Stephenie Meyers, author of the wildly popular Twilight series, announced at her website that a partial draft of Midnight Sun (her current work-in-progress which is the latest book in the series) was illegally posted on the Internet, and as a result she has put the book on hold indefinitely. As a writer, I can understand that this would cause her to lose the focus and enthusiasm that she needs to finish the book.
There's a reader’s board I visit, which is frequented by some very die-hard Twilight fans, and let me tell you--those fans are pissed. They feel that Meyers is 'punishing' them by refusing to finish the book. The one statement they made which made me stop and think was, "Meyers has a responsibility to her fans to finish it."
Certainly, an author has responsibilities to their readers. They have the responsibility of writing the best book possible. They have the responsibility of treating their readers with respect. But is it an author's responsibility to write a specific book? Maybe, in particular if it’s part of a series and they’ve announced that they’re writing it. Or maybe not. What are your thoughts?