Author’s note: This is a modified version of a post I first drafted sometime early last year. It’s a bit choppy, but let’s see how it flows.
Sometimes an author passes on before a body of work is complete. Fans of Game of Thrones fear that the elderly author, George R. R. Martin, may not finish the book series during his lifetime. (Who will get to win the right to sit on that uncomfortable-looking chair in the end?) Charles Dickens died before completing his final work, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, but left enough notes behind that is technically solvable – the most important clue lies in his correspondence with the book’s prospective illustrator….
Some authors keep getting ghostwritten, long after their deaths. And some have the foresight to designate a successor to complete their series for them if they should pass away before it’s done, openly or not. Prior to his unfortunate passing last March, Sir Terry Pratchett (I believe) named his daughter, Rhianna, as his successor to write the rest of the Discworld series. In June 2015, however, Ms. Pratchett announced that she had no plans to continue Discworld after the remainder of her father’s completed works were released. Adaptations, spin-offs, tie-ins, maybe. But “Discworld is his legacy,” she says, “I shall make my own.”
How would you feel if someone named you as the successor to their great writing legacy? Let’s discuss. 🙂