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.

95 comments:

Kat said...

I was definitely more like Elizabeth, but sometimes she seemed too good. :)

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I only read the Sweet Valley Twins series, and it was so long ago that I don't really remember anyone but the twins. The name Lila Fowler was one I recognized though, so I'll say she was my favourite.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

Follower of the blog.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

Posted contest on FB.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

Member of CLC.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Teresa said...

I was more like Elizabeth for sure!

teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

Teresa said...

I am a follower.

teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

edmontonjb said...

I was more Elizabeth for sure.

dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

edmontonjb said...

I follow with GFC as edmontonjb

dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

Brittany Roshelle said...

Elizabeth all the way :-)

Loved the Sweet Valley Series and I'm so excited for this giveaway. All my sisters are doing to die when I tell them there's a new book out!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Brittany Roshelle said...

Lila is my fav since it's so funny to read!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Brittany Roshelle said...

I'm totally a follower of this blog!!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Brittany Roshelle said...

Tweet! Tweet! at BrittRoshelle on Twitter

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Brittany Roshelle said...

I added the giveaway to my wall on The Write Stuff on Facebook!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Brittany Roshelle said...

I'm a member of Chick Lit Central on FB!!

askbrittanyroshelle at gmail dot com

Melissa said...

I was definitely more of an Elizabeth in high school.

thefeministtexican AT gmail DOT com

faithspage said...

I was closer to being an Elizabeth

kyfaith AT aol DOT com

faithspage said...

I follow

kyfaithw AT aol DOT com

faithspage said...

Posted on my FB wall

kyfaith AT aol DOT com

faithspage said...

Like CLC on FB

kyfaith AT aol DOT com

faithspage said...

Lila was a favorite

kyfaith AT aol DOT com

Taren said...

I'm a follower of this blog and I can't wait to read this book!!

taren_evans@hotmail.com

Jenna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenna said...

1. I'm sad to say it but I was a total Jessica in high school. I was just as shallow and manipulative and only cared about boys and clothes. It took losing someone I loved in the most tragic way to find the Elizabeth in me. And while I still retain Jessica's fabulousness, I'm glad to say I've ditched the shallow and started focusing on whats important. I'd like to think I'm a combination of both of them. Best of both worlds!

2. I love Bruce. He's arrogant and totally unapologetic. I love how he just blurts out what no one else has the guts to say. Definitely not boyfriend material but he made for great reading!

3. I'm following your blog as of three minutes ago.

4. Posted it to my twitter which can be read here: http://twitter.com/#!/JenniferBlachly

5. Joined and left a comment on it saying I did. My FB is under my pen name, Jenna Brennan, in case you want to look it up.

My email is jennifersblachly at gmail dot com.

Thanks for this contest!

Nova said...

i follow the blog; sparkle40175@hotmail.com

Nova said...

i am a fan on chick lit central on facebook: sparkle40175@hotmail.com

Jonita said...

I was definitely an Elizabeth in high school- afraid to take risks with my nose buried in a book!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Nova said...

i think i was more like elizabeth...
sparkle40175@hotmail.com

Jonita said...

I was always a Bruce fan.....so intriguing!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I am a Facebook member.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I am a follower through GFC.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I have posted this in my sidebar at http://book-chic.blogspot.com.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jennifer said...

1. I was such an Elizabeth. I was (and still am) a writer just like her and also wrote for my school newspaper. In addition, most people probably would have called me conservative and boring just like Jess often called her sister!

2. Lila was fun. She had the hot clothes, the hot car and the total It-Girl at SVH. How could you not have a blast following her antics?

Jennifer
writergirl104@gmail.com

ADR said...

I was an Elizabeth who wanted to be a Jessica.

adr52775 at aol dot com

ADR said...

I loved reading about Lila.

adr52775 at aol dot com

ADR said...

I follow the blog

adr52775 at aol dot com

ADR said...

I follow on Twitter

adr52775 at aol dot com

ADR said...

I follow on Facebook

adr52775 at aol dot com

chey said...

I was more like Elizabeth. It's a long time since I read the books and I can't remember the secondary characters.
chey127 at hotmail dot com

chey said...

I follow by gfc.
chey127 at hotmail dot com

Allison said...

I was more like Elizabeth... most of the time.

allison_macadam@edu.yorku.ca

Allison said...

My other favourite character was Enid.

allison_macadam@edu.yorku.ca

Snitz said...

Definitely more like Elizabeth...
snitz76 [at] gmail [dot] com

Snitz said...

I had the Sweet Valley High board game and always demanded that I was Lila because I had brown hair and thought she was the prettiest.

snitz76 [at] gmail [dot] com

Snitz said...

Already a follower

snitz76 [at] gmail [dot] com

Snitz said...

already follow on facebook!

snitz76 [at] gmail [dot] com

Katie said...

I was Elizabeth, through and through.
makingfoodandstuff AT gmail DOT com

Katie said...

