“Deus ex Machina”, in the worst possible way.
Not only is there no such thing as a famous author anymore, now L.J. Smith has been removed from the equation entirely. How long before a publisher attempts to foist an artificial-intelligence-written “work” on the public?
I might even live to see that sad day … 👿
To put it briefly, I’ve been fired from writing the Vampire Diaries. And I’ve been fighting and fighting this since last fall, but there is absolutely no recourse. Midnight is the last L. J. Smith book in the Vampire Diaries series.
It probably sounds completely impossible to say that I am fired from writing my own books. But the truth is that they’re not mine, even though I write every word. When I was called by an agent and asked to write the vampire trilogy, that agent wasn’t from a publisher, but from what is now Alloy Entertainment, Ltd. And they are a book packager. A book packager sells books, already made with covers and all, to publishers, like HarperCollins—my publisher for The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle. And both these series were written “for hire” which means that the book packager owns the books the author produces. Although I didn’t even understand what “for hire” meant back in 1990, when I agreed to write books for them, I found out eventually, to my horror and dismay. It means that even though I have written the entire series, I don’t own anything about The Vampire Diaries. And from now on, the books will be written by an anonymous ghostwriter, just as Stefan’s Diaries are. It will say “Created by L. J. Smith” on the cover, but I am not allowed even to change a word in the ghostwriter’s book.
Another wretched example of the authors’ rung on the ladder: When Random House gave their employees the “$5,000 bonuses” from their “Fifty Shades Trilogy” lucre, authors were not included in that group. Yet, without piggybacking on author E.L. James’ already-notable-and-notorious work, they would not have been able to pay said bonuses.