Friday, August 16, 2013

An Unconscious Start

The Bobbsey Twins
When I was first trying to get published, I wrote general fiction. My manuscripts were well received by publishers but never sold, so my then agent suggested I try my hand at writing mysteries. The problem with that suggestion was that I never read mysteries or thrillers outside of the occasional Sue Grafton novel. Period. That was it.

Trixie Belden

Over the course of the next fifteen years I not only wrote and was published many times over in the mystery field, but became immersed in the genre, reading them by the boatloads. Although, I confess, my educational background in the genre is still severely lacking many of the masters in the field.

Cherry Ames
Looking back now, I realize that I was probably destined at a very early age to be plopped down in the middle of literary mystery and mayhem. Before being published, I may not have read many mysteries as an adult, but as a youngster I did read quite a few. I had just forgotten until I had my memory jogged by conversations with readers who still re-read many of their childhood favorites.

Pictured are my favorite mystery series as a kid.

 As a rule, I don't re-read books, but the two books which made a huge impact on me as a young teen and which I have re-read are The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Both of these books I read on my own long before they showed up on my school reading list.

And no trip down my childhood reading list lane would be complete without mentioning The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.  A book I still treasurer to this day. When I was about 11 or 12, I tried to check this book out of my middle school library and was refused because the librarian thought it was beyond my age level.  When I told my mother this, she immediately wrote a note to the librarian saying I was allowed to check out any book in the school library, no matter what the book was.

Thanks, Mom!


Deb Forbes said...

Sue Ann my favorite from childhood was the Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew books. I loved the twins and I think that is why I love mysteries over any other genre

Mark Baker said...

Yeah for Trixie! Never did read those other two series. And I still haven't read some of the others you mentioned either.