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Posted 26 September 2009 - 12:10 PM

megcabot  Welcome everybody to the Big Boned chat! Thanks so much for coming! Let's get chatting about Heather!
jojo How many books are there in the Heather series?
megcabot I am planning on writing one more book at least in this series--I think you can all guess what it's going to be about!
louisethecheese Is Heather based on anyone you know?
megcabot Hmmm--Heather is mostly based on me. Although I'm not quite as brave as she is. I would really wait for the police to come before I'd confront a suspected murderer!
jojo Where did you get all the ideas that didn't relate to you?
megcabot Wow, I don't know. Ideas come from everywhere. You should check out my On Writing video I've posted on my YouTube page! I talk about where I get my ideas! (hint: Not the idea store)!
mitzikittenbabe What inspired you, Meg, to write Big Boned?
megcabot Truth? I hated one of my bosses soooo much I used to fantasize about walking into work one day and finding him dead. This whole story was made up based on that fantasy. I wouldn't have been sorry for it to have happened, he didn't end up being nice like Owen. He ended up getting fired for being a jerk!
mitzikittenbabe Did you always want to be a writer?
megcabot No, actually. I never even dreamed that would be possible so I tried to set more realistic goals like being a social worker or an illustrator! But I always HOPED I would be a writer. I always loved to write.
Mags Meg, what is your process for creating a story? It seems like you are able to whip out new books very quickly!
megcabot Ha, well, I know it must seem like that, but these are books I've been planning in my head for many years (Big Boned is actually a book I've been planning for 12 years, just with different characters). Once I get the chance to write them, they are so planned out in my head, the typing part goes pretty fast, it's just like telling a story to a kid at bedtime.
starprincess98 Hi Meg!! This is so exciting! Are you feeling better? I hope the surgery went well. I had my first surgery this summer and I remember how scared I was, but it turned out fine. :)
megcabot Hi, thanks so much! Yes, I feel okay, I'm on a lot of painkillers, so sorry in advance for any typing errors!
Sailorgalaxy Is Heather modeled after anyone? Like, for example, Britney Spears?
megcabot Yes! In fact, I was thinking of her when I first planned the series years ago! What if Britney lost all her money and got fat! I never dreamed Britney would turn out the way she has.
amee Can you tell us more about why Cooper suddenly proposed to Heather right after they had got together? It seemed strange that it happened so fast. Was it just because he knew he wasn't the rebound guy anymore?
megcabot Actually, it was more because he realized if he didn't act fast, he knew Heather was going to get snatched up by someone else. I guess he was counting on her being still so besotted with his brother she'd never move on...but she moved on fast! So he knew it was time to make HIS fast, and make it permanent, or risk losing her.
Mags Can I have Cooper, please?
megcabot Ha! Sorry, he's mine. He's completely based on my husband, who doesn't know it, so don't tell him.
reader4meg Hey! I was wondering, in the end, why did you have Cooper and Heather immediately go for eloping? Was it just so the audience can scream, "FINALLY!"
megcabot Yes, and also so I would have something fun to write about in Book 4--a wedding! Although, I'm sorry to say knowing Heather, I doubt there will be an elopement since she's already started inviting everyone she knows.
starprincess98 Meg, why was the cover of someone (Heather?) in a wedding dress? It was kind of misleading...
megcabot I know. I was the evil person who made them put the wedding veil on the girl. I just wanted to trick you all. It was my fault.
Sailorgalaxy Hi, Meg! Will Heather and Cooper ever have kids?
megcabot Hmmm, you will have to keep reading!
louisethecheese Are you writing any other books at the moment?
megcabot Yes, right now (well, not at the moment because I'm recuperating) I'm working on Princess Diaries 10!
emilytang Did you have a hard time making up the lyrics to her songs?
megcabot Yes, I'm not good at poetry/song lyrics, so I had my husband write most of those, because he's VERY good at that.
agatka72 Dearest Meg first of all I am very happy you feel better. Big boned is awesome.Are you planning any tours for the big boned or PD?
megcabot Thank you! And no, I'm not, fortunately, since I'm going to need some down time. I'll be doing some "cyber" touring though, so you can visit me on the web. I'll keep you posted!
starprincess98 Do you already know who the murderer and victim are going to be in the 4th book?
megcabot That is the one thing I don't know yet!
emilytang Did you use your own experiences for the book or was it really exaggerated?
megcabot A lot of it was real (all the work stuff) but the murder of course was not real. The stuff about the newspaper game was totally real. I actually had to do that at work once. Tom is a real person who was on my team (and we won).
IAmTheREALPrincessx33 Has there been any talk about a Heather Wells movie?
megcabot HA HA HA! Yes, stay tuned, I am not allowed to say anything yet.
Mags Meg, as someone who works in a Higher Education Housing Administration, I appreciate your attention to detail when it comes to operating a residence Hall (not a DORM!). How long did you work in housing?
megcabot Thanks, and my condolences (kidding). Also, I worked there 10 years (8 bosses).
shreena.dhawan Have you ever solved a mystery yourself?
megcabot Not a murder mystery, but lots of "who put the cow brain on the elevator" type stuff while I worked in the dorm.
stepheniemeyerfan where did you get the term BIG BONED?????
megcabot Well, big girls are often called Big Boned in America. My mom was considered "big boned" growing up because she's a big lady.
stepheniemeyerfan I looooooooved big boned!!!!!!!!! Do you ever feel the pressure of staying thin?  As a celebrity and all :)
megcabot Ha, well, yes, I think all girls feel that pressure, especially when they see photos of themselves in magazines and stuff. But it's completely ridiculous, what's important is being healthy!
admin-janey Meg, at the beginning of the book, you explained who Garfeild is, is that not common knowledge anymore?
megcabot Well, the books are published in 38 countries so I do like to help out the readers in, say, Thailand or Sri Lanka, who might not be as familiar with American comic strip characters (although maybe they are, I don't know).
shreena.dhawan Is Jordan based on anyone famous?
megcabot No comment!
emilytang Your husband is a PI?!
megcabot Ha, no! I just meant his personality/looks etc.
reader4meg Since you base a few of your characters off of real people, have you ever met a Muffy Fowler, or the Reverend?
megcabot Yes, but they are more meldings of a lot of different people. I think for a second my publicist at HarperCollins thought Muffy was based on her! I had to assure her she was NOT!