I have to go with everyone else, Lila was great laughs!

makingfoodandstuff AT gmail DOT com

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I so enjoyed reading this interview!!

I was definitely more like Elizabeth growing up! :)

Amber_johnson2004 at yahoo dot com

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Choosing a secondary character is a little tough... I am going to have to go with Enid, because people like Todd and Lila get on my nervews! ;)

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I Tweeted! :)

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I'm a fan on FB :)

Heather said...

Definitely Elizabeth!
ra6352 (at) gmail (Dot) com

Heather said...

Secondary character would be Lila!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a follower!
ra6352 (at) gmail (Dot) com

Heather said...

I shared on facebook!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a member of Chick Lit Central!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Jencey said...

Jencey Gortney
jenceyg@msn.com
I will post on my blog and on facebook. I am also a member of chicklitcentral.

I was between an Elizabeth and Jessica.

I would definitely be friends with Enid or Robin.

Lisa said...

I was Elizabeth, lisapeters at yahoo dot com

Lisa said...

I'm a follower lisapeters at yahoo dot com

Lisa said...

I liked Bruce lisapeters at yahoo dot com this brings back memories

shanaelyse said...

I was absolutely Elizabeth; I was brainy and wrote for the school newspaper. That said, I longed to be Jessica, with the fashion know-how and cute guys surrounding her. Come to think of it, I would still like to channel more of my inner Jessica...

shanaelyse@gmail.com

shanaelyse said...

I loved Lila; she was painfully mean, but driven.

shanaelyse@gmail.com

shanaelyse said...

I'm a blog follower on GFC and google reader.

shanaelyse@gmail.com

chaneen said...

I was definitely more like Elizabeth.

antimony[at]gmail[dot]com

chaneen said...

Like a lot of other people, my favorite secondary character is easily Lila.

antimony[at]gmail[dot]com

Wendy said...

I was more like Elizabeth in school. One of my fave secondary characters was Regina Morrow. So sad when she died.

gh_bbfan[at]yahoo[dot]com

Michelle said...

I was definitely an Elizabeth. My fave secondary character was Enid. :)

missmichb(at)gmail(dot)com

Michelle said...

Following the blog

missmichb(at)gmail(dot)com

~Enamored Soul~ said...

When I was in High School, I was definitely more like Elizabeth. I had a love for writing, I wrote for my school paper, and being an only child - I was definitely the "sensible" kid! lol :P

Thank you so much for hosting this amazing giveaway!

Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I really liked Todd Wilkins - he seemed like such a charming, sweet and understanding guy. Although, I guess, later on in his life (now), he's the guy that cheats! :(

I also used to have a thing for Winston Egbert - he was the nerdy/geeky/funny guy in the crowd, and although that never got him much play with the ladies, I always had a soft spot in my heart for him! :)

Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I'm a GFC Follower: Enamored Soul

Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I tweeted the giveaway:
http://twitter.com/#!/inluvwithbookz/status/53792993408335872

Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

Nicole T. said...

I was more like Elizabeth!! lol

nicole(at)todd28(dot) com

Nicole T. said...

I read the SVH books SO MANY YEARS ago that I don't remember secondary characters. ENID is the only other name I remember so I will say Enid.

nicole (at) todd28 (dot) com

Nicole T. said...

I am a follower of CLC:The Blog!

nicole (at) todd28 (dot) com

Nicole T. said...

I retweeted your tweet about this giveaway. (@joanzenn)

nicole (at) todd28 (dot) com

Nicole T. said...

I follow Chick Lit Central on Facebook (Nicole Turnwall)

nicole (at) todd28 (dot) com

ArtsyBookishGal said...

I was an Elizabeth, though not as goody-goody, but I wanted to be a Jessica. I can't deny who I am.

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

ArtsyBookishGal said...

Fave secondary character? I always liked Elizabeth's pal, Enid. She was such a kind soul. I really didn't like BRUCE. I thought he was a jerk.

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

ArtsyBookishGal said...

I'm a follower! GFC: ArtsyBookishGal

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

ArtsyBookishGal said...

Posted on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ArtsyBookishGal/status/54528147005259776

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

ArtsyBookishGal said...

Member of CLC on Facebook (Amy Sondova)

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

Kassidy said...

I was definitely more like Elizabeth.
sydb06(at)hotmail(dot)com

Kassidy said...

My favorite secondary character is Bruce Patman.

sydb06(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jane Doe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kassidy said...

I follow this blog.

sydb06(at)hotmail(dot)com

Kassidy said...

I posted this contest on twitter @sydb06

sydb06(at)hotmail(dot)com

Kassidy said...

I am already a member of Chick Lit on Facebook.

sydb06(at)hotmail(dot)com

Nancye said...

I was more like Elizabeth in high school.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I always liked Enid.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://tiny.cc/swnno

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I joined Chick Lit on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Laureen said...

I was a Elizabeth!

laureennguyen(at)gmail(dot)com