Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Crazy about Nancy, Day 3

Thrillionth Page exclusive: Interview with Nancy Drew!
Part 1 of 2

Nancy, it is such an honor to have you as a guest! We are such fans of yours - thanks so much for joining us.

Okay, you've been sleuthing a long time. Can you say a little bit about your first case, and how you got your start in all this?

ND: I got my start in the sleuthing business thanks to Josiah Crowley whose final will I had to hunt down in The Secret of the Old Clock. I showed up those snooty Topham sisters too.
I’m a magnet for mystery, or so my friends say! Sometimes it’s a lot of work and sometimes it’s plain luck and a clue materializes just when I need it. Like those times that I’d be walking down the street and a note will just fall out of a suspects pocket!

You've run up against some pretty frightening foes. Could you tell us about your most memorable or scary villain(s)? 

ND: One of the most memorable crooks I nabbed was Frank Semitt from The Sign of the Twisted Candles case. He was such a bumbler and I made him eat my dust when I outran him in my spiffy roadster and he drove into the ditch!

One of the most frightening foes was Bush Trott, when he tied me up in the secret room next to the attic of Pleasant Hedges in The Secret of the Old Attic. He left behind a poisonous spider to do me in. The thought of being bound and gagged and left in the dark with a spider crawling my way was horrifying! Thankfully Ned rescued me at the psychological moment and stepped on the spider!

A lot of books nowadays feature mystery-solving girls getting together with vampires, werewolves or demons and so forth. What are your views on that? 

ND: I don’t believe in ghosts. And every “monster” I’ve ever encountered was some crook who was trying to pull a scam over some innocent victim. Like that Natham Gomber from The Hidden Staircase who was pretending to haunt The Mansion and scare the Turnbull sisters!

Or, those pesky treasure hunters Al and Sid who were trying to haunt the ranch in The Secret at Shadow Ranch with the phantom horse. And that vampire I ran into in my Nancy Drew Ghost Stories case, haunting that cave in the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania, was just a creep trying to use the cave for nefarious purposes!

Your girlfriends - fun, boy-crazy Bess and tomboy George - have such different personalities. What it's like to sleuth with them?

ND: They’re like oil and water and I’ve learned over the years to try and stay out of their disagreements and not take sides! Poor Bess, she’s such a fraidy and likes to eat all the time! And George, she’s such a tomboy and enjoys picking on Bess. Their constant bickering aside, they are big helpers! George is always up for adventure and her judo comes in handy sometimes like the time she nailed that fake detective flat on my hallway floor in The Clue in the Crossword Cipher who was trying to steal my big clue—the crossword cipher! And Bess, though she often gets left as a guard on sleuthing ventures or waits in the car, she really came through in The Phantom of Pine Hill when George and I were knocked out by the villain and she managed to knock him out and run for help!

~ Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of this exclusive interview! ~
The Spider Sapphire Mystery
Aka Nancy Gets Her Passport Stamped. (heh. no. That is not a euphemism for anything)
by Kim

I loved everything about Nancy Drew books. The mystery, the camaraderie, the food, the adventure, the titles (Back when they knew how to title a book, yes I am pointing at you Harlequin) and the covers.

The titles told you exactly what to expect in the book and the covers gave you so much more. This was never more true than with The Spider Sapphire Mystery. Just the mention of the word spider made the book scary for me but then you throw in jewels too, and I am soooo there. It also gave me a spelling lesson. Sapphire has two “p’s”. That was a 4th grade “High Hat” word. So WIN! The cover had a big-as-your-head (seriously, it is as big as Nancy’s head) sparkly blue sapphire with a huge black spider imbedded in it with Nancy gazing up at it from behind. It scared the crap out of me and I loved it.

This book had a lot of peril and DANGER! in it for our intrepid heroine and pals. It starts off with a suspected jewel heist, takes us along on a safari in Africa, and we find a missing person. Here are a few hijinks our brave companions faced.Nancy’s purse snatched!
  • Ned kidnapped!
  • Warning notes!
  • Nancy attacked and suffocated with a bag!
  • George snatched by a man in a gorilla suit!
  • Ned, Burt and Dave hurt while chasing attackers!
  • Acid on suitcase handles burns Ned and Nancy’s hands!
  • More warning notes and a Death mask!
This book also had a character that I hated. She wasn’t the villain, she was a classmate that went along on the safari with Nancy. I call her Gwen the Whiner.

She was a brat. I imagined my 10 year old self sitting behind her in class and cutting her hair with my brand new 4th grade issued pointy end scissors. Yeah, you heard me. No more blunty end scissors for me, sistas. I was moving up in the world. My BFF’s and I were chugging the haterade for this chick. Then Bess gave Gwen the Whiner a make-over and washed her hair. So now everyone liked Gwen the Whiner. Now that she was pretty. And. Had.Clean.Hair. Yeah. Hmmmm.

Anywho, we get to learn about spiders who may or may not have had spinneret’s, jewels, safari’s, African animals and tribes, bad hotels where people break in your room and set your clothes aflame, food, medical attention and care of acid burns and wood carving. We took out the bad guys and we found a missing person. It was a great adventure.

