The Magic Flute: Why V.C. Andrews is Rolling in Her Grave (Celebrity Rebuttal: V.C. Andrews, deceased)

Jan 20th, 2004 | By | Category: Prose

V.C. Andrews is pissed.

Sure Andrews, best known for her novel Flowers in the Attic died in 1986, but being dead really frees up your schedule. And all that time really gives you time to reflect on how your family is made up of money-grubbing goblins. V.C. Andrews only wrote seven books, but those seven books earned her a nice chunk of change.

Imagine that sad day as Andrews’ coffin was lowered into the ground. Her devastated loved ones stood on the precipice of the grave, dressed in muted blacks, all the while crying into their soaked handkerchiefs, “Cha-ching! Sob, Sob! Cha-ching! Sob, Sob!” they wailed as the overcast sky threatened overhead.

So if you ever pass a shelf full of “V.C. Andrews Classics”, do not be fooled. That little copyright sign over the “s” in “Andrews” should strike fear in your heart! For a ghostwriter skulks behind that once pristine name, and his name is Andrew Neiderman! Once an actual writer, Neiderman was chosen by the Andrews’ estate because of his well-known works such as—well…I don’t know…because most of his books are out of print. But I’m sure they’re out of print because they’re so good.

Despite Neiderman’s great talent, so strong it causes his own works to become obsolete, his ghostwriting isn’t just trash, it ruined the most important message V.C. Andrews stood for: incest.

That’s right, incest. Who could forget the fabulous Flowers in the Attic, an eerie tale about a group of siblings locked away in the attic of their family mansion by their own mother? That was great stuff. Sure it was creepy, sure sister and brother got their swerve on. But hey, why not keep it in the family after mom’s locked you up? I say, party while you’re young!

Flowers in the Attic gave way to some great sequels, and Andrews also managed to pump out another fractured family tale, My Sweet Audrina. Yet Andrews’ estate and Andrew Neiderman wanted more for the V.C. Andrews legacy. To honor her memory Neiderman and the estate would pump out so many crappy repetitive novels to beat out even Dean Koontz’s reign!

Lets compare shall we? Nothing like a nice lesson in comparative literature to make one want to kill—I mean, clamor in joy.

“There was something strange about the house where I grew up. There were shadow in the corners and whispers on the stairs and time was as irrelevant as honesty. Though how I knew that I couldn’t say. There was a war going on in our house, a silent war that sounded no guns, and the bodies that fell were only wishes that died and the bullets were only word and the blood that spilled was always called pride.”—My Sweet Audrina, V.C. Andrews.

This is classic Andrews: dark, slightly melodramatic, but the insinuation of the heavy alliteration tells the reader that this foreshadowing is very important. This is the way mama likes it.

Mama however thinks this is just moronic:

“He tasted so good and this was so wonderful a night and I had secretly committed myself to a special night, a night full of pleasure and ecstasy, defiance and abandon.”—Rain, “V.C. Andrews” (cough, cough, Andrew Neiderman)

Neiderman’s stories are often comprised of four things:

Hot, virginal heroine named something sexy such as Melody or Dawn or Flute or something.

Elicit family secret such as “Flute, we have to tell you the dark truth. Rory, your cousin three times removed who you are incredibly attracted to is in fact not your cousin three times removed but the milkman’s bastard child.” Or, “your mother was a gorgon and a slut to boot.”
Melody/Dawn/Flute has a wonderful talent that is incredibly hot and virginal, such as painting, writing or playing a musical instrument like the rare and provocative bongo drums.
Sex. Lots of it, and preferably underage. Also an older creepy man making advances toward Flute really deepens the story and her plight to find out her family’s dark secret.

Sure, every writer has a theme: Nicholas Sparks constantly breaks new ground with his tales about terminal illnesses and long walks on roads and lanes. However, when an author’s theme is not just exaggerated, but also heavily skewed by another writer, causing the original message to be compromised, things have gone too far.

V.C. Andrews wrote about the dark side of the family structure, gothic tales that were disturbingly seductive. The thousands upon thousands of new books written after her death have all but obliterated her once original, refreshingly—if sexually disturbed–charged writing.

Also, there is only so far a ghostwriter can go when they are limiting themselves to one storyline (cough, cough, Andrew Neiderman). Supposedly, Andrews left detailed outlines of future books, but who really thinks those outlines equaled the more then twenty books published after her death, when she herself managed to write only seven when she was alive?

Ms. Andrews, I just hope your ghost isn’t around to see what has become of your name. I hope instead you are dividing your time between learning how to play the harp, and driving cross-country with Elvis and Tupac.

So watch out. If you’re a writer who is making a buck or two, look over your shoulder and check over your so called “friends” and “family”.

That’s right, I’m watching you Mom (if that’s your real name). If I go to an early grave there is no way you’re going to copyright my name and reproduce the beautiful classic I will one day create about a dog and his drinking problem.

And I’m watching you Andrew Neiderman. Like a crazy possum!


Celebrity Rebuttal

V.C. Andrews (deceased)

He did WHAT?!

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