On a mystery writer’s blog I read, someone was taking a poll to see how many of the members read Nancy Drew and if it effected their writing. Now, I had read a few Nancy Drew stories growing up but my true love was the Hardy Boys. I was more drawn to them, a fact some found very strange as girls should like ‘girl books’ better than ‘boy books’. But Nancy didn’t tug on my heart as the Hardy Boys did. I grew up in an unloving, unsupportive family and to be able to ‘live’ … for a moment … in a ‘family’ where the siblings loved and cared for each other, where the parents supported their children (though I have to say there is no way I’d let my teenagers go around and solve crimes) and those books brought joy to me. I loved experiencing that type of family. Fiction books, my main go to family being the Hardys, made me realize that my normal wasn’t actually normal. Thankfully.
When I first thought about if the Hardy Boys factored into the types of story I wrote, my answer was a resounding no. I might write mysteries/suspense but that doesn’t have anything to do with the type of stories I read as a child. Then into my mind popped the recurring theme in all my books … whether it was middle grade, YA, suspense, paranormal mystery, procedural, or traditional … was family. In all the books that I have written, and the ones planned, families and their interactions with each other play a pivotal role. They might argue. They might snap at each other. They will find a way to push each other’s buttons. They might turn away thinking it’s for the best. But when one is threatened, they close ranks and come home as any issues between them becomes unimportant when support and protection is needed by a family member. No matter how grave the situation, they have each other’s backs … and always will.