I’ve been a book lover for as long as I could read. When I was a girl, at around age nine or ten, my mother introduced me to the Nancy Drew mystery series.
From the moment I began reading them, I was hooked. What could be cooler to a young girl than to solve mysteries with her friends and have a really awesome blue convertible (or was it a coupe of another color?) to solve them in?
From my start with Nancy Drew, I moved on to other mystery series, including the Cherry Ames mysteries, Agatha Christie novels, Sherlock Holmes and other traditional mysteries.
As a child, I also had a preference for strong female sleuths. I was a huge fan of TV shows like Honey West and The Avengers with Emma Peel. Unlike many shows from the Sixties, these showed the ladies get the job done and fight the bad guys as capably as men. Each of them also drove cool cars.
And it wasn’t just mysteries that featured independent girls. I was raised on Pippi Longstocking, the emancipated child with the mysterious cache of gold coins.
These are just a few of the many books and TV shows that led me to write the kinds of stories I loved.
As a child, I even tried to write a mystery novel like one of the Nancy Drew books. I finished the first chapter and thought, “Now what?” It would take years for me to get around to learning how to plot, develop characters, use conflict, weave in backstory, and all the other things that must be done to create an entire novel.
Writing mysteries isn’t easy. It takes time, planning, research, and effort. However, with role models like Nancy Drew, Honey West, and Emma Peel, I’ve learned that if you work at a thing hard enough, you can do it.