Wednesday, February 16, 2011

L.J. Smith Fired From Vamp Diaries [You're The Expert]

They're getting more and more risqué with these
promos too, aren't they?
By now, you've probably heard the news that L.J. Smith was fired from writing her own books, the oh-so-popular, and oh-so-pre-Twilight-awesome Vampire Diaries.  Thing is, she doesn't own the rights to them anymore (I guess it's a question as to whether or not she ever did, even in 1990?), so Alloy Entertainment, the people who own the rights to the books, basically fired her, reportedly because she was exploring the Damon/Elena side of things and they didn't like that and she refused to take the books the way Alloy wanted them taken.

So, with all of this business of books - with Fray's Fiction Factory, with L.J. being fired, with all of this crazy mumbo jumbo drama cropping up all around, I have  a few thoughts.

My first is, "Whoa!  Dude.  Is the book publishing world going to get as juicy as Hollywood?"  To which I have to admit, a part of me secretly hopes for and wishes wishes wishes for.

Then as an afterthought, I kinda say to myself, "Well, I guess the authors kinda deserve it if they didn't have someone help them make the business decisions and they didn't understand what they were signing up for."

And then I think, "So what if they deserve it, gimme more teen-book-oriented drama."

So, what do you think?  Do you enjoy the drama that has been going on behind the scenes in the teen book world of late?  What with all of the money to be made from teens and adults and merchandising, it's bound to get uglier, right?  Or am I totally crazy.  You're the experts, so bring it.  Your opinion on the matter, that is.

(Oh, and P.S.  I'm done with buying Vampire Diaries books if they're not penned by L.J.  Kaput.)

For those of you not familiar with You're The Expert here at I Heart Monster, it's a type of post where we share some information with you, then ask you what you think about that information.  We encourage you to leave your opinion or answers in the comments section, and even write your own post as an answer if you are so inclined.  See, we're all different, and we all have different experiences, and that's part of what makes the blogosphere such a fun place - we're all experts about what we think and how we feel and our particular view on the world.  This is just a forum for you to share those with the rest of us.  If you do write a post, please share the link.


Ayanami Faerudo said...

WHAT???? The books are L.J.'s creation!

kar_took said...

I was at a conference on vampire fiction earlier in the year and we discussed the filmic and t.v adaptations of the big three (Twilight, Vampire Diaries and True Blood) and one of the things we discussed was the authorship of the different mediums. Its was particularly with True Blood and Vampire Diaries, where the celebrated 'authors' were often depicted as the creators, directors and production companies of the t.v shows. Kevin Williamson is most frequently identified as the creator of The Vampire Diaries. L. J Smith never had the rights to The Vampire Diaries (novels or t.v series) as this was a book package commissioned by the publishers.

For me this says two things:
1. Us academics do actually know what we're talking about sometimes. (Yay! I never thought I'd get to say that) We expressed concern with the contradictory portrayal of authorship in The Vampire Diaries, and now the author has been ousted in favour of the t.v execs who 'know better'.
2. We, as budding authors and readers, need to be very careful when dealing with publishers. Writers should always have at least a lawyer, if not an agent and we readers should perhaps be more conscientious about our expectations of how a story should develop. Regardless of our opinion, all writers should be free to take their writing in the direction they think is best.

Incidentally, I thought that The Vampire Diaries series was badly written and much prefer L. J. Smith's Night World series. I think The Vampire Diaries was picked up for t.v because of its similarity to Twilight. Yes I know the TVD novels were written first, but the t.v series was commissioned on the back of Twilight's success as a film and you can't ignore market forces as a motivator.

Thanks so much of sharing this and inviting opinion. Sorry if I got a bit rant-y, but I've been storing up some vampire fiction rants for a while now.

<3 your blog. Kar x

salarsenッ said...

I'm with you about not buying the books if they're not penned by her. WTH??? They are her creations. Grr...the business side of things can get complicated, though. I guess we need to ask ourselves what can we learn from this??

Anne said...

Whoa! That's messed up. (I knew that Elena & Damon had to cross paths eventually)

Anonymous said...

Well...I have never read the books or watched the show. I hear the books are good and the show is ok. I think it's strange that got into a deal where she did not have the rights to her own series, and to be outed from it - well that's just bad taste on the TV Excs part. I get that they own the rights - but doest that give them the right to treat the one who took their idea and fleshed it out like crap because she is vested enough to change the plot as she sees fit? That is not right.

I Heart Monster said...

All great insights. And I'm totally enjoying the lot. Keep 'em coming!

Cathie said...

I am horrified. I can't, I won't read any more VD books that are not written by L.J. Smith. I've been a fan of hers for over 20 years. She is why I am trying to be an author. How many other authors don't own their own characters? I'm horrified!

Anonymous said...

What's stopping her from writing a differently named book series, with the characters from VD, only named differently (probably would be needed) and pursuing the storyline of Damon and Elena? Maybe Damien and Erica could start to have feelings for each other rather than Erica and Steven. Get my drift. And call it Demon Victories. Isn't that kinda like what happened with Twilight? Seriously though, I will not read any Vampire Diaries that are NOT written by L.J. Smith. She owns the creative thought, even though the publishers have ousted her. Their loss, I am sure!

Alexa said...

eh I never liked the Vampire Diaries series so it is not a great loss to me since I stopped reading them after the third book. I felt the stories were getting more and more far fetched with all that twin demon in a magical realm crap. Plus it is sad now that tv and movie writers can not come up with anything good so they have to turn books into shows and movies. Leave the book world in the book world and leave the tv/movie world in the tv/movie world.