Books, Blogs, and Back to School

September 7th, 2007

Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in the world of books and blogs (at least, that I’ve noticed):

According to my UK site, I have two new books coming out today in the United Kingdom (well, one new one, and one newly released one): the UK version of JINX:

And the Princess Diaries 2008 Yearbook.

And for those of who don’t know what a Yearbook is (I didn’t know–except for one you buy in your school), well, it’s just what the blurb on the online site says–“A fun and funky princess-fest that makes essential reading for all fans of “The Princess Diaries” series as well as every girl who wants an annual for the year ahead! It comes with tips on everything from beauty and fashion, friendship and horoscopes, plus princess-themed puzzles and quizzes! It also contains a fantastically funny, exclusive story: Princess in a Panic.

Contrary to popular opinion, the original short story Princess in a Panic does NOT take place between books 8 and 9 or between books 9 and 10 Added later: OK, to be honest, I forgot when it takes place and my UK editor left to marry an American (I know! Dishy, right?) and I am in the lair so I don’t have my copy…so I can’t tell you for sure. Can someone email me when they get their copy and tell me when it takes place? It might actually take place between book 8 and 9, now that I think about it.

Anyway, Mia is in a panic because she lost her journal and she doesn’t know where it is—what if the wrong person found it and is reading it? This story will not be published in the US, as it was purchased only by the UK market. Sorry, US and everyone else (you can still buy it, but only via UK retailers)!

More books (but not by me):

For those of you wondering, as I often do, when is YA author Susan Juby going to hurry up and come out with a new book, wonder no longer. Her new YA (but adults will love it too), Another Kind of Cowboy, is in Canadian bookstores now, and will be out in the US December 1.

I read an early, early draft, and I don’t know how much the final version differs from what I read. While what I read isn’t a bit like her Alice books (it is definitely—DEFINITELY—going to be banned in some Texas schools), I liked it–it is more adult, in both content and writing style, but still retains Susan’s trademark sense of humor.

Alex Ford wishes his father had seen the movie Brokeback Mountain. Because then he might understand that it’s possible to be a gay cowboy! Trouble is, Alex doesn’t even want to be a cowboy; his dream is to ditch Western-style riding and take up dressage.

Yes! You read that right! Like Degrassi, Susan Juby so goes there. She does not shy away from the serious issues. Can you believe it? DRESSAGE! Fancy horse dancing!

So when Alex does get the chance to try the meticulously intricate art of dressage riding and then bumps into the supremely self absorbed Cleo at a competition, it’s a whole new world for Alex. Cleo’s been sent to a very posh, very horsey boarding school nearby because of an unfortunate incident with her handsome chauffeur.

No! Not horsey boarding schools, too! For the love of God, Susan Juby must be stopped!

Meanwhile, Cleo has fallen in with the party crowd, forgetting all about her precious horse. Does this mean Alex and Cleo’s fledgling friendship is doomed from the start?

According to Indigo, the Canadian bookstore chain, Susan Juby “weaves growing up, coming out, and fitting in into a hilarious but always compassionate story set against the fascinating world of dressage riding. Guaranteed to be a huge hit with its YA audience!”

You know you want it. Be the first on your block to own it by ordering it here

Blog news!

First and most importantly, YA author Sarah Dessen finally had her baby. I hope someone sent her one of those fruit bouquets that she mentioned in her blog. I would send her one, but I don’t know her home address. I’m hoping she already got so many that she doesn’t have room for any more–HINT TO ANYONE READING THIS WHO HAS HER ADDRESS AND MIGHT SEND HER ONE.

In other blog news, awesome YA authors Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, Cassie Clare, Holly Black, and Maureen Johnson went to DragonCon, and filmed their adventures there. It is so worth watching (along with a birthday video to author John Green on E. Lockhart’s blog, if you haven’t watched that already, made by some of the same authors).

Meanwhile, did you see author Neil Gaiman’s photos of himself being hugged by a baby panda during his trip to China? Let me get this straight: he got to be on the set of the new Hellboy movie; his daughter got to hang out with Selma Blair; he met Michele Pfeiffer who by the way got to make out with Rutger Hauer back when they made Ladyhawke which was my favorite movie of all time when I was 17. And now he got hugged by a baby panda. I guess he’s just flat out trying to kill me.

All of the above authors have made me positively sick with envy this week. I want to wear Wonder Woman suit to DragonCon, do a dance video, write a book about dressage, receive a fruit bouquet, and hold a baby panda!

MY fun adventure for the week was, I went to the movies to see The Nanny Diaries. When I first moved to Manhattan, I worked as a nanny on the Upper East Side (where there ARE some nice parents…but the ones I worked for were not amongst them). I am sad to report that The Nanny Diaries was spot on. It got everything right—except the ending, which I won’t give away, but let’s just say that the thing with the mom would never have happened in real life.

My nanny gig wasn’t a totally wasted experience though because I modeled Petra in my book JINX after a nanny I met when I took my charge to a playdate at Jerry Hall’s (Mick Jagger’s wife) townhouse. So…see? I got something out of it! (Plus, I actually liked the kid I worked with.)

But it never occurred to me that my time nannying was worth getting an entire book out of, like it did to the The Nanny Diaries authors! Good for them. Two thumbs up for The Nanny Diaries movie (I never read the book, but I heard it was good, too).

And now: You may know him as McDreamy. But before that, he was Ronald Miller, aka Lawnboy, from one of the most excellent teen movies of all time, Can’t Buy Me Love. It’s back to school time, and you know what that means: I give you the African Anteater Ritual.

More later.

Much love,

Meg