by Giselle Renarde
When the "What Are You Reading?" topic comes up, I usually I tell you about a book I'm enjoying. Today I'm going to tell you about a book I abandoned, which is much more fun.
Last year I might have mentioned reading V.C. Andrews for the first time and being shocked. I might also have told you about being in the younger cohort of a Grade 5/6 split. That wasn't last year--that was closer to the heyday of V.C. Andrews' fame. All the Grade 6 girls were reading Flowers in the Attic. They went through V.C. Andrews books like you wouldn't believe.
So last year, when I picked up an old V.C. Andrews and found it culminated in incestuous child rape, I couldn't believe this is what the kids in my class were reading back in the day.
That said, when I spotted another V.C. Andrews novel in the library, I didn't exactly walk on by.
Something got me curious, though. The dedication to this book reads: For Gene Andrews, who so wanted to keep his sister's work alive.
That's a weird dedication.
So I read the fine print on the copyright page and found this:
Following the death of Virginia Andrews, the Andrews family worked with a carefully selected writer to organize and complete Virginia Andrews's stories and to create additional novels, of which this is one, inspired by her storytelling genius.
Things that make you go hmmm, am I right?
Maybe this is all common knowledge. V.C. Andrews died in 1986. But it's news to me because apparently I'm 30 years behind the times.
I gave this book a chance (it's called Sage's Eyes, if you're curious) because the blurb seemed intriguing. I hate giving up on a book, so I worked my way through half of it before deciding life's too short. This novel is repetitive as fuck and focuses on minutia that might possibly be interesting to preteens but not to adult readers. The characters are supposed to be contemporary teenagers but they all talk like it's the 50s--the 1850s. heh
Anyway, tastes vary. I don't want to yuck anyone's yum. But it did get me thinking about author estate planning and literary wills.
As an author, do you care what's written in your name after you die? Do you want someone else to pick up where you left off? Complete your works in progress? Do you want your devoted readers picking up a book by someone else and thinking it's by you?
Maybe you don't care. After all, you'll be dead. But if you're beginning to wonder what measures you should be taking now to protect your interests after your death, have a listen to this episode of The Creative Penn: What Happens When An Author Dies. Estate Planning With Kathryn Goldman.
It's a start.
Giselle Renarde is an award-winning queer Canadian writer. Nominated Toronto’s Best Author in NOW Magazine’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards, her fiction has appeared in nearly 200 short story anthologies, including prestigious collections like Best Lesbian Romance, Best Women’s Erotica, and the Lambda Award-winning collection Take Me There, edited by Tristan Taormino. Giselle's juicy novels include Anonymous, In Shadow, Seven Kisses, and The Other Side of Ruth.