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Move Over Fifty Shades of Grey, Another Twilight Fanfic Gets A Book Deal

Sitting alone (or with a friend) in your room, coming up with various ways your favorite characters could bump into each other and have sex, did you ever think you’d get paid for it?  Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings will wonder no more. Simon & Schuster have picked up their Twilight fanfiction, The Office, for a two-book deal. 

The original work was titled The Office (and Susana was severely disappointed to find out it wasn’t a NBC Office/Twilight crossover) but will be reworked as Beautiful Bastard for Simon & Schuster. It was written by Hobbs and Billings under the pseudonym Christina Lauren.

The Hollywood Reporter explains the premise, “The Office, which reimagined the Edward Cullen-Bella Swan relationship as a steamy love/hate romance between a boss and his assistant, was one of the pioneers of the Twilight fanfic genre, generating more than two million downloads, before being taken offline by the author in 2009…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.”

Beautiful Bastard will be released February 12, 2013, while the second book Beautiful Stranger will come out May 28, 2013. Simon & Schuster’s Gallery imprint paid the women what insiders are saying was a “substantial” advance. While working as a junior high counselor, Hobbs started the fanfic work in 2009 and joined with Billings, a neuroscientist, a year later. They say the new books will stay true to the original story but that only about 20% of the original work remains.

Though The Office was successful online before it, Fifty Shades of Grey was published first and has sold more than 40 million copies, and is now being adapted into a feature film. Simon & Schuster are betting they can replicate those results.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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  • you guys

    Chloe Mills? Shouldn’t it be Mary-Sue? Can I get a rimshot? Anybody?

  • Nat

    There are so many things wrong with this I can’t…. I just…. Why?

  • Anonymous

    The premise sounds an awful lot like the premise of Fifty Shades’ second book.

    This makes me pretty sad as a NaNoWriMo writer of original fiction. Clearly I’m taking the wrong tact if I want to be published.

  • Anonymous

    How does this happen? I mean, I’m no fan of whats-her-face who wrote Twilight, they’re basically fanfiction themselves, but if I were her, I’d be getting pretty mad…

  • Matt Graham

    Write a cheesy out of character fan fic. Ctrl-F/Replace the names. Profit.

  • Corey Regalado


  • Critical Myth

    This is why traditional publishing is a laughing stock.

  • Bonnie

    Fifty Shades/Master of the Universe took liberally both from The Office and from another soon-to-be-published Twilight fanfiction called “The Submissive”. It’s fanfiction anyway, it’s all the same tropes.

  • Amber Stone

    I find it so funny that these books take the vampire part out of the equation. It just goes to show you that even the girls/women reading these books don’t think of Edward as a vampire.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. Isn’t this copyright infringement? Haven’t fan-fic writers gotten in trouble for stuff like even before it was published?

  • Matt Graham


  • Matt Graham

    I would have gone for Jacob, personally. I mean, if I had read them. Or watched them. Not like I have.

  • Nick Gaston

    Maybe I should try and rework that Daria/GI Joe fanfic of mine into a romance…or maybe just go straight for Hollywood?

  • ktboop

    This is were fan-fiction loses me: Why do so many fanfic stories have seemingly nothing to do with the source material besides character names? I get that it helps getting published if its not a total rip-off, but seriously what is the point of these “alternate universe” stories? When Buffy ended I puttered around some fanfic sites looking for fan takes on what would happen after season 7, but most of what I found was “Imagine a world where Buffy is a normal human who falls in love with a neighbor/teacher/probation officer/shopkeeper named Angel/Spike/Riley/Giles (who is also a totally normal human).” If you’re going to rewrite or add on to fantasy stories, why would you take out everything that makes it fantastical? /rant

  • Jerilyn Nighy

    Chloe Mills sounds like a tacky clothing line.

  • Jerilyn Nighy

    Both aren’t contemporary enough. You are better off ripping off Hunger Games.

  • Anonymous

    Nope. You cannot copyright a storyline, and though you can copyright names, most writers don’t do that because it’s silly. The reason why it’s perfectly legal is because they change the character names. Even if it were in the same setting, there’s nothing anyone could do.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Well, what would the legality be of taking someone ELSE’S fanfiction, changing around a few details, and trying to get a publishing deal? Also, where do publishers keep finding WELL WRITTEN fanfiction!? Or, a better question…how much paint do you need to drink before 50 Shades becomes well written?

