Back in 2002, Cecily von Ziegesar was working as an editor at Alloy Entertainment when she came up with an idea for a book. It would revolve around devious and wealthy Manhattan teens who use their status to stab each other in the back and treat New York like their playground.
And just like that, the "Gossip Girl" world was formed. It was an idea that von Ziegesar was worried might not work.
"I never thought anyone would want to read the books to begin with, because I thought, 'Who would care or relate to these people?' " she told MTV News. "The success of the books was one thing, and now it's a household thing."
Six years later, the books have been turned into a buzz-worthy TV series revolving around the high school antics of Serena, Blair, Nate, Chuck, Vanessa, Jenny and Nate. (Who's the real queen bee of "Gossip Girl"? Weigh in on the Newsroom blog.)
Von Ziegesar had very little to do with the show's transition from the printed page to the small screen, and she was a bit worried about what would happen to the show when it made the leap — especially with "The O.C." creator Josh Schwartz at the helm.
"I knew about ['The O.C.'], and that made me more worried that Nate's going to be a lifeguard, and it's going to be totally cheesy," she said. "But the costumes are so great. It's such a great show."
After her trepidation passed, she was pleased with the TV versions of her characters. "I was worried they were going to ruin it, but then when I watched them filming the pilot and read the scripts, I got more and more hopeful, because it sounded like they wanted to stay close to the pilot," she said. "When I saw the pilot, I was thrilled, and I knew it was going to be big."
She admits that she enjoys the way her characters were cast. She didn't have a clear vision of their appearances while writing the novels, so to see them come to life has been an interesting experience. "Leighton Meester is totally perfect for Blair, and Blake [Lively] is perfect for Serena. I was more worried they would insert Barbie-doll-looking people, which they didn't," she said. "I think the actors do a brilliant job. Chuck is my favorite character, and the way he looks and acts is in keeping with how he is in the beginning of the series."
But von Ziegesar does have one criticism of the show: "I think Vanessa is one character they ruined. In the book, she's kick-ass and has a shaved head and wears lots of black ... and I think a lot of the readers who don't usually read teen fiction indentify with Vanessa. Even though I don't like Vanessa's character, it's nothing against [actress] Jessica [Szohr]. I just wish Vanessa was like she is in the books a bit more."
At the end of the day, she assures fans that although "there were definitely liberties taken," she still loves seeing what's going to happen week after week on the Upper East Side.
"I really don't want to be negative, because there are so many good things about the show," she said. "I'm a very faithful watcher. And sometimes it's better than other times, and generally I'm entertained and I think it's great."