Don’t get me wrong, I love teen fiction as much as the next 20-something girl. I’ve read the Gossip Girl series and before that, the Baby Sitter’s Club and Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High, but there is something about the Original Nancy Drew series that is timeless, classic and always appealing. No matter my age or current life position.
As this USA Today article points out, it might be because the books “had a thriller quality that’s harder to achieve in modern settings.” Or because it’s an opportunity to live vicariously as a brazen girl of the past, a time period we are moving away from with frightening speed (good or bad, at the moment is not the point).
To be honest, I didn’t know the books were penned by a man at a “fiction factory” that also produced the Hardy Boys and Bobsey Twins. But it doesn’t matter to me where the books originated as much as how much I love them and all of the memories associated with lazy summer days in the tree or hammock reading though one book at a time.
You may be wondering how this post relates to PR and writing in general, it is in this: don’t try to jazz up or modernize a classic without thinking about the effect on the brand.
There are new Nancy Drew books where she wears jeans and uses a cell phone, but I can read modern girl detective stories in several other teen series. I want Nancy Drew to stay the classy gal she was 80 years ago when my grandmother read the books. It’s a connection to my past and the past in general that could be completely lost with modernization. Making the books hip tramps on my memories of who Nancy Drew is and what she represented to me.