For those who only know the sexiness and paranormal tension of the current-day television series The Vampire Diaries, it may come as a surprise to learn that the books were originally published more than twenty years ago, only to see them revived and repackaged for a new audience in conjunction with the series.
What may also come as a surprise to fans–even a shock, to some–is that author LJ Smith was cut out of the series by the publisher after the fourth book, even though she had already written the fifth book in the series. At the time that she was expecting to receive remarks from her editor at the publishing house, she instead received a letter telling her they were going with a ghostwriter to finish the series. A very in-depth and authoritative post on the subject can be found HERE.
Now, in a move that Good e-Reader has suggested for authors like JK Rowling, among others, Smith has found a home for her work on her series in Amazon’s Kindle Worlds fan fiction site, allowing even the original creator of the characters and story line to have fun and success at the same time while breathing new life into the title.
Smith, whose work has joined the more than three hundred stories that have already been published through the licensing agreements set up by Kindle Worlds, currently holds the top spot for her continuation of the Vampire Diaries. Even more interesting, readers can pick up book three in the series (traditionally published), and then choose to either go with the publisher’s concept in book four, or Smith’s newly revised version of what should happen in book four.
Once relegated to the iffy realm of overzealous fans who just couldn’t let go, fan fiction has taken on a sudden literary acceptance the likes of which the industry hasn’t seen since self-publishing first became acceptable. While some fanfic writers still spurn publishing of the genre for profit by saying it essentially strips away the reason for writing it, others have found success and even critical acclaim for their work. Still others have even garnered the praise and support of the author who originally created with world these newcomers are crafting for. Regardless of the processes involved in creating a book–whether entirely one’s own concept or a building of another’s prior work–digital publishing has allowed fan fiction writers to reach broader audiences with their stories, and to enjoy the same successes that other authors can.