Yesterday, Nancy Drew turned 87. Tomorrow, I turn 49, but many memories from my childhood are clear and indelible. I’ll never forget the thrill of reading my first Nancy Drew book, The Haunted Bridge, when I was 10. I’d found a kindred spirit, albeit fictional. We both welcomed adventure and felt driven to solve the mysteries that confronted us.
Some puzzles I solved while awake; others, while asleep. I had a number of lucid dreams (when one is conscious of dreaming while the dreams are still in progress, thereby allowing one to control them). I also experienced what could only be called “serial dreaming” over a two-week period. On the first night, a mystery worthy of Nancy Drew began to unfold. I was the detective, but Nancy and her friends, Bess and George, were right by my side, investigating a haunted house. Each successive night, I dreamed the next “chapter” of the story. By the end of the fortnight, I’d solved the mystery.
Some of what I write today—whether medieval romance (The Novels of Ravenwood) or young adult fantasy (Guardians of Erin)—is inspired by dreams. Sometimes the opposite occurs, and the characters I create wend their way into my nights. But I’ll never forget the magic of those serial dreams which brought excitement and intrigue closer than fiction and made my favorite girl detective proud.