Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

Blame it on Nancy Drew

Written By: Tracy - Jun• 02•14

20140601-224351-81831838.jpgWe had some kind of reading challenge in second grade, so I picked an easy reader from the library. One of those thin books with lots of pictures. I don’t even remember what it was.  Clifford?  The Berenstain Bears?  Anyhoo, My teacher suggested that I put it back.  She told me that I ought to pick something harder.  I agreed, but didn’t know what to choose.  So she steered me to a shelf of  Nancy Drew mysteries instead.

Faced with a shelf of these inch-thick books, I picked out one that might hold my interest.   The Moonstone Castle Mystery. Mostly I thought it might be about castles. I had a thing for reading fantasy, even then.

What I got instead was a book about a girl detective unlike anything that I saw on TV at the time. She had adventures on her own. She wasn’t some tag-along girl being tolerated by this band of boys (*cough*cough*Buck Rogers *cough*cough*)  or the girl of the week with the problem she needed solved (I’m looking at you, The A-Team, Knight Rider and Magnum P.I.). She saved herself instead of wringing her hands off to the side while someone else rescued her. I could imagine myself in her place.

I was hooked, to the detriment of any future social standing at my little school. While to the rest of the world I became the bookworm, in my own little universe I became the girl detective/adventurer/hero of every book I picked up after that. And there were many, many books after that. Works by Tara K. Harper, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon to name just a few.

Eventually I started to write. First badly aped pastiches of the adventures I read. Then as I found my voice and gained confidence and skill as a writer, I gravitated back to mysteries (albeit with a strong fantasy element).

I suppose a little bit of me still wants to grow up to be Nancy Drew.


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