When we published our exhaustive roundup of One Direction fanfiction earlier this week, it appears we neglected to include one titan of the genre.
16-year-old Brit Emily Baker's "Loving the Band" was, by all accounts, a gripping tale of the love triangle between two members of One Direction and an ordinary girl who could not believe her good luck. The story quickly became the most popular piece of writing on fanfic hub Movellas.com, accumulating more than 30,000 fans since it was posted to the site this summer.
One such follower was Penguin editor Lindsey Heaven, who was so entranced by Baker's prose that she snapped up "Loving the Band" for a 50 Shades of Grey-style e-book deal. In a statement, Penguin sounded confident that the story that so enraptured the 1D fanfic community would be just as popular with the public at large:
Penguin had been looking to commission a writer to pen a romantic YA fictional novel that tapped into the current obsession with boy bands. Emily proved to be just the right kind of new talent to write such a novel with powerful emotion and authority and world rights were duly acquired from movellas.com.
Is this a coldly cynical attempt at milking cash from previously established properties on Penguin's part, as Crushable seem to think? Most definitely. But as every part of the pop-cultural fan cycle gets increasingly gamified and monetized, we're not going to complain if a few fans start profiting off the labor they've heretofore provided for free.
"Loving the Band" has been scrubbed from the Movellas site (even the cached version!) in the wake of Penguin deal, so the full details of the story have been lost to the sands of time. Who were the two bandmates who found themselves rivals in love, and how will their names be changed in the e-book version? (Our money is on "Henry Gyles" and "Shane Mahmoud.") We'll just have to wait until November 1 to find out.