Last week, I took a trip to New York to meet with people from St. Martin's Press and several of my fellow Sweet Valley bloggers. It was, in all seriousness, one of the coolest days of my life. Figuratively. Literally, it was effing hot.
My partners in crime trickled in: YA author (and Fearless editor!) Micol and I were first; Emily from 1bruce1 joined us; then Lillet from The Gloss, and Sarah of Smart Bitches. And there we were! In addition to a host of St. Martin's folks and marketing peeps, we were graced by the presence of Dan Weiss (the only man in the room), producer of the original Sweet Valley books, the TV show, and cohort of Francine Pascal. Who, by the way, "really wanted to be [there] but is in France for the summer." Whoa!
We were presented with t-shirts (at first, we were ALL team Elizabeth, then the tables started to turn), "Double Love" compacts, and (eeep!) FIRST CHAPTERS OF THE NEW SWEET VALLEY BOOK. Top-secret, still in draft form, and mildly earth-shattering. And this new book, called Sweet Valley Confidential was totally written by Francine Pascal, unlike the other Sweet Valley books (which were merely painstakingly outlined and thought up by Pascal, then ghost written [by "Kate William?" No.]).
What's Sweet Valley Confidential? It's a Wakefield-addict's wet dream, if you'll excuse the phrase. It's something I came to St. Martin's ready to suggest if the meeting had been about anything else. It's the story of the most famous Sweet Valley denizens, 10 years later.
What can I tell you about the book? Very little. The first chapter left me desperate for more, if only to resolve the intense drama presented therein. The twins are 27, it's 2010, and (as Dan so aptly summed it up) Elizabeth is NOT a virgin. (Emily noted that we already knew this, as Liz lost it unceremoniously to a Brit during the Elizabeth series). It's written for our demo. And it's coming out, in hardcover, in March of 2011.
In the short term, expect some really neat perks for fans, and a Facebook group. If you haven't already, start watching the 1bruce1 boards and follow @sweetvalley (me!) on Twitter. It looks like the Sweet Valley insiders (OMG! That's me!) will be teaming up again before the book is released. I hope so. But my fondest wish is that the popularity of this book will warrant a series that will put the Twilights of the world to shame. And Francine, you don't really want to write all those books, do you? I'll gladly take over. I think you'll find I'm something of an expert. :P