Two years take place between the first and the ninth novel of Princess Diaries (14 to 16). However, in the last novel, Mia is already 18. Is here any reason why you decided to skip those years? Surely your fans could love to know what happens in them. Are you going to write anything that takes place during that period?
I have! It's a novel called "Ransom My Heart" by Mia Thermopolis that Mia wrote during the eighteen months between books 9 and 10. It's been published here in the US, and all the author proceeds go to Greenpeace.
Princess Diaries 10is partially about Mia's struggles to get the book published. Readers who are interested in reading the book Mia worked so hard on during the months during which she wasn't writing in her diary can purchase copies and contribute to helping the environment, helping Mia's (and my) favorite cause!
As many of The Princess Diaries novels were published after the movies, he characters talk about them (which, by the way, is quite funny). What do you think about the movies?
I love them (well, not Princess Diaries 2 so much, because it's not based on the books, and nothing that happens in it happens in the books. But it's still cute)!
I love Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway, and thought they were perfect in their roles. I, like Mia, think of the movies and the books as two different Princess Diaries universes though. One is very cute (Disney's), and one accurately portrays Mia's life (mine)!
Mia usually includes lists in her diaries: the cutest guys in high school, her favorite actors, Drew Barrimore movies… Do you agree with the contents of those lists?
Well, I'm not a teenaged girl anymore, so I don't totally relate to her lists (it would be scary if I did). I'm also not a vegetarian. Mia and I have some things in common, but not EVERYTHING. I do like most of the same things she does, though (except vegetables)!
It’s a little bit difficult to make this question without spoilers for Spanish readers (who have only read the first two books of Princess Diaries) but, have your fans complained about how the relationship between Mia and the Moscovitz siblings evolves?
Oh, yes! Endlessly. All I can say is, you have to keep reading. Readers tell me the reason they like my books is because the characters remind them of real people...and real people grow and change, and aren't always easy to get along with. Especially over a four year period, which is how long the Princess Diaries books take place during. (They're based a little bit on my own relationship with my best friend and highschool boyfriend, so I can vouch for their authenticity).
Do you think the success of Princess Diaries have made the publishing of other novels easier? Did you find any difficulties in getting Princess diaries published in the first place?
Like most authors, getting my first novel published was terribly difficult! It took three years of rejection just to get an agent, and then another year after that to get a publisher. And getting The Princess Diaries published was no different.
It's always hard for new authors to get their books published--but once they get that first book in print, it usually gets much easier.
Some of your books have fantastic elements, whereas others take place in the real world. What do you find are the advantages of writing one or the other?
Even though some of my books have supernatural elements like ghosts or ESP, I'm always careful to make sure my heroines react to them the way a normal girl, not some incredibly brave girl, would.
I think that's why readers like them--they can really picture themselves in that situation, because the characters behave exactly as they would. So to me there really isn't a difference in writing a paranormal book or a comedy...my characters react the same way I would, whether it's a boy asking them out, or a guy trying to kill them!
Your novel Pants of Fire has just been published in Spain, and we’ve found the main character is quite the opposite of Mia: she gets good grades, she is popular and she dates more than one guy. Whom do you think our readers feel closer to? Do you think you books have any influence in the behavior of the girls who read them?
I have to laugh every time I hear someone imply that girls are so impressionable that they're going to read a book and immediately go out and behave like the characters in it. That's so silly! Girls--especially girls who read books--are smart, not stupid! They read to be entertained, just like adults.
And just like adults, they aren't going to be influenced by the authors they read, but by their upbringing. That being said, I get as many requests for sequels to Pants on Fire as I do for more Princess Diaries books.
Only Pants of Fire, the first four novels of Princess Diares and your short story in Prom Nights From Hell have been published in Spanish. Do you know if any of your other books are going to be translated into Spanish?
I guess that's a question for my agent to answer! So I'll pass it on to her.
Hello! This is Meg's agent. Actually, a few more of Meg's novels are or have been available in Spanish. They are: QUEEN OF BABBLE (Planeta), SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT (Planeta), THE BOY NEXT DOOR (Planeta), BOY MEETS GIRL (Planeta), EVERY BOY'S GOT ONE (Planeta), NICOLA AND THE VISCOUNT (Ediciones B), and VICTORIA AND THE ROGUE (Ediciones B). If you'd like to read more of Meg's novels, including the remaining PRINCESS DIARIES books, encourage her Spanish-language publishers to get busy!
Do you like to read the kind of literature you write (YA)? Is there any author you’d like to recommend?
I do! I love books by Sarah Dessen, Tamora Pierce, Rachel Vail, Judy Blume, JK Rowling, Cecily von Zeigesar, and Michele Jaffe.
How can you have time to read, keep an online diary, write as fast as you do AND have a normal life outside of literature (as you surely do, at least to take ideas for the books)? How long does it take you to write a novel?
Well, writing is a job, just like any other. I do it from 9-5 (more like 10-6) every day. If you do anything that much, it gets done.
Plus, I took typing in high school so I type 80 words a minute! I didn't want to take typing, but my mom made me. She was pretty sure with my grades; I was only going to be able to get a job typing for someone as a secretary. She was sort of right--I do type for someone...myself!
El Templo de las Mil Puertas by El Templo de las Mil Puertas is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento-No comercial-Sin obras derivadas 2.5 España License. Based on a work at www.eltemplodelasmilpuertas.com