it.
What was happening? I wondered. Jen didn’t know. No one knew.
Was he all right? I knew he worked on a really high floor, and it looked as if whatever had happened to that tower across from his, it had to be happening right in front of his office window.
I couldn’t get through to him. I couldn’t make any outgoing calls from my phone that day. For some reason, people could call me, but I couldn’t call anyone else.
It turned out this was due to the massive volume of calls going on in my part of the city that day.
But I didn’t know that then.
Sirens started up. It was the engine from the firehouse across the street from my apartment building. It was a very small firehouse. All the guys used to sit outside it on folding chairs on nice days, joshing with the neighbors who were walking their dogs, and with my doormen. The old ladies on my street always brought them cookies.
9/11/01 was a very, very nice day. The sky was a very pure blue, not a single cloud, and it was warm outside.
Now all the firemen from the station across from my apartment building were rushing out to the fire downtown.
Every last one of them would be dead in an hour. But none of us knew that then.
I turned on New York 1, the local news channel for New York City. Pat Kiernan, my favorite newscaster, was saying that a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center.
Weird, I thought. Was the pilot drunk? How could someone not see a building that big, and run into it with a plane?
It was right then that Luz, my housekeeper, showed up. I’d forgotten it was Tuesday, the day she comes to clean. When she saw what I was watching, she looked worried.
“I just dropped my son off at his college,” she said. “It’s right next to the World Trade Center.”
“My husband works across the street from the World Trade Center,” I said.
“Is he all right?” Luz wanted to know. “What’s happening down there?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I can’t reach him.”
Luz tried to call her son on his cell phone. She, too, could not get through.
We didn’t know that our cell servers used towers that were located on top of the World Trade Center, and they all had stopped working.
We both stood there staring at the TV, not really knowing what to do. It was as we were watching that something weird happened on the TV, right before our eyes:
For those of you who haven’t grabbed a copy yet, you can find it just about anywhere, (except your local church), from your local bookstore to your local Target . . . . it’s even downloadable in Kindle and Nook format!
Some of you have written to say you’ve already read and enjoyed it (and even posted glowing reviews). Thanks so much for doing your part help to spread the truth about the upcoming vampire apocalypse!
Don’t forget, I’ll be kicking off my Overbite tour TONIGHT at the NYU Bookstore (just a hop, skip, and a jump from where I used to work in the 90s) at 6:30PM, on 726 Broadway!
And for those of you who can’t make it, don’t worry, because tomorrow night, I’ll be in New Jersey (yes, I know about the terrifying news broadcasts coming from New Jersey. But I’ll do anything to save you! And it will be worth it to see your shining, living faces!)
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
BOOKS AND GREETINGS
271 Livingston ST
Northvale, NJ 07647
Because it’s going to rock.
And if all goes well, on Thursday, I’ll see you in Nashville, TN!
NASHVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Tennessee Humanities Council
615 Church St
Nashville, TN 37219
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Then on Saturday, July 9, at 11AM, I’ll be taking a trip to NORA ROBERTS’ BOOKSTORE in Maryland (that will be LIVESTREAMED) followed by a live signing at noon!
TURN THE PAGE
18 N. Main St.
(Contact: Janeen Solberg Main Phone: 301-432-4588 email@example.com)
I’ll be making lots more stops all around the country after that. You can click here to see if I’ll be coming to a town near you to rescue you from the vampire hordes!
I’ve got LOTS more to say, but right now I’ve got to get my crucifix on if I’m going to get to my first signing on time and unscathed. Check out these amazing chapter excerpts and other extras in the meantime, and see YOU soon!
I’m on the road promoting my new book, Overbite! And I’ve got some answers to some of your most burning questions:
Q: Why is your new book called Overbite?A: Because in dating the Prince of Darkness while simultaneously working for an organization which is seeking to eradicate all demon life forms on earth, the heroine, Meena, may have bitten off more than she can chew.
