We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to rant about authors who “franchise” (my choice of words – not a technical term as far as I know) their name to sell more books. You have been warned.
This post was inspired by Tanesha’s most recent Crafty Garden Mom podcast where she talked about some books and mentioned James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series. This hit a sore spot with me because I am becoming increasingly frustrated with authors who write books “with …” another author to sell more books. I first started seeing this with Tom Clancy and the Net Force and other series in the mid to late 90s. Then Robert Ludlum died, and someone else started using his name to write more Bourne books. (I don’t blame Ludlum for this, obviously. And I really think they should just let Jason Bourne be! He has been through more than enough. And don’t let me get started on the movies that killed off his wife in the second one!) And, of course, James Patterson does this all the time. I noticed it when I read the third Women’s Murder Club book, and it didn’t ring quite right with me. That’s when I quit reading the Women’s Murder Club books. (Full disclosure: I still read the Alex Cross books by Patterson because, with one exception, they really are by James Patterson – or at least they claim to be.)
I understand that there is sort of a precedent historically for many writers writing under one name. Franklin W. Dixon and Carolyn Keene (The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries respectively) never existed as a real person, as far as I know. Those books were ghost written for those names. And for some reason I have a less negative reaction to that than I do to an established writer who sells or lends his name in order to sell more books per year! And as to the authors who write “with” the established authors – create your own characters, for Pete’s sake!
I could also rant about the whole series idea in the first place, except that I understand the feeling of finishing a book and wanting to know what else happened to the characters. It used to bother me that best selling authors kept writing over and over about the same characters, but I guess I have gotten used to it. Which brings me to…
Tanesha also mentioned the Camel Club series by David Baldacci, a favorite series of mine. The only thing I want to mention about that is that when the first one was written, before it was a series, as I read that book I pictured Clint Eastwood in the role of Oliver Stone. As a matter of fact, I wondered at the time if it was written that way to entice Clint to play that role in the movie, if such were ever made. Now that I’ve mentioned that, if you read the series you will only be able to picture Clint as Oliver when/if you read the books.
Okay, I mentioned nothing here about quilting, but that’s okay because I am about to go downstairs and complete the paper piecing on my niece’s quilt! Yay! I am so sick of paper piecing. Then I just have to complete the top, get it to the longarmer, and bind it. And…