The final volume of The Return trilogy (and the final L.J. Smith-penned Vampire Diaries novel), Midnight, is out today in North America. We know Australians and U.K. fans have had the book for a few weeks now, and many U.S. and Canadian fans were discovering it in bookstores this past week, but today it should be widely available.
E-Book: Amazon Kindle U.S. | Amazon Kindle U.K.
Following up on news/rumors that exploded this past weekend, L.J. Smith has confirmed on her blog that she will no longer be writing The Vampire Diaries series. Below is her statement in full so there is no confusion:
First, I want to thank my readers for all their messages of support. I’ve gotten far too many emails to answer, and I really appreciate the kindness and emotional sustenance you’ve given to me at this difficult time.
Second, if you’ve asked me a question about the future books or the endgame of The Vampire Diaries and I’ve been vague about what’s in store, I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize. I really wasn’t looking forward to the day when I would have to talk about this.
Third, and most importantly, I want to ask anyone who was thinking of it, not to boycott Harper’s or anyone. It just doesn’t make sense. Although I wanted and still want more than anything to be able to continue The Vampire Diaries series myself, there’s no point in not trying the new books. (And remember, for fans of Bonnie and Damon, and strict Stefan and Elena fans, the immediate dynamics may be more to your liking.) Besides which, Midnight, which is all mine, is coming out in March, and I believe there may be some of my writing in Phantom.
Thanks again to all the fans who have shown loving and loyal kindness to me.
We are aware of the four letters that L.J. Smith has allegedly written to fans stating that she has been fired by HarperTeen/Alloy and will no longer be writing any Vampire Diaries books. We cannot comment on whether or not these are real, or if she has indeed been fired by the publishers.
We are trying to find this information out, and have contacted the publishers for official word on the matter. We will let you know as soon as we hear any kind of official word on the matter. We do ask for you to be patient though, as today is Sunday and we may not hear anything until tomorrow at the earliest when people are back at work.
In the meantime what we can confirm is that yes, the publishers can technically do this as L.J. Smith doesn’t own the Vampire Diaries and the series belongs to Alloy Entertainment. L.J. Smith was hired back in 1990 to write the series for them, and signed a contract to say that the Vampire Diaries belonged to them. Alloy own the rights, and L.J. Smith has no say in what they do with the series.
We are aware that all fans are upset by this news regardless of whether or not it’s true, but we ask you to please keep comments on this post civil. Remember that no matter who your favourite character or pairing is, you’re all as upset as each other and there’s no need to argue when you should be supporting each other.
EDIT: About the TV series. No matter what happens with the books (and we don’t know yet if any of it is true, or an elaborate hoax), the TV series is in no danger of being cancelled. The show has excellent ratings, and it follows a different path altogether to that of the books. Kevin and Julie have their own story to tell that is inspired by the books but not dependent on them. So TV series fans, you don’t need to worry.
EDIT: About The Return: Midnight. Midnight is still going to be published no matter what, and is due out in the US in March.
EDIT: About Stefan’s Diaries. This series is related to the TV series, and was not written by L.J. Smith.
Hey, Vampire Diaries fans, do you fancy owning a black rose as found by Damon in a bouquet at the end of Shadow Souls? L.J. Smith is giving you the chance to win one of ten of the very roses featured on the left, which are genuine roses dipped in black enamel and edged with 24-karat gold. The grand prize winner will also recieve a rose plated entirely in 24-karat gold. If you want to enter the contest, head on over to the contest page for more information and to find out how. Sadly, due to how fragile these roses are and the costs and risks of shipping, the contest is only open to residents of the USA.
And courtesy of the fantastic LJS Cover Resource, we’ve got a bunch of new book covers for you. Some will be familiar on account of being variations on the North American covers, others are based on recognisable TV series stills. But there are a few brand new ones in there, with some featured below. Check them out in the book gallery.
Yeah, we know, it’s not Vampire Diaries news, but it does involve two creative forces who have been consulting and writing for Vampire Diaries this season – Sarah M. Fain and Elizabeth Craft. New York Magazine’s Vulture is reporting that the Whedonverse alums are developing L.J. Smith’s The Secret Circle for the CW.
Craft and Fain (both alums of Angel and Dollhouse) are adapting Smith’s three-book Secret Circle series for a one-hour drama about a California teen who moves to her mom’s hometown of New Salem and discovers that, just like Christine O’Donnell, she is a witch. Alloy Entertainment, the prolific production company behind CW anchors TVD and Gossip Girl, is putting together Secret Circle for the CW. Andrew Miller, who has no apparent Whedon connection but did write for the web series Imaginary Bitches, is penning a pilot script and will also exec produce.
For those unfamiliar, The Secret Circle was L.J. Smith’s second trilogy (after The Vampire Diaries), and was first published in 1992. (In fact, if you own an original copy of The Vampire Diaries: Dark Reunion, the first chapter of The Secret Circle: The Initiation can be found at the back.) Vulture covers the very basic premise above, but what’s notable is the book series features a huge cast of characters. Will be interesting to see how the pilot ends up developing just to see if all of the original coven members (there are 12 total, though it seems plausible Cassie, Adam, Diana, Faye, and probably Nick will make the cut), or… Well. In any case, you can check out the books here and here.
