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Meg's Blog

MAIL BAG

Well, it's that time again. Even though I started www.megcabotbookclub.com thinking it would cut down on the amount of reader mail I get, since I could answer people's questions on the message boards, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. If anything, I get even MORE mail now—only now I get it through the book club's Contact Meg page.

Not that I mind. I love hearing from readers. It's great to know what you guys are thinking and feeling about the books, and life in general.

What I don't love is readers who get upset when I don't answer (even though it says right on the Contact Meg page, and on the autoresponse, that I probably won't, due to the fact that I really have to spend all my time writing more books, in order to keep up with my deadlines, and to keep you with plenty to read)!

Still, some readers actually write to me and call me bad names for not writing back! People, just FYI, this is not a good way to win over an author.

But anyway, since I physically cannot answer all the mail I get, periodically I do try to answer a few questions here (sadly for those of you who called me names for not writing back, I won't be answering any of YOUR questions). So let's get started:

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MEG!!!!!!!!! I HAVE NOTHING TO READ!!!!!!!!!!! WHEN IS YOUR NEXT BOOK COMING OUT????????????????

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I'm glad you asked that. Actually, I have a new pseudo-book out now called The Princess Diaries Engagement Calendar. You can check it out here:
https://www.megcabot.com/engagement.html
It's for the year 2005, but don't wait until Januray to get your copy! It won't be on shelves for long. Stock up now, while you have the chance. Also, parts of it (particularly a certain Genovian holiday) WILL be referred to Princess Diaries 6.

In addition, I've got a new stand alone YA called TEEN IDOL coming out this month (July 27, to be exact). You can read a sneak peek on this very site. You can win copies if you register on the book club (www.megcabotbookclub.com). I will be touring the great state of Indiana for this book, including stops July 29 and 30th in Carmel, IN, and Avon, IN…not to mention the Bloomington, IN Barnes and Noble on July 31. Be there, or be square, Hoosiers!

You will also notice some books listed under my name on Amazon called Mia Tells It Like It Is and Princess Diaries 2. Mia Tells It Like It Is is really just the first two books in the Princess Diaries series in one paperback edition. And Princess Diaries 2 is a making-of book about the movie, Princess Diaries 2, A Royal Engagement, that has nothing to do with me. They put my name on it by mistake.

Then, of course, we have the Mediator series being re-released under my real name this coming December (see www.jennycarroll.com for the new covers) along with TWILIGHT, the sixth book in the series.

And a new book for slightly older readers called EVERY BOY'S GOT ONE (hello, you cheeky monkeys. It's a heart that every boy has got, not what you're thinking) that is due out in January.

Which brings us to:

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Dear Meg

Are you going to write any more Princess Diaries? PLEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAASE I must know what happens to Mia next!!!!

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Yes. Princess Diaries 6, Princess in Training, will be out in US stores in March of 2005. I have also recently been contracted to write Princess Diaries 7, 8, and 9. They will be out in March 2006, 2007, and 2008 (no, I have not started them yet). If all goes as planned, we will be following Mia's adventures until she graduates from high school, after which we may pay periodic visits to her, although not on any regular basis.

In Book 6, Mia starts 10th grade, Michael starts college (yes. He no longer goes to Albert Einstein High), and we discover that something extremely odd has happened to Boris over the summer.

And in December of 2004, look for PRINCESS PRESENT, a short book describing Mia's first Winter Break in Genovia WITH Michael and Lily. As you can imagine, it is disastrous.

People keep asking if PRINCESS PRESENT comes before or after Princess Diaries 6. Because if, in Book 5, it is May, and in Book 6, it is September, how can a book that takes place in December come out in between them?

Please don't ask me these kinds of questions. You are making my head hurt. The answer is, I don't know. Just go with it. It's Genovia. Things are weird there.

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MRS. CABOT, WHY ISN'T MICHAEL IN THE MOVIE OF PRINCESS DIARIES 2? WHY DID YOU LET THEM TAKE HIM OUT?

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Mrs. Cabot is my mom. I am married, but I didn't take my husband's name. So I prefer Miss or Ms. Cabot. But mostly, I like to be called plain old Meg. It's OK to call me Meg, I won't think you're being rude, believe me.

Anyway, Michael isn't in the 2nd Princess Diaries movie, due out August 11, because the actor who played him is a rock star now. You can read all about his band at
http://www.rooney-band.com
The actor didn't want to come back to be in the movie, so Disney wrote a whole new story that actually has nothing whatsoever to do with my books, and what happens in the movie will never happen in the books.

But Disney still had to pay me to use the characters, so it's all good. Plus the movie is very cute, so you should go see it when it comes to your town, and take your mom and grandma.

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Meg, are you going to write another 1-800-Where-R-You book? They are my favorites!!!! And what's Rob on probation for?

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The thing about the 1-800-Where-R-You books, which some of you may not know, is that I got fired from writing that series when it didn't sell well the first time they put it out, under my pen name, Jenny Carroll. They also fired the editor who bought the series from me.

What happens when you are an author is, you go to publisher with a book, and if they like it, they buy it. In the case of 1800, they liked it so much, they bought the book and three sequels.

But then when those 4 books didn't sell well enough, they said, “We don't want anymore,” when I offered to write 4 more. And then they fired my editor, who is the one who bought the series in the first place.

This, as you can imagine, really upset me. I had planned to take the series to 8 books at least.

