Book Sequels written by Non-Original Authors…

Honestly, I’ve never understood this…phenomenon…or whatever it is.  I mean, the characters in books, the writing style, the personality and the language are all a unique creation of its author.  I just do not believe that it can be duplicated or imitated by someone else.  I don’t care if its the author’s son, wife, best friend, identical twin….they are NOT the author.  It is NOT a sequel if it is written by anybody other than the original author.  I will quit reading any series…no matter how much I adore it, if the author of said series dies or quits writing them for whatever reason.  And I question the integrity of any writer who chooses to imitate another writer’s work instead of creating and developing their owns characters, plots, writing style, etc.  Likewise, I don’t care for the practice of Ghostwriting…I just don’t see how this is different from plagiarism?  I mean, one person is writing it, and another person is claiming to have written it.  That’s like Webster’s definition of plagiarism.  The fact that they have permission to do so is totally irrelevant in my mind.

Some of the most (in)famous examples…

V. C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic books)  VC Andrews died in 1986 and her books were taken up by Andrew Neiderman…and this dude is STILL writing (Ghosting writing or whatever) under V.C. Andrews to this day.  I could see maybe, bring in someone to finish a book or two that she’d already started, had outlines or plots-lines for…so some of her original ideas and spirit will be preserved in her final works.  But to make a career out of it?  Can’t get behind that.

Robert Ludlum (The Bourne series)  I LOVED this trilogy!!!  After I finished reading it in the early 2000s..(right when the new Bourne movie was coming out).  I was excited (at first) to learn that there were more books…until they announced that Robert Ludlum had died…and the new Bournes were authored by Van Lustbader.  Sorry Van.  The real Bourne died with Mr. Ludlum in 2001.

Frank Herbert (Dune) – Great Sci-fi.  The world he’s built is so complex, and real…I got lost in it.  His son has taken up the Dune torch…writing posthumously, pre-quels of all things.

Margret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind) Ugh!  Don’t mess with a classic!  First off, WHY?!  Why do we need a sequel to Gone with the Wind?  The story that Mitchell told is complete on its own.  Don’t add anything to it.  Don’t take anything away.  So why do we now have something called “Scarlett” by Alexandra Ripley and “Rhett Butler’s People” by Donald McCaig??  Stop the madness!  Preserve the Classics

And, even my beloved Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)  Yes, there’s an unauthorized sequel…called “Mrs. DeWinter”.  There’s an unread copy of it on my bookshelf right now.  I’m conflicted.  I didn’t realize at the time that it was written by someone else.  Its been “on the shelf” for years…I think the pages have yellowed.  I just can’t do it.  Its like spitting on Ms. du Maurier’s grave.

D. Alyce Domain

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