It is time for Thoughtful Thursday and the bookish questions that pop up while I am reading. Please share your thoughts on the bookish question of the week. I am curious to hear what you have to say! There are no wrong answers. Questions about Thoughtful Thursday or future Thoughtful Thursday posts? Check out my Thoughtful Thursday section. Alright, on to the question!
How do you feel about authors (in a non-fanfiction setting) borrowing other authors' characters. For example, there have been several authors who have included Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in their books as main characters.
There has been a lot of talk about Sherlock Holmes and public domain recently. In short, the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are now in the public domain, because some of the stories are in the public domain. In addition, my husband and I have been re-watching series 1 and 2 of Sherlock in preparation of the new series of Sherlock. All of this Holmes talk has got me thinking about authors borrowing characters. Please keep in mind that this discussion is devoted to published literary works, not fanfiction. The entire point of fanfiction is borrowing characters. :)
I am going to take a stand here, and I will probably discover ten million times in which I went against this stand. I don't like it when authors borrow characters and make those characters the main characters in their books. For example, I don't even read blurbs of books that are supposed to be additional stories about Sherlock Holmes. At the same time, I do read books like the Mary Russell series that have Sherlock Holmes in them, because he isn't the main character. Also, these type of books typically have Holmes set in a different environment/time frame (e.g., Emma Jane Holloway's A Study In series, which has Holmes is in a steampunk setting). If the environment and time frame is different enough, I am able to separate this new Holmes from the Holmes that I know and love. When authors are borrowing characters and are trying to keep the characters within the original world, my head itches. I just keep looking for inconsistencies between the new and original writer, and I cannot enjoy the story.
Now it's your turn! How do you feel about authors borrowing other authors' characters? Are there certain times that you are okay with this?