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The Folger Library is sending Shakespeare’s First Folio on tour.  It’ll be making one stop in each of the fifty states, including Hawaii and Alaska; you can find your state’s Shakespeare stop here.

Also, a reminder for writers who might want to transform lived experience or known history into fiction:  Fiction has to be believable, while reality is under no such constraint.

And finally, an interview with one of the many authors over the decades who have been Carolyn Keene, about writing Nancy Drew novels.  Full disclosure:  I’ve never been Carolyn Keene, but I have been one-half of Victor Appleton.  Twice.  And I can vouch for the truth of this article.

My only beef is with the interviewer and/or the editor on the Slate end of things, who persist in referring to the author as a “ghostwriter.”  She was not – and doesn’t call herself one.  A ghostwriter is writing under the name of, and in the persona of, an actual person who is the purported author of the book.  Sometimes this is a flagrant pretense, but sometimes it’s for a good reason – if, for example, the “author” has an important or interesting story to tell, but absolutely no writing chops whatsoever.

At any rate, a writer for the Nancy Drew books, or the Tom Swift books, or any of a number of syndicated properties, is not a ghost writer.  The proper term for what they’re doing is writing under a house name – so-called because the name “Carolyn Keene” or “Victor Appleton” or whatever is owned by the publishing house, not by the writer of a particular book.  Which is how I can have in my personal library a Tom Swift hardcover from the mid-1920’s that used to belong to my father, and a couple of Tom Swift paperbacks from the early 1990’s that were co-authored by me and Jim Macdonald.

And “Victor Appleton” wrote them all.