As many Sweet Valley High series fans know, the hit YA books (and multiple spin-off series) were primarily written by ghostwriters. The Hairpin interviewed one of those writers, Marijuanamerica author Ryan Nerz.
During the interview, Nerz named several successful teen writers who had also worked on the series. This group includes Gossip Girl author Cecily von Ziegesar (editor), Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants author Ann Brashares (editor) and Soho Teen editorial director Daniel Ehrenhaft (ghostwriter).
When asked if he had ever met Sweet Valley author Francine Pascal in person, he answered: “No, Francine Pascal was always like the voice of God from afar. She would occasionally chime in on little things saying, ‘No, Elizabeth would never do this.’ ‘This tone doesn’t really work for me.’ ‘This is too risqué.’ Blah blah blah. She would kind of consult from afar. I never met her.”
Nerz theorized that Pascal never wrote a single Sweet Valley novel. Before the release of 2011’s Sweet Valley Confidential (a novel which follows the lives of the Sweet Valley characters as adults in their late 20’s), Pascal gave an interview where she stated that she was “having kind of good time” writing that title.
Recently, St. Martin’s Griffin digitally-released the final book of the adult series, Sweet Valley: The Sweet Life. This series chronicles the lives of the Sweet Valley characters as 30-year-old adults. A hardcover edition of the first Sweet Life book will be published on October 30th.