Are you a Jessica or an Elizabeth?

April 1, 2011

Sometimes in this job, you end up with phone numbers for people you would never have expected to have a conversation with, if only because you weren’t sure if they were a real person and not just a publicity hoax dreamed up by a publishing company. But early in March, my inner 12-year-old could barely contain her excitement as I dialed the phone number of the legendary Francine Pascal, creator of Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield of Sweet Valley. She was delightful and funny and we talked about everything from her Sweet Valley musical to how she had never even been to southern California when she first pitched the series. My story about Francine is in the National Post today.

You really shouldn't let brunette children read these books.

Sweet Valley Twins was my first introduction to the Wakefields, and I remember going to The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (a wonderful children’s bookstore that started my lifelong obsession with bookstores) in Yorkdale Mall when I was 7 with my neighbour friend SJ and our moms to buy Best Friends, which I proceeded to devour in about an hour and a half. Obviously, I was an Elizabeth. (SJ was a Jessica, naturally.) I was already obsessed with the idea that I probably had a secret twin that no one had told me about, and these books only exacerbated my twin obsession.

Anyway, now I so have to go put on my gold lavaliere and meet Bruce Patman at the Dairi Burger for lunch. Have a great weekend!

One Response to “Are you a Jessica or an Elizabeth?”

  1. seenonflickr Says:


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