The Trixie Belden Questionnaire
Earlene Fowler is the Agatha-award winning author of 11 Benni Harper mysteries, including Mariner's Compass and Broken Dishes. Visit her at www.earlenefowler.com.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT THE TRIXIE BELDEN SERIES, AS A SERIES?
WHAT DREW YOU TO TRIXIE BELDEN?
I wish I could have lived the Trixie Belden life. She actually was a person that if she lived next door, I feel we'd be friends.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT TRIXIE, THE HEROINE?
These are good books for kids. Compared to some of the books kids read now these taught how to be a better person. They taught ethics, but in an enjoyable way. You didn't know you were being taught ethics.
BEYOND WHAT YOU LIKED OR DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE TRIXIE BELDEN SERIES,
WHAT MADE THE SERIES MEMORABLE TO YOU?
LOOKING BACK AS AN ADULT AND AN AUTHOR, HOW DID CAMPBELL KEEP TRIXIE
LOVABLE, EVEN ADMIRABLE, WHEN SHE WAS SO CLEARLY FLAWED?
Nancy Drew always knew the answer and didn't do anything dumb, wore the right clothes and drove the right car. She never screws up. With Trixie - that was the voice that was appealing. That's one of the things people like about my character, Benni, she's so flawed. Even at 35 she says dumb things, just like Trixie. That's why I wrote her that way. Most of the women I know are more flawed than what you see in hard-boiled fiction. So that's the thing with Trixie. She always had good intentions, but she didn't have the maturity to figure out the exact right way. Then things worked out okay and she learned a lesson.
For example, she had to study at the dude ranch (in the Mystery in Arizona). How nice for kids who got bad grades to read that.
AS AN ADULT AND AN AUTHOR, LOOKING BACK ON THE TRIXIE BELDEN SERIES,
WHAT DO YOU ADMIRE ABOUT THE BOOKS?
HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE THE TRIXIE BELDEN SERIES TO YOUR OTHER CHILDHOOD
READING, E.G., STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, ETC.
One of the things that was interesting was the relationship with Jim. Trixie and Honey found this kid and he's adopted by Honey's family. That was pretty advanced for that time. The whole idea that he came from a troubled family and was taken in as foster child. If you were a foster child at that time I think you could have related to that.
SPECIFICALLY, HOW DID READING TRIXIE BELDEN INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING (OR
IS THERE ANY DISCERNIBLE INFLUENCE)? YOU MENTIONED YOUR CHARACTERS ARE
INFLUENCED BY TRIXIE?
Obviously, something in them that appealed to me. I think it had to do with the age, but I also think it had to do with the voice. I think voice is something that we can't control in our writing. Your true voice comes out and you will tell more about yourself than you realize. That's that subtle something that came through in the Trixie Belden books that appealed to me. I read the Nancy Drew books enjoyed them, but they were more like a fantasy.
It's neat to think about these books and how they influenced me. You want to know how the people you know in your life end up. For some people, I've done that for them. They feel that now we know how Trixie ended up. She did marry Jim!
JULIE CAMPBELL CREATED THE SERIES AND WROTE THE FIRST SIX BOOKS. VARIOUS
WRITERS USING THE PEN NAME, KATHRYN KENNY, WROTE ALL OF THE OTHER VOLUMES.
DID YOU NOTICE A DIFFERENCE AS A CHILD? DID IT MATTER TO YOU? IF YOU
DIDN'T NOTICE AS A CHILD, DO YOU NOTICE NOW, EITHER IN RE-READING OR
site was last updated on February 16, 2004.
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