Douglas Dove

May 21, 2022

Timeline in Neddiad series?

So as a soon to be 56 year old childless man with a penchant for juvenile fiction, I regret to say I found myself reading my first Daniel Pinkwater book last year after being diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer. My wife knew that books are the best medicine in most instances, and stocked me up with a supply from used book stores and thrift shops. One of those was “Adventures of a Cat Whiskered Girl”. Me being a cat person I gravitated to it first (as far as dogs, nothing better than a Tri Color Rough Collie, it’s the snout, love Peach!) From my first reading and rereading, I was so taken with Big Audrey and Molly. And once I found Audrey’s story started in a previous book it led me to order “The Neddiad” and “The Yggyssey”. After that a whole new world opened up! So my question is, should I be so fixated with a cogent timeline? I figure “The Neddiad” is set circa 1949 and “The Yggyssey” and “Adventures of a Cat Whiskered Girl” in the early 50’s. I do so like you mixing real world places into your stories and having a ball looking them up. Well just the other week I finished “Adventures of a Dwergish Girl”, which seems to take place before she ever met Big Audrey and is set in a fairly contemporary Kingston and NYC (or am I mistaken?). And now I have on back order “Crazy in Poughkeepsie” and reading the blub online makes me think Molly is a character that might end up eventually in the “looney bin”. So in a series based in the assumption of a multitude of alternate universes, should I be surprised of books being written in a chronological disorder? I am finding it to be a hoot and challenging at the same time. I was just wondering if you, as the creator, think the same and I would appreciate any feedback. By the way, after two major surgeries and just finishing up lengthy chemotherapy last week, I hope to be reading “Crazy in Poughkeepsie” cancer free! Thanks for the wonderful diversion during it all. All the best, Doug.

Daniel replies:

Chronological disorder is an apt term. I suppose one could imagine Molly and other characters who seem to migrate among books as actors, contract players, who have roles in various productions. I'm happy mixing up time periods, introducing real and less read cultural items, and of course I have very little use for things like plot. As regards reality, I cannot think of a more satisfactory use for books of mine than providing diversion while heroically beating cancer. Bravo, Douglas! I am proud to have you read my stuff.