Penny Warner, part-time child development instructor in the DVC early childhood education department, has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Non-Fiction for her new book, The Nancy Drew Handbook, which was published in December.
"I grew up reading Nancy Drew, and the handbook just seemed like a natural for me," Warner said. It offers "skills, tips, and life lessons learned from everyone's favorite girl detective," she said, and includes such tips as "How to Tap Morse Code with the Heels of your Shoes When You're Bound and Gagged", "How to Free Yourself from Quicksand", "How to Tell a Man by his Shoes", "How to Thwart a Kidnapping," and "How to Train a Carrier Pigeon."
Warner said the book took her about two months to complete - after she had re-read all 56 of the original Nancy Drew series to remind herself of the writing tone. She has written a mystery series of her own featuring a deaf reporter in the California Gold Country, and Dead Body Language won a Macavity Award for Best First Mystery. She also wrote a middle-grade mystery, Mystery of the Haunted Caves, which won an Agatha Award for Best Juvenile Mystery.
Warner has published more than 50 fiction and non-fiction books for parents and children. Her next two books, due out this year, are Rock-A-Bye Baby: 200 Tips for Getting Your Baby to Sleep, and Ladies Night: 75 Parties for Women.