After working for ten years as an assistant residence hall director at New York University, Meg wrote the Princess Diaries series, which was made into two hit movies by Disney. While over 25 million copies of Meg’s nearly 80 published books have been sold in 38 countries, Meg’s most proud of the letters she’s received from fans thanking her for helping them to overcome their "dislike of reading."
Meg Cabot (her last name rhymes with habit, as in "her books can be habit forming") currently lives in Key West, Florida with her husband and various cats.
Has being a writer for adults and children ever gotten you into any sticky situations with readers or their parents? When writing adult books, do you ever feel a responsibility to your teen readers in case they pick up one of your adult titles?
My responsibility as a writer is to entertain! I do that by staying true to the voices of my characters. Having readers who are Allie Finkle’s age (middle grade) reading at an 8th grade level (YA) and above (adult) is pretty common–I was the same way when I was a kid! This is something parents should be proud of! I know mine were. I wanted to read everything I could get my hands on. The worst thing a parent can say to a reader like that is "No, you can’t read that. It’s not appropriate." That only makes her want to read it more, and then she’ll sneak it, have questions, and the parent won’t be around to answer them.
Just the other day a foreign publisher emailed me to ask if it was OK if they could put WARNING: FOR ADULT READERS ONLY on one of my adult books because a parent had complained that she'd caught her teen daughter reading it. I just laughed and was like, "Really? So putting a warning on the book is the way this lady wants to solve the problem of the fact that she can’t communicate with her daughter?" Way to parent, lady.
My parents let me read whatever I wanted, because we live in a free country, and this is one of our constitutional rights. They just made themselves available in case I had questions. And I did! “What does this mean? Why did they do that?” My parents were just like, “Well, that’s something adults do, you can’t do that until you’re older, and when you do, you should blah blah blah.”
By not making a big deal out of it, it wasn’t