I am unwilling to admit that Cornelia Funke, the author of the Inkworld series, wrote Reckless of her own free will. One of two situations must have occurred:
Money-Grubbing Publisher (after reading Cornelia’s brilliant, yet unfinished, YA novel): Look, Cornelia, people don’t want any of this imaginative, creative, quirky crap anymore. If we’re trying to tap the YA market, which, as we’ve talked about, is very lucrative my dear, we need action! We need random violence and rampant hatred! And, most importantly, we need people risking their lives for entirely unexamined purposes!
Cornelia Funke (shaken, but trying to be polite): Well, yes, I know that we talked about that, but don’t you think…
Money-Grubbing Publisher (interrupting): Did you read The Hunger Games, sweetheart? Well then you know that people don’t care about good writing any more! They only care about suspense, suspense, and random love affairs. That’s what we’re after- a second, multimillion dollar Hunger Games. Don’t you see that this humane, well-crafted trash, sorry dear, isn’t going to cut it?
Cornelia Funke (anger a little piqued): Trash?
Money-Grubbing Publisher (assuming a frog-like smile): Trash? Who said trash? Now, be a good girl and run along and write something exactly like everything else.
Cornelia Funke, enjoying a fantastic retirement, full of equal parts adventure and quiet reading, gets a call from her publisher asking for a YA novel. Cornelia, not wanting to do anyone else’s bidding, but at the same time not wanting to disappoint them, immediately makes a call and gets a young college grad with no time and two jobs to ghost write for her.
Note: I don’t actually know a thing about Cornelia Funke’s personal life, nor about publishers or ghost-writers, but I imagine that something along these lines must have happened in order to make Reckless such a departure from her other works.