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Pants on Fire

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    Meg Cabot Obsessed

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 12:13 PM

megcabot Welcome to the chat for Pants on Fire/Tommy Sullivan is a Freak (the UK title)! I'm so glad all of you were able to make it today! I really loved writing this book, and I hope all of you enjoyed reading it....So let's get chatting...
SK678 Is Tommy Sullivan based off of an actual person -- such as a guy you dated in high school?
megcabot Sadly, no, Tommy is the only guy in the book who is completely made up...
MPC_WannaB15 Are Quahogs real and if so how did you find out about them
megcabot Quahogs are totally real! They're more common in northern Connecticut and Rhode Island than they are in Southern Connecticut, which is where POF is set. I found out about them because I ate them! And I loved the name....
Texandreamer Hi Meg! I really love all your books. I was wondering though what made you decide to set Pants on Fire in Connecticut?
megcabot I have friends who live in Fairfield CT and I love visiting them there, especially in the summer, so I thought it would be fun to set a book there....
SamMad90 When will Pants on Fire be released in India?
janey Readers in India get UK versions of books ( I think) so look for imported copies of Tommy Sullivan is a Freak
Elaine Meg, how did you come up the idea of Pants on Fire? Because you don't often write girl characters with many boyfriends.. lol
megcabot I know! I've never written about a POPULAR girl before, so I thought it would be a fun challenge. I'm definitely doing it again. The heroine of my series ABANDON is going to be popular, too...well, at least, she USED to be....
MPC_WannaB15 Did you have a friend like Sydney growing up?
megcabot I actually did...I had a few "popular" friends. Some of the popular girls in my school were mean, but there were several who were actually nice to me.
mermaid84 Hi Meg!! I love your books..I think they are fantastic..Could you please tell me when the paperback edition of Pants on Fire is going to come out??
janey Paperbacks usually come out one year after the hard cover.
missmonikanutella Which do you enjoy writing better, series like the Princess Diaries, or stand alone books like Pants on Fire?
megcabot Hmmm, interesting question. I think they both have merits. It's fun to visit with friends you know well, like Mia, but it's fun to make new friends, like Katie, as well!
JChiz Why did you choose a red head as the hero in the story?
megcabot Because I've had crushes on lots of red headed guys!
DrkShdwsByd Meg, what was your writing process for Pants on Fire? ie: How did you develop the plot?
megcabot Well, it's based on several true incidents from my past, so I just combined them...
Eulalie Who is your favourite character in Pants on Fire?
megcabot Well, I do have a soft spot for Sydney.
Ren Did you like Quahogs?
megcabot They are actually kind of gross. But in butter anything is good.
JChiz I know this is kind of off topic but, when is Jinx coming out? I loved Mediator so much!
janey Jinx is coming out July 31 (in the USA). There is a page on the site called "Coming Soon" you can get to it by putting your mouse over books for teens, it lists all the release dates.I spoke with the UK director of megcabot.co.uk who said that a similar feature will be added to that site to list UK release dates.
DrkShdwsByd Are you thinking of writing a sequel to Pants on Fire? It seems that there is so much left that you could/can do.
megcabot I know, people keep asking about that! I don't have one in mind right now. I mean, it pretty much struck me that the sequel for Tommy and Katie should be left to the imagine because...ahem. You know.
David_Faulkner So Meg, Pants on Fire is partly about lying. You've shared some of your lies, care to share any more...just between us.
megcabot Ha! No comment.
MPC_WannaB15 Was anyone of YOUR little brothers as full of himself as the character Liam is?
megcabot Oh my God, are you kidding? Both of them. But Liam is totally based on Officer Friendly (my brother who turned out to be a cop). Although actually Matt was never as stupid as Liam.
JChiz Did you have multiple boyfriends when you were younger as well?
megcabot Yes. There was one semester where I was a VERY NAUGHTY girl. However, I got caught, and I ended up with NO BOYFRIENDS as a consequence. I did not have a happy ending.
reader4meg Did you have a Tommy Sullivan in your life?
megcabot Why yes, and I am married to him!
pinkandyellow5 Hi Meg!! just curious where do you get the names for your characters??
megcabot I get most of the names from baby name websites...no joke! And the phone book (for last names).
Boothy I just finished Confessions of Super Mom, which you had a blurb on, and it was fantastic. Do you get a lot of books that ask for you to give a blurb? Also, what are you reading at the moment?
megcabot Thanks! I just finished a fantastic book by an author named Liza Palmer...but it won't be out until 2008...authors always get sneak previews. But I would try her other book that's out now.
