When I hear the name Richard Castle, my first thoughts are not of actual books, but of the ABC television show, Castle. Not content dominating his assigned hour entertaining us, Richard Castle reaches out from the screen and into our lives through his Niki Heat series. His books refused to be limited to his fictional world, they have traversed through the screen and into bookstores across the nation. Richard Castle is a New York Times bestselling author, yet he has never walked those New York streets.
During the very first episode of the show we are introduced to Richard Castle as he is celebrating the launch of his last Derick Storm novel through the birth of his new character Niki Heat. Throughout his research, the show’s premise, we catch glimpses of his new novel, Heat Wave. When the second season aired we are treated to the launch of his book, a feat that mirrored the real world eight days later. On September 29th 2009, Heat Wave debuted at number 26 on the New York Times best seller list. And, by early November, the book reached number 6 on the list.
In the show Richard Castle is not a one hit wonder, so it should not suprise us that this fictional author did not stop after writing one Niki Heat. There have been three additional novels published, and each one debuted in the top ten of the New York Times Best Seller list. His second installment of the Niki Heat series, Naked Heat, debuted at number 7. Heat Rises debuted at number 1 on the list, while Frozen Heat shared its debut ranking with the second book.
The Nikki Heat novels are not the only works Castle has published. The Derick Storm comic mentioned during one episode was published. The sequel to Deadly Storm, Storm Season, has recieved the same comic book adaptaion and is now available. These two adaptaions are not alone in the Derick Storm universe; there have been three novellas published as well. Is Richard Castle’s success as an author simply due to the success of the television show? Or is the success due to the talent of the ghostwriter being used?