‘Twilight’ Fanfic: Is ‘Beautiful Bastard’ The New ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’?
This weekend, many mourned the end of the Twilight saga by flocking to the theaters, but Bella Swan and Edward Cullen’s love story will live on forever through the fans that can’t seem to stop recreating it at fan fiction websites.
Twilight fan fiction websites are where readers of the franchise go to post thier own stories about the Bella and Edward love affair, reimagining the couple as anything else but vampires. In fact, this is how the world came to know E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey. It started as a story posted on a Twilight fan fiction site called “Master of the Universe.” Now another fanfic original is preparing to hit shelves, one that is said to have started the whole craze, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Beautiful Bastard, due out on February 12 and written by Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings under the pen name Christina Lauren, is based on their Twilight fan fiction story called The Office. The story, which first appeared on line, reimagined the Edward and Bella’s relationship between a boss and his assistant. In their novel, the character Chloe Mills is an intern at a company who is about to earn her MBA, but finds her herself caught up in a steamy love/hate relationship with her inconsiderate boss Bennett Ryan.
The original story was one of the first breakout hits of Twilight fanfic, generating more than two million downloads.
Though the authors eventually took the story offline in 2009, they recently earned themselves a two-book deal with their publisher Gallery Books. The second installment, Beautiful Stranger, will be released on May 28, 2013.
With Fifty Shades of Grey selling 25 million copies in just four months, it seems publishers are taking a chance on unknown authors with familiar stories. And why wouldn’t they? Even the original Twilight series needed four years to sell 40 million copies in the United States. Not that James’ success bothers author Stephanie Meyer, who has always supported the fan fiction that was based on her novels.
Earlier this year another Twilight fanfic story, Sylain Reynaud’s Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture, which focuses on the consequences of a student/teacher affair, was released in hopes to replicate James’ success. Though it hasn’t seemed to have the same affect on readers, it has managed to find a spot on the New York Times Best Seller’s List.
In a newfound case of art imitating art, The Wall Street Journal reported that fans of Fifty Shades have even begun writing their own takes on the trilogy, “including an inevitable parody that mashes up Fifty Shades with Twilight.”
Will this trend ever stop? Should it?
- Shannon Carlin, CBS Local