If you've been growing weary of all topics related to Fifty Shades of Grey, I have some news that might cause your inner goddess to retire to her fainting couch: a book deal recently went down that indicates this particular literary phenomenon isn't going away any time soon. And by "literary phenomenon," I mean "stories that started out as Twilight fanfiction before becoming traditionally-published, mainstream pornography sold in plastic wrapping at Walmart."
Fifty Shades has spawned all sorts of similarly-themed erotic novels, but now there's a book attempting to follow in E.L. James' exact footsteps. Beautiful Bastard is scheduled for publication on February 12, 2013 -- and it's a reworked version of The Office, Twilight fanfic written by Christina Hobbs. She's since teamed with author Lauren Billings to publish the revised story under the pen name Christina Lauren.
So, what can you expect from this book?
Apparently it will involve a domineering male and his contentious relationship with a young woman. SURPRISE!
The reworked story, Beautiful Bastard, was purchased by Simon & Schuster for what's being described as a "substantial” advance. Not only that, but a second book, Beautiful Stranger, will be released on May 28, 2013. Not bad for a fan fiction author who never even had to self-publish as an intermediary step.
Of course, this was no ordinary Twilight fanfic. The original story, The Office, was downloaded more than two million times before being taken offline by the author in 2009. Here's a blogger's description of the fic:
A quick overview of the plot: Edward Cullen is Bella Swan’s boss. They really do not get along. They start hatefucking. It is hot. As the affair continues, they both slowly realize they want more. It’s extremely sweet. (...) This story is so well written, I found myself already liking Bella’s character after only the first few paragraphs. I could relate (up until a certain point of course) because, who among us hasn’t had that awful boss from hell?
The authors say that while Beautiful Bastard “stays to true to the original story," only about 20 percent of the The Office remains. The new description reads:
Beautiful Bastard tells the story of the whip-smart Chloe Mills, an intern at a company who is about to earn her MBA and embark on successful career, but finds her herself caught up in a steamy love/hate relationship with her “exacting, blunt inconsiderate” boss Bennett Ryan.
For good or for bad, the only reason Beautiful Bastard exists is because of the unprecedented success of Fifty Shades of Grey. And, of course, the only reason Fifty Shades of Grey exists is because of Twilight. Ah, it's all a rich tapestry of sparkles and penises, isn't it?
Personally, I'm all in favor of erotica becoming more mainstream -- porn for everyone! -- and lord knows the dominant-male theme is nothing new in the world of romance novels. But I kind of hope the next big publishing/pop culture trend involves, oh, I don't know ... a woman who's powerful and confident in her own right?
What do you think of another Twilight fanfic-based/Fifty Shades-like book coming out?
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