V. C. Andrews was an American author who specialized in seedy, sordid tales of family secrets and forbidden love, most famously the 1979 best-seller Flowers in the Attic. Though she died while still in the prime of her career, her writings lived on, and sparked a public debate (not to mention a very unusual court case) about the monetary worth of a person's name. Cleo Virginia Andrews was born on June 6, 1923 in Portsmouth, VA. The youngest child and only daughter of William and Lillian Andrews, she also had two older brothers, William Jr. and Eugene. From an early age, Andrews was in poor health: she severely injured her back in a fall down a school stairwell, and the surgery to correct that pain left her riddled with crippling arthritis. She was subsequently forced to use crutches and sometimes a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Despite these physical setbacks, Andrews showed plenty of artistic promise as a youngster, and didn't let her ailments get in the way. She completed a four-year correspondence course from home, and was soon employed as a commercial artist, illustrator, and portrait painter. Her art commissions helped to support her family until the death of her father in 1957. In the last few decades of her life, Andrews decided to give writing a try. She completed one novel, a sci-fi epic entitled Gods of Green Mountain, in 1972, but it would not be published until 2004. In 1975, Andrews completed the manuscript for what would become her first published novel, Flowers in the Attic. Released in 1979, the novel focused on the twisted deeds of the Dollanganger family: four children imprisoned in the attic of a gothic mansion by their conniving mother and sadistic grandmother. There is death, revenge, and most controversially, an incestuous relationship between the two eldest children, Chris and Cathy. Flowers in the Attic was an instant hit with readers, climbing to the top of the Best Sellers list only two weeks after its release. Andrews, emboldened by this success, began to work at a prodigious pace, releasing a new novel every year until her death. This started with the sequel to Flowers in the Attic, 1980's Petals on the Wind. Another sequel, If There Be Thorns, followed in 1981. Andrews released her only standalone novel, My Sweet Audrina, in 1982, before returning to the Dollanganger series with 1984's Seeds of Yesterday. She started a new series, about the Castle family, a troubled West Virginia clan, with 1985's Heaven and 1986's Dark Angel. However, around this time, Andrews was diagnosed with breast cancer, and died at her home in Virginia Beach, VA. She was 63 years old. However, her story does not end there. Realizing that Andrews had left behind a number of unfinished manuscripts, her family hired a ghost writer, Andrew Neiderman, to complete her work. These novels, 1986's Garden of Shadows, a prequel to Flowers in the Attic, and 1988's Fallen Hearts, the third installment of the Castle series, represented the last novels to be credited to V. C. Andrews that were almost completely written by her. Starting with 1989's Gates of Paradise, all subsequent books that bore Andrews' name on the cover were actually written entirely by Neiderman. Shockingly, the public didn't care, and the books continued to sell, titles such as 1990's Web of Dreams and Dawn, 1991's Secrets of the Morning, 1992's Twilight's Child and Midnight Whispers, and 1993's Darkest Hour. Soon, however, the success of these posthumous novels attracted the attention of the IRS. They took Andrews' estate to court in 1994, arguing that the late author's name was a valuable commercial asset, and therefore should be included in her estate tax. Eventually the IRS won the case, which had opened up a public debate on authorship and the monetary value inherent in one's name. Following that case, Neiderman wrote and published dozens of novels under the name V. C. Andrews, four in 2018 alone. In 2019, Lifetime TV announced a series of made-for-TV moves based on each of the Casteel series novels. Over 30 years after her death, V. C. Andrews remained as popular as ever.
Writer (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Published debut novel, "Flowers in the Attic," to instant success.
Released sequel, "Petals on the Wind."
Released final completed novel, "Dark Angel"
First posthumous novel, "Garden of Shadows," completed by ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman, is released.
First novel attributed to Andrews but written entirely by Neiderman, "Gates of Paradise," was released.
First novel, "Gods of Green Mountain," which was finished in 1972 but never published, released as an e-book.
Lifetime announced series of movies based on the Casteel books.