V. C. Andrews
Working in the literary genre of gothic horror aimed at a teen audience, author V. C. Andrews became one of the most successful writers of the late-20th century. Confined to a wheelchair for much of her life after a childhood accident, Andrews had been a successful artist for several years prior to trying her hand at fiction. Several rejected novels and dozens of short stories later, she took a publisher's advice and spiced up a recently submitted manuscript with all the lurid subject matter she could conjure. Published in 1979 as <i>Flowers in the Attic</i>, an angst-ridden melodrama filled with deceit, burgeoning sexuality and forbidden love, it immediately became a somewhat infamous paperback sensation. It also made Andrews one of the best-selling genre writers of her day. With the 1980 sequel <Petals on the Wind</i> and 1981's <i>If There Be Thorns</i>, Andrews only grew in popularity. Incredibly prolific, she began a second series with the immensely popular <i>Heaven</i> and <i>Dark Angel</i> prior to her untimely death in 1986. With a number of books already begun and more projects outlined by the author, her estate continued on for decades under Andrews' name with more book series penned by ghost writer Andrew Neiderman. Seeing a potential hit film franchise, Hollywood adapted Andrews' breakthrough novel into the feature film "Flowers in the Attic" (1987), although a watering down of the book's racier subplots did little to please fans or critics. While no literary darling, V.C. Andrews inarguably influenced generations of young readers worldwide.