Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Interview with Francine Pascal and book (and shirt) giveaway
**Giveaway is now closed**
For many of us, our love of Chick Lit started with the Sweet Valley High series. Well for those of you that have been missing Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, they’re back! Thanks to Ann-Marie Nieves from St. Martin's Press, we got to chat with author Francine Pascal just as her newest Sweet Valley book is hitting the shelves. We here at CLC are so happy that she stopped by and can’t wait to read “Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later!"
St. Martin's Press is giving away two books and one Sweet Valley T-shirt to some lucky readers in the US or Canada.
For more information on "Sweet Valley Confidential," visit the website and follow on Facebook and Twitter.
MP: What was your inspiration for writing the SVH series?
FP: Probably my own high school years. Remembering the excitement of that first independence, of running your own life at last. And then I just knew Sweet Valley High would have great appeal to everyone making her way through adolescence.
MP: What is your usual writing routine?
FP: I write four pages a day excluding weekends, holidays, dentist appointments and lunch dates.
MP: How do you like to spend your time when you are not writing?
FP: I love to read and I’m lucky enough to live in the middle of New York City and can walk everywhere. I love to play poker and see movies and go to the theater.
MA: Were any of the stories in SVH written based on personal experiences?
FP: All stories had a bit of me in them because “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
MA: Do you feel that the stories in SVH could still be applicable to teenagers today, or have you considered updating some of the books to apply to their interests?
FP: I think those stories apply today as well as twenty something years ago. Even though Sweet Valley took place before Facebook, Twitter and smart phones the experiences the characters go through are timeless:
heartbreak, love, tragedy, triumph...they never go away. And you can’t hide those things behind the mask of technology. I'd say that most readers would still relate to all of the characters; because let's face it: everyone knows a Todd and a Lila!
MA: Did you ever feel like siding with Jessica or Elizabeth or have you remained non-partial all these years?
FP: What a great question! Usually I am asked if I, myself, am more of an Elizabeth or a Jessica; to which I always respond: I'm an Elizabeth with some Jessica Tendencies so in most cases I did side with Elizabeth. That is not to say I don’t love Jessica. Ninety percent of the stories would exist with her.
MA: Which secondary character did you have the most fun writing about?
FP: That would definitely be Lila Fowler. She was just outrageous and totally spoiled. It was fun living in Lila's head! Unlike Jessica, she had no saving graces.
MP: Do you always know how a story will end before you start writing, or do you change the ending as the story unfolds?
FP: I know pretty much how it will end, but big changes happen as I write it and I allow them and sometimes they take me to totally unexpected places.
MP: I read that you split your time between New York and the South of France, what are your favorite things about each place?
FP: It’s the difference between city living and country living. France is very special and it’s always a challenge to live in another country, especially if that country is as magnificent as France. I’m in the south where the artists went for the beautiful colors. But I love New York where you have everything and don’t need a car to enjoy it. Both places have their wonderful aspects, but if I had to choose I would take New York. I’m a city girl at heart. And it is in my home country.
MA: What is your favorite memory from high school?
FP: The excitement of working on the school newspaper. Like Elizabeth I wrote the gossip column and got dumped in the pool when I was discovered.
Special thanks to Francine for answering all our questions and to Ann-Marie from St. Martin's Press for facilitating the interview and providing the books and shirt for the giveaway.
How to win "Sweet Valley Confidential" (or a shirt):
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page if you can receive messages there.)
1. Please tell us: When you were in high school were you more like Jessica or Elizabeth?
2. Please tell us: Which secondary SVH character is your favorite? (Ex. Lila, Bruce, Enid, etc.)
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
US/Canada only. Giveaway ends Sunday, April 3rd at midnight EST
For another chance to win this book, visit Chick Lit is Not Dead. Ends Friday at 6 pm PST.