I have seen that a similar email had already been leaked in a few places (fanpop, tumblr), so I may as well post it now. I wasn’t going to because I didn’t know if it was confidential, but what’s the point now?
This is very upsetting. I say we should email the publishers and let them know that we are not going to accept this.
Publisher’s email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so very much for your kind words about Midnight. I’m so glad
you’re enjoying it, and if you already know that Damon says those three
little words to Elena, then I expect you know what she does for him
afterwards. I can’t say how much I appreciate your understanding of the
book, but at the same time my heart is so heavy that I just can’t keep
pretending about what’s in the future for Delena fans.
You see, I’ve been fired from The Vampire Diaries—mainly because instead of
giving my publishers the strict Stelana they demanded, I went ahead and
wrote what my heart told me to do. They wanted Elena to “realize that she
was fond of or physically attracted to Damon, but that her one true love was
Stefan.” But I didn’t see the series that way. And so Midnight is the last
Vampire Diaries book you’ll see by L. J. Smith.
You’re probably wondering how this can happen, since I write the series and
have done so since 1990. But the truth is simple. When I got a call asking
me to write a vampire trilogy for Harper, it wasn’t Harper who was calling
me. It was a book packager, now called Alloy Entertainment, calling on
Harper’s behalf. Their job was to take authors’ work, put blurbs and
covers on it, and sell it to a publisher. When I wrote the first Vampire
Diaries trilogy it was called “work for hire.” By the time I found out what
that meant it was too late.
What it means is that the book packager, Alloy Entertainment, owns the
books, not me. Even though they are copyrighted to me, I still can’t write
them without Alloy’s permission. And they really hated any Delena
content—as well as the many scenes I had given to Bonnie, which they wanted
to cut. They demanded only Stelena. And now they’ve gotten an anonymous
ghostwriter to do the books, the way a ghostwriter does Stefan’s Diaries.
The first book out after Midnight will probably sound something like my
writing, since I wrote Phantom for them. But instead of edits, what I got
back after I wrote it was a letter addressed to the ghostwriter by name,
telling her to completely rewrite the book.
I have been fighting, coaxing, and pleading with the people at both Alloy
and Harper, as I already had the next two books after Phantom mapped out.
But there is nothing to be done. They simply didn’t like the way the
series was going, and unlike most writers who work with book packagers, I
was not submissive, meek, and eager to please them. Instead, I had my own
vision of the books. But you can kiss any more truly meaningful Delena
moments goodbye, because I’m afraid it just isn’t the view of Harper or
Meanwhile, I am devastated. Of course I have other series done directly
with a publisher: The Forbidden Game, Dark Visions, and the Night World
books. But I put so much of myself into the Vampire Diaries books that
right now I’m devastated. I never imagined anything like this could happen.
But still, I can’t say that I regret having written Shadow Souls or Midnight
the way I did. I wrote what I did because that was the vision I saw of the
I’m just sorry that from now on Delena readers will have no hope of anything
other than a Stelena endgame, and that written by someone who will do
exactly what she is told.
L. J. Smith