So I just got back from Chicago, where I was attending Book Expo America. Book Expo America (or BEA) is this giant book conference for independent booksellers, and the publishers send their authors there to mingle and give away free advanced reader copies of their books.
So people go around with these wheelie suitcases from publisher booth to publisher booth, getting free books. Which is fun for the authors, because we're the ones handing out the books, and it's nice to give away things people actually want to have, as opposed to stuff no one wants, like all the old plates from my storage unit in Manhattan that I practically had to beg the Salvation Army to take.
Anyway, so Jamie Lee Curtis was signing books at the same time I was signing books. She writes books for the five-year-old set. You might remember her. She played the mom in Freaky Friday. I was kind of hanging around and someone introduced us. Jamie Lee was really nice and cool. I want to grow up to be just like her. Or Nigella Lawson.
Then after this I had to go to this luncheon for Booksense, which is the independent bookseller bestseller list. Each author who was at the conference had to stand up when his or her name was called. Other authors who were there included Cornelia Funke and Dave Barry.
Anyway, everybody was doing funny gags when they stood up. Well, mostly just the male authors. Because Book TV or somebody was there, taking photos. So when I stood up I put my tiara on and waved like I was Miss America. Whatever.
Then the very next author was Lemony Snicket (Lemony Snicket is not his real name, but I'm not going to be the one to tell you what it really is and spoil the whole Lemony thing).
So then, because Lemony is insane (but in a good way) his gag was to rush over to my table to pretend to steal my tiara. So I screamed and pretended to dive under the table.
That was it. I hope they show it on Book TV.
So then I was at the Harper Collins booth where they were having a champagne reception for me and giving away advanced reader copies of Teen Idol, and this lady comes up to me and is all, “Are you Meg Cabot?” and it was Amy Tan, who writes really cool books and has lyme disease just like me. So we talked about lyme disease, and agreed there is not enough national attention given to it, even though it's pretty widespread.
Anyway, the next day I went to the Museum of Science and Industry with my editor, Abby (you know, the one who accepted The Princess Diaries after it had been rejected by like 17 other editors) to see Colleen Moore's fairy castle.
Colleen Moore, in case you didn't know, was the original Flapper of 20s silent film fame, and she spent $500,000 back in the 20s (today, this would be untold millions) on this fairy tale dollhouse that you can see at Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago (or, if you can't get to Chicago, you can see it here, http://www.msichicago.org/exhibit/fairy_castle/Fc_home.htm
but the real thing is way more impressive).
I know a dollhouse sounds kind of juvenile, but this one has mother-of-pearl floors and real running water and it's just, well, OPULENT, which is one of my favorite words. When I was a kid, I used to LOVE visiting this castle. In fact, my mom could barely get me to leave this castle. She had to buy me the book about it. When I was there this last time, I bought the updated book about it. I don't know what I like so much about the castle. But I do like to imagine it's how Mia's castle in Genovia looks.
Although I did notice there are no toilets in the fairy castle. In the Genovian palace, there are definitely toilets.
Anyway, after that we looked at the baby chicks in the chick hatchery and wandered around the museum, where I was very impressed to see lots of high school kids running cool experiments for the littler kids to learn from, like “See A Geneticist's Tools” and “How Far is Mars?” I think that would be a great summer job, to work at the museum. It was totally inspiring to see so many kids running around, getting excited about science. It gave me hope that some of you really are taking my advice and considering medical school as a future profession. Because I really am planning on being sick a lot when I get older, and who will look after me if all of you become novelists?
Then I came back to NYC, where it has been raining non-stop ever since. But that's OK because I'm taking a break from writing All American Girl 2 and going to see Harry Potter 3 and Day After Tomorrow. Oh, and to go to book signings in Paramus and Brooklyn, before heading back down to Florida.
So, if you live in Paramus or Brooklyn, please stop by my signings (you can find the exact times/addresses on the Where's Meg segment of this site) and if you don't, please at least stop by my new website, www.megcabotbookclub.com, and say hello! It's shaping up to be a very friendly place, with lots of fun polls for you to take part in. My favorite poll is the one about whether you squat or paper in public bathrooms. There is also a very good one about what caused the end of the Depression, WW2 or The New Deal.
In the meantime, remember: be nice to your local bookseller: she might have been at BEA, and if so, just MIGHT have an advanced reader copy of a book by one of your favorite authors that she MIGHT loan you.
But even if she does, you still have to buy the real book when it comes out, or your favorite authors will starve to death, because we only get paid if people buy our books.
Seriously. It's true.
PS I almost forgot:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALLISON M!!!!!!!!!!!!!