That sound you hear in the distance is millions of seasoned writers slamming their heads against their desks in utter disbelief. Twenty-five year old Anna Todd might be on the way to adding her name to the ranks of best sellers, as she’s following in the footsteps of an author like E.L. James, whose Fifty Shades of Grey became a worldwide phenomenon after it started as Twilight message board fan fiction. Todd’s own fan fiction series, After, became a massive hit on Wattpad, where her stories racked up more than 800 million reads, and now she has signed a six-figure deal to let Simon & Shuster’s Gallery Books clean them up and publish them as actual books.
And that’s remarkable, because After is nothing more than One Direction fan fiction that Todd wrote after she saw the comments that lustful, obsessed 1Directioners were writing in the boy band’s Instagram comments. Naturally, because Hollywood loves to strike while any cheap iron is hot, After is already being shopped to studios, according to MTV. Meanwhile, Todd is already sharing her incredible story with the websites that want to make her a star.
What made you want to write a One Direction fan fic in the first place? How did all this start?
I read a lot of books and i’m a One Direction fan – in case anyone hasn’t noticed [laughs]. It really started when I was on instagram one day, and I saw these little mini stories people were writing about Harry Styles, which was crazy to me. Then one of the girls I had followed on instagram put her story on Wattpad. I had no idea what that was, but I followed the link and it was this whole world of 1D fan fiction. I started reading all kinds of it, and then decided that I wanted to give it a go myself. I didn’t think anything would come of it though – it was just for fun! (Via SugarScape)
Adding, “Six-figure fun, bitchesssssss!” But seriously, how furious do you think the other One Direction fan fiction writers are right now? If this ends up on one of those primetime murder mystery shows, I won’t be shocked. Hey, before we get too in-depth, what’s this book about anyway?
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.
Haha, us rude boys are always messing up your plans, All-America. Anyway, back to Miss Todd. What’s it like realizing that so many horny tween girls are suddenly reading your work? I mean, I know what it’s like, but what is it like for Todd?
When did you actually realize ‘shiz a LOT of people are reading my story’? Were you suprised by its popularity?
Yes I was so surprised – every day I’m still surprised. I remember the day I hit a million reads, it was huge. I was driving to San Antionio and we stopped at a gas station, so I checked my phone and saw that I had a million – it was the craziest feeling in the world. I just sat at that gas station for like 45 minutes, just trying to take it all in. I think when I started noticing the ‘After’ edits people were making on instagram, too – that’s when I knew that my story was going to be much bigger than I had ever imagined. The readers totally created all of this, I just wrote it.
So humble, so un-spellchecked. But let’s focus on Hollyweird, young lady. This story is clearly going to become a movie – perhaps Harry Styles can play himself, that brooding British bad boy – so talk to us about show biz and “the process.”
The movie rights to the book have also been bought, how strange is it to think of your story on the big screen?
It’s totally crazy. Sometimes I try to sit and really think about it and grasp it – but it hasn’t happened yet. It’s crazy.
In an ideal world, what actress would you like to play Tessa?
Indiana Evans for sure. She is THE Tessa, so I would love to have her.
I have no clue who that is, so let’s go to the Googles…
I’m willing to bet she wasn’t named after the dog, am I right, fellas? Anyway, keep an eye out for After, in theaters in 2015, probably, and starring Indiana Evans and Sir Ian McKellan as Harry.