Thanks for submitting your questions! 'Queen of Babble' author Meg Cabot took some time to answer the questions that I forwarded to her about the book. And here are her replies -
We asked - What sparked her interest in vintage/how old was she when she had her first "vintage encounter"?
Meg says - I fell in love with vintage after seeing the movie DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, which to a small town girl in Indiana was a very eye-opening experience. I decided then and there I was moving to the Village in New York City after college graduation, and that I would wear bustiers over my clothes. My mother was horrified when I started buying "used underwear," which you could only buy in a shop owned by "a homosexual" over the local punk record store. I used to trade the owner--my gently used Levis for his silk smoking jackets etc.
We asked - Does she wear vintage herself and if yes: which is her favoured vintage item/which are her favoured items in her own wardrobe?
Meg says - I don't wear my most treasured vintage finds anymore because they're too small--I'm a bit larger than I was in high school and college--but I still have them. My best find was a size 2 black suede Chanel jacket I found in a thrift shop for one dollar. It actually fit me and I wore it for years until finally...it no longer fit me. But I still have it. My second favorite is an exquisite silk pink cocktail gown from the fifties--no label, but I found it in an attic in France, all wadded up (this was actually the inspiration for the wedding gown in QUEEN OF BABBLE) around a filthy rifle. I was never able to fit into it because it was so small, but I did get the stains out, and I do still have it. It's lovely.
We asked - What was her aim in writing this book and in which way does she feel she is personally contributing to World literature?
Meg says - I feel that there aren't enough books out there about girls who can't keep a secret, talk too much, and collect vintage clothing. Because, truthfully, I'm just writing about myself. Don't tell anyone!
We asked - I see there is another Queen of Babble book coming out, does Meg have an idea of how long the series will continue, and where does she want to take the charactor of Lizzie?
Meg says - Absolutely. In Queen of Babble in the Big City (out on June 26) Lizzie moves to New York City to pursue her dream of become a vintage wedding gown restorer, with surprising results (not to give anything away, but...she's a hit). In the third book, which I'm working on now, QUEEN OF BABBLE GETS HITCHED, Lizzie starts planning her own wedding...but just WHO she's going to marry (and what she's going to wear) is a surprise...maybe even to her.
We asked- Where did she come of with the cleaning tip of using tartar sauce to clean the Givenchy gown?
Meg says - It's actually cream of tartar, not tartar sauce, and I got this tip from my dry cleaner in New York City. He is really an artist with stain removal. I have never actually encountered a stain he hasn't been able to get out. I have stained clothing in my home in Florida and waited for a year until I got back to NYC in order to take it to him to remove because I don't trust any other dry cleaner, and truthfully, I would much prefer to leave it to him and than try it myself. He was the inspiration for the professional wedding gown restorer Monsieur Henri in QUEEN OF BABBLE in the BIG CITY and QUEEN OF BABBLE GETS HITCHED.
Thank you Meg for taking time from your busy schedule to answer our questions. Thank you to Eva, Jen and Rosalita (jump a little lighter) for submitting the questions that were used.
The paperback version of 'Queen of Babble' is available now