These days, the shelves are full of children (and sometimes nieces and nephews) of famous writers carrying on the torches for their famous parents. It’s not a new phenomenon, but it’s booming. Dick Francis’ son Felix started collaborating with his father on novels, and after his father died in 2010, Felix carried on — he is now listed as the sole author rather than the co-author on more recent books. Clive Cussler’s son Dirk Cussler is now the co-author on the more recent Dirk Pitt novels. Fans who avoid books with a “Dreaded Co-author” seem more likely to pick up books co-authored by a relative. My father is a big Clive Cussler fan, but he isn’t crazy with the series written with less well-known co-authors. However, he has no problem with the Dirk Pitt novels co-written by Dirk Cussler. I’m sure many other fans feel the same way when the co-author has the same last name.
Like Dirk Cussler, Todd McCaffrey has also carried on the family torch. He collaborated with his mother, Anne McCaffrey, on Pern books, starting from about 2003, and he has been listed as both sole author and co-author on Pern books since, with the latest collaboration coming out in 2012. Before this, Todd published SF on his own, as both Todd Johnson and Todd McCaffrey. Like Todd, Brian Herbert was writing before the death of his famous father, Frank Herbert, in 1986. Now, Brian is best known for co-authoring Dune sequels and prequels with Kevin J. Anderson. And in October of this year, Anne Hillerman (Tony Hillerman’s daughter) will be coming out with a new Leaphorn and Chee novel. (more…)