Boothy I noticed in a Ask Meg question about future books you're working on, and you mentioned Jinx 2; is it now becoming a series rather than a standalone?
megcabot Yes, Jinx will now have a sequel...but like Avalon High, it will be a manga sequel. I think people are really going to like it, though, and witches lend themselves well to manga.
emsuniverse Do you plan on teaming up with anyone to co-author any books ?
megcabot Oh my goodness no, I do not work well in groups.
tumblemedry What was your favorite part of PoF?
megcabot I like the scenes with Tommy. They were pretty steamy! And super fun to write!
reader4meg Did you lie (we all do) as much as Katie did in the book?
megcabot Um, I still do. I will lie about the weather. I don't know why. I guess to make things more interesting.
pinkandyellow5 How log did it take you to write Pants on Fire?
megcabot Pants on Fire took me most of last summer to write!
Spartan_Girl Can you tell us anything new about Princess Diaries 9? Pleeeeeeeeeeease?
megcabot Ooooh. Like I said in my blog, Mia has a lot of making up to do for her bad behavior in Book 8. Most of 9 is about her making ammends for what she did in 8. Oh, and there's a huge explosion.
pinkandyellow5 I noticed that you mentioned Oklahoma the musical frequently in your book! Do you enjoy the musical?
megcabot Ha. When I was a kid, it was my favorite.
reader4meg Did you ever run for a Queen of something like Katie did?
megcabot No! I was not the pageant queen type. I was much more like--oh my gosh, I forgot her name. The girl who wears black all the time in the book, whose mom makes her run!
Elaine Hi again~ I think that the cover of this book is really pretty, and this kind of cover is not often used in your books, do you like this cover?
megcabot Thanks! I was surprised by this cover, but I did like it! I got to pick the girl's butt that was on it, and the guy's hands! I felt like a matchmaker! I wondered if they went out afterwards....
Spartan_Girl About the upcoming Avalon High manga, did you have any say in how the characters were illustrated?
megcabot Absolutely, I had total say. Jinky submitted character sketches, and I told her what I liked, didn't like. But she had read the book before hand, so she didn't need much guidance, she had a great eye and pretty much caught the characters dead on.
Texandreamer Have you met any guy fans of your book while on tour for Pants on Fire?
megcabot Several!
rheabt Is Meg working on a sequel in the Heather Wells series?
megcabot Yes, Big Boned, Book 3, will be out in November! I'll be posting a sneak peek on my blog soon!
Boothy OMG!!!! A JINX MANGA?!?!?! That has seriously made my day! Will Jinky be drawing it as well? Or will it be a new author? And is there any ballpark release date for it yet?
megcabot Oh, yes! And hopefully it will be out next summer....
DrkShdwsByd Do you think you will ever write a book from a boy's point of view?
megcabot I don't think a whole book, but in my novella in PROM NIGHTS FROM HELL, there are scenes from the guy's POV.
MPC_WannaB15 Did you have a "Jenna Hicks" (I love the name Jenna btw) in your school?
megcabot Oh, wait is that the girl who wears black all the time? I couldn't remember her name! Yes, that was me! I was the Jenna Hicks of my school. So sad.
Eulalie Are all of your YA books based on your high school experience?
megcabot Pretty much...except for the princess/paranormal stuff.
JChiz Are you ever going to come to Canada?
janey Meg does sometimes tour in Canada. Sign up for the mailing list to get info on her tours.
hermoine Who do you prefer, drama club boys or football players?
megcabot Well, the drama club boys were better conversationalists...at least in my school!
JChiz Did Pants on Fire actually get banned anywhere like you hoped?
megcabot Not so far!
Aingeal Do you have any idea when your books are released in other countries?
janey Generally, no. The UK people email me with dates from time to time. Otherwise you have to ask your local bookstore or publisher. Check out the "buy books" page on MegCabot.com for more info on that.
hermoine Meg, why does the book have two titles?
megcabot Pants on Fire was originally called Tommy Sullivan is a Freak. But my US publisher didn't like that name, so they changed it to Pants on Fire. Everywhere else it's called my original title!
Lucy Will you ever write a book from one of the character's friend's point of view? Like, say, Lilly from Princess Diaries?
megcabot Oh, I don't think so. I have too many other stories in mind from lead character's POV.
hermoine This book has LOTS of making out in it. Is that intentional? Or did the story just got that way?
megcabot Well, I like to think of the making out as the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine (in this case, the important lesson about how even popular people need to be held accountable for their actions) to go down. In this book, there was a lot more sugar than medicine.