  • Alanna

    Please, please, PLEASE let someone edit this one. No one took a second glance at Fifty Shades and everyone knows the writing is complete rubbish. Maybe this one will at least be in acceptable English.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! That’s lovely. I’m so glad the hundred and hundreds of people work on original work…only to have it stolen and name-checked. And 40 million people approve.

  • Sarah M

    If you excuse me I’ll just go into a corner and cry.

  • Anonymous

    This disgusts me on so many levels. To think of all the time/energy/years that I’ve wasted trying to get my original fiction published when all along I should’ve just sent in my fanfic. What the hell is wrong with publishing?

  • Anonymous

    Welcome to the creative field where where the truly creative make no money and the uninspired rip offs make billions!

  • Anonymous

    In defense of publishing: 50 Shades sold more than 40 million copies. They publish crap because crap sells. What’s wrong with the book-buying public?

  • Talia

    Hrm. Two authors. Twilight fan-fiction. I’d bet money that this actually came about from Twilight RP. *shudder*

    This opens up a discussion about how original are fanfics, and can they be published as original works? Where is the line between “inspired by” and “pretty much a copy of”? I’m an ex-fanfic writer myself, though I didn’t write about canon characters, but rather original characters interacting in the fandom’s universe. Of course, that universe is owned by a company, thus I could never publish it unless I changed the names of the races, places, and world.

    Isn’t that what these women and the Grey author did? When you write a story based on a template–whether that template is a world or characters–can you really call it completely your own?

    And it’s telling what kind of trash Twilight is being that both female characters of these stories seem to fall for controlling, possessive assholes. Pass.

  • Rebekah Jones

    For me, I tend to like to read AUs (Alternate Universes) for two reasons- 1) I really need a pick-me-up because the actual series is depressin’ as heck. And 2) Character studies.

    I read books and love to write because of characters, so that is my focus whenever I pick up something. So AUs can be fun, because they show off a great character study when done well, and can be a fun what-if game.

    With that said, I hate many a AU that seems to only have character looks and names in common with the actual series. When the soul of the character is missing and their are no echoes of similarity I just feel like they might as well write their own series, or are perving on the characters for looks alone (which is fine with PWP, because at least that is honest, but changing everything about the character to suit every fantasy feels really skeevy to me. Like, having a robot instead of a actual character).

    With all that said, when I do write fanfiction I never write AUs, as I prefer to save that creativity for my own works. /shrugs

  • Rebekah Jones

    To be fair, the characters usually have nothing in common with the actually characters in this kind of drivel. The writing tends to be so poor that nothing of the original figures remain except looks and names, but they fulfill all the tropes for popularity.

    So, it’s more that by riding on the coattails of a popular work they even get their name out there in the first place. Which is just as bad really.

  • Meredith Fahey

    You aren’t the only one. Makes it hard to go back to my nano story today…

  • ♡ Lexi Caballero ♥

    *Darth Vader NOOOOOOO* That’s it, I’m moving to Mars. Who’s with me?

  • Anonymous

    I have not read the Twilight books, but I’ve seen the movie (only the first one, my friends could not force me to watch the others) and from what I gathered Edward *is* a stalkerish possessive asshole. So in a way, they’re staying true to character… in a way. Not defending them, I’m just trying to figure out why Twilight fanfiction is worth a book deal like everybody else.

  • Christine Vanek

    Why!??!?! I’m crying inside. This sucks. Twilight is terrible, 50 Shades of Grey is terrible. There are so many good Harry Potter fanfiction, use that!

  • Magic Xylophone

    A neuroscientist? That, for me, is the weirdest part of the story.

  • bananapancakes

    This fanfic was one of the first I’d ever read, and truthfully, I didn’t care for it. That said, the fics by the co-author (Lauren Billings) were incredible, but I doubt they’ll ever be published, because her work actually was an alternate take on the original stories (human/vampire). Either way, I’ll admit that I’m disappointed in the authors, because they were part of the community who ripped EL James a new one for pulling to publish.

  • Smilingswan