The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz is, of course, a beloved children's book that nobody's ever read and that everybody thinks is a movie starring Judy Garland. But, in fact, the Oz books were and are deeply beloved by children across the world, much to the frustration of the author, L. Frank Baum.
“Oz” was intended to be a one-off for money. Then L. Frank Baum kept going broke, and discovering nobody gave a crap about anything he wrote if it didn't feature talking scarecrows and veiled political references to the silver standard. He wrote a ton of stuff that wasn't Oz that didn't see print until his death. In fact, Baum died writing Oz books, and, not unreasonably, went out on a really dark note in the fourteenth book in the series, probably hoping this last book would end it. We like to imagine he tried to exorcize it with priests chanting “The Power of Christ Compels You!” over his bed.
Then Ruth Plumly Thompson wrote another nineteen books. We bet Baum was cursing from beyond the grave.
It's pretty rare that a pen name turns into a franchise, but VC Andrews is just lucky, we guess. So lucky that the IRS actually argued her name was a taxable asset, but we're getting ahead of ourselves.
VC Andrews, in life, wrote the kind of books nobody writes anymore, namely Gothic horror/romances, the old-fashioned kind with crazy wives locked up in the attic and creaky old houses. She got started in 1979 and hasn't stopped writing since, which is quite a trick since she died in 1986 and the vast majority of stuff published under her name is actually ghostwritten.
See, VC Andrews was just selling too well for anybody to let her stop publishing, so they hired a ghostwriter, who's still going strong more than two decades later. We really hope they pay that guy well considering his entire career has been under someone else's name. It's not like he can really put anything else on his resume.
Got a bone to pick with whatever series is holdng up the short leg of your couch? Let us hear about it in the comments section!
- - Perry Rhodan: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/78/Perry_Rhodan_issue2250.jpg
- - The Wheel of Time: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/00/WoT01_TheEyeOfTheWorld.jpg
- - The Railway Series: http://www.sodor-island.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/railway_41.jpg
- - The Wizard of Oz: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Wizard_title_page.jpg
- - VC Andrews: http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n6/n31232.jpg