We asked the 97 contributors to the Nancy Drew Anthology (Silver Birch Press, October 2016) to send photos featuring the book in their home environments. Author Marion Tickner provided this portrait of herself and collection at the Camillus Erie Canal Park near her home in Syracuse, New York. Camillus Landing was the first enlargement of the Erie Canal — a canal constructed during the 1800s to create a water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. Marion contributed the story “Nancy Drew Lives On,” featured below, to the 212-page anthology.
Nancy Drew Lives On
I received my first Nancy Drew book from my aunt whose favorite author was Joseph Lincoln. At the time Nancy was sixteen years old and drove her own car. No sixteen-year-old that I knew drove a car, much less had her own. But after all, this was a story and anything can happen in a story. We just let our imaginations run away with us.
During my years of reading about Nancy’s adventures and misadventures, I never thought of looking for clues to solve the mystery before she did. I just let Nancy with Bess and George do the work.
One evening while watching a game show, possibly What’s My Line or To Tell The Truth, the contestants claimed to be Carolyn Keene. What really surprised me was that the real writer of a Nancy Drew book was a man. How can that be? Carolyn is a girl’s name. What I didn’t know at the time was that some series, including Nancy Drew, were written by ghostwriters. In other words, different writers wrote some of the books under the byline Carolyn Keene.
When I started working, I haunted the secondhand bookstores to add to my collection. Eventually I married and moved away from home, packing my books in boxes to be stashed away in my attic. By then I had other favorite authors that I read when I had time.
The years passed, and the first thing I did after I retired was to clean out the attic. Out came the box of Nancy Drew Mysteries. On sunny summer afternoons I relaxed in the shade of a maple tree with a glass of iced tea and read those books again, one at a time. After reading the whole collection, I passed them on to my niece who had three young daughters.
Now that Nancy Drew has again come to my attention, I checked out two library books, thinking I had one old book and one new. One thing I noticed in the “old book” was that Nancy is no longer sixteen, and is now eighteen. The story was fast-moving, and I remembered the plot from when I’d read it years before. In the new book, written for younger readers, Nancy is eight years old.
I have since learned that some of the earlier books have been brought up to date for today’s readers. In fact, some of the obsolete prose has been eliminated. Maybe that’s the reason it seemed to be fast-moving, something I need to remember when writing for children. Now I wish I had my original copy of The Mystery of the Tolling Bell to compare with the library book.
Nancy Drew lives on forever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marion Tickner writes from her home in Syracuse, New York. She has worked with children in the church setting for many years, so it’s only natural that she would enjoy writing for them. She has been published in several children’s magazines, both print and online. Her stories also appear in several anthologies: Mistletoe Madness, edited by Miriam Hees, and Summer Shorts, edited by Madeline Smoot (both Blooming Tree Press); When God Steps In, edited by Bonnie Bruno; The Christmas Stocking and Treasure Box (Patchwork Path); books edited by Marie McGaha (Dancing With Bear Publishing): One Red Rose, Gingersnaps, and Candy Canes, and Blizzard Adventure (Kindle only); Nightlight—A Golden Light Anthology (Chamberton Publishing); and God Still Meets Needs, edited by Mark Littleton. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her reading, knitting, or crocheting.
Find the Nancy Drew Anthology at Amazon.com.