SarahE7191 How long do you usually have a book written before it goes on sale to the public?
megcabot It takes about a year from when I turn the book in for it to appear on shelves.
penny Meg, Heather was being encouraged to side with the strikers.  Do you have sympathy for labor unions?  What do you think about the writers strike?
megcabot Well, I'm always for the little guy against the big corporate drones! And yes, I'm a member of the WGA, so technically I'm on strike right now (for screenwriting).
penny Do you think that is better to be fat and happy, or should you try to get healthy?
megcabot Well, I know a lot of people who would technically be termed overweight who are perfectly healthy (fine blood pressure, healthy heart, etc), so I don't believe that being over what is considered a healthy BMI is a death sentence. Many studies now show there is a lot of leeway with that. Obviously, you want to eat healthy (most of the time) and get some exercise.
Mags When can we expect the next Heather Wells book? I'm not sure if you know this, but the Hollywood Writers are on strike, and I could use something to read...
megcabot Ahhh, thanks, well, I need to write some other books in my new series coming up with Scholastic first, but then I'll get back to Heather! So, soon, but not too soon!
Natsoula When did you discover that you were such a talented writer? Do you ever lose interest in a book you are writing?  I'm a really big fan of yours! I've read all of your books!!! They were all great!!!!!!
megcabot Hi, well, I don't know, I wrote all the time but I didn't get published until I was 30. I did start and finish A LOT of books before I found some that held my interest enough to get to the end. It just takes patience (and a LOT of rejection letters)!
reader4meg Why did you have so many bosses when you were working at the residence hall? Did you say "eight is enough"?
megcabot Well, it's a tough job, and they all kept either getting promoted or quitting! And I did say "eight is enough"--because Tom told me to!
hannahmontana Meg Cabot, were you really a geek in high school?
megcabot Yes, I was. I read all the time, and wrote books instead of partying. I was a class A geek (but...I did make out with a lot of boys. I don't know, I somehow found time for that).
shreena.dhawan I know a lot of young girls are trying to be thin and all that. Do you find that these books have an effect on them to realize they're perfect the way they are?
megcabot I hope so!
IAmTheREALPrincessx33 Why wasn't the third book titled something like " "by the way.. size 16 is not that big" ?
megcabot I don't know, but that's good!
hannahmontana Meg Cabot, do you stand in front of a green screen for those youtube videos?
megcabot Yes, I did!
agatka72 I am from Poland and I did not know who  Garfield is until I have moved to US. So I am sure some of the fans in other countries may not know. In Poland we had Reksio, he was a dog. So thanks.
megcabot Well! There, see! Thanks!
starprincess98 Have you reread Big Boned and found any mistakes or things you wished you could've changed?
megcabot No, no, mistakes, but I often find bits I wish I could rewrite. But it's too late now. That's why I try never to reread my books once they're out!
shreena.dhawan Are you thinking about writing more mysteries? Because I love your books and all the characters!!
megcabot Thank you! I think mysteries are the hardest books to write of all. You have the romance plot AND the mystery plot to handle...it's just so difficult. I do have a mystery in my new book AIRHEAD which will be out in June, and it was quite hard to handle. I do think in whatever new adult series I do, it will have a mystery plot as well. But like I said, it's VERY hard.
Sailorgalaxy I loved when Tom was marking down the "tragics" in his day runner at the meeting. Did someone you know do that?
megcabot Oh, yes, the real life Tom did it. We were very irreverent.
penny Where did you get the idea of the wedding china? That was so bizarre to me that people have really expensive dishes
megcabot OMG totally true. I was shocked.
mitzikittenbabe what kinda exercise do you think is best - cardio vascular or yoga?
megcabot Well, I am very lazy so I like slow bike riding and slow swimming.
L0vEarTh Are any of your close friends vegetarian? Is that how you have so many interesting (and true) facts about being vegan and vegetarian?
megcabot Lots of my friends and relatives are vegetarians. It's very challenging to cook for them (for my husband--I don't cook!)
bookworm The new series your working on, is it a teen series?
megcabot Yes, all my new series right now are for teens, but hopefully I'll be doing an adult series as well! I just have to write it!
IAmTheREALPrincessx33 Those youtube videos are beyond funny! How do you come up with all those ideas?
megcabot Well, I will tell you the truth: I was really sick and drinking a lot of cough syrup! Don't tell anyone!
IAmTheREALPrincessx33 Any hints you MIGHT wanna give about pd9? i am dying to know!!!
megcabot Good segue! Thanks! Yes, Princess Diaries 9 is out in less than two weeks, everyone! It is totally rife with romance, intrigue, and drama! Princess Mia does some growing up in it--in more ways than one!
megcabot OK, I have to go now because I am totally beat--but thanks so much for coming to the chat--you guys are the best and I look forward to chatting with you again on January 20 about Princess Diaries 9! Happy holidays and talk to you again soon! Love, Meg

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