Q: Where are you right now? A: Trying to get to Maryland for Saturday’s livestream event with Nora Roberts, which ALL OF YOU CAN COME TO! Right now storms are delaying all planes, however, leaving the Nashville area!
Q: I do not understand the words coming out of your mouth. A: I’m serious. You can come by clicking here. And you can buy books by clicking on the buy books button. Now do you understand?
Q: Can I just go to the book signing at Nora’s store? A: Yes! I’ll be signing books in person there WITH Nora (along authors Deanna Raybourn and Leslie Kelly, and others)!
Here’s the address: TURN THE PAGE Bookstore Café
18 N. Main St.
Boonsboro, MD 21713
(Contact: Janeen Solberg Main Phone: 301-432-4588 firstname.lastname@example.org)
I’ve never been livestreamed before (that I know of. Who knows about some of those airport bathrooms)! So I can’t wait!
Q: In a battle between transformers and vampires, who would win? A: This is a very good question. Maybe I should discuss it with Barbara Vey, of Publishers Weekly, during the Romance Writers of America Literacy signing (watch) Q: Speaking of the Romance Writers of America conference, was Nora Roberts, the queen of romance, there? A: No! She couldn’t make it! But I got to bring out the Rita (it was heavy!) for Sharon Sala, the winner of the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award!
Q: So how WAS the Romance Writers of America conference? A: OMG, so much fun, thanks for asking!
Not only did I get to see readers from EVERYWHERE, I got to hang out with so many fun authors, and of course host the Rita/Golden Heart awards! Here’s a little photo essay about it:
First there was the Literacy signing. So many books! Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books did another video about it, which rocked, as ALWAYS (I am towards the end). Watch.
Here are some amazing people who helped with all the long lines with indefatigable good cheer! LOVE THEM!
Some of you who follow me on Twitter/Facebook might recall I had some problems choosing between two dresses. So I appealed to you for help!
Aside from being really sick of the clothes in my suitcase, and missing my cat, Henrietta (He Who Shall Not Be Named in the Blog says she’s doing fine), spending the summer visiting our great nation’s bookstores and libraries has been an interesting experience, and I thought I’d share some of my observations:
Yes, We Can . . . .
. . . depend upon the kindness of strangers! For the most part, the people of this country will bend over backwards to aid a passenger in distress, particularly one who is wandering around in a Dramamine-induced daze, like I am most of the time.
Members of our nation’s military (who can be found in every airport at every hour of the day, not on duty, but trying to get to their destinations like the rest of us) are particularly kind, as illustrated by the nice young man who pointed out that I had just accidentally entered the men’s bathroom, not the ladies room.
“I do it all the time, ma’am,” he told me when I flusteredly apologized, even though we both knew this was a complete lie. God bless our military.
Strangers Will Even Get You Tickets to the new Harry Potter movie . . .
Like Bethany, Bonnie, Miranda, Erin, Amanda, Juliette, and Stephanie did in Tulsa! Thank you, ladies! Sorry I could not attend, but I had to leave for the airport at 5:30 the next morning. But I appreciate the thought so much! I’ll think of you when I see Harry when I get back home. I hope you had fun.
They’ll Leave You Lovely Post-Its, Letters, Cards, and even Personalize Mrs. Fields Cookies to You!
(And when I get my camera working again, I’ll show you photos of all of these things soon, I promise!)
But There is Some Bad News:
This photo isn’t the bad news. It’s from Good Day Tulsa, where I had a blast. I just had nowhere else to post it!
The bad news is that some women in airports apparently didn’t get the Human Resources memos featured in my Boy Books:
If you sprinkle when you tinkle
Be a sweetie: Wipe the seatie!
I get that the world is divided up into sitters and squatters.
