I know there are some fervent Beany Malone fans here — hi Zelda — and that most of them know that almost every Tess novel has a Beany or Katie Rose reference. Being me, I often forget what they are, but I swear there’s always one.
But, just yesterday, more than a decade into a series that includes 10 novels, a novella and several short stories, I realized that the entire Tess Monaghan story comes from one Beany novel: Pick a New Dream.
To wit: Beany wants to be a newspaper journalist and is counting on a summer job working at the Denver Call, her father’s paper. But the job falls through and she is told, rather bluntly, that she’s not really a writer.
Tess Monaghan, while a former journalist, isn’t really a writer, either. Oh, she likes to read and play with words, and she does begin taking notes at the end of “Green Raincoat.” But I know her pretty well, and she doesn’t have a writer’s temperament. She’s not an observer, she’s a do-er, for better or worse.
Although I’ve always thought her habit of using black-and-white composition books is one-half Harriet the Spy, one-half Ignatius Reilly, who preferred Big Chief notebooks.