4 Reasons Why I think Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys helped shape family fiction

Were you one of those readers that got hooked on the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mystery series? It is important to understand what made those mysteries so accessible to us and here is why:

The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mystery stories drove home traditional family values with characters who were morally upstanding. (Quite the contrast to the majority of contemporary fiction.) Growing up I recognized that something about those series grabbed people in an extra powerful way. Interestingly, here are four areas where they differ from most contemporary fiction:

  1. Both series showed strong-willed characters who were passionate about helping people, including saving people in need.
  2. Nancy, Frank, and Joe treated their fathers with the greatest respect and had strong relationships with them.
  3. Nancy, Frank, and Joe chose friends who were responsible and motivated.
  4. They also LOVED to read and research.

We need more fiction like that. We need NEW fiction like that. Unfortunately the book industry leaders think they know better. I’ve been told that in order for young adult fiction to sell it needs to do much the opposite of these things. Specifically the adults must be inconvenient annoyances.

My response to this? What is the purpose of those books? As an author I want to motivate and inspire. But most publishers want to follow the trends. Well, I pray that God keeps some of us authors from doing that so that you, the reader, can be convicted, inspired, and motivated to uphold good family values.

Question: Do you think authors should cave to popular wisdom, or write the stories that encourage readers to stand for what is right?


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Most obvious thing about me is how much I love reading and writing. This is truly my passion and has been for almost as long as I can remember. I know that sounds cliche, but it is true. Growing up in a conservative Christian home I learned to value God, intelligence, and life. I am always learning. I am a husband and a father of three young children. I love my family and my life. God is good and I attribute my success to His provision.

Great fantasy stories are a lot of fun. I write the stories that I want to read and am fortunate enough to have several published novels under my belt as well as more in the pipeline.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “4 Reasons Why I think Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys helped shape family fiction

  1. To answer your presented question Scott, I think authors, especially the Christian ones, shouldn’t cave to the demands and supposed wisdom of the popular wisdom of this world’s view. Characters like your Ilfedo, who despite being in a leadership role doesn’t allow all the power of ruling to go to his head. At least in the first three books so far I haven’t found him to be such a misguided moral character.
    He stands out as a leader and someone who the people of the Hemmed Land want to follow. This is a character that is inspiring and someone who helps call out the best in each of us.

    I would stand in agreement with you that there should be more authors willing to right about good moral standing characters, who show respect to their parents, make tough moral decisions in the right direction that may not flow with the rest of the world around them, and stand firm in their beliefs, no matter the cost.

    What an excellent post Scott!! Thank you for sharing and challenging your readers and future authors!!!

    • Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much.

      I think this needs to be more openly discussed in the circles of Christian publishing. The push is very strong to refuse works that do not meet the “preferences” of the “target audience.” It makes me strongly consider focusing on self-publishing more so that my content is not impacted by the editors’ suggestions, because the majority of editors are looking for a secular appeal.

      Thanks for the encouragement!