Answers! (Part One: BOYS)

WOW. Thank you, everyone, for the fantastic questions. Your response made me so happy!

I’m answering them out of order, so I can group the related questions together. And because I'm rather long-winded, this will take a few posts. So no worries if any of your questions appear to have been skipped! I’ll answer all of them.

Please allow me to begin with THE EASIEST QUESTION:

Mariah asked:

Darcy or Rochester?

[Steph jumps out of chair and screams at top of lungs.]


Ah hem.

I absolutely, positively loved meeting Mr. Rochester during my Shameful Bookfest, and I tooooottallly understand the devotion of his fans (such as yourself, if I remember correctly).

I get this. I mean, I get this.

BUT . . .

The number one two* place in my heart will always belong to Fitzwilliam Darcy. Haughty and reserved, generous and kind, and completely smitten with the most intelligent woman of his acquaintance.

I'm hooked on Darcy for life.


Which leads rather nicely to jckandy’s question:

Why do you always rant about hot guys and HBMs when you're married? You are married, right? Or am I just shooting myself in the foot?

You may put down the gun! You’re correct — I am, indeed, married.

But here is THE SECRET about marriage: attractive people are still attractive once you get married.

It’s true. It's simply impossible not to notice them.

This is why it's crucial to only date/live with/marry people who are NICE. Someone understanding, who won't get jealous when you're like, "Mmm, Mr. Darcy." And this is why it's equally crucial to be nice and understanding in return when he's like, "Mmm, Audrey Tautou."

Jarrod's Celebrity Girlfriend

It must go both ways.

And because this is something I feel strongly about, forgive me for discussing this a bit further.

It's true that for the first few months (or years, if you're lucky) of meeting someone special, you forget the rest of the world exists. People like Mr. Darcy and the cute guy who works at Starbucks cease to register on your radar. ALL YOU THINK ABOUT is your significant other, and you can't FATHOM being attracted to anyone else, ever again.

But . . . this feeling ends. And it's actually a good thing! Can you imagine feeling that delirious and consumed for the rest of your life? You'd never get anything accomplished! (Plus, your friends and family and coworkers would hate you. I know mine were sick-to-death of hearing "Jarrod Jarrod Jarrod" every time I opened my mouth.)

This doesn't mean your special someone still won't be the center of your universe. Jarrod is most CERTAINLY the center of my universe. He is my favorite person EVER IN THE HISTORY OF TIME!


And here's the other important bit.

He knows it, because I tell him every day.

Maybe he'd have a problem with my Hot British Man fascination if I didn't tell him I love him the best. It's important to remind significant others how attractive they are and how much we love them! Otherwise they might think we are leaving them for that cute Starbucks guy. And that leads to broken hearts and/or cheating.

[Which, dear readers, is way completely uncool and if you are EVER cheated on, you dump that jerk IMMEDIATELY, okay?]

But the fact that you'll forever register certain people as attractive is the most important reason to marry someone you're also friends with. Because if your entire relationship is based on lustylicious** hormones, the marriage won't survive. Because those insane-in-love feelings WILL calm down (not disappear, just calm down), and then what will you be left with?

It'd better be a friend.

Best Friends

One last thing:

Knowing the people your significant other finds cute can actually be helpful. For instance, if early in our relationship Jarrod had shown interest in Pamela Anderson, I'd have known that it WOULDN'T WORK between us. I'll never be a Pam! But he likes quirky girls, and even though I'll never be as gorgeous as Audrey Tautou or as hip as Christina Ricci, at least these are women I respect.

You know?

Besides. Jealousy is silly.

Now, speaking of hotties, Natalie asked:

Just how many HBM's live at/visit your house? Also, is there room for me when I visit someday?

I am so glad you asked. Here’s the breakdown:

There is only one live-in HBM (Hot British Man), My Celebrity Boyfriend Chris Martin.

The One

The reason? Lifestyle compatibility! Not only is he super-nice and polite and funny, but he's also willing to wash dishes and feed the dogs. He bakes cookies and likes our favorite movies. And he and Jarrod can talk music geek FOR HOURS.

Unfortunately, he's on tour this summer, so we're only seeing him every few weeks.

(The house is empty without you, love! Come home soon.)

Official HBM Celebrity Boyfriends

Wee James McAvoy is a frequent house guest, as well as Jim Sturgess. They are both Official Celebrity Boyfriends. And Thom Yorke has been My Celebrity Boyfriend longer than anyone, but unfortunately we don’t see each other often, as he's vurry busy being Brilliant and all. (He also doesn't like crowds. And he's particularly wary of Chris.)

Matthew Macfadyen appears to want inside my house, but has yet to work up the nerve.

And I wouldn’t mind watching TV with Clive Owen, but he hasn't expressed an interest.

Official Non-HBM Celebrity Boyfriends

There are also several non-British visitors. Cillian Murphy (Irish), Lee Pace (American), and Gael García Bernal (Mexican) have all attended kilt parties here.

And Rufus Wainwright (Canadian) is totally My Celebrity Gay Best Friend.

Take a moment to admire his fabulousness.

As for the second half of your question, OF COURSE there’s room for you to visit. There will always be a place for you in my home!

You may just, er, have to share a bunk bed with someone.

[This = KEY to having Several Celebrity Boyfriends and a regular-sized house. Many, many bunk beds. They also each have one drawer for personal items. Except Chris, naturally, who received his own dresser for his last birthday.]

Begy asked:

do you mind if your book is read by a guy? and how do you think about guys who read your book (or blog)? because, you see, i'm a GUY! i'm just wondering... ;D

Begy, I will WORSHIP you if you read my novel.