Eulalie When you say there is a massive explosion in Princess Diaries 9 does that mean like a romantic one or a real one?
megcabot HA HA HA! Good one. And BOTH!
hermoine Have you ever been a waitress like Katie was in the book?
megcabot Yes! For three days. Katie lasted a lot longer than I did. I admire her for that.
jj2015 What is Pants on Fire about?
janey It's about a girl who tells a lot of lies and gets into a lot of trouble with 3 hot guys and a beauty pageant. Its a romantic young adult comedy.
Texandreamer Do you enjoy photography like Katie does?
megcabot I never took photography! I have a good friend who is a photographer though, so I quizzed her at length about Katie's photography to get it right!
DrkShdwsByd Do you ever go onto the message boards and read some of your fan's writing?
janey No, Meg can't read fan fiction because all of her ideas need to be her own.
reader4meg Did you ever think you were going to be a writer? or was it just a hobby?
megcabot No, I thought I'd be an actress or an illustrator. I loved to write, but I never thought I'd get published. It took MANY years of rejection before I was, and many books before I made enough money to make an actual living at it!
susan This is sort of off topic but I really love the way you write about characters from other books in a new book. Like mentioning Kate Mckenzie and her eloping in Every Boy's Got One.
megcabot Well, thanks!
Pfefferminztea At your reading in Muinch you said sometimes, when you´re on holiday and don´t have to write, you just start another story - isn´t it kind of confusing to work at several different books at the same time?
megcabot Hi! And no, I never do that. I write one back at a time. When I'm on holiday, that means I've finished one book and have a break before the next one is due. So I'll write a new book in between.
jj2015 Are you going to write any children's books?
megcabot Yes, my first book for readers 8 and up will be out next March, it's called Allie's Finkle's Rules for Girls: Moving Day.
Lucy Why is it your dream to get banned?
megcabot Because all the best authors in the world have been banned!
hermoine My mom got freaked about the cover. She thought the book would have lots of sex in it! How did the cover happen?
megcabot I have no idea. But I'm glad it freaked your mom out! If there was a sequel, though, it WOULD have lots of sex in it. That's why there probably won't be one. I mean, how much sex can a girl write about?
pinkandyellow5 Was it fun to write about the first time katie and tommy kissed? ::smile
megcabot Of course!
MPC_WannaB15 Did you write it so Katie refuses to get a driver's license because, well,niether do you?
megcabot Ha! Well, partly...but also because she lives in a small town and there was no need for her to drive, especially since Katie's dream was to move to NYC where you don't need a car.
SK678 Which do you prefer? Working with a city setting like the Princess Diaries or a more rural setting like Pants on Fire
megcabot Hmmm...they're both fun!
Janine Are you going to write any more Princess Diaries books?
janey There are two more Princess Diaries books in the works.
reader4meg Do you think it's important to relate to your characters more then anything else?
megcabot I do think you have to know them well to write about them in a way your readers will believe.
Ren When you're finished writing a book do you ever miss the charactors?
megcabot Not if you feel satisfied with where you've left them, I find.
JChiz Are any of your books, other than the ones who already have, been asked to be made into a movie?
megcabot Yes, quite a few of them are actually in various stages of options or pre-production, like Avalon High and some others I can't name because I don't want to jinx it!
Sonali Do you get sea sick like katie does?
megcabot Yes, sadly!
reader4meg Were you a busy-body as a teen?
megcabot Totally!
Elaine I know this question is really off topic, but i really want to know the answer, is it true that Teen Idol will be a movie? Because I am a huge Teen Idol fan.
megcabot It's been optioned, there's a script, and the producer is just looking for a studio!
DrkShdwsByd What do you do when you have horrible writer's block?
megcabot I think that usually happens when there's something wrong with the story. I usually take a step back and work on something else for a while, or just watch TV or go on a bike ride or something totally UNwriting related. Usually the story problem will work itself out, and you figure out a way to fix it.
hermoine Did the bits about seaside tourists come from your experience living in Key West?
megcabot Absolutely!
MPC_WannaB15 Are you ever going to purposelly write a book that you KNOW is a sure-fire way to get banned?
megcabot Well...probably not. I mean, that sort of defeat the purpose. I want one of my books to get banned for the same silly reasons all books get banned.