A few more random notes from Nancy’s Mysterious Letter

by Carolyn Jean

Okay here is a little scene I rather liked. Look what a great driver Nancy is! This is a scene that will unfortunately never happen between my husband and me, for numerous reasons:
Parking was allowed only on one side and she had to go to the next block before finding a space.
Ned teased her by saying he was sure she would never squeeze her convertible in such a tight parking place. However, after several skillful twists of the wheel, Nancy maneuvered the car in the vacant spot. Ned admitted he could not have done a finer job.
Onto the shoe clue - I should've asked Nancy about this shoe business in the interview, because it was very odd, and went nowhere: the random shoe clue.
A little background: The alert little boy who had been so helpful earlier, getting a description and partial license plate for the villain, Edgar Nixon, brought this shoe to Nancy, claiming it belonged to him. When this happened, I thought, well, what are they going to do with a shoe? There wasn’t any footprint evidence.

Nancy was determined to bring it to the police, and I sort of thought, the police are just going to laugh at her. But they didn’t. They just accepted it, without comment. I figured the shoe would come into play somehow (an APB for a man with one shoe? Find the match in an incriminating situation?) but the shoe clue never came to anything.

At the end of the book, the police simply handed it back to Nancy, saying, well, we couldn’t do anything with this. Was this one of those threads an author puts out, just in case, but then never ties up? Was this the author’s sly way of suggesting that the police sometimes humor Nancy? Or was it put in to show the reality of an investigation: some leads are strange, some leads go nowhere?

Newsy Nancy Drew items:

Okay! WHAT is this I hear about Nancy and Frank Hardy?

I missed my chance to ask about this in the interview, but Sarah mcq, who clearly knows what she’s talking about, made this comment in the Nancy day 1 comment section in response to another commenter who mentioned the Hardy Boys:
Since you enjoyed the Nancy Drew appearances in the old Hardy Boys, you might also consider looking for the more recent "Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys Super Mysteries". They're more recent paperbacks in which Nancy and the Hardys each start out on their own mysteries, only to discover(gasp!) that their cases are related. Regular appearances from George and Bess too, but less Ned, since there's also some great Nancy-Frank tension...
Oh boy, this is distressing. I can see where Frank and Nancy would have a lot in common, but poor Ned!

Another blog is also doing Nancy Drew week:

The Stiletto Gang, which appears to be a group of woman mystery authors, is doing a thing on Nancy Drew week too. There can never be too much Nancy!

Nancy Drew on the Web!

In doing this week, I've found a number of interesting Nancy Sites. The Nancy Drew Sleuths is an International organization of fans and scholars with annual conventions and an ongoing discussion groups. Site features a Sleuth Shop, annual Sleuth conventions, Sleuth Awards, a series magazine The Sleuth and Sleuth charitable endeavors, as well as ND Sleuths: Jr. Detective Squad Club.

The Nancy Drew Sleuth unofficial website is another great one, chock full of information on the books, history, collectibles and more, and is related to ndsleuths.

Giveaway Details:
Comment, contribute or pimp Nancy Drew Week by tomorrow and you’re entered for the following prizes:

Clues for Real Life: This fun book is filled with witty and often tongue-in-cheek quotes, interactive quizzes and trivia as well as humorous insights. “It is a great nostalgia ride in that blue roadster down memory lane for any Nancy Drew® fan!”

Nancy Drew Tote: Who doesn’t need another tote? It is made of leather and the cover of the Secret of the Old Clock. And hey, it’s Nancy.

Gift Certificate: A $15 gift certificate to the bookseller of your choice that’s not Amazon.

More Nancy Fun!
Tomorrow: Part 2 of the interview, Tracy's review of a 2002 Nancy Drew mystery and possibly another item.
Friday: Winners announced and I go out of town.


Katiebabs said...

Hmmm a love triangle between Ned, Nancy and Frank? Oh my!
CJ, can you ask Nancy what she thinks of that rumor?

Carolyn Jean said...

Well, I'll send an email to Nancy, but she's pretty busy, so I'm not sure if I'll get an answer. We'll see!!

Tracy said...

Great interview with ND, CJ!

Tension with ND and Fran? Poor Ned, left in the dust! lol

Ellen said...

An interview with Diva La Drew herself! What a coup! This event has been so much fun to follow. It makes me want to drop everything else I'm doing, dig my Nancies out of the box in the basement, and spend the entire weekend reading.

kim said...

Great interview with Nancy! Exclaiming! Yay!

Nancy and Frank?? Nooooooooo! Ned will prevail. I just know it.

I heart you CJ, remembering Nancy has been alot of fun!

Sarai said...

OHHHH I loved the interview! Great job CJ

Liza said...

Great interview with Nancy! Can't wait for part 2 tomorrow.

little alys said...

Wooo, love triangle. I don't know about all of ya, but I never quite understood why Nancy was with Ned to begin with. ;)

Wonderful interview CJ! I seriously love this idea. It's wonderful!!! Too fun. :D

Sarai said...

CJ I just posted my 13 things Nancy Drew taught me in case you are curious!

Nicola O. said...

I must admit I don't remember a ton of details from the stories (3rd grade was, erm, a rilly long time ago....) but dang, I remember that spider in the attic scene! CREEPY.