Congratulations to the cast and crew of Theater CCNY’s production of SLOPPY FIRSTS. It was a beautiful full-circle moment because the show was directed by senior Daisy Bernabe-Duarte, who portrayed Jessica Darling in her high school production back in 2018. It was such a joy to spend the afternoon in Pineville! I laughed and (yes) even teared up a little. The entire cast had moments to shine but a special shout-out to Temima Hyman and Vincent Tulley who had maaaajor chemistry as Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie. If you’re involved in high school, college or community theater and want to stage your own production (and have as much fun as we’re having in these photos!) email firstname.lastname@example.org with SLOPPY FIRSTS ON STAGE in the subject.
A post for the Princeton Public Library that sort of sums up where I’m at and what I’m doing.
I will be appearing at the adorable Red Balloon Bookshop with Kristin Nilsen, Crushologist and cohost of the phenomenal Pop Culture Preservation Society podcast to celebrate the launch of her debut MG novel, WORLDWIDE CRUSH. There will be games! There will be lots of talk about Shaun Cassidy, Barry Manilow and the phenomenon known as “nipple lightning!” Will I break out into the backseat-of-my-parents’-Chevy-NOVA-70s-AM-radio songs of my youth? Probably. So please join us on Wednesday, July 12th at 6:30 and I will be happy to overshare and sing and sign whatever copies of my books you may have! For details and registration go here.
Thank you to Kelly Jensen at Book Riot for her gorgeous essay about what the Jessica Darling series meant to her growing up. This was so much more meaningful than the standard cut-and-paste-the-press-release book announcement. I cannot be happier that the 20th anniversary of the publication of SLOPPY FIRSTS will be commemorated with reprints of the entire Jessica Darling series by the wonderfully talented team at Wednesday Books.
The new edition of SLOPPY FIRSTS goes on sale May 4, 2021. SECOND HELPINGS launches on July 6th, 2021. The rest of the books will follow over the rest of the 20th Anniversary year. The whole series has been updated to reflect 2020 sensibilities, but the essence of what makes Jessica Darling special is unchanged. Oh! And there’s a beautiful forward written by blockbuster author, producer and the not-so-secret Mrs. Marcus Flutie, Rebecca Serle.
This reprint wouldn’t have happened without the enthusiastic support of my readers all these years. I cannot wait to introduce Jessica Darling, Marcus Flutie and the world of Pineville, New Jersey to a whole new audience.
Twelve-year-old Ella has everything she needs to take seventh grade by storm, from the perfect outfit to the perfect new best friend. She’s still not 100% sure why cool, confident Morgan has chosen Ella to be her newest sidekick, but Ella is flattered by the attention, even if it means giving up some of the things she’s always loved, like fantasy novels . . . and her former best friend, Sophie. Ella feels a little guilty about ditching Sophie, but middle school is no laughing matter, and Ella knows that it’ll be safer in popular Morgan’s shadow than by Sophie’s side.
But life as Morgan’s best friend is trickier than Ella imagined. Everything has to be perfect, from their “on brand” selfies to the videos they record of them singing. And the more demanding Morgan becomes, the more Ella starts to wonder if she made the right choice. But Sophie already has a new best friend, leaving Ella feeling more alone and out of place than ever.
So when Ella discovers a new activity that she’s really good at — a hopelessly dorky sport that Morgan has forbidden her from pursuing, Ella has to ask herself what matters more: popularity . . . or staying true to herself? But does she even know who she really is without loyal Sophie by her side?
“This current and relatable novel will resonate with middle school readers, especially those who have felt the pressure to create a perfect social media presence. A fine purchase for middle school collections needing more contemporary fiction around complicated friendships.” –School Library Journal
This announcement has been a very long time coming. Many, many thanks to Rebecca Serle and Dan Farah for your passion, creativity and tenacity. And to all the die-hard readers who’ve assembled dream casts for nearly 20 years: I hope we find the perfectly imperfect Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie too.
Introducing TRUE TO YOUR SELFIE, my new middle grade novel with Scholastic.
TRUE TO YOUR SELFIE
I love these timeless characters asking a very of-the-moment question: “Friends for life? Or friends for LIKES?” So excited to share this story with tweens and tweens at heart. On sale February 4, 2020 but pre-order any time!
It’s official. THE MALL. Coming Spring/Summer 2020 from Wednesday Books.
What an opening night! Congratulations to the phenomenally talented Round House Theater Teen Performance Company. I couldn’t be happier that this premiere was entirely produced and performed by high school students.
The cast and crew vividly captured all the humor and heartache of Pineville High School. A special shout-out to Victoria Keith and Cole Greenberg whose nuanced performances stayed true to Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie we know and love while still making the characters their own.
This was an unforgettable world premiere that I hope is the first of many productions to come. If you’re involved in a teen theater program and are interested in bringing SLOPPY FIRSTS to your stage, please contact me via email@example.com.