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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

Category Archives: meg cabot

The following is an interview I did with Meg Cabot in October 2003 for a teen writing site. I conducted this via email. Admittedly, this interview isn’t my best, but I decided to post it because it was my first. Since granting me this interview, Meg Cabot has gone on to write more than 40 books in various genres and is a favorite among teen readers.

Out of all of the characters you’ve created, do you feel that any in particular represent you, or do each portray a facet of Meg Cabot?

Wow, good question. I guess there’s a little of me in all of my characters. When I was a teen, I was probably a mixture of Mia from Princess Diaries, Samantha from All American Girl, and Jen, a character you’ll be meeting in my new upcoming book, Teen Idol. Now I’m probably more like Suze from the Mediator and Jess from 1800WhereRU. Except that I don’t hit people. Or see ghosts.

What was your favorite book as a child, and when looking at a storybook, do you concentrate on illustrations or story?

I loved the Eloise books. I made up my own stories about the illustrations before I was able to read the words under them. Nowadays, words are more important to me than pictures. Although I trained as an illustrator in college.

When writing Princess Diaries, The Mediator, etc, did you have a particular person or model, such as a celebrity, for your characters?

If so, who? I tend to model characters on friends and family, or the occasional enemy. I don’t actually know any celebrities well enough to model a character after them. I also don’t think much about how characters look, beyond hair and eye color. I get a lot of mail complaining about this, but the fact is, I don’t like it when authors go on and on about how things–or people–look. In fact, I usually skip over descriptions when I read. So I tend to do skip it when I write, too. To the consternation of some readers, who are oddly obsessed with knowing every tiny detail of how Michael looks.

You don’t currently have children but when you do, what are some books you feel a child must read?

Hmmm, not sure children are in the works at this point. I feel like I get enough contact with the younger generation through my books! But when my niece is born, I’ll make sure she gets copies of the Eloise books, my own books (of course), the Betsy-Tacy books, everything by JK Rowling, Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, Louise Rennison, Susan Juby, and too many more to list here.

You’ve written for both teens and adults. Have you ever considered writing a picture book for children?

Oh, no. Picture books are really hard because they’re so short. Picture books would be torture for me. I need a lot of pages to tell my stories.

If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Probably Jane Austen, because I love her sarcasm, although in person I understand she could be quite crabby. I also would have liked to meet Barbara Cartland, because she did a lot of interesting things, like drive an ambulance through the Blitz during WWII, before she became such a kook with the poodles and the pink feather boas.

What was the one defining moment in your career as a writer?

When I realized I didn’t have to write my books sitting at a desk. I could write them just as easily lying in bed. I’ve since started writing books on an Alphasmart while floating in a pool. This may revolutionize my life.

And finally, can you describe yourself in three words?

Chocoholic TiVo addict.