That being said, LJS fans…
Those of you who have read Shadow Souls will know all about Bonnie’s opal ring. L.J. Smith has had such a ring made, and is going to be giving it away to one lucky Vampire Diaries fan.
Now you can win this version of Bonnie’s opal ring (see above). It’s made of 14 karat gold and 14 karat white gold, with one central opal and diamonds sprinkled around it. This is a gorgeous ring that sells for over $700—so pretty that I got one for myself! And if you didn’t win an autographed Shadow Souls book during the last contest–well, here’s your chance, because I’m offering ten (10) this time around as second prizes.
To find out more about the ring and how to enter the contest, head on over to L.J. Smith’s blog.
L.J. Smith has written in her blog that she’s finished writing The Return: Midnight, and it’s now going through the editing process. All looks to be on track for publication next year. In other book news, we heard a while back that Ms. Smith was involved with a prequel trilogy, which we all originally assumed was part of the book series, but turned out to be the TV series tie-in, Stefan’s Diaries, that she’s (apparently) consulting on. Well, turns out a new Vampire Diaries trilogy is in the works, starting with Phantom. We have no idea about publication dates, what it’s about or when it will be set (though, given the spoiler at the end of this blog post, it’s likely at least some of it will be set after Midnight), but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we have more information.
Also, I have been finished with Midnight, the final book in the last Vampire Diaries trilogy about a month ago and am waiting (you can imagine how eagerly or maybe–if you’re not an author–you can’t) for the edits. I’ve also signed on for a new trilogy and finished the first book in it, Phantom. So there is more Vampire Diaries in store for readers of those books.
And another little spoilery Vampire Diaries tidbit from the blog post (spoiler blocked because it gives away some of what might happen in Midnight:
And I’ve already bought a fantastic brand new Tiffany and Co. (the real Tiffany’s) gold locket and chain. Now I just have to make up a scene in which Stefan gives Elena the locket (crucial for the new trilogy coming up after Midnight) and we’ll see if we really can cause my computer to implode.
(Thanks to Ayna for the heads up!)
As a part of the Harper Collins 28 Days of Winter Escapes, My Friend Amy has an interview with author of the Vampire Diaries, L.J. Smith in which she talks about the books, Valentine’s, and which of the Salvatore brothers she’d like to date.
Stefan and Damon are always in competition for Elena’s love, among other things . . . is it possible that the brothers will ever get over their rivalry?
Well, that happens to be the very focus of the new trilogy. In Shadow Souls and Midnight the brothers are forced to work together—or at least on the same side. But while Stefan would probably try anything for Elena, Damon is more like a half-tamed panther relentlessly stalking her every move. The question each day is: Will the good, helpful Damon come out or will the wicked, wild Damon emerge? So it really depends on Damon—who’s not very dependable.
Related to this, if you want a chance at winning a copy of The Return: Shadow Souls, head over to the 28 Days of Winter Escapes website to vote in the poll and enter the sweepstakes.
The first five Vampire Diaries books were released over in Poland back in January in omnibus editions, and you can check out the covers for them below (courtesy of the L.J. Smith Cover Resource). The Polish publishers are going a different route to everyone else, and instead of the original series being split into two volumes, they’ve gone with the first volume containing The Awakening, The Struggle and The Fury, and the second volume containing Dark Reunion and the first half of The Return: Nightfall. Given the content and endings of the various books, that is actually a logical way to split them. Maybe we’ll start seeing some more omnibus editions being split this way in the future?
HarperTeen is in the midst of their 28 Days of Winter Escapes Book-A-Day Giveaway and The Return: Shadow Souls is their February 14th featured title. What does this mean? It means this Sunday, Valentine’s Day, you can be automatically entered to win a signed copy of L.J. Smith’s brand spankin’ new Vampire Diaries book by visiting their Shadow Souls V-Day page and answering the poll question of the day. It’s that easy!
You can also answer their daily poll and possibly win an iPod Touch.
Blast Presents: New Moon has a feature on the Vampire Diaries with snippets from Nina, Paul, Ian and L.J. Smith (from her blog). Thanks to Kyra over at Media Blvd for the scans!.
We tweeted this yesterday, and it impressed quite a few people (including us!). @Sonylicious recorded the process of vampirising a picture of Nina Dobrev in Photoshop. It really is fascinating, and it’s amazing the skills that Vampire Diaries fans possess.
Finally, thanks to Jen for pointing us at some Australian publication dates for the Return Trilogy. The Australian Harper Collins website is listing January 2010 for the paperback version of Nightfall, and March 2010 for the paperback version of Shadow Souls. Nightfall has already been published in hardback, but there’s no mention at the moment of a hardback release for Shadow Souls.