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Francine Pascal on returning to Sweet Valley

Author Francine Pascal on updating her iconic blond twin creations and the challenges it involved.

There are very few women in their 30s who haven’t heard of the Sweet Valley High series. The omnipresent pink paperbacks chronicling the lives and drama of Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, two blond “perfect size six” teenage twins living in the fictional world of Sweet Valley, Calif. sold in the millions in the ’80s. Now, 20 years and 152 books later, author Francine Pascal is taking the twins into their 20s in her new book “Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later.”

And although Pascal is 72, updating the girls into 20-somethings living separate lives in California and New York wasn’t much of a stretch.

“I went right into my head where I have it all,” she says. “I tried to envision the girls today, and it wasn’t hard.”

But what is difficult for some fans, says Pascal, is syncing their memories of a the high school version of Elizabeth and Jessica with the older twins of “Sweet Valley Confidential.” “They won’t allow Elizabeth and Jessica to change and become realistic adults,” she says. “So I ask them: ‘Are you really the same people you were in high school?’ And of course they aren’t.”

‘SVH’: The movie

Diablo Cody, the Oscar-winning screenwriter for “Juno,” is set to take the Sweet Valley High series to the big screen, something Pascal is excited about. “She approached us!” she exclaims. “It will be very ’80s — no cell phones and all that stuff. She writes with humor and heart, and I trust her because I could tell she loved [Elizabeth and Jessica].”


Follow Dorothy Robinson on Twitter at @DorothyatMetro.

 
 
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