Re: RARA-AVIS: name changes - Parker

From: James Reasoner (
Date: 31 Mar 2002

> Doesn't it work the other way also? IIRC, John Jakes' very successful
> that began with the Bastard was thought up an commmisioned by a prominent
> agent/editor whose name escapes me now (could it be Lyle Wagoner?) who
> made a mistake by letting Jakes' name appear as the author. When the
> became successful Jakes was able to control it, but he would have been
> unable to if the author was given a house name.
> Mark

The book packager involved was Lyle Kenyon Engel. (Lyle Wagoner was on the Carol Burnett Show and played Steve Trevor in Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman TV series.) Now, I'm going to have to throw in some "allegedlys" and
"hearsays", just to cover my rear end, but I was told by someone in a position to know that the American Bicentennial Series (which later became the Kent Family Chronicles when it ran past the Bicentennial) was created and the first book outlined by an author other than Jakes, who got the job when the original author backed out because of other committments. (The guy must still be kicking himself for that.) I believe there was some litigation between Jakes and Engel to determine just who controlled which rights, but I don't know the outcome of that.

Best, James

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