2014: The Year in Review

December 22nd, 2014

Happy Holidays!

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I’m pretty honest.  There are some things I can’t say online because I try to be princessy, and princesses aren’t rude (to people’s faces).

But I think we can all agree that 2014 was a pretty terrible year.  Borrowing from kids’ book author Megan McDonald, I started calling Summer of 2014 the Bummer Summer.

Amidst all the many national and global tragedies that occurred, He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog lost his father, and we were forced to put his mother in a nursing home.

And of course the cat, now an only child, has decided to become a solo artist, delighting us with nightly 4AM concertos in the stairwell.

2014 wasn’t all bad, though. Many wonderful people were born, graduated, got jobs, and were married  . . . .

 

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(Find the out of town author at the chic wedding in Palm Springs, CA in the photo above ^^^^.)

Some people celebrated 21 year wedding anniversaries . . . .

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(He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog also refuses to allow his photo in this blog.)

Some people had friends kind enough to take them out on their boats and let them practice driving for when they get their own boats, chasing after rainbows, looking for pots of gold.

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But instead of gold, some people may have ended up running their friends’ boats aground.

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That’s okay though! Because the thing about chasing after rainbows is that even when you don’t find gold at the end of them, you usually end up finding something.

For me that something was the realization that the most important thing in the world is having good friends (who don’t mind if you run their boat aground).  And that home is the place where there’s always a warm drink and someone who’s happy to see you:

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2014 was also a great year for me creatively because, since I didn’t have any books coming out, I could concentrate on writing new ones!

Here’s the long awaited COVER REVEAL for ROYAL WEDDING (Princess Diaries XI)!

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Read a sneak preview of it here!

I can’t WAIT for everyone to read the WHOLE thing when it’s out in stores and e-readers on June 2! (In the US and Canada. Updates on when it will be out in other countries coming soon!) Learn more here.

And for those of you asking for proof that Mia (unlike me) can actually plan a wedding and is not going to elope:

Check out this Royal Wedding Pinterest board that I’ve created (with the help of my immensely talented friend and assistant Ann). Watch Mia and Grandmére duel it out over everything from shoes to bouquets and wedding decor.  New fights added weekly.

Before ROYAL WEDDING hits the shelves, though, stay tuned for my first-ever illustrated (by me!) book, FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCESS, which will be in stores on May 19!

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Yes! I drew this^^^^!

Middle School Princess will take readers back to Genovia, this time through the illustrated diaries of 12-year-old Olivia Grace, who may or may not be Princess Mia Thermopolis’s long-lost little sister!

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 I did not draw the book cover^^^! I can’t draw crowds!

Only the inside drawings are mine!

 

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That’s Lars, above. ^^^ I drew him.  In case you ever wondered what a Genovian bodyguard looks like.

 

 

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Don’t worry, there are female Genovian bodyguards, too. I drew her, too. ^^^

 

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This is Grandmere, with Rommel. ^^^^ I drew her. She is quite fancy, as you can tell.

Read an excerpt here!

Check for more sneak peeks (and chances to win SUPER COOL PRIZES, including advanced reader copies of both Royal Wedding and Middle School Princess) on the Official Princess Diaries page on Facebook. (Accept no substitutes.)

Middle School Princess was a super fun challenge for me since I couldn’t write it the way I normally do . . . in bed.

 

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Certain people complained I was getting eraser crumbs in the sheets as I was doing my drawings.

So I had to work at my art desk!

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Here is a photo of me there:

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In reality I do not wear dresses when drawing, I wear yoga pants and very crappy t-shirts. This photo is staged. 

 I wouldn’t allow a “realistic photo” as I, like Grandmere, am too vain.

If you’re a Mediator fan, don’t think I abandoned you for 2015, though. I handed in the completed manuscript for Mediator 7, Remembrance, way back in July, but the only release date we could all agree was special enough for the book was Valentine’s Day 2016.

I know what you’re thinking. When did Meg get so mushy?  I don’t know either.

But even though it’s more than a year away, I promise you it’s going to be worth the wait! I’m hoping this book will be the greatest Valentine’s Day gift Mediator fans—and even readers unfamiliar with the series—will ever receive.

(Well, okay, that might be pushing it. Nothing is better than chocolate.)

In the meantime, I would not be doing my duty as royal spokesperson for the Palace of Genovia if I did not remind everyone that:

As a person who tries to act princessy, I don’t believe in sharing too much of my personal baggage with my readers, especially on my social media. To quote Grandmere in Royal Wedding:

“It’s a royal’s job to entertain and enlighten – not burden – her subjects. Your personal baggage should only be shared with your therapist (or the bell boy, of course).”

However, I sometimes feel like people forget that I have two brothers.  One is a white police sergeant. The other is African American.

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Look, it’s me! Stuck in the middle. No wonder I became a writer.

So here is my sincerest wish for the holidays. . . and I don’t think it’s much different than the wish of any big sister:

Could we please try to get along? Remember that most people are good at heart.

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Let’s give love a chance in 2015.

(Yes, that motorcycle cop dressed as Santa is my brother, and yes, that is his wife, Mrs. Cabot-Claus.)

Back to your regularly scheduled blog:

Books make the perfect stocking stuffer!

And here are some free short stories to enjoy while you’re sipping hot chocolate by the fire (or hanging out on the beach).

We’re slowly putting together my tour schedule for 2015. It’s nowhere close to finalized, but here’s a sneak peek at some of the events I’m booked for so far on tour in 2015!

And finally:

THANK YOU SO MUCH for being the most amazing readers, friends, and family a girl could have! I hope you have the best holidays – and new year – ever!

More later.

Much love,

Meg