Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Author Interview- Meg Cabot + Contest

1. You’ve always got some great recommendations on your blog for books, movies, and music. What are some of your current recommendations?

Oh, wow. There’s just so much great stuff. What I’m loving right now are all the memoirs! Sarah Silverman’s The Bed Wetter, Molly Ringwald’s Getting the Pretty Back. Even Susan Juby has a memoir out, Nice Recovery, about her recovery from teen alcoholism! Who knew? I didn’t think anything could make me love Susan Juby more, but this book does. It’s brilliant, just like Susan.

2. With the Airhead series wrapping up this month and Allie Finkle with its 6th and final book coming out this fall, what are you working on now?

My first book for adult readers in a while, Insatiable, comes out June 8. So I’m doing a lot of promo for that, including setting up a cool new webpage with a lot of extras—a playlist, deleted scenes, maps, wallpaper, FAQs, maybe even something called the Contessa’s Closet . . . I can’t tell you more or I’ll spoil it!—that will be up soon (http://www.megcabot.com/insatiable/).

A lot more back-story went into this novel than any book I’ve ever written (including about 100 pages on the heroine’s prom night alone that never made it anywhere near the final manuscript, since it’s not a YA, and the heroine’s firmly in her late twenties)!

I’m also starting a new YA series, Abandon. Like Insatiable, there’s a lot of world building going on for that.

But Abandon won’t be out for another year, so there’s not a lot of point in discussing that one yet.
So, I’m keeping quite busy!

3. You recently stated on your blog that Avalon High is to be made into a Disney Channel movie this fall. Several of your other books and series have been optioned. Do you have any updates on those yet?
You know, there’s a lot going on, but nothing I’m at liberty to discuss right now. I’m just really excited about it all! I wish I could say more.

(Note from Book Chic: Cast list has been released here.

4. With your next book, Insatiable (which I absolutely loved), you take on the world of vampires, which is huge right now and many authors are putting their own spin on it. What prompted you to write this, especially since you’ve said before that vampires are icky? What sets your book apart from the other vampire novels?

Well, for one thing, I got an idea for a story about vampires, which I didn’t have before. It’s actually based on something that happened to me (not the whole, “My editor made me write a vampire book and I didn’t want to,” which is obviously a joke). Readers can find out about it when the Insatiable page has its redesign. All I can say for now is that it’s all the fault of this dog:

It’s true I’m not wild about vampires . . . but as your readers know, I love pop culture. And vampire stories have been around (and part of popular culture) for millennia. As I keep telling people, the ancient Greeks, the Romans, and the Hebrews all told stories about demonic creatures who fed on the blood of the living. Vampires aren’t just a trend . . . they’re a tradition!
Just to remind everyone, the first rich, sexy vampire (who was irresistible to women, but sadly preferred to dine on virgin blood) appeared in print as far back as 1819— (“The Vampyr: A Tale,” written by Lord Byron’s doctor, John Polidori)!

Then in 1897, a little-known theatre manager slash pulp fiction author named Abraham (Bram) Stoker wrote the most famous vampire novel of all time, Dracula. Told in epistolary format, it’s basically a collection of letters written back and forth between Jonathan Harker and his wife, Mina, about the strange things that start happening to them when Count Dracula, a wealthy Romanian, decided to buy an estate in England.

Stoker’s protagonist, Mina Harker, was the first feminist of vampire fiction. Mina was talented and ambitious . . . a schoolmistress and a writer! Much of Dracula is told through Mina’s letters and journal entries.

But Mina doesn’t just write about vampires: she battles them! Along with her husband, Mina joins Abraham Van Helsing and his team to destroy Dracula, risking her own life in the process. You could even say Mina Harker was a predecessor to Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I never missed an episode).

Buffy’s true love was a brooding vampire named Angel who, thanks to a gypsy curse, had regained the soul he’d lost when he’d turned into a vampire.

But Buffy and Angel couldn’t consummate their relationship, because every time Angel had one true moment of happiness (sex with Buffy, of course) he lost his soul and became evil again, threatening to destroy Sunnyvale.

So it was splitsville for Buffy and Angel, leading Buffy to date a whole host of other inappropriate men, some of whom were even human.

Tough women like Buffy, who have to choose between love and duty, are direct descendents of the literary tradition that began with Dracula.

So, back to the original question: Why write a vampire novel? Well, like I said, I got an idea for one.

And then I got excited. What did I as a storyteller have to bring to an ages-old tradition that’s always struck a chord with popular culture?

Well, I knew I wanted to bring back all those great original vampire myths from the Romantic period, as well as old school vampires.

But I also wanted to bring back strong, confident heroines like Mina (not to mention Buffy!) who battle against them, women who aren’t virgins waiting around to be rescued: They’re too busy saving the world.

So . . . that’s what I did. With a Meg Cabot twist, of course.

5. I usually ask authors what their favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor is, however I believe I’ve asked you it before. So instead, what’s your favorite snack to have while writing?

I switch back and forth all the time. But right now it’s M&Ms.

6. Time for some celebrity questions since I know you love talking about them. Are you excited about the sixth season of Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List? What did you think of the last one? Did you see Kathy on Law and Order: SVU last month, and did you love it? Also, what do you think about Betty White hosting SNL for Mother’s Day? Christina Aguilera’s newest single “Not Myself Tonight” just came out- what do you think about it? Are you excited for her new album?

I would just like to point out that when I was in LA I stayed in the exact same hotel where Kathy Griffin had her poolside PAP smear. I can’t believe I missed her by ONE DAY.

