Popular Books that Started out as FanFiction

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FanFiction is a popular hobby among many people who have devoted fan bases. If you’ve been living under a rock or are unaware of what this is, fanfictions are works of literature written by someone other than the original author. It could simply feature similar characters with different twists, universes, relationship pairings, and other elements. Some of those authors’ works have even been turned into published books. That’s what I’m focusing on today: books that began as FanFiction and grew into something massive.

Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E L James

This was a Twilight-inspired piece originally uploaded on fanfiction.net under the author of Snowqueens Icedragon in 2009, but became wildly popular and published as Fifty Shades of Grey under the pen name of E L James in 2011. Christain Grey (Edward Cullen) and Anastasia Steel (Bella Swan) are a non-paranormal take with more sex thrown in.

365 Days by Blanka Lipinska

This book was inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E L James, so inspired by Twilight in a roundabout way. Blanka Lipińska thought that Fifty Shades of Grey didn’t take things far enough and wanted to add a mafia twist to the tale. Apparently, it is also inspired by the author’s real-life relationship that was similar to the one Laura experiences in this series. There was a translated version of this Polish book originally on WattPad before an English version was released.

Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

Keeping with the Twilight-inspired books, the next one is Gabriel’s Inferno. It was originally titled The University of Edward Masen under the username of SebastienRobichaud on fanfiction.net in 2009. This one features Edward and Bella (Gabriel and Julianne) in a teacher-student relationship. So, you know better than a hundred-year-old vampire pretending to be a high school student. There are vampires in this series, so unlike 365 Days and Fifty Shades of Grey, it kept that element.

Beautiful Bastard Series by Christina Lauren

Did you think three was enough? Oh no! There’s a fourth. The Beautiful Bastard series by Christina Lauren (Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) was originally posted under the name The Office in 2009 before being taken down and published in 2010 under the name Beautiful Bastard. This tale follows Chloe Mills and Bennett Ryan, where Chloe works for Bennett. According to what I found, Beautiful Bastard only has about 20% similarities with Twilight. So, while it was inspired by Stephanie Meyer’s work they took the concepts and made it their own.

There are more Twilight-inspired books I could mention, but I think we’ve had enough of them for now. So, onto the other books! If you would like me to share more works inspired by Twilight, let me know.

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

Oh, this series. I did not read it when it first came out, nor did I when it was originally known as the Draco Trilogy on fanfiction.net (from 2000 to 2006), but it is one of the book series after many years of not reading that got me back into the obsession. Yes, you heard right: The Draco Trilogy (Draco DormiensDraco Sinister, and Draco Veritas) as in Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. Jace Herondale was inspired by Draco Malfoy, while Clary Fairchild was inspired by Ginny Weasley. However, it also has roots in a Ron/Ginny fan fiction Cassandra Clare posted in 2004 under the name Mortal Instruments.

There were also plagiarism claims on this fanfiction, but I’m not going into that here. If you would like me to look into plagiarism claims on books in the future let me know, as that could be an interesting topic and I know several other popular authors have similar scandals for that as well.

After Series by Anna Todd

This series is not inspired by another work of literature, but by the band One Direction. It was a self-insert fanfiction originally posted to Wattpad in 2013 under the pen name imaginator1D and turned into a published book in 2014. This series follows Hardin Scott (Harry Styles) and features the other band names with similarly alliterative names.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

Wicked was based on The Wizard of Oz movie and L. Frank Baum’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. However, instead of following Dorothy, this book focuses on the wicked witch and how she became the way that she is. The book became so popular, that it was turned into an award-winning Broadway musical.

Point Pleasant by Jen Archer Wood

This book was originally The CW’s Supernatural fanfiction, with some details reworked including featuring a gay romance. Which is something fans wanted for years before it got confirmed and destroyed (one of the characters being killed off, immediately after the confession) within the last episode of the show between Dean and Casteel. I have not read this book, but I am tempted to since it’s in the paranormal genre and I did enjoy the show Supernatural.

Do you know of any other fanfictions turned into popular book/book series that I missed? Let me know in the comments. I know I skipped over a lot of the Twilight-inspired ones. Seriously? How many of those became that grossly popular to turn into their own franchises (movies, shows, books, etc.)?

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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