Life as a Writer, Disney World Cast Member, and
Big Sister through Foster Care & Adoption
Welcome back to Taylor Talks!
Ready for some huge news? Okay, maybe not huge for you, but huge for me... I met one of my favorite authors, and writing idols, Meg Cabot!
A while back, I happened to notice that Meg Cabot was going on tour to celebrate the release of her newest book, "The Boy Is Back." As I usually do, I followed her link to find out more about the tour, more out of curiosity than anything else. Imagine my surprise, however, when I noticed that the location for her October 18th book talk was at a library just twenty minutes from my house!
Now, let me get you up to speed on the off chance that you do not know who Meg Cabot is, aside from being my favorite author. She has written countless books from children's chapter books to Young Adult and even adult fiction as well. Some of her books have even been turned into movies! She has written numerous book series, as well as stand-alone novels, and I have loved her writing for as long as I can remember. The first series of hers that I fell in love with was, of course, "The Princess Diaries" series, but I have continued to love each of her books that I have been lucky enough to get my hands on. If you want to find out more about her books, you can just visit Meg Cabot's website.
I do need to tell you something about my reading habits before I continue... I was a senior in college and still reading, exclusively, YA books. I had no interest in moving up to adult fiction until Meg Cabot published the eleventh book in "The Princess Diaries" series, "Royal Wedding." Why? Because though the entire series had been aimed at YA readers, its main character was now entering adulthood, and therefore, so was the series itself. When "Royal Wedding" was published, I decided to take the plunge and continue following the series, and I was thrilled that I did so. It was just as wonderful as the rest of the series had been, and there was nothing scary about moving up to the adult fiction section when I was moving there with an author, and characters, who I loved.
When I found out that Meg Cabot would be coming to a local library, I knew that I had to take the plunge once more and begin reading the series for which she would be touring. The first book in the series arrived at my home just days ago, and in just two hours during breaks at work, plus a little more time sitting in the car, I finished the book. It was captivating. It was funny, romantic, so true to life... It had everything that I could want in a story and more. I was thrilled that I was able to read it in time for the book talk tonight, and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
My sister offered to take the drive with me tonight, and to take pictures should the opportunity arise to meet Meg Cabot face to face, and I was glad to have the company. I have started introducing my sister to some of the books that I have been so fond of in the past, and although she too has loved the books, I don't think that she has quite as much respect for them as I do. I think she just needs more time to discover all that they hold for readers.
Well, my sister and I headed out this evening, and I could barely contain my excitement. She kept laughing at me; my knee was bouncing, I kept sighing heavily with this deep sense of energy, and I kept trying to go over what I wanted to say if I had the chance to meet Meg Cabot one-on-one. And before I knew it, we were at the library.
Unfortunately, when we arrived, we discovered that the information that had been posted online had been incorrect... we had missed twenty minutes of discussion. I was heartbroken, and I almost didn't go into the room for fear of looking ridiculous since my favorite author was already standing in the front of the room speaking. But I pushed my anxiety aside and we went in, found two seats near the front, and I listened as the woman who I have admired for years continued to talk just a mere four feet away from me.
Though we missed the beginning, we got to hear Meg Cabot speak for almost an hour. It was one of the best hours of my life. Not only was I listening to my favorite author, which as a reader was incredible, but I was listening to a woman whose writing style I have admired since starting to work on my own writing skills. I was hearing information that I was sure would be able to help me in my own endeavors as a writer, and I couldn't help but smile as I took it all in.
After the speaking portion of the evening was over, everyone lined up to get their books autographed and to get pictures taken. I was thrilled to see that I would be able to get a moment, and decided to remain seated until the room had mostly emptied out. I didn't want to feel rushed in my time with such an incredible woman, but my worries were soon put to rest when I saw that each person who approached the signing table was given plenty of time to speak, take pictures, and get autographs.
Do you know the feeling you get when you love someone's work so much, whether they be an author, an actor, or singer, and then you see them in an interview for the first time? That feeling when you're holding your breath, waiting to see if the person is as good as the work, or if you're going to be disappointed? I was so scared that I had looked up to Meg Cabot for so long and the reality of meeting her wouldn't live up to the fantasy that had been building in my mind.
Actually, the reality was even better.
Alright, so when I first realized that it was my turn to meet her, I froze for a moment. I silently handed over my book and smiled oddly before composing myself and moving forward with the conversation. But the rest of the meeting went beautifully!
Everything that I wanted to speak about completely left my mind in the moment, but I was absolutely thrilled to get to speak with this incredible author. I told her that I'm just starting out on my writing journey, and that meeting her was even better than the day that she followed me on Twitter. I thanked her for speaking about how she takes personal experience and puts it into her writing, because that's what I have been trying to do and it was good to hear that this kind of thinking helps the writing process. I even told her what I was writing about and she said that it sounded like a book she would like to read! I couldn't believe it!
I obviously chose to have my copy of "Royal Wedding" signed tonight, because reading it was such a milestone in my life. If I had been able to think clearly when speaking with its author, I would have explained that this was the first book I had read outside of YA.
Upon telling Meg Cabot about this blog and asking her if she had any advice that I could include in this post, she told me that she would encourage all beginning writers to just never give up; I had read on her website that she had tried to get an agent for her first book for three years before finally succeeding, and look at where she is now! I certainly can't give up anytime soon after reading that! Plus, I was also given some personal advice after explain what I was writing about, and I thought that it was so sweet of her to take the time to speak to me like that.
If I had been able to remember exactly what I wanted to say upon meeting my favorite author, I would have told her that I love her books because they draw the reader in immediately. You feel like you're part of the story, and you can't wait to turn the page and find out more. You hate to tear yourself away at any time because you just need to finish the next, no the next, no the next page. The books are written in such a way that you feel like you're just witnessing a conversation between two friends, not reading a very proper sentence written for the pleasure of a sophisticated reader. The books are down to earth and after tonight I learned that the author is the same way.
Tonight, I met one of my favorite authors, and writing idol, Meg Cabot. It was one of the most incredible moments of my writing career thus far, as it has given me a new outlook on the journey I have ahead of me. I know that there is a long road for me to follow, and I cannot even imagine having the kind of success that Meg Cabot has been able to find in life, but I know that I can accomplish something amazing with my writing. Maybe in the future, my favorite author will have the opportunity to read my book, and I can thank her for the advice that she gave me one October night in a library in Florida.
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My family has been doing foster care since I was three years old. I'm the only biological child in my family, though I now have five permanent siblings. Having nineteen siblings over the course of my lifetime has been an incredible experience, and I'm hoping that by sharing some of the ups and downs of being the only bio kid in a foster family, other foster families or people looking into doing foster care will be able to learn a bit of what life can be like. I also like to share what life is like on my journey to becoming a published author, as well as where my schooling and career choice are taking me.