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How Sassy Book Authors Conducted Research

sassy_kurt_courtney.jpgMarisa Meltzer and Kara Jesella, the duo behind How Sassy Changed My Life, spent two years writing their ode to the late, great teen glossy that spawned the careers of editors-cum-personalities Jane Pratt (Jane), Christina Kelly (ElleGirl) and Kim France (Lucky) among others. But lest you think they spent that time chewing Bubblelicious and buying shoes, the pair did some serious research:

Meltzer: We spent a few days in the New York Public Library, which has its “Teen Central,” in the branch across from MOMA. It has this loft where teens hang out, they play teen music, with a giant neon sign that says “Teen Central.” They have this room… It’s actually kind of cute because there are actually teens doing their homework — ok, they’re flirting, they aren’t really doing their homework, and they have this glass room where they have almost the entire Seventeen archives. I think October 1975 is missing, but everything else is there.

Jesella: It’s funny because we found the ones from 1988, that were from right before Sassy launched, literally all stories were about getting married. It was like “How could this have existed?” Sassy did change things so dramatically, and it wasn’t totally clear until we saw what we had been reading before.

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