A few words about book's author
V.C. Andrews® has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of Flowers in the Attic, which was followed by four more Dollanganger family novels: Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. Since then, readers have been captivated by more than seventy novels in V.C. Andrews’s bestselling series, which have sold more than 106 million copies and have been translated into more than twenty-five foreign languages.
The face of fear I display in my novels is not the pale specter from the sunken grave, nor is it the thing that goes bump in the night, V. C. Andrews once told Douglas E. Winter. Mine are the deep-seated fears established when we are children, and they never quite go away: the fear of being helpless, the fear of being trapped, the fear of being out of control. Andrewss novel Flowers in the Attic launched the popular genre sometimes dubbed children in jeopardy — stories about young people abused, lied to, and preyed upon by their evil guardians. The authors own childhood was not nearly so lurid, though it did have an element of tragedy: As a teenager she had a bad fall, which resulted in the development of bone spurs. A botched surgery, combined with arthritis, forced her to use a wheelchair or crutches for the rest of her life. Andrews lived with her mother and worked as a commercial artist until the 1970s, when she began to write in earnest. Most of her early stories and novels went unpublished (one exception was I Slept with My Uncle on My Wedding Night, which appeared in a pulp confession magazine). Finally, in 1979, Flowers in the Attic made it into print. The book soared to No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and was followed by two equally successful sequels, Petals on the Wind and If There Be Thorns. Critics werent always kind — a Washington Post reviewer wrote that Flowers in the Attic may well be the worst book I have ever read — but that didnt matter to millions of Andrewss readers, who devoured her gruesome fairy tales as fast as she could pen them. As E. D. Huntley points out in V. C. Andrews: A Critical Companion, Andrewss novels fit neatly into the female Gothic tradition, in which an innocent young woman is trapped in an isolated mansion and persecuted by a villain. Andrewss own contribution was to take some of the themes implicit in early Gothic novels — incest, sexual jealousy, and obsession — and make them sensationally explicit in her works. As most of her fans know by now, V. C. Andrews died in 1986, but new V. C. Andrews books keep popping up on the bestseller lists. Thats because the Andrews estate hired a ghost writer, Andrew Neiderman, to continue writing books in the late authors style. Andrewss heirs have been cagey about just how much unfinished work she left behind when she died, but testimony during a 1993 tax case suggested that Andrews had only completed a portion of Garden of Shadows, the eighth book (out of more than 50) published under her name. Still, even if the vast majority of V. C. Andrews books werent actually written by V. C. Andrews, many of her fans are happy to have her tradition carried on. Neiderman has drawn on Andrewss novels, notebooks, and drawings for inspiration. Dont make this sound weird, he once said in a Washington Post interview, but sometimes I do feel possessed. To the original V. C. Andrews, who believed in precognition and reincarnation, it probably wouldnt sound weird at all.Good To Know
Andrews wrote nine novels before Flowers in the Attic, including a science fantasy titled The Gods of the Green Mountain. Later, when she was a bestselling novelist, she wanted to try her hand at different kinds of fiction, but her publisher discouraged her. I am supposed to stay in this niche, whatever it is, because there is so much money in it, she told Douglas Winter. I mean, I have tapped a gold mine and they dont want to let go of it. I dont like that, because I want to branch out. Though V. C. Andrews went by the name Virginia, her birth name was Cleo Virginia Andrews, not Virginia Cleo Andrews. She had planned to publish her books under the name Virginia Andrews, but her first publisher printed Flowers in the Atticas the work of V. C. Andrews in hopes that the gender-neutral name would make the book appealing to male readers.