A Weekend in the Life of Meg CabotJanuary 26th, 2009
The one question I always get from interviewers is, “Tell us what a typical day for you is like.” I know I posted a Day in the Life of an Author video not too long ago, but you know the exciting thing about being an author is that no two days are ever the same.
So here, for your reading pleasure, is My Past Weekend:
Woke up bright early (okay,10:30AM), ready to get to work on my Allie 4 revisions! Only there are so many emails (6,054) in my inbox! What’s this one?
Oooh, a link to an interview with me and Little Willow! Awesome, I love her. And another link to a video featuring a girl who has never seen Star Wars, describing what she thinks it’s about (only she’s not sure). Love it.
Okay, going to work now. Only wait…my mom is on Facebook. My MOM is on Facebook. I don’t even understand how to use Facebook. Yeah, all right? I can’t drive, do long division, or figure out the intricacies of Facebook.
Which is just as well, because Facebook sucks you in, and then next thing you know…Oooh, my high school French teacher, Mademoiselle Nowling!
Five hours later:
He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog is demanding I go on a bike ride with him.
Did I mention that, for Christmas, HWSNBNITB gave me the super romantic gift of a 21 speed bike along with a helmet, some kind of weird biking shirt that zips up the front, stretch bike pants that basically have this foam diaper in the crotch that is supposed to keep your butt from getting sore from riding or something, along with some bike shoes that remind me of what my high school friends who enjoyed clogging used to wear, and these tiny bike gloves?
Well, he did.
Special note: This is not Meg Cabot pictured above.
And okay, I know exercise is good for you and all of that.
But honestly, people openly mock me on the bike trail! This is Key West, not the Tour de France. Most of the people on the bike trail are riding on adult tricycles and have open cans of beer in their bike baskets (and bags of Fritos which they are munching as they pedal….mmmm Fritos. Excuse me, sir, can I just borrow one of those?).
Where was I? Oh, right! Revising Allie Finkle 4! Right after I recover from that bike ride to hell and back by reading this nice review of Forever Princess and watching all those episodes of Intervention I DVR’d, and then viewing my Oscar screening copies of Doubt (SO GOOD) and The Wrestler (ditto). I have to watch them, so I’ll know who to vote for for The Academy. It’s part of my JOB. I’m totally going to revise when I’m done. I’m just so tired from that bike ride….
Wake up at 11AM (I was tired from all that biking. And movie viewing). Check email inbox (6,798).
What? My publisher wants some “casual” photos of me? I don’t have any “casual” photos, only photos taken at book signings at which I am wearing a tiara. The only “casual” photos I have of myself are photos like this:
For the love of God, stop taking pictures of me.
Spend the next five hours forcing He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog To Take “casual” photos. Tempers wear thin.
Decide to take a break from “casual” photo taking. Check email inbox (7,002). Alert reader wants me to know someone has posted a link to a pirated copy of the ebook of Forever Princess on Wikipedia.
Yes! Authors! Now is your cue to go to Wikipedia and check every page for every single one of your books in print, and make sure someone hasn’t done the same to one of them (unless you want them to).
Go ahead. Go. I’ll wait.
Hey, the rest of you, while the authors are gone, let’s talk about them! Did you know Michael Ian Black has a CHILDREN’S BOOK out? Well, he does. It’s about animal butts. It’s called Chicken Cheeks. If you go here, you can see a video of MIB wearing a chicken suit, reading from it.
Publishers Weekly assures us that, by the end of the book, your child will have learned 16 new ways to refer to his or her bottom.
“And,” the magazine says, “if that’s not an example of literature enriching our lives, what is?” Heh.
Oh, crap, the authors are back. Quit talking about them!
Yes, well, as I was saying, someone posted a link to a pirated copy of Forever Princess right on its Wikipedia page.
I have conflicted feelings about this issue. I love books, I love getting things for free, and I love rebels. And I know the people who post links to ebooks for free think they are the Johnny Depps of the Internet. And after all, the library has copies of my books anyone can borrow for free. I’m already giving away all the proceeds from Ransom My Heart to Greenpeace! So why shouldn’t I give away the profits from my other books?
But what about the many hard-working people who edited, copy-edited, copy-set, printed, designed, publicized, and did whatever else was necessary to get that book into print? The publishing industry is in big trouble right now, just like all those other industries we hear about on TV every night during the evening news…only no one is bailing the publishing industry out.
So publishers are having to lay people off, shut down whole divisions, and cancel book contracts. Projects some of us have been working on are being “post-poned indefinitely.” One of my best friends just got laid off from her job last week. And of course, bookstores all over the country are having to shut down due to flagging sales.
This is just wrong.
Of course not all of this can be blamed on ebook piracy. But does anyone really think it’s helping?
I have a pretty good idea what Cory Doctorow and this girl who emailed me over the weekend both think about the issue:
DESPERATE! HELP! I left my book(The all american girl) at school and i have to read the book by Monday(the 26th) and i have been searching everywhere on the internet for a free copy to read and i cant find on. I really need your help this assinment is worth 100pt. PLEASE HELP!
But what do you think about it? Does ebook piracy help or hurt the publishing industry? Which direction should authors and publishing go with the ebook issue?
And now for something completely different:
Miss Indiana, no doubt due to her unerring fashion sense, won Miss America! (Thanks to the many readers who emailed to inform me of this.)
And then this happened on Flight of the Conchords Sunday night (FYI, that link is probably rated PG).
(Also FYI, I just realized why I like Jermaine so much: He looks a little like HWSNBNITB! If HWSNBNITB were about fifteen years younger. DON’T TELL EITHER OF THEM I SAID THAT).
Cuuuuuuuuute! Major histocompatibility complex activated!
So that, in conclusion, was my weekend. And I would just like to say, I am very, very tired.
Just in time for Monday!