Passion, Prose and Crying Princesses

Guess what I did this weekend?  You’ll never in a million years guess.  Probably because it’s not something any sane person would do.  I took a plane to Long Beach, got a room at the Westin and attended the Passion and Prose conference.  

I told you it’s not something any sane person would do.  But luckily it’s something ladies just like me would do.  Because the Passion and Prose conference was a gathering of romance readers and the writers who love them.  It was the perfect thing for this wannabe writer. 

Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of this event.  That’s because I was completely overwhelmed at the gathering of so many fabulous ladies.  But honestly, I really was there.  Here’s a picture of the back of my head.  I’m having a great conversation with the up and coming Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder.  Of of the many new books I brought home, Cinder is the one I’m most looking forward to.  Who doesn’t love a good retelling of Cinderella? 

Conversations with great writers was pretty much what the day was about.  In addition to walking around and mingling I got to sit at a table and chat with the very charming Tessa Dare and the warm and generous Judy Duarte.  There were also some amazing keynote speeches given by M.G. Lord, Gail Carringer, and best of all, Meg Cabot. 

M.G. Lord was the event MC and also gave the opening keynote during which she revealed that her name is Mary Grace.  M.G. Lord is actually not a romance writer but rather a well respected journalist and also an instructor at U.S.C.  I had a wonderful conversation with her about being a paralegal, the Mattel v. Bratz case and copyright issues when she signed my copy of Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll

Gail Carriger gave the second keynote.  Thanks to my new discovery of this best selling author, who was a hoot and a half, I will be reading the first of The Parasole Protectorate series, Souless.  As I told Gail during our lovely conversation, I’m looking forward to reading about non-sparkIy vampires.  

Meg Cabot was, of course, the main reason why I and probably 90% of all the other ladies came to this event.  However, unlike the other intelligent ladies, being in the presence of Meg Cabot took away my power of speech.  This probably has something to do with the fact that I am a huge Meg Cabot fan-girl. In addition to my current project of methodically reading every one of her books, I follow her Twitter feed and blog religiously and at times fake myself into believing that she is my imaginary BFF.  Clearly I am crazy. 

However, when I put my copy of The Princess Diaries in front of Meg Cabot to sign I tried to forget about all that.  Instead I said hello and introduced myself and even reached over to shake her hand.  Then as I began to recite the speech I’d prepared in my head (i.e.: “I love your work. Thank you so much for sharing your words with the world.”) my voice began to crack and tears welled up in my eyes.  I was crying in front of Meg Cabot!   

Luckily she smiled at me very kindly and pretended like there was nothing wrong with having a 40-something woman cry in front of her.  I returned the favor by shutting my trap and getting the hell away from her as soon as possible. 

A half hour later I sat quietly composed and listened to her amazing keynote during which she talked about, among other things, attending the Princess Diaries movie premier where she met Anne Hathaway who also cried in front of Meg Cabot.  So see?  I have something in common with Anne Hathaway. 

Now that I think about it, extreme sensitivity is a sign of royalty.  Remember the story of The Princess and the Pea?  That princess was so sensitive that a tiny pea hidden under 20 mattresses and 20 feature beds made her toss and turn all night.  Hmmm.  Maybe the reason why I cried in front of Meg Cabot is not because I’m crazy but because I too am a true princess. 

princess diaries meg cabot

6 thoughts on “Passion, Prose and Crying Princesses

  1. Mandy (The Romance Bookie)

    Oh Karen! That is so sweet! If I’m being honest here, I was SOOOOOO close many times, when ever I was near her. And Marissa Meyer! I don’t know what it is, but when I get EXTREMELY nervous I can feel the water works coming on. When Marissa first came to our table, I swear when she introduced herself, and I told “I know” my voice cracked! I was so nervous, that for a second I thought i was just going to bawl right in front of her!!

    And then when i talked to Meg same thing! So nervous, yet so excited! I came to the event thinking, “Mandy, this your chance! It might just be your only real chance! So you better take it and go with it! NOW!” And in a way that really helped!

    At the end when we were all leaving, since Meg was still at her seat, one table over, I told myself, say goodbye to her. So I went up to her, and said, “I just wanted say bye.” She gave me a hug, smiled, and said, “Mandy, right?” I was completely speechless for a second LOL. It was amazing! I ended up finding a picture on my phone that I had taken a few months ago, of my “Meg Cabot shelf”, which you can see here,

    And Meg smiled and said, “Oh my god, Mandy! That is so sweet!”

    Saturday was definitely a dream come true!

    I wish we could have met! It would have been really awesome to get to talk a fellow Meg Cabot fan :). If she’s again next year, (which probably not, but you never know), I’m hoping I can go again. It would be really neat and amazing to make this an annual thing :).

    1. Lady Jessop

      So glad you had such a great day Mandy and too bad we couldn’t hook up. Maybe at the next Passion and Prose. It sounds like it was a pretty successful event so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for another one.

  2. Allison

    What a great recap of this event! It was such a fun day, wasn’t it? I can’t wait to share all the cool stuff we recorded for the Authors are ROCKSTARS! podcast– including an interview with the fabulous Meg Cabot! I’m so glad you got to meet her. She’s totally worthy of idolizing, no? So stylish and talented and funny, and above all, genuinely nice.


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