And so now that they've re-released the series under my real name, and it's selling much better, and people want another book, I can't bear the thought of actually writing one. I keep remembering how hurt I was when they said they didn't want more, and how upsetting it was when they fired my editor, whom I really, really liked. I know I should get over it, but so far, I haven't been able to. This is probably a form of writer's block, and in this particular case, it has to do with the fact that I'm still pretty upset over the whole being fired thing.

So you will just have to bear with me and be patient and maybe someday if I drink enough Tab I will be able to face the idea of writing another 1800. But for now, I need to keep a little distance from it.

And I am not telling you what Rob is on pr
obation for. Because if I ever DO write a 5th 1800, it will be revealed in it. I can tell you it isn't any of the things any of you have been guessing, and it is definitely NOT cow tipping.

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Um, I hate to tell you this, Meg, but I hate the new Mediator covers. Bring back the old ones.

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Remember that publisher who fired me? Well, they fired me from the Mediator series, too. Those old covers were THEIR covers. My new publisher, HarperCollins, very very nicely bought the rights to reprint the entire series, but they had to make up their own covers, because those old covers belonged to my old publisher. I really like Harper Collins for rushing to the rescue of the series they way they did. Otherwise the Mediator, like 1800, would have died after just 4 books.

So if you think I am going to complain about the new Mediator covers, you're nuts. I'm just grateful there even ARE new Mediator covers. And if you love the series, you should be, too.

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Dear Meg,

How come you look so different in the photos we see of you on your website than you do in real life?

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Some people are superphotogenic, and other people aren't. I'm not photogenic AT ALL and I also HATE getting my picture taken. So it's really touch and go how I end up looking in a photo. Usually, I am happy if both my eyes are open. In most photos of me, one of my eyes ends up being half closed. I don't know if this is from lyme disease or what, but I think so, because my eye didn't used to do that, before I got bit by a tick (or maybe it is in sympathy with Henrietta, my one-eyed cat, or something).

Also, keep in mind that most of the photos up at www.megcabot.com are pretty old. Here is how I look now, lyme free (this is also my new house in Key West):

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As you can see, I have lost a lot of weight. Which leads to this:

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Hi, Meg. I have a weight problem. How did you lose so much weight?

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First of all, I think this country is way too obsessed with looks. All of those images we see in magazines, of skinny, skinny models, have been screwed around with on the computer, elongated and stuff, to make the model look thinner, and like she has no belly, etc. No one actually looks like that in real life. Believe me, I have met models, and they don't look THAT skinny in real life AT ALL.

It's much more important to be healthy than it is to be thin. I know tons of people who will never be what our society calls thin, but who look great and are totally healthy.

What you have to do is find a healthy weight for you, that you can maintain while still getting enough to eat so that you're never, ever hungry. I recommend checking with a doctor. They are really the only ones who can tell you if you are at a healthy weight for your height and age.

DO NOT GO BY WHAT YOUR FRIENDS WEIGH. OK? If your friend is five feet tall and weighs one hundred pounds, and you are also five feet tall and weigh one hundred twenty pounds, THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU'RE FAT. Muscles weigh more than fat. Maybe you are more muscular than your friend. Which is a good thing. Also, some people are bigger boned than others. Naturally, they will weigh more than a small-boned person. It's important that people realize EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. Even if you go by BMI (body mass index–there are body mass index calculators all over the web if you want to check that you are in a healthy weight range for your height)–muscle and bone mass weight are not reflected. I know people who according to their BMI are overweight, but they most definitely are NOT, AND they are in great shape.

That said, I lost weight not because I thought I was fat (I have a book coming out in a year or so called SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT, because that's exactly how I—and the heroine—feel) but because I had to go on a special diet (no starch) while my lyme disease was being treated, due to some totally gross complications that I won't tell you about, and I started losing weight because of what I was eating (or, actually, not eating–no refined sugars, bread, rice, pasta, or potatoes. Instead I ate salads, fruits, nuts, beans, eggs, cheese…mmmm, cheese…and unfried meats like chicken and steak, and fish).

But I felt so good, I really didn't mind giving up sugar. In fact, I still try to avoid it, for the most part, because it just makes me tired and gives me a headache a lot of the time.

Then, because I felt so good after the lyme disease treatments worked, I started exercising. Not a whole lot, just a half hour of walking—or biking–a day. I have kept it up, and since January, I've lost 40 pounds.

So, yeah, I'm a size 6, not a size 12 anymore.

BUT I STILL DON'T THINK SIZE 12 IS FAT!!!!

One last question:

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Meg, you said Henrietta was sick. How is she doing now?

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Henrietta is MUCH MUCH better. Thank you for all the virtual get well cards and flowers. She had a parasite or something and it seems to be totally gone, although she is still on antibiotics for the fever. The other day, Victoria, the lady who is helping set up our new house, was over looking at the bedcover, and I forgot to tell her Henrietta was under the bed. Poor Victoria was standing there in her bare feet when all of a sudden, out from under the bed came shooting this brown speckled creature, all fangs and claws. It was Henrietta (Ninja Cat) and she would have sunk all of her teeth into Victoria's leg, if Victoria hadn't jumped out of the way.

So, as you can tell, Henrietta is much feeling much better, thanks.

Well, that's it for now. Hope you're having a safe and relaxing holiday! And for those of you in Indiana—SEE YOU SOON!

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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