But Squatters, if you must squat (and miss the seat), could you wipe it off for the next person? Thanks! Remember the words of Julie Andrews (playing Princess Mia’s royal grandmother):
I was using my best manners when I got interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio, but I still violated COPA laws by revealing that the inspiration for Overbite and Insatiable was a hepatitis outbreak that occurred in the dorm where I used to work when some students started biting one another (thanks to thinking they were characters from Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire).
Hey, here’s something we don’t have around here very often: A guest post! And it’s by a guy!
It’s from author Christopher Moore, whose awesome new graphic novel, The Griff, is in stores now! In case you didn’t know, I did a guest post for Chris a few weeks ago (click here to read it. It’s all true. Please note that the title of this post is also by Chris).
I love Christopher Moore, not just because he’s a good author, a gentleman, and the vampires he writes about don’t sparkle (NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH VAMPIRES WHO SPARKLE. It’s genetic, I know sparkling is not a choice), but because his books were once MEDICALLY PRESCRIBED by a physician, and as you know, I fully respect medical authority (such as Hank Med on USA Network, and of course, Dr. George Clooney).
Here’s Christopher Moore’s guest post. Pay attention–it could save your life:
The first time I ever saw Meg Cabot she was being chased across a banquet room at Book Expo America by Lemony Snicket, who was trying to steal her tiara.
(Note from Meg: At first I thought, “This is so funny, but sadly isn’t true,” and then I remembered it IS true, and one of the less bizarre things that have happened at Book Expo, which is why I forgot about it.)
My first thought was, “Boy, Meg Cabot can sure run fast in tall shoes.”
And my second thought was, “There’s no way that tiara is going to fit Lemony Snicket, so I hope she gets away.”
Meg got away.
And later, at another Book Expo America, I actually met Meg, who was sitting in a hotel restaurant with a bunch of sneaky-looking publishing people.
Suddenly, I had to go rescue a girl who got her prom dress caught in the escalator by cleverly telling the bartender to call someone who knows how to turn off the escalator before it ate the prom girl. So after that happened, I looked back at Meg, who was still sitting with the sneaky-looking publishing people and I thought, “Well, she seems nice, I hope she gets away.”
Then she asked me and my wife-like girlfriend if we wanted to join her for dinner, but I said, “No thanks, we have a thing to go to,” (because we did) “but may I suggest that you slip off your tall shoes.” The people she was sitting with looked like they were faster than Lemony Snicket and I thought she would need the extra speed.*
(*Note from Meg: What I especially love about this story is that some of the people I was sitting with that night included my mom and R.L. Stine–of “Goosebumps” fame–and of course Bob’s wife, Jane. I agree, however, that they were probably quite sneaky-looking, particularly Bob Stine, who was Thrillermaster at this year’s Thrillerfest in NYC. What could be sneakier?)
(There was another time when a doctor prescribed my books to Meg’s husband because he was too cheerful and needed to get more snark in his diet, which is my specialty, but I don’t remember the details of that because I had a cold at the time and had taken a lot of Nyquil.)
(Note from Meg: All of the above is also true. And note what I mentioned about such bizarre things happening at Book Expo that I forgot about all the other stuff, like Lemony Snicket trying to steal my tiara. Like Peter Yarrow playing a special solo round of Puff the Magic Dragon exclusively to Julie Andrews in the green room before breakfast at 7AM. Yes, this happened. I was there.)
Anyway, Meg got away, and as you know, went on to write several thousand awesome novels.
I hope you aren’t working right now. Work is forbidden (for real, by proclamation of the mayor of Bloomington, Indiana) on July 31st, which is Meg Cabot Day.
So today if you want to blow off work and spend the WHOLE DAY floating around in a pool or lake on a raft, or just sitting in the shade or AC, reading books (specifically mine, but they can be books by anyone. I’m easy like that), you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
Not that you ever would or should feel guilty about reading for pleasure. It’s just that I know some of you have gotten in trouble for reading when you aren’t supposed to be, because I’ve gotten your letters, emails, Facebook messages, and Tweets about it.
