10 Facts About V.C. Andrews’s ‘Flowers in the Attic’
We don’t have exact data on how many tweens discovered novels that were too old for them when they stumbled upon the fascinating Flowers in the Attic cover, but it’s certainly close to 100 percent. VC Andrews’ debut novel, published in 1979, was a Gothic gateway for many young romance readers, while the numerous reviews that viewed the incestuous plot as “scandalous” and “shocking” only drew readers in.
Flowers in the Attic has not lost steam in the more than 40 years since its debut. It has been sold more than 40 million times and has been translated into 25 languages. No matter how many times you’ve indulged in this guilty pleasure, here are some facts you may not have known.
1. VC Andrews claimed to have written flowers in the attic in two weeks.
In 1983 Andrews told Twilight Zone magazine, “I wrote [the book] in two weeks. However, by that time I had been writing for seven years and writing nine unpublished novels. “However, she also claimed once that she wrote it in a single night. “I like to amaze my editor and tell her I wrote it in one night. I did. I drew the whole thing in longhand – it was 18 pages. And then I typed it in 90. “Really, who knows what is true.
2. VC Andrews payday for flowers in the attic was modest.
Andrews only got $ 7,500 for her debut novel, but the numbers rose rapidly. When the third book in the series, If There Be Thorns, was published in 1981, Andrews withdrew an advance of $ 75,000. Given Andrews’ popularity, she found the amount unfair – and when she started the Casteel series in the mid-1980s, she received a $ 2 million advance on a two-book deal and $ 3 million on another trio of novels .
3. The Dollanganger series is the only VC Andrews series that was actually written by VC Andrews.
Andrews died of breast cancer in 1986 after writing the first four books in the Dollanganger series (the first of which was Flowers in the Attic), a book in the Casteel series, and the stand-alone book My Sweet Audrina. Writer Andrew Neiderman, who shared an agent with Andrews, has been tapped to take the throne as her ghostwriter. Since then he has been producing books as Andrews and writing at the rate of about three novels a year. Fun Fact: Neiderman also wrote The Devil’s Advocate, which was later cast into the 1997 film starring Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves.
4. VC Andrews drew on elements of her own life to create Cathy Dollanganger, who narrates flowers in the attic.
Andrews spent most of her life using a wheelchair after falling down stairs in school as a young girl. “The doctors found that the rotation was very violent and the membrane on my hip tore and triggered small bone spurs,” she once explained. The bone spur was ignored for years, causing her spine to become out of alignment and eventually requiring many surgeries. According to Andrews, a doctor suffered a minor stroke in the middle of the operation and cut off her right hip. As a result, she lived with her mother all her life and relied heavily on her help to function.
Andrews said to writer Douglas E. Winter, “When I was writing Flowers in the Attic, all of Cathy’s feelings of being in prison were my feelings. If I read her now, I cry.”
5. VC Andrews dedicated flowers to her mother in the attic.
While dedicating a bestselling book to your mother is a sweet gesture in most cases, the step was a bit pulled up given the reprehensible actions of the mothers in the book.
6. In 1981, one of the Iranian hostages returned to the US claimed that Flowers in the Attic was the only book that had put the imprisonment in order.
William Belk, one of the American hostages held in Iran for 444 days, read the novel four times and praised it as a true representation of the emotions associated with prolonged detention. “If you read that you can understand our plight a little better and how we felt in Iran,” said Belk. Andrews was reportedly delighted to hear this.
7. VC Andrews served powdered sugar donuts to its publisher.
When Andrews first met her editor Ann Patty in person, sweet breakfast treats were on the menu. Flowers in the Attic Fans will know that poisoned donuts play a major role in the book. Fortunately, Patty Andrews accepted dark humor.
8. Wes Craven was supposed to direct an adaptation of Flowers in the Attic.
After a film version was approved in the mid-1980s, horror legend Wes Craven wrote the original script he was planning to direct. As you can imagine, Craven’s script was extremely graphic and violent. Because they were shooting for a PG-13 rating, Craven was replaced – although the producers decided to keep Craven’s ending, which was different from that of the book.
9. VC Andrews made a cameo in the Flowers in the Attic movie.
She played a maid and can be seen in the 1987 film with Kristy Swanson as Cathy, Victoria Tennant as Corrine and Louise Fletcher as grandmother cleaning windows for a very short time.
10. Flowers in the attic may be based in part on a true story.
According to editor Ann Patty, Andrews always told her that the crux of the story really happened to a doctor she once had when she was in the hospital for spine surgery. “I would guess some aspects of this are true,” said Patty. “At least the aspect that children are hidden. Whether the twins were real, the gender, the time frame, probably not. I think it was just the concept of children hiding in the attic so that the mother could inherit a fortune. “