Saturday, May 24, 2014

One Man-So Many Pen Names-So Many Great Books

Besides Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louisa May Alcott books, I loved reading the adventures of The Bobbsey Twins when growing up. This was a series about two sets of twins in the same family-Bert & Nan and Flossie & Freddie. I think I read "The Bobbsey Twins at Big Bear Pond" a hundred or so times. I never realized it back then but those kids never aged.
I recently found out that Laura Lee Hope was not the author. In fact she never existed. The Bobbsey Twins was created by Edward Stratemeyer who wrote the first book in that series and outlined many of the books that followed.
I discovered Mr.Stratemeyer also created The Rover Boys, The Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, Nancy Drew-150 popular series in all under 100 pen names. This was such a surprise to me. As a lover of the Nancy Drew series I grew up thinking Caroline Keene penned Nancy Drew. I guess it doesn't matter. Just because there never was a Laura Lee Hope or Caroline Keene doesn't change anything. To me they will always be the authors of books I loved. Their names are part of my childhood.
While discovering some author names connected to books I grew up with were as fictitious as the storylines, I find it amazing that one man created so many different book series each with unique plots and characters without the aid of a computer. That means he had no delete button, no cut and paste or forward, no pdfs or jpegs or email or all the rest we take for granted.
Despite all of that, I don't see where this Mr. Stratemeyer-or Laura Lee Hope or Caroline Keene-or whatever you want to call him-was stifled. He pumped out stories and created characters that remain in the minds and hearts of kids now grown-ups. Maybe because he couldn't spend his time surfing, texting, posting, pinning, emailing, commenting, liking, he simply wrote stories-so many good stories.


  1. How interesting.
    I grew up devouring “The Hardy Boys”.
    Funny, but my main characters in my first novel are… the Hunter Boys. Doing their ‘stuff’, in their astral or spirit body.
    I will read more about your Christmas books. I have always wanted to write one, as it is, or was, a magical time of the year.

    1. I found it interesting too. I can't imagine keeping all the characters and storylines straight! If you want to feel that Christmas magic again-I suggest "he Reindeer Keeper"!