According to reports, L.J. Smith has been fired from the popular book series The Vampire Diaries, which she has apparently been writing as work-for-hire.
It seems the publisher, HarperCollins, conceived the story and therefore owns the project and copyright in its entirety. Smith was hired to pen the tales, and while she imagined the characters, world of the story, rules of the world, etc., the stories belong to the publisher. Displeased with the direction in which the stories have been moving, HarperCollins exercised their rights and removed Smith from the now 20 year project.
Smith has taken both her dismissal and the news another author will complete the series with utmost composure and grace, encouraging fans to continue reading. She writes:
We wish L.J. Smith well as she departs to pen (what we hope to be) equally successful novels.
I want to ask anyone who was thinking of it, not to boycott Harper's or anyone. It just doesn't make sense. Although I wanted and still want more than anything to be able to continue The Vampire Diaries series myself, there's no point in not trying the new books...Besides which, Midnight, which is all mine, is coming out in March, and I believe there may be some of my writing in Phantom.