Creator Francine Pascal tells PEOPLE what to expect from Sweet Valley Confidential

By Cara Lynn Shultz
Updated March 30, 2011 05:00 AM
Credit: Ben Asen

Put on your lavaliere necklace, hop in your Porsche (with the “1BRUCE1” license plate) and head on over to the Dairi Burger, because Sweet Valley High‘s own Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are back!

Only this time, they’re not the close-knit 16-year-olds from a sleepy Southern California town.

In Sweet Valley Confidential (in stores March 29), the long-awaited continuation of the Sweet Valley High series, Jessica and Elizabeth are now 27 years old – and bitterly estranged. Onetime Oracle editor Elizabeth has moved to New York to pursue her dream of being a reporter, and formerly fame-hungry Jessica is back home in Sweet Valley.

“Something has happened,” cautions author Francine Pascal, “something very serious” to break apart the twins’ relationship.

The old familiar faces of Sweet Valley – the “stars” of the series, as Pascal says – will also be making appearances, but they won’t be what you expect.

“They are quite different. They are the same people, but grown up in ways that I hope you won’t have expected, yet will be honest to the character. If you look back now, you will see seeds of the adult [in the novels].”

Still want more of those irrepressible Wakefield twins?

Future Sweet Valley Confidential books are “a possibility,” Pascal says – and a Sweet Valley High movie, written by Juno and Jennifer’s Body scribe Diablo Cody – is also in the works.

“She loves those books, and so I know she’s not going to corrupt them, but she’ll make a good story,” says Pascal, who hints fans of the book may be in for more of a flashback than they realize. “I suggested she keep it in the ’80s – texting and cell phones and computer stuff changes everything very much. You wouldn’t write those stories today that I wrote in the ’80s and early ’90s.”

That should suit fans of the series just fine; after all, Jessica and Elizabeth aren’t the only ones all-too-familiar with acid-washed jeans and slouchy socks.

“More than ever I run into people who have been Sweet Valley readers, grew up with it,” adds Pascal, whose first Sweet Valley High book debuted in 1983.

“It seemed to have been a very important part of their adolescence and I’m very pleased with that, so I was thinking of them. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could see what happened to these people who grew up with them, to see where they went? It seemed to be closure in a way.”