But today if anyone says anything like, “OMG, you didn’t even make the bed!” or “Um, where are the TPS reports?” you have a built in excuse for why those things are not done:
You’re legally obligated to spend the whole day lazing around, reading.
Here’s the official proclamation I received from the mayor of Bloomington (my place of birth) on this day seven years ago (at a book signing at the Bloomington Barnes and Noble):
WHEREAS, Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana and spent her childhood in pursuit of air conditioning, which she found at the Monroe County Public Library; and
WHEREAS, Meg whiled away many hours in the library, reading the complete works of Jane Austen, Judy Blume, and Barbara Cartland; and
WHEREAS, armed with a Fine Arts degree from Indiana University, she moved to New York City intent on an illustration career, but when that failed to materialize, got a job as the assistant manager of an undergraduate dormitory at New York University where she wrote novels on the weekends; and
WHEREAS, Meg still calls New York City home, along with her IU graduate husband and one eyed alley cat named Henrietta; and,
WHEREAS, Meg has published over thirty novels for younger readers as well as adults, including The Princess Diaries series, The Mediator series, and 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU; and
WHEREAS, Lifetime network is making a series from 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU where students attend Ernie Pyle High School, a reference back to Bloomington, home to IU’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism; and
WHEREAS, film rights to The Princess Diaries were sold to Disney, and a feature length film based on the book was released in August 2001; and
WHEREAS, Meg’s has an upcoming book, Teen Idol, set in Indiana, and is scheduled to be the lunch speaker at the Girl Scout Leadership meeting at Indiana University.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mark Kruzan, Mayor of Bloomington, Indiana, do hereby declare Saturday,
July 31 as
MEG CABOT DAY
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Seal of the City of Bloomington this 15th day of July, 2004.
Admittedly, some of the info in the above proclamation is slightly out of date (for instance, Teen Idol, as well as some other books by me, have already come out, and the Lifetime series Missing isn’t on anymore, alas, in most countries).
But the important thing is that you have a good Meg Cabot Day! You deserve it for being such devoted readers, whether you’re just starting out with the Allie Finkle series, or have taken the plunge with Insatiable and Overbite or Abandon, or whether you’ve been reading my books since the first one came out in 1998, when I was writing them unde
Right now we’re in what is commonly referred to as the Dog Days of Summer.
I used to think people called this time of year “the dog days” because it’s so hot, even dogs don’t want to move from their nice comfy spot in the shade.
But it’s actually because historically, August was when Sirius, the Dog Star, was the brightest star in the sky.
So everyone back in olden times thought Sirius was to blame for bringing all the heat.
They didn’t know about meteorology and seasons and stuff like that. They also thought the reason winter came was because Hades had kidnapped Persephone, the daughter of goddess of the harvest, and was forcing her to live with him in the underworld. So the goddess of the harvest was so mad, she was making it cold.
Oh, old timey people. You make me laugh.
So what the old timey people would do when it got REALLY hot was find a nice fat dog, then slit its throat as a sacrifice to Sirius, to make him be less mad and stop it from being so hot.
(Author’s note: There was no ASPCA back then to stop people from doing stupid things like this).
And guess what? This did not even work! It stayed hot. And someone was minus a dog.
But this is how the Dog Days of Summer got its name.
So if you’re feeling a lack of motivation or just generally blah right now, you should know that you’re not alone. It’s not the fault of anyone’s dog (not even Sirius, which due to gradual shifts in the earth’s rotation, is no longer the brightest star in the sky during August).
But these ARE still the Dog Days.
But don’t worry, because there are a LOT of people working to try to get us out of our doldrums right now (thank God, because when I’m done trying to work on my current project every day, all I want to do is have a nice cocktail and be entertained by someone else’s project).
