Meg's Diary

Mailbag

Hi, everybody! Thanks so much for all the supportive emails you sent last week, commiserating with me on the untimely demise of my PC. I love my new Mac (and my new iPod and my new digital camera)* and the writing is once again flowing smoothly. Well, as smoothly as can be expected, anyway.

Since I've been so caught up in learning how to use my new Mac (not to mention traveling to Toronto, where I had a great time), I have really neglected my emails, so I thought I'd take a moment to answer some of the questions I get most frequently, but which aren't addressed in the FAQ or About Meg sections of this website. So here goes (these are actual emails I really have received recently, only the names have been left off to protect the senders' identity, as many of the people who email me are under age):

Dear Meg,

I am an excellent actress. Can I be in the next Princess Diaries movie? Or the All American Girl movie? Or on 1-800-Missing? or anything at all? Because I live in Oklahoma and, well, I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE!!!!!

I would love to cast you in one of the movies or TV shows based on my books! But you must believe me when I say that I have NOTHING to do with casting. Really. So you're better off sending a headshot and resume to the studio, whose address can easily be found on the Internet.

Meg, I have written the most excellent installment of Mediator/1800/Princess Diaries on www.fanfiction.net! You have GOT to read it! And review it! Go there now, PLEASE!

Thank you very much for the invitation, but I cannot. I'm not going to get all authorish and beg you to please stop writing fan fiction based on my books, because, as a kid, I wrote reams and reams of fan fiction based on Star Wars, most of which I sent to George Lucas (who never thanked me–although I see he didn't use any of it in the next 3 films. He probably should have). I won't even prosecute you (unless you try to make money using my characters without my permission. That is just evil and wrong). I must, however, decline your invitations to read it. Because for some reason, reading other people's stories about my characters makes me feel very sweaty and nauseous (possibly why George didn't use any of my ideas?). So carry on. Just don't count on my input. My nervous system thanks you.

Hi, Meg! It's my 13th birthday tomorrow. Can you send me a copy of your book for free?

I so want to send a free book to every single person who asks me for one. Seriously. But I can't because if I did that, I wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage, and then I would be homeless. Authors only get paid when people buy copies of their books–NEW copies, not copies from used bookstores or garage sales. We only earn royalties (a percentage of each sale) from books sold new. So if you want to support authors whose books you love, buy copies of their books. If you can't afford to buy copies of their books, try the library, because libraries pay for the copies on their shelves, which also helps authors.

Ms. Cabot, my last name is Cabot, too!!! We must be related!!!!!!

Sadly, while it really is my last name, Cabot was not the name with which my Italian ancestors arrived at Ellis Island, so it's pretty unlikely we're related. I'm not going to tell you what my family's name really started out as, because I'm still not sure why it was changed. There's a family rumor that it was changed because some people back in Italy were kind of angry at my grandfather about something, so I'm not risking it.

Personal to the other Meg Cabot: I signed books for you in PA. But when I tried to write to you at the email address you gave me, it bounced back! Just FYI that I DID try!

i really was upset that meg did not respond to my email and that i knew that she was just a robot sending every girl the same e-mail. that was kind of disappointing! but if she really talked to the girls then maybe they would read all of her books and become a huge fan of hers.

I am not a robot. It would be cool if I were, though. But instead I'm just a human being, who DOES read all my emails, but doesn't respond to all of them, because if I did, I wouldn't have time to write any books. Instead, I have my email programmed to send out an autoresponse explaining very apologetically that while I am too busy to answer all of the emails I receive, I do read them all. And I really, really do.

Are you a pineapple?

I didn't understand what this question, which I get a lot, meant until a girl at a booksigning explained it to me. It means, “Are you brunette on the outside, and blond in the middle?” Which is kind of unfair to blondes, since essentially it means, “Are you ditz?”

The answer to this question is yes, of course.

I was just wondering if you would ever consider doing something from Michael's point of view. I love his character, but I don't know too much about him. Only from what Mia says. I don't know what he thinks really.

Neither do I! Michael is a boy! I'm a girl! I don't have the slightest idea what boys think, and I've been married to one for more than ten years. So no way am I going to set foot in the dark and murky mind of Michael.

