So, my novel is, of all things. Sweet Valley High fanfic. My sister Jenny and I are obsessed with SVH. We never read them when we were the age they're aimed at, being literary snobs at the time, but when I was about 18 and Busta J was about 15 we discovered their cheesy delights. They are comedy gold, people. Comedy gold.
So I decided to write a Jacqueline Susann style camp melodrama populated by the SVH crew, all grown up. i am pretty sure this will only amuse me (and Busta J), but if you've ever read the SVH books, you might enjoy...
She wouldn’t call herself a diva, exactly, but she certainly was a star. Ever since she’d won a competition to guest star on her favourite soap opera, all of America had known her name. She was America’s sweet heart, a pop princess, a five-foot six inch burst of energy, an archetypical California girl, with blonde hair like spun gold and eyes the colour of the pacific ocean. She’d come a long way from the small Southern california town where she’d grown up. A long way.
She smiled and reclined her seat still further. She alwyas liked to travel by private jet whenever possible. And these days, it was alwyas possible. A flunky, clad in the uniform worn by all her staff - a satin hot-pink jumpsuit - discreetly offered a glass of champagne. She took it with a smile, enjoying the feel of the bubbles against her nose. This was the life she’d always dreamed of back when the only mode of transport she had was her Fiat Spider.
Soon she’d be there. Back with her family. Back with her friends. Her old friends. It had been a while. A long while. Too long a while. She was 28 now, and she hadn’t been back to her hometown in nearly a decade. Ever since she and her sister had become such successes ni tehir very different fields, her parents and brother and sister-in-law had spent each Christmas with each of them in their respective mansions. She lived in New York. Her sister lived in Dublin, Ireland. Both were rich. Both were beautiful. Both were stars.
The jet began its descent over south California. She tensed in her luxurious cushioned seat. She was almost home. She hoped the limo would be waiting for her, as she had commanded. She hoped her parents wouldn’t turn up in their Saturn. She liked to travel in style.
The plane shuddered and bumped onto the tarmac. She was there. A few minutes later she was striding across the runway to the limo which was, she was relieved to notice, waiting for her. A uniformed driver saluted as she approached.
“Hi,” she said, a merry smile playing on her perfectly formed lips. “I’m Jessica Wakefield.”
Elizabet Wakefield looked up from her desk and sighed. She could feel it in her bones, in that part of her that was a twin. She knew that something important was happening to Jessica.
Then she remembered. Today Jess was flying into Sweet Valley. She was coming home. And Elizabeth wouldn’t be there.
Elizabeth Wakefield had left California a long time ago. She had always wanted to be a writer, ever since the days when she was a star reporter for her high school newspaper, the Oracle. As the Oracle’s gossip columinist, writing a weekly piece called Eyes and Ears, Elizabeth had been able to hone her fine writing skills. the Eyes and Ears column was the most coveted post in the newspaper, and Elizabeth had been its finest occupant. No one was surprised when she left college with a degree in creative writing and swiftly began worknig for an LA paper. She started out researchnig gossip items for the senior gossip columnist, and soon started filling in when that illustrious person was away recovering from her latest drug-fuelled manic-episode.
She was an instant sensation. Filled with glitzy tit bits, discreetly phrased - “Tom C has been taking a certain Nicole K. to the movies. Is this a dream match between two actors?”, Elizabeth’s column was acclaimed as a magnificent step forward for celebrity journalism. She soon took over the column full time, and about a year later was poached by a leading London newspaper.
It was a dream come true. She’d always wanted to travel; indeed, when she was 16 she had inexplicably become obsessed with switzerland, and was only prevented from attending a school there by the emotional blackmailing of her friends. She loved London, and it turned out that London loved her right back. The jaded London scene was delighted by what one admiring journo called her “faux naive, ironically cheesy style”, even though she hadn’t quite understood that particular review.