The Hardy Boys Series
Franklin W. Dixon has been writing young adult adventure novels about Frank and Joe Hardy since 1927 without any visible loss of energy. That's because there is no real “Dixon.” A dozen or more individuals have written under the name over the decades.
Edward Stratemeyer (1862–1930) created Dixon and the Hardy Boys. “Stratemeyer started writing when he worked in his brother's tobacco store,” Clarence T. Hubbard said. “He wrote dime novels which preceded his cloth-covered library-type books. He was once associated with Street and Smith, publishers in this field. But he finally emerged with an updated remodeled 'hero' for boys, a sort of middle class youngster who was a cut above [Horatio] Alger's bootblacks and much more dignified than Nick Carter or Deadwood Dick.” (Stratemeyer also created the pen name Carolyn Keene, “author” of the Nancy Drew series. For more about Stratemeyer's background, see the Carolyn Keene entry on page 174.)
Besides the Hardy Boys books, Dixon's byline appeared on twenty books in the Ted Scott Flying Stories series from 1927 to 1943.
Stratemeyer was a wizard at developing series books. His first successful novel, Dewey at Manila, “would have sold for a dime in paperback, [but] made a fortune as a hardcover book at a dollar,” Leslie McFarlane said. “Obviously, Stratemeyer decided, the real money was in hardcover juveniles. So he conjured up 'The Rover Boys' in 1899 and introduced a couple of new ideas. Normally a juvenile series was content with one hero; but if one hero was good, wouldn't two heroes be twice as good? …