Meg's Diary

Sensational

Fall in New York City is always magical (even if none of the tourists seem to be heeding the advice of the fabulous Stefon on SNL), but I’m glad to be home, first of all because Henrietta missed me so much (she hasn’t stopped talking since I walked through the door) and second of all because Fantasyfest (the annual weeklong fundraiser for AIDs) is in full swing here in Key West.

I’m proud to live in a place that attracts so many middle-aged married couples from Des Moines who use the opportunity to fulfill their lifelong dream of walking proudly down the street dressed like this:

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(I know your mom and dad told you that they were going on a cruise this week but I just saw them outside of CVS and this is what they were wearing and they said to say hi.)

But you know what? If that’s what turns people on, I fully support it, because it’s not hurting anyone and the money goes to such a good cause. And fortunately for them, what happens in Key West stays in Key West (except for everything captured on the assorted webcams around town).

There are no judgments here.

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I said no judging!

The good news is that you don’t have to go all the way to NYC or Key West to have a good time. I met a lot of families who were having a blast in Austin last week (you can see some of them in this extremely cute video) at my events at the Texas Book Festival.

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Super cute reader in Austin

For those of you who missed these signings, the nice girls at Forever YA filmed and posted parts of them on their site, including a sneak peak of the cover for my new book, Abandon!

This was just supposed to be a special treat for librarians who attended the Scholastic Librarian Preview last week (and of course attendees of the festival), but since the cover got picked up and posted by so many people online, we decided to give everyone a glimpse. This isn’t the final/final cover (it’s still being tweaked), but here’s the beautiful design and synopsis they’re working on for now.

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(And if you haven’t signed up for the Meg Cabot e-newsletter, you might want to do so. In addition to this month’s contest offering free copies of Avalon High books and T-shirts in celebration of the release of the Avalon High Disney Channel movie on November 12, we’re going to be sharing some other pretty exciting news very soon!)

I got to meet some AMAZING authors as well as readers in Texas, including many involved in the Zombie vs. Unicorn event.


Unicorn, mounted (died of natural causes)

This event—which was billed as a “smackdown” (although the most violent thing that happened was a chair that got kicked over by very cool YA writer Matt de la Pena)—was hosted by the Texas Book Festival and was standing room only. I was sad I had to leave early due to what I then thought was ragweed allergies but which later turned out to be a vicious bacterial assault, no doubt given to me by a zombie. Antibiotics are clearing it up, thank God.

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Meg’s publicist Charisse, YA authors Dana Reinhardt and Matt de la Pena, and Texas Book Festival organizer Clay! All photos guaranteed taken by cell camera . . . enhance!

The Z v. U event was a sort of debate between Zombie vs. Unicorn anthology editors Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black, who were helped out by Scott Westerfeld, and other fun authors such as Dana Reinhardt (who pointed out that Sarah Palin recently said Democrats live in Unicorn land, a quote the unicorn side of the debate took as a compliment), and Varian Johnson (who bravely stood on a chair to hold up “Horny,” the Unicorn’s mascot) and Beautiful Creatures authors, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, along with many others!

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Varian holding up Horny, with the help of Kami Garcia and Hidden Unknown Author


Meg, Margaret, and Kami

Also present was Chronicles of Vladimir Tod author Heather Brewer, co-contributor to the Fear: 13 Tales of Suspense and Horror anthology (in which I have a story, The Night Hunter. All proceeds from this anthology benefit Reading is Fundamental!), so it was exciting to finally get to meet her!

If you live in or near New York City, be sure to check out the all star Books of Wonder “Fear” event on October 28th featuring RL Stine and many of the other contributors to this book! I wish I was going to be there, because RL Stine + Fear + Halloween = Excellent.

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I believe unicorns should be sparkly, which is why I wore this Betsy Johnson hoodie to the Z v. U event.

Later in the week, when I got to NYC, I attended an Author’s Guild event about trends in Children’s Publishing with the fabulous author Rachel Vail, Lisa Holton (Founder and CEO of Fourth Story Media),
Neal Porter (Editor and Founder of Neal Porter Books), and Rosemary Stimola (Literary Agent, President, Stimola Literary Studio). The audience asked a lot of questions about e-publishing. Some recent mainstream media reports claim no one is reading books and magazines made out of paper anymore, a clear falsehood probably spread by zombies.

It has been my observation that the mainstream media likes to sensationalize things. Let’s face it: Sensational sells!

(This is how the various Housewives franchises survive.)

But while we keep hearing (over and over again) about how bad things are everywhere (and I’m not denying that things are bad for some people, particularly Theresa of the New Jersey Housewives, and right now Camille on Beverly Hills), we all know tons of people that very good things are happening to. So why aren’t these people on the news (or have their own Housewives franchises)?

Because good is not “sensational” enough to boost ratings. I would know, because no one is offering me my own Housewives franchise could be less interested in reporting how my paper sales are doing just fine—even better than my e-sales! That doesn’t make a good story. Or the fact that while I personally prefer to read paper books (and magazines . . . you can’t smell the latest celebrity perfume sample on an e-reader), I’m married to someone who reads e-books. That is just boring to the producers of Bravo the mainstream media.

Maybe if he was a zombie and I were a unicorn, and we fought to the death, it would be more sensational.

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But we are not going to do that.

You know what I think would make a good story instead? You. For reading more books (and magazines, and blogs, too) than ever before, in every format.

So thank you, readers. We may not seem sensational to the mainstream media . . . but you’re sensational to me!

And if you had your own show (or a webcam on you) I’d totally watch you.

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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