BACK TO SCHOOL TIME!

September 10th, 2003

I always HATED going back to school. I especially hated the part where everyone had new clothes, because I never did, or if I did, they were the wrong kinds. When I was in middle school it was all about designer jeans and my mom wouldn't buy me any because she said it was stupid to spend fifty dollars on jeans I was just going to grow out of (true).

So one year I decided to just totally rebel against the jean thing and wear skirts every day, like I went to boarding school. A lot of people ended up thinking my family was super religious and that I wasn't ALLOWED to wear pants. Seriously.

So that plan sort of backfired.

And the cheerleaders were still mean to me anyway.

Anyway, for those of you who are interested, I'm back in New York from my summer of fun in the sun, but I'm leaving tomorrow for Italy, because I'm writing a book that's partially set there (working title: Every Boy's Got One–NOT what you think) and also because a friend of ours wants to tour a famous accordion factory there (!!!!!!!!!!) I will let you know how that goes (the accordion factory, I mean).

I've been getting lots of emails asking me why, if Mediator 6 is finally done, it's not coming out until January 2005. The answer to that question is that even though I've handed the book in, it still has to be edited–and then I have to rewrite it. Possibly more than once. Then it has be to copy-edited, which is when they do all the fact-checking. Then it has to go to the art department to be laid out and have the cover done and stuff. Then they have to send me the printed out pages to make sure they're right. Then they have to send out review copies or whatever. And then they have to print the books, and ship them, and the book stores have to stock them, and….

Actually, the truth is, I don't really know why it takes so long for a book to come out after I hand it in. I just write them.

A lot of you have been enjoying 1-800-Missing, the TV show based on some of my books I wrote under the name Jenny Carroll (my dead cat), and that's great, because so have I! I can say that, because I have nothing to do with the TV show. I'm as surprised by every episode as you all are. But I still haven't come up with any inspiration for 1-800-Where-R-You 5. Sorry.

Some other emails have raised the possibility that I might be wrong about Raven Symone playing Samantha Madison in the movie of All American Girl. No, she really is. It was in USA Today not too long ago. So you know it has to be true.

I've been really delinquent about answering your emails personally, and that's because I've been away from my desk so much this summer. So if you don't receive a response to your email, please don't take it personally. I do READ them all. It's just hard to answer them all. But I swear I'm going to get to them soon.

If you get a chance this month, pick up a copy of Thirteen, the short story anthology by Bunnicula creator James Howe, because there are some awesome stories in it, and also because there's a prequel to Teen Idol, my June 2004 release (after Princess Diaries 5, in April 2004). I think you'll dig the sassy stories by my YA author buds Carolyn Mackler and Rachel Vail, as well.

Back to the back to school thing: if you're doing a report on my books, there is a link on this very website that will take you to all sorts of fun facts about me that you can put in your paper. I'm sorry I can't respond to interview requests by people with reports due, but I'm just swamped at the moment. But if you go here:
http://www.megcabot.com/moreaboutmeg.html
I bet you'll find the answers to your questions.

I have to admit I was feeling kind of superior the other day about having finished school and not having to do homework anymore, until 14 year old Allegra (hi, Allegra) looked at me and went, “So when's your next book due, Meg?” and I realized I have a job where I have homework due ALL THE TIME.

So I guess we're really all in the same boat. So good luck to all of you this school year. And remember: if I lived through it, so will you!!!!

Ciao for now,

Meg