Meg Cabot was at RJ Julia's at the beginning of the week. Of course I rearranged my work schedule to be there! If you've been following the blog, you know that not only is she one of my favorite authors, but she's also the reason I became a YA Librarian. In grad school, I wasn't sure which librarian road I was going to take. I read the first Princess Diaries book and it changed me. I chose to be a YA Librarian because of the amazing books in the field. And it was right choice. So how could I pass up meeting her? It was a fantastic night.
We learned some secrets of her past. She started writing when she was very young, making up all kinds of stories. She hated Math (as does Princess Mia). Here's a photo of her.
She was an Art Major in college. At first she thought of majoring in writing, but she met a boy at party who advised her against it. He said that majoring in something you love would crush your love for it. So she majored in art instead. (She ended marrying that boy after meeting him again years later). Here's one of her illustrations of laundry.
She thought she would go to NYC and get an illustrating job. That didn't happen. Instead, she found herself with a job at NYU in the dorm (much like Heather Wells - only there were no dead bodies).
When her father passed away, she realized that life was short. She didn't want to regret not trying for her dreams. The day she got home from the funeral, she started seriously writing query letters. She wrote query letters and started sending them in daily for two years. And got a pile of rejections in return. But rejections weren't the worst thing that could happen, so she kept trying. She has folders of manuscripts that will never be published.
She asked her friends for some advice after learning that her story about a girl finding out her mother's dating her teacher didn't have enough of a plot. She wondered if the girl should turn out to be a princess or be kidnapped by aliens. The princess plot won and the main character turned 14 instead of 30.
For the Heather Wells books, she wanted an average woman. At the time, that was size 12 but it's now size 14. She used a lot of her background from her previous job in the series. Yes, people really did elevator surf. To keep more up to date on current student life, she reads blogs. When she's stuck with procedure questions, she calls her brother who works as a cop. Other covers for the first Heather Wells book:
For the current cover, they couldn't find a male model who portrayed Cooper. The book covers in France for the series use a cake topper. That seemed like a fun alternative. I can't wait to read The Bride Wore Size 12.
Here we are together with the cake topper from the cover!