Today is the 98th birthday of the gothic horror and family saga author V. C. Andrews. Hugely successful in life and hugely successful after. The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.
NAME: V. C. Andrews
FULL NAME: Cleo Virginia Andrews
DATE OF BIRTH: 6-Jun-1923
PLACE OF BIRTH: Portsmouth, VA
DATE OF DEATH: 19-Dec-1986
PLACE OF DEATH: Virginia Beach, VA
CAUSE OF DEATH: Cancer – Breast
REMAINS: Buried, Olive Branch Cemetery, Portsmouth, VA
FATHER: William Henry Andrews (career Navy)
MOTHER: Lillian Lilnora Parker Andrews (telephone operator)
BEST KNOWN FOR: V. C. Andrews was best known as the creator of the Dollanganger trilogy, the story of four children born of an incestuous union and imprisoned in an attic by their sadistic grandmother.
Virginia Cleo Andrews was born on June 6, 1923, in Portsmouth, Virginia, where she later attended high school and then studied art. Crippled by rheumatoid arthritis as a young woman, she had to use crutches and later a wheelchair. Andrews never married and always lived with her mother. Secretive about the details of her life, particularly her age, Andrews related little about her early adult years. She resided in Manchester, Missouri, and Apache Junction, Arizona, but had returned to Portsmouth by the time she began earning professional acclaim late in the 1970s. Later she moved to Virginia Beach. Andrews worked as a portraitist, commercial artist, and fashion illustrator, but she eventually turned to writing. Often typing in bed or propped up in a body brace, she wrote thirty to forty pages a night for years. Her only publications before 1979 were pieces for confession magazines.
Andrews eventually completed a 290,000-word novel, The Obsessed. Retitling the work Flowers in the Attic, she shortened it to ninety-eight pages but was again told to revise it. As Andrews later recalled, she added “all those unspeakable things my mother didn’t want me to write about.” She sold the new version for $7,500 to Pocket Books, a division of Simon and Schuster. Published in 1979, Flowers in the Attic was the first of the Dollanganger trilogy.
Many critics dismissed Andrews’s novel, but it was an immediate success, prompting the release of a sequel, Petals on the Wind (1980), in which the children escaped and exacted their revenge. The final installment, If There Be Thorns, appeared the following year with an initial printing of 2.5 million copies. Andrews followed her first successes with My Sweet Audrina (1982), Seeds of Yesterday (1984), Heaven (1985), and Dark Angel (1986). Together, the seven novels sold more than thirty million copies and consistently reached best-seller lists.
On December 19, 1986, Andrews died of breast cancer in Virginia Beach. She was buried in Olive Branch Cemetery, in Portsmouth. A movie adaptation of her first novel was completed in 1987. Before her death Andrews had reportedly completed synopses for another sixty-three story lines and several more novels. Four Andrews novels published posthumously may have been completed by Andrew Niederman, who also wrote many additional novels under her name.
Flowers in the Attic (1979)
Petals on the Wind (1980)
If There Be Thorns (1981)
Seeds of Yesterday (1984)
Garden of Shadows (1986) (by V. C. Andrews and Andrew Neiderman)
My Sweet Audrina (1982) by Virginia Andrews
Whitefern (2016) by Andrew Neiderman
Dark Angel (1986)
Fallen Hearts (1988) (started by Andrews, finished by Neiderman)
Gates of Paradise (1989) (“inspired” by Andrews, finished by Neiderman)
Web of Dreams (1990) (“inspired” by Andrews, finished by Neiderman)
Gods of Green Mountain (1972), a science fiction novel currently only available in e-book format.
Flowers in the Attic (New World Pictures, 1987) [uncredited cameo as the window-washing maid]
Rain (Code Black Entertainment, 2006) [novel written by Neiderman]
Flowers in the Attic (Lifetime, 2014)
Petals on the Wind (Lifetime, 2014)
If There Be Thorns (Lifetime, 2015)
Seeds of Yesterday (Lifetime, 2015)
My Sweet Audrina (Lifetime, 2016)
Heaven (Lifetime, 2019)
Dark Angel (Lifetime, 2019)
Fallen Hearts (Lifetime, 2019)
Gates of Paradise (Lifetime, 2019)
Web of Dreams (Lifetime, 2019)
Ruby (Lifetime, 2021)
Pearl in the Mist (Lifetime, 2021)
All that Glitters (Lifetime, 2021)
Hidden Jewel (Lifetime, 2021)