With Alexandra Ripley’s Gone With the Wind sequel, Scarlett, holding the No. 1 spot on the best-seller list for seven weeks, and with its recent TV-movie sale for a record $9 million, rumors have begun to circulate about the sequel to the sequel. The estate of GWTW author Margaret Mitchell, which will pick the sequel writer, and Warner Books, Scarlett‘s publisher, both deny that another book is in the works. But Robert Gottlieb of William Morris, which represents both Ripley and the estate, says discussions will begin next spring and that another William Morris client, Cathy Cash Spellman, is the only writer now under consideration to succeed Ripley.
Why not Ripley? Gottlieb confirms that the 57-year-old author, who recently signed a seven-figure contract with Warner to produce two historical novels, is out of the running.”She feels that she has accomplished something that was her destiny to do,” says Gottlieb.
Spellman, a historical-novel specialist in her mid-40s, is already under contract to Warner for a novel, Devil in the Sixth Circle, to be published in April 1993. Mitchell estate legal adviser Paul Anderson Sr. denies that Spellman is a candidate, though he concedes another sequel is possible. Tomorrow, in the words of the novels’ steely heroine, is another day.