Friday, January 11, 2008

You Asked .... about Meg Cabot

Sarah W. asked the following:

Meg Cabot is my favorite author, if I could ask her three questions they would be: How do you get the commitment to write a book? How do you get your ideas for books? How did you learn to write?

Tricia answers:

I wish I had Meg's number so I could call and chat. But ... I did find your answers Sarah, by going to Meg's website:

These answers come from her website!

What inspires you to write?

Meg: The same thing that inspires you to breathe. I can’t help it.

Where do you get your ideas?

Meg: Much of what is in my books is taken directly from my own diaries that I kept when I was in high school ... I still have them, though I am the only one who will ever be allowed to read them. I am only using the selective bits that won’t incriminate me.

What advice do you have to give to aspiring writers?

Meg: My advice to young writers is:

Write the kinds of stories you like to read. If you don’t love what you’re writing, no one else will, either.

Don’t tell people you want to be a writer. Everyone will try to talk you out of choosing a job with so little security, so it is better just to keep it to yourself, and prove them all wrong later.

You are not a hundred dollar bill. Not everyone is going to like you … or your story. Do not take rejection personally.

If you are blocked on a story, there is probably something wrong with it. Take a few days off and put the story on a back burner for a while. Eventually, it will come to you.

Read—and write—all the time. Never stop sending out your stuff. Don’t wait for a response after sending a story out … start a new story right away, and then send that one out! If you are constantly writing and sending stuff out (don’t forget to live your life, too, while you are doing this) eventually someone will bite!

It is nearly impossible to get published these days without an agent. The guide I used to get mine was called the Jeff Herman Guide to Agents, Editors, and Publishers. It was well worth the money I spent on it, since it lists every agent in the business and what he or she is looking for. It also tells you how to write a query letter, what to expect from your publisher, and all sorts of good stuff...a must buy for any aspiring author!

And above all, become a good listener. In order to write believable dialogue, you need to listen to the conversations of the people around you—then try to imitate them!

Good luck, and keep writing! If I can do it, so can you!

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