‘Sweet Valley High’ author

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 19, 2001

to speak at Troy State this Friday


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If you have never wished you could attend Sweet Valley High, then you’re probably 30-something or older.

Anyone who experienced their teenage years during the 1980s lived those

years vicariously through Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, identical twins, who were the main characters in the Francine Pascal’s "Sweet Valley High"

juvenile series that has sold more than 120 copies worldwide and has been translated into 20 languages.

The "Sweet Valley High" books, which now include Sweet Valley University editions, continue to be popular today among teens and preteens.

A new volume appears each month.

On Friday, the author of the popular series, which has grown to more than 200 volumes, will speak to Troy State University students as part of a special visit to campus.

Pascal will discuss her writing career during a 9 a.m. appearance at the Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor and the public is invited to attend.

Pascal will also attend a special showing for area high school students of the TSU production of "Hello, Dolly!" at 10:30 a.m. Friday in the Claudia Crosby Theater. This special performance is made possible through a partnership with Troy State University and the Pike County School System with support from the Alabama Council on the Arts and Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts and Sikorsky Support Services.

Pascal’s brother, Michael Stewart, wrote the book for "Hello, Dolly!" and she will address the students at intermission of the musical.

Dr. David Dye, dean of the college of communication and fine arts at TSU, said Pascal’s visit represents a unique opportunity for the TSU community and fans of her work.

"It is truly a special privilege to have such and accomplished, internationally-known author as Francine Pascal share her experiences and her legendary writing career with our students and the Troy State University community as a whole," Dye said. "Perhaps her greatest success has been her ability to encourage legions of young people around the world to read."

By her own admission, Pascal said she can’t remember the titles of many of her novels and, instead, refers to them by number.

To keep up with such a prolific publishing record, she provides about a 15-page plot summary with character descriptions and jobs out the volumes to a team of writers.

In addition to the "Sweet Valley High" series, Pascal has written eight novels and collaborated in writing the book for several Broadway productions, including "Mack and Mabel" and "George M."

Pascal has dual residences in New York City and southern France which is also home to Nall, Troy State University’s artist-in-residence. The two are friends and she is visiting the TSU campus to help celebrate Nall’s birthday.