Dear Sir,

Compliments of the season. I must implore you to treat this with the utmost confidentiality, as this is required for its success. My colleagues and I are senior officials of the Federal Government of Nigeria's Contracts Review Panel (CRP).By virtue of our positions, we have access to funds specifically US$15.6M and we are interested in transferring this funds that are presently floating and lying idle in an account at the Central Bank of Nigeria–

Blah blah blah. Seriously. Is there anyone out there who has ever fallen for this one? If you know of someone who has, please let me know.

I just want to say one thing. I haven't read P.D 4.5, but from the chapter excerpt it makes WV sound very “hickish” and it sounds like we have very disgusting water. Well, I must agree we are “hickish” (some of us), but we actually have some of the best water in the US.

OK. But the part of West Virginia I was writing about uses well water, which here in NYC we aren't used to. So maybe in your part of WV, it's different. Also:

I am a Mormon. I take great offense to what you say in the excerpt of Princess Diaries 5 about Mormons supporting polygamous marriages. We do not.

Let's look at that excerpt again. I think you'll find that Lilly writes that polygamy is NOT tolerated by the mainstream Mormon church. But I appreciate your outrage. Please direct it where it belongs, at the polygamists.

i would like to know whether you based David and/or Michael and/or Jesse and or Rob (characters in AAG and PD and Mediator and 1800) on real people, and if so, please send me there phone numbers, as i am completely in love with them all.

Sorry, they are all taken. But yes, they are all at least partially based on real people. All you need to do to find your own Meg Cabot hero is steer clear of jocks. If there's a guy in your class who doesn't talk very much and is always playing video games and/or reading, he's your man.

When will there be an excerpt from Princess Diaries 5/Mediator 6/All American Girl 2 up on your website?

We only update the content of the site a few times a year, so there WILL be excerpts from these books going up soon. Princess Diaries 5 will probably go up just before or after the New Year. As for the others, these books are still being wr
itten or edited, so it will be a while longer.

meg, you say in your More About Meg section that you were born on the same day, but two years after, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, and that all we have to do to find out what year you were born is look up Princess Stephanie and subtract two years from when she was born. But I can't find out when Princess Stephanie was born! I've looked everywhere! Please can you just tell me? I HAVE to know for a school report!

Really? You put the words Princess Stephanie of Monaco into a search engine like www.google.com, and NOTHING came up?

Nice try, but you will never trick me into revealing the year of my birth on this site. NEVER!

Meg, the list of shows you're TiVoing sounds so good! What have you been TiVoing lately? And have you read any good books lately?

I'm so glad you asked this (okay, I'll admit that was a fake question. I just want to talk about my favorite books and shows).

Of course I'm TiVoing 1-800-Missing, because it rules. But so does The OC as well as Joan of Arcadia (I loved when God gave Joan's principal a smackdown. Also when Joan went out for cheerleading). I had to let Jake 2.0 go because it's on at the same time as The OC. But I'm still tuning into Charmed (what is UP with it this season? Is it just me? Or does it kind of…suck?) and Gilmore Girls (um, hello. Where are the cute boys?). And does one ever get tired of such fine cinematic fare as Captain Ron and Better Off Dead? No, one does not.

As far as books go, I am LOVING the Thursday Next series by UK author Jasper Fforde. I didn't think he could top The Eyre Affair, but Lost in a Good Book is hilarious. And I just read a copy of Well of Lost Plots (available only in the UK right now…thank you, Black Orchid Books on East 81st, for helping me get my Thursday fix) and it blew the other two out of the water (which is some feat, because I loved them both so much). It's so great to read a series that just keeps getting better and better. These books are written for adults, but there is no inappropriate content for younger readers. So get yours today!

Which reminds me; I was lucky enough to get to read an advanced reader copy of Susan Juby's next book in the Alice series, Miss Smithers, and all I have to say is: YOU GUYS ARE GOING TO LOVE IT! It will be out this coming May.

I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into the Meg Cabot mailbag. I'll give you all another peek next month. In the meantime, keep those emails coming, because even if I don't write back, I'M NOT A ROBOT, and I do enjoy them.

*Special thanks to Greg and Sophia for coming all the way from Indiana to NYC to help in the recent computer crisis, and for going to the Mac store with me, and for singing into the remote control Sunday night (sorry about that thing with the cops).

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