Friday, March 30, 2012

Oops, I Did It Again

For the second time since the inception of this blog, Your Humble Narrator almost died.  This time it was pneumonia.  I'm much better now, but I'm starting to blame the books.

Updates are forthcoming!  But then again, so is tornado season, and we all remember what happened last time.  I promise, I won't stop blogging for anything less than an F3.

Burt Reynolds' people have not written back.  :-(

Sunday, February 12, 2012

This Is the Greatest/Geekiest Moment of My Life

Dear Mr. Burt Reynolds:

If you are reading this, it means your publicists have passed along my letter seeking your personal endorsement for this blog.  As you can see, we* are a small-scale operation here at the VCA Blog-O-Rama, but I assure you, we take our mission as seriously as any professional publication.  I like to think that what we lack in credibility, we make up in baseless speculation.

But you may be asking yourself, why me?  And why V.C. Andrews?  What could a tanned, taut, venerable silver fox such as myself have to do with the late author of the best-selling novel Flowers in the Attic?

Not going to lie.  It's the moustache.

Moustaches not only play a large part in the works of V.C. Andrews, but I have determined, based on my extensive literary analysis of her novels, that the moustache is, in fact, a critical thematic element.  The moustache motif arches like a protective umbrella, sheltering and encompassing Andrews' entire literary canon.  You and your moustache have become our mascot, our muse.  At times, your name has comprised up to 20% of our search hits.**  I would further like to note that the main writer of this blog is based in Alabama, one of the settings for your classic 1977 action-comedy Smokey and the Bandit.  

Previous familiarity with V.C. Andrews and/or the content of this blog would be considered a bonus, but is not necessary. Your endorsement would receive a prominent placement immediately below the header, with all proper attributions appended.  We would appreciate a single catchy, upbeat, positive quote reflective of your devil-may-care screen personae.  Any mention of moustaches, mice, or doughnuts would also be welcome.  You will of course be compensated for your contribution.***

We thank you for your consideration, and we eagerly await future correspondence.

Yours sincerely,
The Fifth Dollanganger

*And by 'we' I mean 'me."

**Specifically, on 5 January, 2012, this blog received 77 unique hits, 15 of which came from searches for "Burt Reynolds porn."

***Do you accept baked goods?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Petals on the Wind, Part Five: In Which They Actually Leave the House

The next chapter takes up immediately after Cathy finishes screaming about her pain from across the dinner table. Chris objects that they don't need to go to Virginia to look for evidence of Cory's death because it's entirely possible that he could have died of pneumonia, the way their mother said he did.

A) I don't see how what he died of precludes anyone from getting those records and trying to find out where the kid's buried so that if nothing else they can get some closure, and

The original version of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" was a very short, traumatic book.

Carrie, by the way, hasn't stopped crying since this car trip was proposed.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Back to the Big Screen?

From Variety, 13 January 2012:

Pair Nabs Rights to V.C. Andrews Library

Dan Angel ("Door to Door") of the Hatchery has purchased rights to the V.C. Andrews library and teamed with Jane Startz ("Ella Enchanted") to develop and produce feature films, TV series and telepics based on Andrews' works. Angel and Startz announced the partnership Friday.

There are currently 70 Andrews books, launched in 1979 with "Flowers in the Attic," with worldwide sales of over 106 million copies in 95 countries in 26 languages in stories combining elements of Gothic horror and family secrets. Andrew Neiderman, who's penned 44 books under his own name, has been the ghostwriter of Andrews' books since her death in 1986. The latest addition is "Family Storms" and its sequel "Cloudburst," released in the fall. Paranormal love story "Into The Darkness" will be published in March and "The Forbidden Sister will be published in the fall 2012, followed by its sequel "Roxy's Story."

"V.C. Andrews is such a major cultural icon and has been for the last three decades," Startz said. "Her collected works are a treasure trove of genres--romance gothic, paranormal -- with highly original and often outré stories that have enormous multigenerational and multicultural appeal."

Angel's credits include "The Haunting Hour," "Dan Vs." and "Gifted Hands." Startz produced "The Indian in the Cupboard," "The Mighty" and "Tuck Everlasting." Simon & Schuster UK, long-term publishers of V.C. Andrews, said in a statement, "We are delighted that Virginia Andrews will find a new audience through this exciting collaboration with The Hatchery and Jane Startz Prods., taking this global brand to even greater heights."

In 2007, the Hatchery and Jaffe/Braunstein announced plans to develop a miniseries for Lifetime based on the Andrews' "The Landry" but the project didn't come together.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The $1,244,910.84 Question

Since this piece deals so heavily in disclaimers, here's one of my own:  the following post is not some brilliant piece of investigative journalism, believe me.  It's all available in legal records, although those records suffer  from being really boring, full of legalese, and in the main irrelevant to our interests here.  For a fascinating few hours' reading, however, go to The Estate of Virginia C. Andrews v U.S.

The Official Fiction: In the Faces of Fear* interview a year before her death, Andrews claimed to have notes for sixty-three future stories, although she was a little vague about whether or not these were individual novels or full sagas. While I wouldn't be surprised by either, I'm guessing she meant novels (if only because the idea of anyone having notes for sixty-three five-book series intimidates the bejeezus out of me).

After Andrews's death, her publishers actively perpetuated the idea that Andrews left behind an unspecified number of completed novels, which they planned to publish one by one.  A little later, the story evolved that Andrews's estate was working with a carefully selected writer to "complete" Andrews's unfinished novels.  Still later, the claim was that the estate was working with that same "carefully selected" author to write stories inspired by Andrews.

The Problem: If there is any grain of truth to the Official Fiction, then by the date of this writing her ghostwriter, Andrew Neiderman, has produced very nearly seventy novels under Andrews's name, meaning that either we are fast approaching the end any potential leftover Andrews-fodder or we are in the "inspired by" stage and have been for quite some time.

The $1,244,910.84 Question: when, exactly, did V.C. Andrews stop writing?  Which books are hers, which were written by the ghostwriter, and which are a posthumous collaboration between the two?  What became of the mythical sixty-three future novels?

As it turned out, the only person who could answer that question was the IRS.

Monday, January 9, 2012

More Fun With Keywords!

In the past two weeks, there's been an upsurge in traffic (although, in the spirit of full disclosure, I don't exactly advertise this blog, so an 'upsurge' in my case is something like twenty unique hits) from a search for "hate flowers in the attic."  I try to keep abreast of all things Andrews and have not noticed any recent developments that would cause people who did not previously hate Flowers in the Attic to begin doing so in any great numbers.  I can only assume that either

A) people who already hated Flowers in the Attic are looking for kindred spirits; or,
B) I am now known in internet circles as "that chick who hates Flowers in the Attic."

I can't stress this enough.  I don't hate Flowers in the Attic.  Let's just say . . . I enjoy Flowers in the Attic in a way it was not intended to be enjoyed.

That being said, there have been a significant number of hits from searches for "tom selleck porn."  Y'all know who y'all are.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Petals on the Wind, Part Four: Greetings from the Boarding School from Hell

Without warning, the novel turns to one of the more interesting, yet inexplicable tangents in the whole series, an incident that will become a standard in Andrewsland for several series to come: the Boarding School from Hell.  This is kind of a long one.

But let's let Cathy tell it, shall we?