Boothy I know you finished the Boy series, but do you think you'll ever go back and do another all email/IM/notes adult book again, after you finish the QOB and Heather Wells series?
megcabot I don't plan on doing one right now, but maybe someday.
tumblemedry Which do you findmore interesting to write? YA or childrens'?
megcabot Wow. They're both interesting challenges, but I'm going to have to say there is no kissing in children's, so YA is way more fun.
pinkandyellow5 Was it your idea for the design of the cover? The picture of the girl and the guy?
megcabot What? Heck no.
Janine I know this is a question that has nothing to do with the topic, but do you have two different mediator series?
janey No, perhaps you are confusing the UK and US versions? The UK versions have all different Titles.
Joanne Is the plotline of the story [Pants on Fire] based on any of your own, or someone close to you, [their] experiences?
megcabot The plotline about a guy coming back to town who may or may not want revenge is made up. The rest of it (the spray paint, the multiple boyfriends) did happen to me.
hermoine Is beeing a quahog like being a hoosier?
megcabot Exactly.
hermoine Do you like sports? A lot of your books seem to have an anti-jock theme
megcabot I am not anti-jock. I am anti-jock worship. My brother was a jock and I saw what jock worship did to him and it was not good. I was not a jock.
JChiz Where do you get the ideas for your paranormal books?
megcabot From inside my head.
Lucy Do you get to pick the actors in the movies based on your books?
megcabot Oh my goodness no. I wish!
reader4meg Will you update us on any movie deals -knocks on wood-?
megcabot Of course!
rheabt I read your online diary (having never read any of your books before) and really loved your energy/creativity. That led me to read your books, which I am loving.
megcabot Well, thank you!
Joanne Really random, but what do you eat when you're writing? Any specialities?
megcabot Yes, mainly cookies. Lately I really like Biscoff, which are a variety they serve on airplanes and I have to order online.
Pfefferminztea Was it coincidence that you named the main character in Teen Idol Jenny? I only noticed after a while, but Jennifer comes from the name Guinevere, and there was a lot of talking about Lancelot and Guinevere.
megcabot No, I got it from my cat, Jenny. It was also my pen name, Jenny Carroll.
hermoine What was on your playlist when you wrote this book?
megcabot I am pretty sure it was Fall Out Boy!
Aingeal Will you ever come to not famous countries like Sweden?
janey If she is invited, yes!
emsuniverse Do you have a favorite book that's been banned?
megcabot Well, I think To Kill a Mockingbird is the most common banned book, and it's also one of my favorites.
reader4meg Whatever happened to your book club? I never knew.
janey The book club and MegCabot.com were merged into one site.
SK678 Do you try hard to come with ideas for books or do they just naturally come to you?
megcabot Ideas are so hard to come by. I am so excited when I get a new one. I only get three or four a year, you know.
Ren How old were you when you figured out that you liked to write?
megcabot 7.
amee Do you have any new adult series or stand alones planned for after QoB and Heather Wells series end? Can you tell us what they will be in regards to more mystery like Heather or just the general chick lit like QoB?
megcabot I have one planned in my head, but I haven't started it yet, and it won't be chick-lit OR a mystery. I can't say anything more, but it's going to be VERY different.
hermoine The parents in your books are always pretty cool. Were your parents cool about boys and stuff?
megcabot My mom was sort of cool, but my dad was not! He would not let me go out with any boy until he came to our house, introduced himself, produced a point by point plan of exactly where we would be going and when we would be home,and showed my dad his car...needless to say, it was excruciatingly embarrassing! And it made a LOT of boys try to get me to sneak out.
tumblemedry Why did you pick the pen name Jenny Carroll and why did you need a pen name?
megcabot Because it was my cat's name and because I had multiple book contracts with multiple publishers and I didn't want to get in trouble with them for competing with my own name.
Eulalie What is Chick-Lit?
janey It refers to romantic books for women, like Meg's adult books, or Bridget Jones, Shopaholic etc..
luv24 Hey meg when will we see a summary/excerpt of Jinx?
janey Next week on MegCabot.com
admin-janey Meg, can you give a short explanation of how to invite you to a particular location for a book tour?
megcabot Well, you would need to ask your local book seller or librarian to contact my publisher (now it would be Scholastic) usually through their sales rep (if it's a book store) to request one. They would need to have planned an event (like a Princess Party or a mother/daughter book group something) and be able to guarantee a certain number of attendees. It's pretty competitive these days!
Eulalie What ages would you say YA covers?
megcabot It's 12 and up.
