Happy (Fictional) Birthday, Jacquel Rassenworth! (written 7/16/2011)

Once again, we celebrate the birthday of a trouble making girl named Jacquel Katherine Nichole Rassenworth, who has been destroying various stories since 2000. Originally the property of Jan Davies and Michael Irving Harlingson (Jan’s husband), her story was first featured in the movieWonder Circus“, in which she played a young girl named Jacqueline Williams, an orphan girl forced to work at a magical circus and her many adventures when she meets a young boy who ran away from his foster family.

After Michael’s death in 1994, his wife Jan created a novella concerning Jacquel Rassenworth, who suffers from depression after her mother’s death and eventually declines and dies when she is 13 years old. She had titled that story “The Keeper of the Citadel of Destiny“. The story received mostly good reviews, but some have said that it wasn’t as good as “Wonder Circus“.

After Jan’s sudden death in 1996, a man named Vance Russo took the story about Jacquel Rassenworth and rewrote it as a teen fiction / fantasy with Jacquel Rassenworth having some out-of-body experience and ending with her becoming a teen mom. He also injected many unnecessary elements into the story, such as Jacquel’s “coolness”, a deformed kid she ends up dating, and even a bit about the Romanov family. (I mean, haven’t these poor dead guys suffered enough? Enough with the Romanovs already!!!)

After the book “Jacquel’s Russian History” was published and a movie was released, the uproar over the story was so strong that the movie left the theaters after a two-week showing and the book based on the movie was burned and banned by many groups. The ensuing sequels also flopped and the book publishing company that published “Jacquel’s Russian History” was sued by Justine Davies in 2005 for a huge sum. Not surprisingly, Mr. Russo was found guilty of plagiarizing Jan’s book. He was sentenced to a ten-year book writing ban and the books he wrote about Jacquel Rassenworth were destroyed.

Janice may have stopped the “Jacquel’s Russian History” books for good, but she couldn’t put an end to the fandom that sprang up from the books. She was unhappy with the crossovers that JRH had with Harry Potter and Twilight, both of which she hated. Even worse were now the crossovers with Pretty Little Liars, Charlie Bone, Percy Jackson & the Olympians, and the Hunger Games. Despite her demands for writers to stop publishing fan fiction about Jacquel Rassenworth, the popularity of Jacquel Rassenworth has continued to rise.

Vance Russo has also impressed upon us the birthdate of Jacquel Rassenworth, which was July 16, 1987. July 16 was the day the Romanov family was brutally murdered in 1918, but Jacquel was born in 1987. Jan and Michael had set no definitive birthdate for Jacquel and she never celebrated her birthday in “Wonder Circus” because she had forgotten about it.

Janice claimed that Jacqueline was born on June 14, 1969 in San Francisco, California since “Wonder Circus” took place in 1983. She also claimed that Vance had used the year 1987 to coincide with the fact that the movie came out in 1987.

Whatever the drama over her backstory, Jacquel Rassenworth will continue to influence (and invade) many more fandoms. Now can someone PLEASE write a decent book series for this girl???

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