Saturday, October 26, 2013

The brains behind the ultimate girl sleuth in history!

I don't remember a whole lot about my childhood. What I mean to say is that I remember bits and pieces. Some memories are as vivid as yesterday, some just a foggy, rusty realization. The few vivid ones that I remember were, me among books. While I don't recall what was the first book I ever read. I remember being this enthralled kid reading the Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene. I don't remember how I stumbled across my first Nancy Drew book. I was am a huge fan of Enid Blyton. I guess I transitioned from the likes of The Famous Five to Nancy Drew.


Our school library was an interesting one. It had a whole lot of wonderful reads and for some reason I remember it as a dark room?! One day my wonderful mother got me a Library card. My very first one! The library was small but the wonders it held! The library being next to her work place, she would drop me there in the mornings on holidays and I would spend a good amount of time among the books.
I devoured all the Nancy Drew books I could get hold of. I was hooked. I loved Nancy Drew and her independent nature, her instincts which resulted in her solving mysteries. Nancy Drew was perfection in my eyes. Everything about her screamed: GIRL POWER!
Nancy Drew was my Harry Potter.. if that makes any sense. Ofcourse back then internet was not really a common thing. I'm a 90s child. I couldn't just look up on the internet for Carolyn Keene, the mastermind behind The Nancy Drew mysteries. I had no idea how she looked like. I had to rely on my imagination.


I imagined a big haired, blonde, middle aged woman with makeup on, wearing a flashy double breasted blazer sitting in front of her typewriter somewhere far & exotic, typing away pure gold.. which kids like me would later read in awe. Get our ears bitten off by our parents for bringing the book to the dining table and barely touching the food. Get caught reading them under the pretext of studying. Aaah childhood!
Recently, I was browsing through Goodreads when it struck me, I should look up for Carolyn Keene. Why hadn't I thought about it till now?! What I found out was not something I had dreamed of ever in my life. Carolyn Keene is a pen name: used by a team of ghostwriters appointed by the company(creator) of Nancy Drew series. The company was called Stratemeyer Syndicate. There were so many authors who were behind this one entity Nancy Drew. One of the prominent writers being Mildred Benson who is known to have 'who breathed such a feisty spirit into Nancy's character' wrote 23 of the original 30 novels.
I don't know whether to feel happy or absolutely disappointed. Its a bittersweet feeling! So today, as an adult I would like to thank all those unsung authors. My childhood was so much more wondrous because of you all!
Thankyou.




18 comments:

  1. Now this really comes as a bitter sweet surprise that there are so many people behind this awesome book series.. now whom to imagine as 'our' author *sigh* :P

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    1. I guess that's the beauty of it. We have not one.. but a group of authors to look up to :)

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  2. Oh my God! Nancy Drew was the star of my childhood. I absolutely loved her. :)

    Good one!

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    1. It's so awesome that so many of us had the same favorite books and authors as kids! It's kinda overwhelming :)

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  3. OMG! Enid Blyton was to me, what Carolyn Keene was to you! I think I read almost everything she wrote - and for the longest time thought that Enid was a man :|

    I read Nancy Drew as well - could have never guessed there was more than one mind behind it. Revelation!

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    1. I understand :) Even I thought Enid Blyton was a man!

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  4. I read only one or two Nancy Drew novels, read almost all the Famous Five and Secret Seven novels by Enid Blyton. I dint know this fact about Nancy Drew novels.
    I thought Enid Blyton was a guy for like a year before my dad told that she was a lady. :)

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    1. Looks lik a lot of us thought Enid Blyton was a man ;) Secret Seven, Famous Five were my favorites too :)

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  5. Books make my childhood wonderful too. Turned me into a dreamer :)

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  6. I loved nancy drew as a kid too!!! I see that you are interested in books. I have a book review blog. Check it out if you like- http://literaturemartini.blogspot.in/

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    1. I say that books are the most interesting things ever!
      Ofcourse I will check out your blog :)

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  7. Haha such sweetness!! I think Enid Blyton was a comnon favourite!! Man I loveddddd the author!! And Nancy Drew was the next phase...theb Sidney Sheldon!!

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    1. Yeap! That was exactly how the transition happened :)

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  8. I am a big fan of Nancy Drew and of course Enid Blyton. I ushered into the world of reading with them....I am going to collect both nancy drew and enid blyton...

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    1. Welcome to the club, Shalet :) Wow, collecting them would be so damn cool!

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  9. I even tried to dress up like the girl in the cover picture. She was synonymous with freedom. Missing childhood days.

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    1. She sure was!
      Thinking about the carefree childhood fills one with nostalgia.

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Make me a happy bunny, would ya? :D