Manteli_-_Angela Meg, I like the direction that you are taking into the children's market. It's fun to be able to share your writing with younger kids. What was your inspiration for moving into the children's market?
megcabot Readers! Too many 8 year olds were coming up to me and going, "My mom let's my sisters read your books but not me! Could you write something I could read?" So I said, "Yes." So I am!
Aingeal Which is your favourite book and/or author?
megcabot I like Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.
rheabt How old were you when you were first published?
megcabot 30.
hermoine Are you a vegitarian?
megcabot Good heaven, so. I love meat. I wish I were one, but it's just too hard and I love hamburger too much.
Manteli_-_Angela I am 20 (soon enough), but I still read a lot of kids books, and I love seeing the author's put jokes in for adults/older readers, that would just go over kid's heads. Are there any little hidden things in your books?
megcabot Haven't you noticed? Please don't make me think I'm putting them in there for nothing.
Taren Is there any particular genre you can't imagine writing a book or a series in?
megcabot I used to say sci-fi but there's some sci-fi in a new series I'm doing so now the answer is...no!
pinkandyellow5 what does YA stand for??
janey Young Adult
hermoine Did the jocks in your town have a reserved booth in the restaurant?
megcabot Yes, darn them.
hermoine What is a twelve-top?
megcabot It is a table that seats 12.
rheabt How many hours a day do you usually spend writing?
megcabot About 5-6 with a lot of breaks for looking things up on the web.
reader4meg When is your next tour?
megcabot I actually don't know!
hermoine What do you think is better, to have one boyfriend for all through high school like Mia? or to experiment with boys like Katie did.
megcabot Hmmm. That's hard to say. It depends on the guy, I guess!
italian_pie I've been reading Thackery's Vanity Fair, and found parts of it similar to Nicola and the Viscount. Was Vanity Fair any inspiration for your own book?
megcabot No, because I never read it!
hermoine Were you on the school newspaper like Katie and Tommy?
megcabot I was the illustrator for my school paper!
Taren What are the constraints you personally have for YA books? Do you pick your own limits or are they already out there -like the MPAA rating guide for movies?
megcabot I'm not aware of any. I know they would prefer me not to use the F word because every time I do they take it out! But that's about it.
hermoine What book of yours comes out next?
megcabot Next up is QUEEN OF BABBLE IN THE BIG CITY on June 26, the sequel to QUEEN OF BABBLE (which is out in paperback now), and then AVALON HIGH CORONATION, The Merlin Prophecy, part 1 of the manga sequel to Avalon High on July 3, then JINX, my teen paranormal on July 31....then BIG BONED in November, and Princess Diaries 9 in December!
Eulalie Was there a Lana Weinberger in your life?
megcabot Not right now, thank goodness!
Lucy If your books are based on real-life events, do the people who witnessed those events along with you ever contact you and say things like, "Yeah, I remember that moment!"
megcabot Fortunately I must be pretty good at disguising them, because so far no one has recognised them!
rheabt Did you travel to England and France to write the Queen of Babble?
megcabot Yes, actually I did! I do try to research the real life places I write about to make them SLIGHTLY more realistic seeming.
Manteli_-_Angela I really like the Activist part of your website. Have you been surprised by all the things your readers do?
megcabot I haven't been at all surprised! I know how great you guys are about supporting causes, and just wanted to shine a spotlight on all the things you do! You guys are truly fabulous!
nutella How are you going to spend your holiday?
megcabot Why, I'm going to be writing more books for you, of course!
reader4meg What upsets you most about writing as a career?
megcabot Probably people who don't read!
Boothy In regards to Big Boned, has there been any rumblings of a title change yet? Perhaps to go along with the theme they've already got going (Size 12, Size 14, ...)?
megcabot No title change, and I even have the final cover! You guys are going to flip out when you see it, so I'm holding off showing it to you.
hermoine It was interesting how in this book that they guy was being bullied instead of the girl. Who do you think has in worse in high school, guys or girls?
megcabot I think girls do more psychological bullying, guys more physical. I don't know which is worse. With physical, it's over with sooner, so I think psychological is worse.
pinkandyellow5 Are you good at writing poetry, or playright too? or do you moslty like to just write books?
megcabot Nope, I mostly just stick to prose.
xXGeorgiaXx Did you evergo and ,accidently, kiss two other boys behind your teenage boyfriend, like in PANTS ON FIRE?
megcabot I didn't do it accidentally.
megcabot Well, that's about all the time we have for today! Thank you so much for coming today...and we'll have another chat next month about QUEEN OF BABBLE IN THE BIG CITY! THANKS!

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