I’m super excited about Betty, Xtina, everyone. I just wish I didn’t have as much work to do! Although I’m just as excited about my work as I am about all these upcoming events and releases!

7) You were recently named as Stark Megastore’s spokesperson and have filmed some video ads for them. How did it feel being named as their new spokesperson? Was the video shoot fun?

I had really mixed feelings about all that. As you know, Stark lied to us. So, when I was first named corporate spokesperson, I was so excited.

But then when it turned out—well, you can find out by reading Runaway!

Ha, no, it was so fun. My editor Abby, her assistant Zack, my publicist Charisse, and everyone at Scholastic who helped put the videos together were super amazing.

Stay tuned for some book trailers for Insatiable, too. I would like to assure your readers in advance that yes, my wardrobe was ruined. And yes, that’s fake blood.

8) You’ve done quite a few videos with your friend and fellow author Michele Jaffe dispensing advice to readers after having done it via just regular blog entries for a bit. It’s been a while since any have been posted. Do you plan on doing any more, or are you both too busy? What prompted the switch from blogs to vlogs?

You know, it’s tough because I spend most of my time in Florida and she’s in NYC and Vegas. We’ve been popping back and forth but usually we’re having too much fun to get serious and spend a day filming.

We’re totally going to make more someday, though!

And look out for Michele’s new book Rosebush. Kind of like Insatiable, it’s a total departure from what Michele has done in the past. And it’s amazing.

Even though it doesn’t have any vampires ;-) I don’t think Michele is ruling them out for the future though!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Meg!! And I've got an extra copy of Runaway, her latest YA title, to give away as well as some fun Insatiable swag! All you have to do is leave a comment telling me your favorite Meg Cabot book and why it's your favorite or why you're excited for any of Meg's future books (Insatiable, final Allie Finkle book, Abandon). You can also get an extra entry by commenting on my Insatiable review that will be posted later this week; the comment has to be a substantial comment too with some thoughts or it won't be counted. This contest will stay open until June 19, 2010 at 9pm EST. The winner will be notified shortly after. This is North America only! Sorry international readers!


  1. Great interview! I'd have to say my favorite Cabot novel is the final installment in the Princess Diaries (Forever Princess). That series is what first got me reading, and loving to read, so the series always has been pretty close to my heart (and the last one was definitely the best).

  2. Awesome interview! Meg always seems so fun!

    I LOVED Queen of Babble and I think because it was such a light read, but at the same time had such heart to it. Definitely one I'd read over and over again. I'm excited to read Insatiable and see what Meg brings to the table with it.

  3. I love Meg Cabot. She is one of the funniest authors I have ever witnessed. I love how quirky she is and how it easily translates in to her writing. That being said, my favorite Meg Cabot novel is probably All American Girl, with the Princess Diaries series as a close seconds. They both contain what I love most about Meg Cabot's stories, strong but funny and relatable female protagonists.

    Thanks for the awesome interview! I need to go and re-read some of her old blog posts now.

  4. Such a great interview!

    I've already got a copy of Runaway, so I'll pass on the contest, but for the record, my favorite Cabot books are probably the last Mediator book and the last Princess Diaries book.

  5. Great interview! I loved reading what she has to say about Dracula. My favorite Meg Cabot book thus far is The Princess Diaries. The first one just makes me laugh so much, particularly Grandmere and Boris. Plus I think a lot of Mia's anxieties are very relatable to teenage readers. Thanks for an awesome post!

  6. Fabulous interview. I loved Meg's take on vampires, very interesting.

    My favorite books are the Mediator series. I love it funny and romantic and unique

  7. What a great interview! She seems like such an awesome person!
    I think my favorite Meg Cabot novel would have to be Boy Meets Girl. It's so cute!

  8. I was always a Meg Cabot fan for life. Her books just... are... No word to describe it. Speechless.

    I would have to say that my favourite book of hers would have to be All American Girl. It has a different storyline rather than all the cliche versions in the other novels that I read. An.Absolute.Wow.

    I'm looking forward to Abandon series because of the awesome synopsis. Can't wait till winter! A warm book to cuddle up with and read the day away...

  9. Lovely interview. I'm so excited to see Meg's take on vampires. Eeek! As for a favorite Meg book? I don't really know. I did enjoy the All-American Girl book and the Princess Diaries series (haven't finished yet, so I'll say the first one!!)

    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

  10. My favorite is definitely Forever Princess. I loved seeing Mia's story wrapped up so wonderfully.

  11. amazing interview!!!! You have an awesome blog!!!!

  12. Great interview. I love Meg's books. My favorites are Forever Princess and the Queen of Babble series and the Heather Wells series.

  13. My favorite Meg Cabot book is porbably Airhead. I've never disliked any of her books though so it's hard for me to choose just one. But I thought airhead had such an amazing plot and great characters, it just made the book for me!

  14. Aw man, I have to pick just one of her books? I would have to say that I loved her book Teen Idol.. And I am looking forward to her new book Insatiable..

    lovestoread0708 AT yahoo.com

  15. I haven't read any of Meg's books. Does that disqualify me? :(

    I want to read this one because I love the premise of the story. Who wouldn't want to read a book with a dreamy guy named Lucien Antonescu? Um, yeah. *raises hand*

    The paranormal element is really what has me wanting to read this one. Her other books didn't appeal to me because they don't have that element. I'm a paranormal junkie.

    Doh! Then I notice the giveaway is for Runaway. :( Oh wells!

  16. I'm excited about Meg's future books because they sound so awesome! And the cover design for Insatiable is really pretty!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com