This week’s “Why I Love Wednesdays . . .” topic is “Childhood Book Friend”. Now, I couldn’t exactly remember what my favorite book was as a child, so I asked my mom. Her response? “I don’t remember. We read a lot of Dr. Seuss.”
Since I barely remember any of Dr. Seuss’ books, I decided to write about Nancy Drew. I know that’s technically more than one book, but series count, right? She was certainly one of my favorite book characters. I’ve always liked strong female characters, ever since I first saw She-Ra (I think I was about 3 when that was on).
I liked Nancy Drew so much that, in fifth grade, I decided to kill her off. I know you’re probably laughing, wondering why on Earth I would kill off my favorite character. Who knows what my 11-year-old brain was thinking? It was my one and only foray into writing mysteries. If I remember correctly, I killed her off by having someone knock a marble pillar on her. I think someone died like that in one of my mom’s novels that I read. My cover was horrid. I took a lot of art classes as a child but alas, I never lived up to the caliber of my dad or grandmother’s artwork. My characters on the cover were probably glorified stick figures. For some reason, though, despite the terrible drawing and somewhat violent nature of my little book, my teacher put it in our class “library”. The class library was full of books that we had made. We would “publish” them by folding plain white paper in half, writing our story on it and then stapling it together with a construction paper cover. I swear the book wasn’t gruesome or anything like that. I’m actually surprised that my teacher didn’t write home to my dad and tell him that I was disturbed and needed counseling. I don’t know why I wrote it. Anyway, I never wrote another mystery (although “The Killing of Nancy Drew” was surprisingly popular among my fifth grade classmates).
But back to Nancy. Even when she worked with the Hardy Boys, she still kicked butt. I didn’t really understand how she solved her mysteries, but she always did. I wasn’t even sure how she kept getting into all these crazy situations. She always managed to get out of them, though.
I eventually stopped reading the Nancy Drew books when my dad decided I was “too old for kids’ books” and literally locked away all my books. It ended up working out though, because that’s when I discovered epic fantasy. It also probably led to my writing YA books today. If I couldn’t read them when I was a teenager, then why not read/write them as an adult?
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