If you are female and in your mid-twenties, you have read Francine Pascal. I know I sure did. Francine Pascal is the creator/author of the Sweet Valley series and most recently, 'Sweet Valley Confidential'. Francine was nice enough to answer a few questions for this little blog! Enjoy!
A Bit About Francine Pascal: (info/photo taken from Goodreads)
Francine Pascal is an American author best known for creating the Sweet Valley series of novels. In 1982, she created the characters and the stories for the first six books and her agent, Amy Berkower of Writers House sold them to Bantam Books. From then on, she wrote the stories for every book ever published in the series. She now divides her time between homes in New York and the south of France.
More information on the Sweet Valley series can be found on the official website.
The Q and A Session:
After 27 years, Sweet Valley is still going strong. When you first started this adventure, what were your plans? Did you expect the series to take off as well as it did and spin off into so many different series?
Francine: Of course I hoped that the series would resonate with a lot of young readers but I definitely didn’t expect it to be as successful as it became. The truth is that adolescence is eternal and transcends generations. And also pretty much the same all over the world. Sweet valley tapped into all of the major events of teenage life: love, heartbreak, tragedy, friendship, family… That's why Sweet Valley sold in twenty-five different languages- it relates to everyone, everywhere. My hope for that series was certainly fulfilled!
Did you always want to be a writer or is it something you fell into?
Francine: I never wanted to be anything else but a writer. My brother was a successful playwright and it showed me that being a writer didn’t have to be a fantasy, it could be a real career for me.
Of the Twins, which one would you rather be best friends with? Why?
Francine: I love both girls in such drastically different ways. I would say that I was more of an Elizabeth with some bad Jessica tendencies. I definitely have the same morals and work ethic that Elizabeth does, but I’m also quite social, like Jess, and I’m also a bit of a procrastinator. I won’t reveal any of our shared bad tendencies, as I’d like to keep all of my fans! So to answer the question: I’d rather be best friends with Liz and keep Jess at a distance
If a writer wants to create a grand universe of books, like you did with the Sweet Valley line, what advice would you give them?
Francine: It’s very difficult to give how-to advice to writers. The best advice is to keep a daily journal and keep writing all the time.
I read on Wikipedia that you were helping create a Sweet Valley High musical. Is that true? Is it still in development?
Francine: There was a time when a Sweet Valley High musical was in the works. I was collaborating with David Bryant from Bon Jovi with the music and it was off to a great start… unfortunately, as with most other works of theater, it doesn't always pan out. Maybe the timing was wrong.
I'm big on television (both writing and watching!). What is on your DVR right now?
Francine: Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, 60 Minutes, The Good Wife and almost everything on PBS.
Any messages for your fans?
Francine: I hope you liked Sweet Valley Confidential – Ten Years Later. It wasn’t easy to take all those fabulous characters from the Sweet Valley High series and bring them into adulthood, but I tried to capture a reality and bring in some twists and turns you weren’t expecting. Too bad about Spoilers trying to vandalize your pleasure. Hope you didn’t let them ruin the surprises.
I know it was a little difficult for some of you to leave that safe cocoon of a fantasy world, but you have to admit you aren’t the same people you were at sixteen. Nor would you want to be. It’s the same for Elizabeth and Jessica; they’re adult now and real life isn’t as easy as high school.
I'd like to thank Ann Marie and Francine for allowing this interview. Check out my review of 'Sweet Valley Confidential', and check back March 5th for information on how to win a copy for yourself!