I recently read a book by a pretty famous author who I think made a very big mistake. This author’s book went into a six year series on television and also had a few movies. I will admit it has been a long time since I read the original book, but I can recall the television series. Now, the author’s new book takes the character that is an icon for many young women and places this character back in high school. This sounds like a great idea because this character is well loved and it would have been great to read how this character was in high school.

However, the author changed many key elements in the character’s back story. I think this was a huge mistake.

I understand the author may have been trying to appeal to a different audience to maybe recruit a new generation. But then why call the character the same name?

What bothers me the most is very important events in the character’s life were changed. These events helped shaped the character into the one people loved for six years.

Take for instance the story line of this character’s father. In the television series, the father left when the character was three and she was then raised by her mother. In the new book, her father is alive, well and taking care of the family and the mother is dead.  This is a major life event and different outcomes will happen. A child deals differently with each loss and the time in the development of the child will bring about different emotions and feelings.

Also, the character suddenly has two sisters. In the television series, there is no mention of sisters; hence the bond she has with her friends is thicker.

In high school, the friends she has are carbon copies of the friends she will have later in life. I find this problematic because so much of the character rebels against her upbringing, it seems odd to have the character gravitate to the same personality traits.

Maybe I am reading too much into this. It is after all just a character in a book. Why should I be upset if the author changes major things in the character’s backstory? Should I begrudge the author her right to use her creative license?

Well, I do. I think it is wrong to try to cash in on an existing market and then throw in the towel when writing the new book. Where is the author’s respect for her audience and her character? What really could be gained by reworking major back ground stories?