If you’re not writing explicit fan fiction about your favorite boy band, do you really love them at all?
Harry Styles-inspired fanfic After, by 25-year-old One Direction fan Anna Todd, has inked a three-book deal. Simon & Schuster acquired the series with a deal in the “mid-six figures,” according to Publisher’s Weekly. They also grabbed the story’s “world and audio rights,” meaning that spinoffs are possible as well — and movie rights are in the works.
After, published on the fanfic site Wattpad, has hundreds of millions of reads. (Publisher’s Weekly says 800 million; a counter on the site puts the number at a still-impressive 194,999,570.) The story summary: “Tessa Young is an 18 year old college student with a simple life, excellent grades, and a sweet boyfriend. She always has things planned out ahead of time, until she meets a rude boy named Harry, with too many tattoos and piercings who shatters her plans.” Other One Direction members, such as Niall and Zayn, show up in the story as college frat guys.
Similar to the fanfic-to-publishing phenom Fifty Shades of Grey, After explores sex between a naive young woman and an older “bad boy” — but in this case, instead of Edward Cullen proxy Christian Grey, the bad boy in question is “What Makes You Beautiful” singer Styles. To get a feel for the story, go ahead and read chapter 92 — it’s a bit more R-rated than “Kiss You.” Likely due to legality, Harry’s name will be changed in the published book; reportedly, though, that’ll pretty much be the only major change. The first novel will hit stores Nov. 2014, with two followups planned for Jan. and March 2015.
If this all sounds particularly familiar, it’s because this isn’t the first One Direction fanfic author to ink a book deal.
And you thought kissing your Justin Timberlake poster was extreme.