Meg's Blog

Rerun Blog

PRINCESS DIARIES 5, PRINCESS IN PINK, and PERFECT PRINCESS, an illustrated guide to princesses past, present, and pretend, narrated by Mia Thermopolis, ARE OFFICIALLY ON SALE IN THE US (and Canada) TODAY!

And what am I doing to celebrate? Promoting PD5 on TV and radio this week, while frantically trying to finish my next book. Which was due three months ago.

So you know how right now everything on TV is a rerun because sweeps are over and the writers are busy coming up with new episodes of all of your favorite shows?

Well, I'm busy trying to get everything done before I leave for my book tour on Saturday, so this blog is going to be a rerun, too. Only I know SOME of you are going to find it interesting, because I'm getting a lot of the same questions over and over again, so clearly not everyone is visiting the Archives.

So here, for your edification, are the questions I've been getting most often lately, with their answers. I'll put up a new blog when I'm done with this book, I swear!

***How many Princess Diaries books will there be?***

This is a very good question. Let's do the math. There are five and a half books in Mia's freshmen year. The current plan is to follow Mia's adventures until high school graduation. So let's say there are five books per school year, and she has three more school years left until graduation…so that's how many more books? If you said 15 more, you'd be about right, give or take a few.

***Why aren't you coming to my town on your book tour? Don't you like Texas/Alaska/New Hampshire/Iowa?***

Of course I like your town. But I don't control where my publisher sends me. If I'm not coming to your town this tour, maybe I'll be there for my next tour. It's also possible I already went to your town on a previous tour (ahem, this is directed at you, Texas. I have been to Texas MANY times, and yet many Texans keep accusing me of never coming there. I was just there in January. My question to you is…where were YOU?)

***Why is it taking so long for Mediator 6 to come out? And why can't I find any of the first four books in the series anywhere?***

Because I originally wrote those books for a different publisher under my dead cat's name, Jenny Carroll. Not long ago, I got the rights to them back, and my new publisher agreed to re-issue them under my real name. It takes a certain number of months for this to happen. The earliest they can reissue the first four books under my real name is December 2004. In the meantime, the old publisher has stopped printing copies of the first four books, so they will become more and more difficult to find. So don't be fooled into thinking this is your last chance to buy Darkest Hour or Shadowland, the first book in the series. It's NOT. There will be more copies (and not selling for $18 like they currently are on eBay) available soon.

Mediator 6 will come out in January 2005 at the tail end of the re-release of the first 5 books.

***Hi, Meg. My friend sent you an email and you wrote a personal reply back. But when I sent you one, I never heard from you. What gives?***

There are lots of reasons why you might not have heard from me. Does your family have parental controls on your email account? Then my email to you probably bounced back to me, especially if you have AOL and I am not on the list of people from whom you are allowed to receive email. Sometimes I send email replies that have attachments (newsletter, etc). If your email account doesn't accept attachments, my reply was bounced back to me. Or maybe you wrote something kinda mean about my books or the movies based on my books in your email. I'm sure you wouldn't go out of your way to be friendly with someone who said mean stuff to you—I'm no different!

It's also possible I just haven't gotten to your email yet. I get a LOT of emails, and do try to answer them all. Sometimes it takes a week or two.

***Hey Meg, I want to be a writer when I grow up. What do you think I should do to be successful? I mean, do you have any advice for me?***

Why, yes, I do. This advice is listed elsewhere on my site, but since so many of you seem to be having trouble finding it, here it is again:

Write the kinds of stories you like to read. If you don't love what you're writing
no one else will, either.

Don't tell people you want to be a writer. A lot of people will feel compelled try to talk of you out of choosing a job with so little security. Just keep it to yourself, and be sure to get a job to fall back on if your writing career doesn't work out right away.

Contrary to popular opinion, you don't need to major in creative writing or journalism in college to be a writer. I think it's better to major in something you can actually get a job doing when you graduate—such as engineering, nursing, teaching, computer programming, counseling, or whatever—and write in your spare time. Writing does NOT pay very much and you will need a day job (or a trust fund) to pay the bills until you start earning enough from your books to pay the rent.

You are not a hundred dollar bill. Not everyone is going to like you…or your story.
Do not take rejection personally. Princess Diaries got rejected something like 17 times. If I had taken it personally, you never would have seen this book on store shelves.

If you are blocked on a story, there is probably something wrong with it. Take a few days off and put the story on a back burner for a while. Eventually, it will come to you.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself to get published by a certain age. I didn't get published until I was 30, and I turned out all right. I think.

It is nearly impossible to get published these days without an agent. The guide I used to get mine was called the Jeff Herman Guide to Agents, Editors, and Publishers. It was well worth the money I spent on it, since it lists every agent in the business and what he or she is looking for. It also tells you how to write a query letter, what to expect from your publisher, and all sorts of good stuff…and it's even available in the library!

Write all the time. Never stop sending out your stuff. Don't wait for a response after sending a story out…start a new story right away, then send that one out! If you are constantly writing and sending stuff out (don't forget to live your life, too, while you are doing this) eventually somebody will bite! And even if they don't, who cares? If you love to write, it really doesn't matter whether or not you get published. Lots of people love to play golf, but they'll never be pros. Should you give up on something you love just because no one will pay you money to do it? Of course not!

Good luck, and keep writing!

***I hear Raven Symone is going to play Samantha Madison in the All American Girl movie. I think this is a horrible idea. For one thing, Sam is white, and Raven is black. For another thing, Raven is not goth. She is a girlie girl. Why can't you get Lindsay Lohan to play Sam?***

Okay. First of all, when authors sell the screen rights to their books—which they do because let's face it, movies sell books. And authors can't make a living if they don't sell books—they have no control over who gets cast to play their characters. None.

Secondly, I'm VERY pleased that, in a world where there aren't enough positive role models for African American women, one of my books is going to be used as a vehicle to provide millions of girls with a great one.

Thirdly, let's remember that Raven plays a character called Raven on her TV show. In All American Girl, she'll p
lay Sam. So she'll be acting. I'm betting she'll be great as Sam.

And fourthly—who cares? Why does a movie have to be exactly like the book anyway? I understand that people love books and don't want to see them changed, but it's hard to take two hundred pages of text and stuff them into a ninety minute film. Some things HAVE to change, in order to tell the story faster—or more visually. If you don't approve, there's a simple solution…don't go see the movie!

Although I have a sneaking suspicion that you will anyway…and that you'll LOVE it.

***I heard you have lyme disease. Is that true? And what is it? Are you feeling better?***

Oh my gosh, thanks for asking! I do have lyme disease, which is a neurological disorder caused by the bite from a special kind of tick…a deer tick, which is about the size of a pin head, so most people never see it. I have been receiving treatment for it, and will find out later this month if the treatments have worked. I am feeling much better, thanks to the antibiotics I've been taking, and changes I've made in my diet. I've already lost 15 pounds, and had to buy all new clothes. Isn't that sad (not)?

***I've already read all the other books in the Princess Diaries series. Why should I buy Princess in Pink, Princess Diaries 5? Does anything good happen in it?***

Um…yes. There is kissing in Book 5. A LOT of kissing. And that is not all, either. A certain character may get to second base.

But that's all I'm saying.

And you'll need to know what happens in Princess Diaries 5, Princess in Pink, to understand what's happening in Princess Diaries 6, Princess in Training, due out next year.

I hope this rerun blog has been educational for you. Now back to your regularly scheduled blog.