Oh, Mo!

December 15th, 2008

Poor Mo Rocca! He’s having a lot of trouble with the tiara he’s making for my auction to raise money for the New York Public Library’s teen programs, as he describes in his blog here.

He even made a video about it!

I’m very proud of Mo. I know a lot of us (I’m not naming names…but I might be among them) had our assistants do most, if not all, of the decorating of our tiaras.

But there’s a reason for that, as Mo illustrates…it’s really hard, frustrating work!

Not that we all don’t normally work hard. But it’s not the kind of hard work we’re used to. I took 3-D (F-101, Three Dimensional Design) in college because it was a requirement for all fine arts majors (that’s right…I studied art, not writing, in college) and I had to go home on weekends and have my mom help me with half my projects because she’s way into gluing, sewing, and power tools.

In fact, the only reason I passed 3-D, which required that you make a lamp (yes…you had to make a lamp!!!) is because Mom let me have an old lamp, spray paint it black, cover it with pink polka dots made from nail polish, give it a new pink shade (that was really just the old shade with a piece of pink satin thrown over it), and VOILA! A lamp.

For reasons I will never understand, I actually got an A on that lamp.

So, anyway, thanks, Mo, for all your hard work. As you can see, it paid off:

We’ll raise lots of money with this!

And did you see Allie Finkle on The Martha Stewart Show today? One of the best holiday picks of the year! (Or something, I totally forgot to tape it, my fisherman friend Captain Bob saw it and told me….)

Added later: Oh, yay! Here’s a link to the Martha Stewart holiday gift episode my editor Abby just sent me! In addition to Allie, they also recommended Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out! I have a Samantha Madison story in that! This book would make a PERFECT holiday gift as well. It would be gorgeous on a coffee table OR educational (and entertaining) in a child’s hands.

Anyway, I’m so psyched! Especially because I finally finished Allie Finkle #4, Stage Fright, yesterday!

And yeah, it’s a little late. I’ve gotten a bit behind lately (well, for most of 2008. I blame my ovary surgery from last year. Seriously, I’ve never caught up! And I’m still getting accupuncture because the stupid scar STILL hurts).

People always ask me, “What happens if you’re late turning in a manuscript?”

The truth is, nothing happens. You don’t get in trouble, or anything.

But you also don’t get paid! When you hear about authors getting “advances,” it’s kind of misleading. Publishers don’t give authors the entire advance at once. They only give them part of it. The author doesn’t get the rest until she actually delivers the completed manuscript.

Because publishers aren’t stupid! Why would they give all that money to the author before they’ve even gotten a book out of her?

So when you’re late handing in a book, it just means you don’t get the rest of your advance until you do hand it in. Which could be very problematic for you if you have rent to pay, etc.

Also, if you’re really late handing in your book, you could miss your book’s slot in the publication schedule, which means your book won’t come out on time, which means your publisher will have to find another time to publish you.

Which would stink, because you might have to wait a whole extra year (or more) before you see your book in print (or get paid)!

So, that’s why it’s bad to be late with your book.

And I’m going to be better about it from now on! I swear!

One thing I’m NOT going to be late with this year are my holiday gifts! I have a whole list of favorite books that I, like Martha, am going to be giving to people this Christmas/Hanukkah….

…and I’m going to be posting my picks here! So stay tuned!

More later.

Much love,

Meg