by Meredith Cole
First of all, I would like to state for the record that I have never read a sequel written by a different author than the original one that I actually liked. But that isn't saying a lot, because most of the time I just avoid them. It was difficult not to be gleeful when the sequel to Gone with the Wind was a bust (which I did not read). Or others which I've now totally blocked out, because most of the time it's just simply a very bad idea.
A sequel presents an opportunity for the estate and the publishing company to make a boat load of money off an original idea of a now dead author. I get it. Who doesn't want to make a boat load of money? Yacht sized, not rowboat sized, of course. And in bills larger then ones, if you please. No change.
But here's the problem. The author who thought of the characters and created that whole world is now dead. And the next book is never going to be as good or authentic if they're not able to write it. And until they put typewriters in heaven or hell or whatever there's not going to be a sequel written by them. And the focus on giving CPR to dead writers and bestselling series characters by hiring someone else to write sequels allows publishing companies to avoid having to figure out what new writers will be creating the next beloved characters and paying them money to do create them.
So I'm against it. As much as anyone can be against anything who hasn't really been tested yet. And that being said, I was heartbroken as a teenager to find that there were only four books featuring Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey. It just didn't seem right. Not that I'm suggesting that I (or anyone else) do anything to remedy it... Because I'm sure someone already has.