Wouldn't it be fun to examine these frivolous, over-the-top books through a tongue-in-cheek-but-still-very-powerful microscope?
And would other people find the books as shocking and fascinating as I did?
The blog, started in the blogger's heyday that was 2006, proved that there was an audience of Sweet Valley readers who were eager to revisit the literary soap opera of their girlhoods. The podcast has done something a bit more: it's proven to me that I can hand one of these books to practically anyone I know and, after they've read it, work them into a high-pitched frenzy by casually discussing the plot. Seriously, it happens at least once an episode.
It's so much fun.
Because every main episode of the show is devoted to recapping the book in question (and because I don't have the time or wherewithal to book a guest, record, and edit a new episode every week), alternate weeks feature a "bonus" episode that takes the form of an extended conversation on some theme in the book. They're usually pretty fun, and no two conversations have been remotely similar.
Today, though, I released a bonus episode (recorded with my friend and fellow deep thinker Kali Baker-Johnson) that has something more to say. It's about art, artists, and finding the courage to share what you've made. Listening back to it this morning, I was struck by what we were able to bring out of one another in the conversation. I really think it's something that I'll return to whenever I'm not feeling particularly eager to share my work and myself with the world.
The following is not a great example of what Sweet Valley Diaries is usually like, but it is a perfect example of what good stuff you can uncover when you take something silly too seriously.