It's been bothering me for awhile to start a series of gratitude posts about the stories and authors who made me want to be a writer, or affected my approach to writing. Thinking back I know that the first series of books I really got into was Trixie Belden. There were plenty of books prior to reading Trixie, as we were a very bookish family, but Trixie was the first series that was "mine." I spent my allowance on them, haunted the bookstore to ask when the next one would be out, and would re-read them when nothing else presented itself.
At the same time I was also collecting the Black Stallion series, which don't get me wrong, I LOVE, but it didn't have the same group camaraderie that infused the Trixie Belden books. And camaraderie is big with me. It's my favorite part of Star Trek (and Star Trek is about my favorite thing ever). Quite honestly, it is confusing that I was able to focus on just two characters throughout the entirety of Trials of Artemis. But I digress. Let me tell you why I love Trixie Belden and how it influenced me.
Trixie was a smart, spunky tomboy with two older brothers. This was instantly easy for me to identify with, except that I was keeping most of my spunky on the inside. (I was a notoriously calm and rational child. There are stories.) Trixie had a large, loving, and loyal group of friends which was something I didn't have, but wanted to. Each of the books centered on a mystery that Trixie and her friends (collectively referred to by their club name the Bob-Whites) would solve. So it was a little bit Scooby-Doo (darn those kids!), and Trixie was a little bit like a young, female Sherlock Holmes. She noticed details and was clever in deducing something from them. I... am not like that, but found that personality fascinating.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and when I ran out of books to read I immediately set about flattering the Trixie Belden series by trying to write my own. Since I was all of maybe eleven we can imagine how well that turned out. Actually I don't have to imagine, I could go downstairs and dig the papers up, but that sounds like a terrible, terrible idea.
Trixie Belden, I salute your sassy self (and the writers that created you), because you inspired my first serious attempt at writing a series. Without you I wouldn't be me, and that makes you my very best tween-age friend. Thanks for everything.