‘Princess Diaries’ author talks ‘Size 12’ with fans
BY LAURA PAVIN For Sun-Time Media | @LauraPavinNews October 4, 2013 7:28PM
New York Times best-selling author Meg Cabot, who’s written more than 70 books including “The Princess Diaries” series, was brought in by the Vernon Area Public Library to speak about her most recent release, “The Bride Wore Size 12.” | Laura Pavin/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 6, 2013 6:02AM
Mirroring her cathartic writing style, New York Times best-selling author Meg Cabot found many humorous ways to relate to her audience of about 100 women Sept. 26 at Stevenson High School.
Cabot, who’s written more than 70 books including “The Princess Diaries” series, was brought in by the Vernon Area Public Library to speak about her most recent release, “The Bride Wore Size 12.”
Part of her Heather Wells Mystery series, the book tells the story of a former pop star turned curvy assistant dorm director at a prestigious New York college, where she tries to investigate a series of murders on campus.
Cabot told the crowd that her inspiration came from 10 years working in a college dorm, a time in which she went from a size 10 to a size 18 from eating cafeteria food every year.
“There are too many books where the character is a tiny little thing that gets picked up and carried around by a strong guy, and that’s never happened to any of us! We see it a lot on TV, though,” she said.
Aside from size, Cabot’s ability to relate with females of all ages is part of the reason why Buffalo Grove resident Tracy Wright said she has enjoyed the series.
“I find her writing very relatable,” said Wright, 44. “I’ve read all the books in the Heather Wells series so far. I’m reading the newest one now.”
For Wright and other Heather Wells fans, Cabot was able to break some exciting news during her visit. “The Bride Wore Size 12” won’t be the last book in the series, Cabot said.
Naperville resident Nicole Hammerstad, 36, said she’s been reading Cabot’s books since getting hooked on “The Princess Diaries.”
“In one of her books, she says something like ‘In the mall of life, you are the bargain basement,’ when she was talking about an ex-boyfriend,” Hammerstad said.
Before signing books and taking photos with fans, Cabot talked to the audience about growing up in Bloomington, Ind., where she developed a love for reading made possible by the library’s air conditioning.
Reading also provided Cabot an escape, which ultimately evolved into writing, she said.
But she didn’t study creative writing at Indiana University told her it would suck the love of writing right out of her.
She studied art instead, and hated it.
After moving to New York years later to be an illustrator, she ran into the guy again and told him how she had taken his advice. He told her he didn’t really mean what he said — and they later married.
Cabot eventually made her way back to what proved so therapeutic in high school: writing novels.
While it took her three years of sending out letters before she got an agent and another year to find a publisher, losing her dad during that time helped her overcome what felt like constant rejection.
“My dad’s death made me realize that life is short,” Cabot said. “If there’s something you want to do, then you should do it.”