Alright, so I’ve been hearing a lot about the show Vampire Diaries lately and I had some information to share! So many years ago, I read the Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith. Smith is a FANTASTIC writer and not only did Vampire Diaries have a romance to die for….lol….it was SCARY. Not teeny bopper scary but SCARY. As in, don’t read them with all of the lights off. It wasn’t about every man being drool worthy and eventually turn out sweet and has a good heart (aka Klaus), but it had BAD guys. And bad guys were killed, not misunderstood like the TV show made it out to be. When I mentioned just how WACK the show was compared to the books, many people asked why it was so different and how.
Well first off, we need to start with what happened to the original author. I know you’re thinking, all of the books say L.J. Smith on the cover right? WELL. Let’s start at the beginning.
L.J. Smith invented the Vampire Diaries. It was her characters, her love triangle, her scary story. And she was hired on a contract basis for the books meaning they got her to write each book but book BY book, not the whole series together. When they didn’t like what she was doing with HER OWN CHARACTERS, they fired her…..That’s right folks. An author was fired from her own books meaning she was no longer allowed to publish books under the official Vampire Diaries title. It’s like a Ke$ha/JoJo contract disaster right? The books she worked so hard on and made hella popular were taken from her. And this was when the show got started up as well and anyone who has read ANY of the books knows the only real similarities are names, places and the fact that there are vampires and werewolves. That’s it. No character is really the same. Except Damon. He’s pretty spot on. Elena is made just ANNOYING, there’s a brother? Her aunt has a bae and isn’t murdered right off the bat, Katherine is a loon, Klaus is a creep in a raincoat and not a misunderstood hurt guy, Caroline is a jerk, Tyler SMALLwood is just nasty and Bonnie is a jumpy girly girl with a personality like cotton candy.
Nothing like the books.
Anyways, back to Smith. From this point on after the original set of books, someone called a ghostwriter took on the series. That’s right. Someone ELSE wrote her books and still got published under her name. Which I’m sure was EXTREMELY annoying for her. Not to mention hurtful. Especially now watching this alternate reality that is the TV show. Many many many books were written in the Vampire Diaries series after this happened that none were actually written by Smith.
BUT there is a bright side! For Smith’s true fans, she found a way to us. Amazon has something that is called Kindle Worlds which is basically a place for Fan Fiction to be released meaning it is stories written based off of real books but not published as a true continuation of the series. Smith has released what would have been her next books on Kindle Worlds for us to see how SHE would have continued to stories she created. Which to me, is staying true to her characters. She has had some health issues lately and is still trying to continue the series but I am always keeping a sharp eye out for what she does next.
What I’m trying to clarify here is: Young writes, musicians, artists, etc. READ THE FINE PRINT. Don’t get over excited over the first person who comes at you with a magical deal. This may not be what happened to Smith, but there may have been someone better out there that would have supported her or signed her for her whole series opposed to what she got in return. We see examples of this with the singers Ke$ha and JoJo going through years of fighting contracts they signed when they were very young and couldn’t get out of.
Please be wary. Be careful. Read the fine print, fight for what you need in your art. If someone says they’ll sign you but you need to change your entire story, THINK about it. You may be okay with it and go ahead with it but take the time to THINK. Don’t just dive headfirst into things because you’re excited and don’t want to miss your chance. I know it’s scary but is it scarier to think someone can be out there taking credit for what was supposed to be yours? No. That’s the answer. Your dreams are YOURS. And you need to live them, not settle and morph and conform to make others happy. Lead your way. Follow YOUR arrow.
I just needed to get this out and enlighten some who have asked me questions before! I am not in any way saying the show is horrible or even anything about the ghostwriter’s books. I simply say that I support the original author and hate what happened to her and hope that it doesn’t happen to others. I have actually watched a lot of the show and enjoyed quite a few aspects of it, but I am your typical “That’s not in the book” reader and in this case, that makes it very hard to continue watching the show.
So next time, always remember to read the fine print!
Here is a link to Smith’s Kindle Worlds books for those of you interested!
And here is L.J. Smith’s website!