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
Jenna P. forwarded this email she originally sent in 2003, adding, “I still tell friends about your series ten years later.”
“I‘d just like to thank you for writing these books. They are just completely awesome (in the true sense of the word.). It is not only what you wrote, but how you wrote it. I loved these books. I had found Sloppy Firsts as a fluke one day in the bookstore. I picked it up and thought it seemed like a good book. I then read it not only once or twice, but three times. Three days ago, I was in the book store, yet again, and as i was walking out, i happened to see Sloppy Firsts on a shelf, with Second Helpings right next to it. As soon as I saw Second Helpings, I almost lost it. I had been waiting and waiting for your next installment of Jessica Darling to come out, and I immediately forgot about the cd that i had originally intended to buy, and bought your book. I just finished it this afternoon. Let me just say, it is a great novel. Really. While I am not still in high school, I still feel I can relate to Jessica in many ways. It has made me think about myself a lot more, and also the decisions I make, so, thank you for that. I laughed and cried. Your work is amazing. You reach out to the readers by making your characters extremely real. Any how, I’m sure you get this all a lot. I just wanted to be cheesy and let you know how I feel.”
I always appreciate readers who take time to express how much my books have meant to them. Then and now.
What an AMAZING start to the SLOPPY FIRSTS 10th Anniversary celebration! Thank you all for your tweets, blog posts, and email, like this one from Annie in Westchester, N.Y. (excerpted with permission):
“Before SLOPPY FIRSTS, I had never met a character that seemed so real to me. Jessica came alive in her diary entries. She was just so much like me…or how I wanted to be. The series quickly became my favorite books of all time. When I was in between books I actually missed Jessica. She was like my fictional best friend, and I wished she were real.
Jessica Darling taught me how to laugh, how to be myself, but most of all, that I’m not alone. That we’re all insecure and frustrated. Your books were my friends when I was lonely and my mentors when I was down. I cannot thank you enough for SLOPPY FIRSTS. The series has truly impacted me as a person and influenced how I view life.”
Keep those tributes coming! (Though I have no idea how I’m going to pick the winners….)
“Jessica’s high school experience was the one I wish I had. She screwed up, she lied, hid things, wanted what she shouldn’t want. She had balls in the way I never did. Jessica Darling gave us writers and loners and outcasts of high school a voice. She made all my thoughts more eloquent and more real because I knew someone else felt them. Because I figured that if Jess felt them, so did you at some point, Megan.
SLOPPY FIRSTS saved my life, amused me, made me cry, laugh, mortified me. It summed up a few years of my high school years except more well written and sounding much more glamorous. I’ll always go back to read it and I’ll always be passionate and spread the word.”
What has SLOPPY FIRSTS meant to you? Make a tribute in the form of a blog entry, video, Twitter campaign, song, original artwork or however you best express yourself creatively. Share the link via Twitter, Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org by August 22nd. You could win one of two autographed UNCORRECTED PROOFS of SLOPPY FIRSTS, the Advanced Reader Copies that went out for review before the finished book went on sale. Or you could be the GRAND PRIZE winner of the one-of-a kind annotated edition of SLOPPY FIRSTS that I have personally filled with all sorts of insider info about how the story came to be, including the true inspiration behind the infamous Pineville High Talent Show.
Thanks for celebrating this milestone with me. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
SLOPPY FIRSTS is a word-of-mouth success story. Since it was first published in 2001, I’ve been so flattered to hear from readers who have found out about my book from a friend who gushed, “You have to read this!” Even better is when that reader says she’s compelled to spread the gospel of Jessica Darling to her friends until it seems like everyone has fallen madly in love with Marcus Flutie. Girls (and even a few guys) from all over the popularity spectrum see themselves in Jessica Darling because she’s both an insider and an outsider, a wry critic of (and reluctant participant in) high school traumas and dramas. It’s a great compliment that even now, ten years later, new readers are just discovering Pineville High. Y2K may be a distant memory, but young (and not so young) readers still relate to Jessica’s struggle to become the person she was always meant to be.
So thank you. Thank you all.
To commemorate the 10th Anniversary, I’d like you, the biggest supporters of my series, to share with me (and the world) what SLOPPY FIRSTS has meant to you. What form should your tribute take? That’s up to you. Write a heartfelt blog post about discovering SLOPPY FIRSTS in the bookstore. Make a video re-enacting the infamous “lip nip” with finger puppets. Compose a song incorporating one of Jessica’s many graphs, charts and lists. Create a line of SLOPPY FIRSTS inspired t-shirts. EXPRESS YOUR LOVE ANY WAY YOU WANT TO. Send me the link(s) to your awesome tributes via Twitter or my Facebook Page, tagged #sloppyfirsts10th. (If you are a nonparticipant in these social networks, you can always email me at email@example.com.)
It’s my hope that your creative lovefest will inspire a whole new generation of readers to laugh, cry and cringe along with Jessica Darling. In return for your efforts, I’ll provide you with the opportunity to get special (even one-of-a-kind) SLOPPY FIRSTS swag. I’ll reward the THREE entries that best say to me, “WOW. These readers really, really love SLOPPY FIRSTS…Maybe even more than I do.”
Two Runners-Up will win autographed UNCORRECTED PROOFS of SLOPPY FIRSTS. These are the original Advanced Reader Copies that went out to reviewers in the Spring of 2001, months before the finished book was published. They are very rare indeed. Have fun playing SPOT THE ERROR as these UNCORRECTED PROOFS are filled with typos and other boo-boos that were fixed (um, mostly) in the final book.
Can you believe it’s been almost TEN YEARS? But I haven’t aged at all! Alas, it’s true.
SLOPPY FIRSTS was published on August 28th, 2001. It’s kind of hard to believe when there are new readers just discovering Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie every single day. I’ll be announcing fun ways to celebrate the occasion (i.e., GIVEAWAYS!) throughout the month of August.
And I need your help.
BLOGGERS! If you’re interested in conducting a special 10th Anniversary interview with me on your site, please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, July 31st. I’ll pick 10 bloggers based on the creativity of the questions and enthusiasm for the series.
I look forward to reading your questions and commemorating this milestone with you, yes, you.