Nancy Drew and V.C. Andrews

My love of reading started young. Back then I viewed reading as something to devour. Mostly because the books I loved were devourable.

I can remember nights at summer camp at eleven, unable to sleep because of a thunderstorm. All my fellow campers were piled onto the counselor's bed, but me, all I needed was Nancy.

Her and I spent the night through thunder and lightning and rain that hit the tin roof like ice pellets solving mysteries.

With V.C. it was more illicit. I read fast because damn the stories were salacious, but also I didn't want my parents to figure out what I was reading--books about young girls being abused, being killed by their parents, being loved by their brothers.

I still read mysteries sometimes when I need a break from the heavy angst of YA or NA. Still pick up a V.C. Andrews book when I need to remember what it's like to be completely taken in by a books evil ways.

While I didn't know it at the time books like these taught me the hardest lesson to learn as an author- make your story so compelling that readers give up everything else to read it. Carolyn Keene and V.C. Andrews had it a little easier than we do, they only had to compete with TV, Movies and Music.

But, I'd like to think I would have still stayed up all night even with a cellphone at my disposal. I like to think that readers still devour books. Even if they are reading on their cellphone ;).


  1. Thank you for the great post! FYI I scored a garage-sale box of old, old Nancy Drew editions when I was ten, and I binge-read them (after lights out, under the covers, etc.). I am a huge mystery fan because of Nancy Drew. Also, I'm reading the Nancy Drew Clue Crew series to my five-year-old now, and she's obsessed. She even started her own "Detective Notebook" with "Clues" and "Suspects." :)

  2. Hope this works -- I have SUCH problems leaving comments.

    Lisa, you make a great point. There's so much competing for people's attention these days. When I read Nancy Drew, Atari hadn't even come out yet. Reading was what I did to escape my REALLY ANNOYING sister or my always-arguing parents. I could open a book and just fall into a story, tuning out everything around me.

    VC Andrews was like a car crash you just couldn't look away from, but Nancy Drew -- oh, did I envy her. I remember begging my mom for a pair of 'pumps' because they sounded so elegant.

  3. I think readers might even devour more books on a cellphone...

  4. And then there is the whole "cell phone novel" movement, with entire novels being written (and disseminated) via cell ...


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