Here are some other people’s projects that I’m enjoying right now (I’d tell you about mine, but since it’s the Dog Days, I’d just fall asleep while doing so):
After long and exhaustive study, I’ve determined that one of the reasons the shows on the USA channel are so entertaining is because the network makes a conscious effort to match the color of their sets to their main characters’ eyes.
Case in point, Necessary Roughness, USA’s new show about a single mom sports psychologist who works for a pro-football team in New York City:
As you can tell from the above photo, this show is already good because every week Dr. Dani Santino (who just got divorced from her cheating scumbag of a husband) has to solve the mystery of what is wrong with her patient (always a new patient every week, always some kind of athlete, or married to one), and also has to juggle the guys she works with, pictured above, some of whom are kind of hot for her (the one from Buffy and one from Gilmore Girls)!
(I’m sort of mad I didn’t think of this show, because I was into sports psychology as far back as 2004, as you can tell from this blog entry. DANG!)
But the important thing is that in almost every scene, USA Network makes sure actress Callie Thorne’s golden brown hair and eyes match something golden brown on the set, usually leaves, so the show has a sort of warm, golden, autumnal feel to it. Don’t believe me? LOOK:
So roughly half of the coastal US is under a hurricane watch or warning right now (except, strangely, the parts of the US that are used to it, such as Florida, which is where I am right now).
Having been through numerous hurricanes since I moved here in 2004, I feel qualified to give some advice to people going through one right now. If you need proof, just click on this entry from my Hurricane Diaries.
You can read many similar posts just by putting the word “hurricane” in the search engine of my blog. Though why you’d want to, I can’t imagine. It’s just more of the same!
Because the worst part about being in a storm isn’t the fear that your house might get swept away, because most likely that isn’t going to happen (unless you live on the beach and you didn’t evacuate, in which case, you should probably leave now, if it’s safe to drive).
No, the worst part is the clean up (especially if the power was out for a long time and the stuff in your fridge gets stinky) . . .
. . . and the abject boredom as the rain pours down, the power flickers, and everyone realizes they’re in no real danger . . . except of losing their minds because there’s nothing to do (hopefully you’ve been to the store in advance and stocked up on cheese popcorn and Gummi Bears and awesome reads.* Oh, and a flashlight. And, if you are over 21, beer and wine. And ice)!
If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place! (Assuming you charged your batteries and can still read this).
Because here’s a cool quizz I made up to keep everyone stuck inside, riding out the storm, occupied and having fun!
So get out a pen and try to figure out . . . .
WHICH 80s TEEN FILM HEROINE ARE YOU?
Your friends would describe you as:
When dressing for school in the morning, you make sure:
A) Everything looks cute
B) Everything matches
C) Everything is black
D) Everything is within easy reach of the bed so you can sleep in a little later after the alarm goes off
Your idea of a perfect Saturday afternoon is:
A) Shopping at the mall
B) Getting a head start on your history paper
C) Painting a self-portrait
D) Skating in the park
You’re packing to go to camp for the summer. You take:
a. Your yearbook
b. Your Powerbook
c. Your poetry notebook
d. You would so not go to summer camp.
Your favorite kind of movie is:
A. One that has kissing
B. One that is historically accurate
C. One that has a serial killer
D. One with explosions
Your ideal boyfriend is:
A. Sensitive loner
B. Brainy underachiever
C. Jock with a heart of gold
D. Artistic type
What does your favorite purse look like?
B. Anything big enough to fit all your books
C. Anything big enough to fit all your sketchpads/knitting needles
D. Purse? Who needs a purse when you have pockets?
Your preferred eyeliner color:
D. Eyeliner? Yuck.
You favorite TV show is:
A. Jersey Shore
B. Masterpiece Theater
C. You only watch movies
Ready? Count up all your As, Bs, Cs, and Ds!
If you answered mostly As, you are:
Congratulations! You are a PROM PRINCESS. The 80s teen film heroine you are most like is MOLLY RINGWALD from THE BREAKFAST CLUB. Popular and pretty, you are universally liked, but long to b