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Happy Book Birthday to Lauren Morrill and Meant To Be!

Were you following along with the Meant to Be blog tour? Check out the full interview Lauren did throughout the tour collected below as well as a BONUS QUESTION answered by Lauren and members of the PLL staff about their first MTBs.

In Meant to Be, Julia dreams of travelling back in time and meeting Shakespeare. What author, alive or dead, do you dream of visiting?

I want to have dinner with JK Rowling, partially because Harry Potter is so freaking unbelievable, but also because she’s sassy and strong. I’d love to get her perspective on writing and on life.

Julia is always carrying around her pocket Shakespeare. If you could have a convenient pocket-sized version of any books, what would it be?

Can I cheat and say a pocket version of all the Jessica Darling books in one? I’ve read that series through twice, and I’ve loved it every time. Megan McCafferty perfectly capture that snarky, funny voice, and then aged it up through Jessica’s life. I loved growing with her. In fact, it might be time to read it again…

Julia has irrational (or is it?) fear of geese? What’s your silliest irrational fear?

I just moved from Boston to Georgia, and the biggest change has been the ROACHES. People down here call them “Palmetto Bugs,” which is cute and all, but let’s be real. They’re giant monster bugs that are roughly the size of velociraptors. They scare the living crap out of me. They don’t really bite, and I”m about 7 thousand times their size, but nothing will send me screaming out of the room faster than finding one in my house. Ack!

All good romantic comedies have a couple that just can’t get along. Who is your favorite opposites attract couple?

Veronica Mars and Logan Echolls. OMG I could watch THE SCENE (you know the one…) a million times, and would probably still squeal every time. I just love their snarky banter! Logan is my favorite bad-boy-turned-sort-of-good.

In Meant To Be, Julia has an embarrassing incident when she has trouble walking in heels. What’s your favorite embarrassing moment that you’ve ever had that makes a great story now?

I am of the mindset DENY DENY DENY, so I always try to forget my embarrassing moments … otherwise my over-active imagination will have me reliving them forever!

Julia is obsessed with The Beatles (and who could blame her?) What’s your all-time favorite band?

Here’s an instance of life imitating art: The Beatles are my all-time favorite band as well! When I was in college, I took an entire course on them (Z401: Music of the Beatles, for anyone at Indiana University!). Most of the references in Meant to Be come from that class, and I even thanked Professor Gass in the acknowledgements to the book. Some of the references are really from my own life. I walked down the aisle to Here, There and Everywhere, which was Julia’s parents’ song.

In Meant to Be, Julia’s best friend Pheobe is a total contrast to her. Was your high school (or current) best friend just like you or a contrast like Pheobe?

A little yes, and a little no. My bestie Sarah was a lot more organized and put together than I was. She was a little more quiet, while I was loud (and a little obnoxious!). She was a much better student. But we bonded over our love for Lilith Fair-era singer songwriters, books, and long philosophical conversations.

In Meant to Be, Jason is always chewing purple bubble gum. Do you have a signature snack?

Up until recently, I would have said a can of Coke, but my doctor recently informed me that I need to nix it on the caffeine. Sad day! I’m going to have to work on a new signature…

Julia’s teacher is crazypants. Who has been a memorable teacher in your life?

I had a teacher in high school named Mrs. Freeman. She taught senior AP English and an elective called Senior Inquiry. She’s maybe five feet tall, but she was tough and strong, so some of us called her, “The Tallest Woman in the World.” She had this amazing way of inspiring you to like things you really want to hate (*ahem* James Joyce). I actually still have my notes from her class in a folder on my bookcase. I also thanked her in the acknowledgements to Meant to Be.

BONUS QUESTION: Who did you think was your first ever MTB? Names may be changed to protect the innocent.

Lauren Morrill: I really believed, circa 5th grade, that if I could just meet Jonathan Taylor Thomas, he would fall in love with me and we’d be together forever.

Lauren Oliver: When I was in fourth grade, I was convinced this guy named Eric was my MTB. I wanted to write him a love letter confessing my undying devotion, but for whatever reason I also wanted my mom to send it in the mail. So I told my mother that Eric had broken his leg and that we were all required by the teacher to write letters to him at home, thinking she would simply pop my true confessions in an envelope, address and stamp it, and send it off to my happily-ever-after. Unfortunately, I’d neglected to consider the fact that it was a small town and my mom was pretty good friends with his mom–who was extraordinarily confused when she received a phone call from my mother, inquiring about Eric’s broken leg. The truth came out, my mom threw out my letter, insisting that I would thank her later, and I threw myself on the bed, sobbing that I would never love another man. Fortunately, that lasted only until fifth grade, when I found a new MTB.

Lexa Hillyer: When I was four, I had this friend in pre-school named Josh. We were both too cool for everyone else (aka giant nerds)–I think he may have been afraid of the playground, or maybe he just had a crush on me, but for whatever reason, we would hang out and “talk” during recess while the other kids ran around climbing slides and eating leaves or whatever it is you do when you are four. By talking, I mean we had what I thought at the time was “witty banter” involving little word games and riddles we’d make up. Things like saying “choo choo” at the end of your sentence was the same as saying “times infinity” because it meant you were putting your statement on a train and sending it off. So then you would automatically win the argument. Or another of our favorites that began when we were eating lollipops one day was adding the word “pop” to the ends of other random words. Again this was entertaining because we were four. Things like “couch pop!” Cue laughter for several minutes. Then “tree pop!” And so on. It was a competition to see who could think of the funniest thing to add “pop” to. Fast forward: Josh moved to Florida with his family and I completely forgot he existed, which is how things go when you are little. A few years later, I think I was around 7, and I hadn’t realized that our mothers had stayed somewhat in touch until my mom told me she got a call from Josh’s mom. I was like, “WHO?” and then got really embarrassed because she said “and Josh wants to talk to you.” So she put me on the phone with Josh, and he said, “Hey I have a present for you” and I was like “WHAT?” and he was like “Coconut pop.” Because, you know, they have coconuts in Florida. And also because he was OBVIOUSLY IN LOVE WITH ME SINCE PRESCHOOL AND WAS MY MTB!!!!! I then went on to mull over this for years, without ever seeing Josh again. To this day I kinda want to find him and be like “Hey. Small Business Owner in Brooklyn–POP!” But, pop goes his heart, because I’m married to someone else now and have already found my real meant to be.

Beth Scorzato: I had a couple crushes on boys when I was little, but the first boy that I felt truly, madly destined to be with came in high school. He was a year younger than me and the complete opposite of the guys I usually went for, but for some reason he started talking to me one day and I fell head over heels. I even broke up with another guy just because I wanted to be available in case he ever decided he felt the same. I almost got to live the MTB dream when on our own school trip (not to London, unfortunately) we got “back of the coach bus” close and I thought for sure it was finally happening. Then we got back from the trip and he stopped talking to me. But I wouldn’t give up! I was pretty much the definition of desperate. I did all kinds of things trying to “hint” at how we were so totally meant to be together, mostly via extremely obvious status messages on instant messenger. When that didn’t work, I, being the kind of girl who actually took dating advice from my mother in high school, tried trading him my old AP US History book for a date and was pretty summarily shut down in the middle of the school cafeteria. Ultimately it should be no surprise that this relationship did not work out. But in a moment of karmic justice he later had a huge crush on one  of my friends who rejected him for a date by telling him she had to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. So all’s well that ends hilariously I guess.

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