I’ll be over-the-moon ecstatic when anyone expresses interest in my book! Male, female. Teen, adult. Gay, straight. American, international. Any race, any religion, any anything, and my jaw will drop to the floor like I’ve just won the Pulitzer.

YOU: I read your novel.
ME: Reeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallly? You DID?
YOU: Yeah, it was great! [Okay, I’m taking liberties here. Forgive me.]
ME: Please allow me to wash your feet and feed you bon bons.
YOU: Er.
ME: Can I sign your book? Do you need another copy? For a friend??
YOU: Um, isn’t Meg Cabot around here somewhere? I’d better run, before I miss her—

So you see? I already think you’re amazing just for asking the question. And I’m thrilled and honored by everyone who reads this blog.

Especially when the posts are this long.

(More answers coming soon!)

* = Numero Uno is Jarrod, of course

** = Thank you, Kiersten — and Evie, for the vocabulary


  1. not even joking, i wish all authors acted that way when you met them. most of the time it feels a bit awkward if the reader isn't initiating good conversation. still love them all though. :)

  2. Thanks for the HBM rundown! I'd lost track and didn't want to steal any of yours:) Also, I will gladly share bunk beds with any of said visitors.

    Also, loved your answer to the married question. Married ≠ Person Goes Blind. I'm just going to ditto that whole thing. So. True.

  3. I adore you.

    That's all.

    Also, I noticed a certain word from Evie's vocabulary in this post, and it made me very, very happy : )

  4. I have to agree that Darcy will always be the best.

    As will Chris Martin.

  5. Did I mention that reading your blog makes smile? And laugh. There's a lot of that, too.

  6. mimilee — Yeah, unfortunately those conversations are always bound to be a little uncomfortable. But I don't think it means the authors appreciates/like us any less! I've read on several of their blogs (Neil Gaiman, Meg Cabot, etc) that they understand our nervousness (which, let's face it, leads to the awkwardness) because they get nervous when they meet authors they admire too! So even if it feels weird, it's actually okay :)

    Natalie — Oh, you can totally borrow my boyfriends! I'm already sharing most of them. (Gael is a new dad, Thom is with this super-smart Dante scholar, James McAvoy is infatuated with Kiersten, etc.)

    Kiersten — Ack! I meant to give you credit for that! I just added it to the bottom of this post :) I was totally snickering as I wrote it. Hadn't even realized it had officially entered my vocabulary!

    Mariah — Darcy and Chris! Swoooooooon. Gusty sigh.

    Sarah — Thank you very, very much! That makes me so happy :)

  7. Oh my goodness, I'm cracking up. Never having been to your actual house, I realize that I actually picture it filled with bunk beds and cute celebrities, with little flashes of movement among the trees that might be Matthew McFadyen!

    As for your thoughts on marriage and all-consuming lust, etc, I'm trying to picture Bella and Edward ever NOT smoldering at each other. ha ha!

  8. Oh, you didn't have to credit me! I really was so happy!! But thanks : )

    I watched Becoming Jane last night, and...


  9. Oohhh. Steph, I didn't get to ask you questions and I DESPERATELY need your advice! so i ask them NOW.

    first: what is your best pie recipe for attracting the HBMs to your house?

    and: if i traded you an ice cream, would you let me read your book? every one else is asking to read it as well, but i figure i have an edge because i have ice cream.

  10. You are so funny. I just realized I picture your house with lots of bunk beds and HBMs too.

    And I love being married (11 years) to my best friend who isn't jealous of anyone. I LOVE that about Ben. So I agree with you too.

  11. egad. Is the Scarecrow from Batman Begins really your hbm? I'll never understand girls.

    I do get why those other fellas are just boyfriends and your hubby is your hubby. They're all brooding so hard, trying to be mysterious. Your hubby is the only one with an honest-to-goodness smile. And it's a GREAT one. In fact, it matches yours. Thus marriage. Can you imagine being married to a brooding aloofer?

    Ok, one of the guys is smiling, but not as big as your stud muffin.

    Great answer!

  12. i second chris martin. gotta love those brits (PS my hubby is one :)

  13. Laini — Well, now you have to visit, so you can see that is what my house looks like.

    Kiersten — It's been AT LEAST three months since I've seen that movie. What's my problem?!?

    Lexi — No problemo! I added your questions to my to-answer list :)

    Myrna — Woo hoo! Hurrah for 11 years!!

    BJW — HA! Cillian Murphy IS my most questioned boyfriend. Half of my visitors agree that he is way seriously creepy. (He's actually quite lovely in person.) And you're right about the brooding — much more alluring when you don't have to live with it. Good thing I'm married to Mr. Smiley!

    Shelli — I'm trying not to be jealous.

  14. Oh and myrna, great job on marrying a ben. I hear they bear good names. And they're loyal. And teddy bear-ish.

  15. you know what? you are now my favorite author already!

    as for meeting you and meg cabot in a book fair, i would REALLY work my a** off to get both of your signatures! that is, if i finally make it to States all the way from Indonesia (which is something i've been working on)!

  16. Begy — And YOU are now my favorite reader ;) Where in Indonesia are you?

  17. like rochester is any competition to darcy! i mean really...
    one must ask darcy vs. heathcliff, now thats difficult :)


  18. LOL I just found your blog. Hey, amazing. I know you posted this in 2009 but the comment board is still up. So I beg to ask, why isn't Richard Armitage on your HBM list? He is number one on mine. LOVED your book BTW, I am going to jump for joy when the next one comes out.