Figurski at Findhorn on Acid

Carolyn Keene: collective pseudonym for author of the Nancy Drew Mystery Series and the Dana Girls series, started by Edward Stratemeyer in the late 1920s and selling some 65 million books by the 1990s. The Stratemeyer Syndicate created many other successful series, including Tom Swift, The Bobbsey Twins, The Rover Boys, and The Hardy Boys. The Stratemeyer formula, continued in the Nancy Drew series, includes a safe and pleasant world in which bad guys are always brought to justice, wholesome young heroes with an abundance of curiosity, small-time villains such as thieves and arsonists, cookie-cutter chapters which end on a note of suspense, and cliché-ridden prose cranked out by a stable of contract writers. Although very conventional in an old-fashioned, upper-middle class way, Nancy Drew is distinguished somewhat by her independence and resourcefulness. Harriet Stratemeyer Adams (aka Victor W. Appleton II, Franklin W. Dixon, and Laura Lee Hope) became Carolyn Keene when her father died in 1930, wrote several of the early Nancy Drew books, and ran the syndicate for 52 years. Like her father, she maintained tight editorial control. Edward Stratemeyer had sometimes demanded dozens of rewrites, especially of the crucial opening pages; Harriet Stratemeyer Adams eschewed most attempts to modernize her detective heroine, disallowed references to contemporary events or people, and rejected cover art if Nancy's hair was too messy or skirt too short. Ms. Adams died of a heart attack on March 27, 1982, at her home in Maplewood, NJ, while watching The Wizard of Oz for the first time on TV.

Alexander Parritt's Dictionary of Literary Pen Names (Obewon, 1993)

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