Smart Move, Sell-Out, or Somewhere in Between

So the other day we were unpacking new books that had just come into our library and were commenting on how the new Hannah Montana novel was in hardback.  Usually those TV show spin-off books are small paperbacks, but not Hannah Montana!  Then I noticed the author’s name: Suzanne Harper.  I was shocked and sure it couldn’t be the Suzanne Harper who wrote The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney and The Juliet Club, but it is.  An author I respect for her own creative works is writing a Hannah Montana novel.  I am not sure how I feel about this.  I went on her website to see if I could glean any information.  It looks like she had previously written some novels for High School the Musical under the pseudonym N. B. Grace as well.  I am not much for TV show or movie spin-off books.  I respect authors for their ability to think up unique and creative ideas, put those ideas to paper, and weave a tale that brings those ideas to life for a reader.  I understand the demand for these spin-off books but I would think it would be frustrating for authors to be spinning tales with other people’s ideas and other people’s characters which have already been developed into something that cannot be altered for fear of fan backlash.  I feel the same way for authors who write with big names, such as those authors that are tagging along on James Patterson’s tail.  I am sure they are doing most of the writing while Patterson is getting most of the credit.  Isn’t that frustrating?  I understand that everyone needs to get their start somewhere, so maybe these spin-offs are a great jumping off point, but Suzanne Harper seems to have made a name for herself as a fairly respected YA author, does she need Hannah Montana?  While I am sure that Harper has her reasons, I hope Hannah Montana doesn’t take too much time away from Harper cultivating her own tales which I have thoroughly enjoyed and to which I look forward.

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