Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thank You Trixie Belden

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.


  1. I loved Trixie Belden books! There weren't as many of hers as Nancy Drew but I read every one I could find in the library.

  2. Sister! Yes, Trixie was awesome. I still have all my old paperbacks and re-read them just a few years ago. Probably will again soon. And libraries! I love libraries.

  3. We had very similar childhood reading tastes! I was a fan of both Trixie Belden and the Black Stallion, with Trixie winning that race by a length. But, wait, that's a great opportunity for a crossover fanfic because Trixie would have loved the Black. Then maybe something develops between Trixie and Alec...?

    Anyway, always happy to meet another Trixie fan. There's a forum for us, http://barbln.org/clubhouse/?board=social, which I'm going to post a notice of this on, so you might get another visitor or two.

    Several years back I interviewed a number of authors who'd been Trixie fans as youngsters, for an article in Mystery Scene (authors such as Earlene Fowler and Denise Swanson). I have since posted those articles on my Trixie tribute website (as well as the Mystery Scene article). If you'd be interested, maybe I could interview you and include you among the Trixie author fans.

    Here's links:




    1. Hi Judith! Just sent in my registration for the forum. And of course I'd be pleased to be included in your list of Trixie-inspired authors. Thanks for asking! You can contact me at cmdrsue (at) gmail (dot) com.

    2. Sue: Looking forward to "seeing" you at the Clubhouse!


  4. ditto what suza said.

  5. Double ditto!!

  6. Thanks guys! I still haven't seen an email come in to give me my clubhouse registration, so tell me if there's anything else I need to do.

  7. I loved the Trixie books and I know I read them more than once... now I'm wondering why I don't remember them as well as you do. All I remember is one that had something to do with a cave and arsenic in apple seeds. :) But I loved them because they were about a *girl.* I had not interest at all in reading the Hardy Boys, so after the Bobbsey Twins and then Nancy Drew (once each) I read Trixie multiple times.

  8. Hi, Sue,
    I didn't see a "contact me" form or email address on your website and I lost the email you sent me. :( I have interview questions for the Authors Who Loved Trixie Belden page on my website. I'd be glad to send those to you, if you'll get in touch again.

    There's nothing to do at the Clubhouse but register - if you haven't heard, maybe it's in spam or for some reason didn't go through...