Yes! It’s true. I’m currently adapting SLOPPY FIRSTS for a world premiere next March 16th-18th at Round House Theater, recently lauded by the Washington Post as one of the area’s best and most ambitious regional theaters. This is the 16th Sarah Metzger Memorial play to be produced and presented by RH’S Teen Performance Program, an incredible year-round intensive that puts high school students totally in charge of running every aspect of the show. (Well, with input from adult mentors Iike me.) I spent my entire childhood and adolescence involved in local theater, so my young and dramatic self is SO JEALOUS. My grown up self is beyond thrilled for this creative, collaborative opportunity to bring life to Jessica Darling, Marcus Flutie and the world of Pineville High in a whole new way.
In my previous post I told you all about YA for NJ and how my donation for the auction is a one-of-a-kind ARC of SLOPPY FIRSTS all marked up in my own handwriting with stories behind the story including the 100 percent honest truth about the origins of Marcus Flutie. That is a pretty awesome prize for a die-hard Jessica Darling fan. Or a pretty awesome present for the die-hard Jessica Darling fan in your life. Which is perfect timing since THE HOLIDAYS ARE FAST UPON US.
Yesterday I read about A GIRL AND HER ROOM, a series of portraits by photographer Rania Matar. I’m fascinated by photography as it relates to the study of anthropology and sociology and I’m obviously very invested in the inner worlds of teenage girls so yeah, I love the idea of this book and what I’ve seen of it so far. (I don’t own it yet but THE HOLIDAYS ARE FAST UPON US so **hint**hint** to any family members who might be reading this.) Anyway, so I tweeted about this book and one of my followers @roxie_heartless asked about my teenage bedroom and I promised I would find and post pictures.
“When you take a summer job in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, the self-proclaimed Home of Sunnin’ and Funnin’, it pretty much guarantees that you will have no time for either sun or fun.” –SLOPPY FIRSTS
If you’re at all familiar with my work, you know that I poked fun at “Sleazeside Heights” more than a decade before MTV made it a national pastime. But the jokes run deep, people. New Jersey–and its beach communities in particular–plays a huge role in making Jessica Darling who she is and who she wants to be. Why? Because growing up on the Jersey Shore shaped me into the person–and especially the writer–I am. Continue reading Jessica Darling Is New Jersey…And So Am I→
I’m so flattered that the lovely ladies at FOREVER YOUNG ADULT chose SLOPPY FIRSTS as their book club pick for March! I mean, there are many, many books and only so many months in the year. I love that new readers are just discovering Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie (SLOPPY FIRSTS came out more than 10 years ago, people, when I was so convinced of the superiority of the Backstreet Boys that I was totally blind to J.Tim’s many multi-talented charms) and I appreciate Forever Young Adult’s positive propagandizing.
What’s more, they put together an awesome Jessica Darling playlist. Now I ALWAYS listen to music when I write and have been known to listen to the same playlist over and over and over again as I work. So what better time to share my personal* and incomplete** soundtrack to the Jessica Darling series?
Hundreds contributed casting ideas for the SLOPPY FIRSTS movie. Hundreds more LIKED those options. Some of the most popular suggestions for actresses to play Jessica Darling are:
Ashley Rickards, Ellen Page, Emma Stone, Rooney Mara, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Halle Steinfeld
Some of the most popular choices for Marcus Flutie are:
Tyler Blackburn, Samuel Larsen (The Glee Project), Nicholas Hoult, Jackson Rathbone, Anton Yelchin, Dave Franco
However popular these choices were, none earned more LIKES than this suggestion by Karen G.:
“There aren’t any really famous actors/actresses that I can suggest for the roles. I think you need a new actor for Marcus and a new actress for Jessica. Anyone in the industry right now couldn’t do the roles justice because of their already existent fame.”
She wasn’t the only person to suggest unknowns for the roles. Many other commenters shared similar sentiments. However, her comment was the one with the most LIKES and is therefore delcared the winner. Karen G. and the 164 facebookers who LIKED her comment all win the secret password that gives them three days to watch the video vision for the SLOPPY FIRSTS movie. If you are one of the winning commenters you MUST email firstname.lastname@example.org right away because the password will expire after September 10th. There will be more opportunities to win in the future. Follow me on Twitter or LIKE my FB page for updates. Thanks to everyone who so enthusiastically shared your opinions!
If you’re reading this on Tuesday morning, it’s already too late. You have until 11:59PM EST Monday, September 5th to LIKE the MOST LIKED casting suggestion in the comments section of this FB post. Everyone who LIKES the MOST LIKED option will get the SECRET PASSWORD to the video made by would-be director Anna Christopher sharing her vision for SLOPPY FIRSTS on screen. I’ve seen it. It’s awesome. And with enthusiastic responses from readers like Sarah M. from Paterson, NJ, it could one day come to a theater near you:
“Jessica made it cool to be from New Jersey and she made it cool to be a smart, independent, strong woman. I hope you can feel (even just a small bit) the amazing positive impact you’ve had on me and so many girls, women, boys, men…everyone that’s ever picked up and read a chapter of your books.”
I do feel it, Sarah. I really do. Thank you and everyone.
Yes. You read that correctly. There is a SLOPPY FIRSTS movie in the works. And we’re celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the series with a contest that gives YOU a chance to view the exclusive video introduction to the director’s vision of SLOPPY FIRSTS on screen.
But before I give you those details…
I must first acknowledge the many amazing tributes I received for the Epic Giving Away of Rare and One-of-a-Kind Stuff. You all made me so MISTY. A small sample:
“SLOPPY FIRSTS was more than just the first book in the Jessica Darling series, it was an introduction to a world– though fictional–but was in every bit of sense real and true…. at least it will always be for me.”–Lianne J., Davao City, Philippines
“As I watched Jessica grow, mature, fall, fail, love, learn, cry, and dance, I saw my own life transcribed on the pages in front of me…Thanks for creating a character that kept me company through the years, that was the best inspiration a girl could have, because she was the me I wanted to be.”Kelly W.,You Can Read Me Anything
“This series will make you laugh, cry, smile, and then get angry, it will horrify you but you won’t be able to stop. Jessica Darling is everything you never wanted to admit you were and everything you wanted to be all at the same time. SLOPPY FIRSTS defined a generation, and will continue to aid High Schoolers for years to come. Jessica Darling will be the best friend of young [and old!] girls forever. I know she will always have a special place in my heart! Happy 10th Anniversary, Jessica Darling..you deserve it! And thanks for all the help growing up!”Beth R.,The Secrets In the Telling