Since some readers have commented that I continually raise questions without posting my own responses and opinions, here are my thoughts regarding the issues of compensation and copyright.
First, as an author I am very much in favor of copyright laws. Once my novels are published, I wouldn’t want other authors being able to write their own versions of what happens with my characters. I am responsible with creating a portal through which readers can know my characters and their world, and it is a responsibility I take very seriously, doing my best to purify my writing so that only the characters and the story shine through.
Because of that, I would not want my readers to pay for a story, thinking I had written it or been involved in its creation when, in fact, I was not involved at all. I wouldn’t want someone to mistake another author’s spin-off with my own work and perhaps buy it for a friend who is a fan, only to realize his or her mistake when presenting the gift.
That being said, I shouldn’t mind if people want to write stories that explore their own imaginative recreations of my fantasy world, just as J. K. Rowling has permitted similar, tasteful use of her own fantasy world, provided that readers are not expected to pay for these spin-off stories. This isn’t because I don’t want other authors to profit from my works; rather, I wouldn’t want readers to pay for something unknown on the basis of my works’ reputation. Since another author would be responsible for content, I could not guarantee anything about it – whether it has continuity with my own books, whether its author has full understanding of my characters, or whether the unknown author’s content is similar in terms of details regarding violence or sex.
This is not because I can write better than anyone else; I am quite sure that others have literary gifts and writing styles that would bring out aspects of my fantasy world which I quite leave in the dark. But it would be like giving someone directions to a favorite restaurant, only to find that another restaurant had been built in its place. The food might be just as good, but it could never be the same.
© 2014 Andrea Lundgren