If you’re familiar with the backstory of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings’ first novel “Beautiful Bastard,” you know its genesis was as a “Twilight” fanfic titled “The Office.” And, of course, it’s not the first (or likely the last) fic to get a big-time publishing deal. (Maybe you’ve heard of a damaged billionaire named Christian Grey?) So with that in mind, we asked the authors to weigh in on other fics they’d like to see on a bookshelf in their local Barnes & Noble. But as Lauren pointed out, it’s not as straightforward as all that.
“I think it’s kind of a tricky question because a lot of the fic that I really love was so deeply rooted in ’Twilight,'” Lauren explained. “One of the reasons I felt excited to come onto this project was because I felt like there weren’t any ties to it, it was just a way for Christina to write a fun, sexy story and get a lot of feedback. So the number of stories you can actually divorce from the ’Twilight’ content is really small, even though the number of stories that just blew my mind are huge.”
That being said, there are plenty of fic writers Lauren would love to see original work from.
“One of them is this author who wrote the story called ’The Blessing and the Curse.’ One of the reasons why I think her fic might not translate into original is because it really is a marriage between ’Twilight’ and ’Wuthering Heights.’ It’s just beautifully written, and I love her writing. I think she’s amazing. The author name is The Black Arrow, and she lives in Australia. We always bug her, ’When are you going to publish stuff?’ I know she’s been working on a book.
“Another fic writer, who I think there are big things coming for her, is an author named spanglemaker9, and she wrote ’The Art Teacher.’ She just has a really wonderful way with words. And then my favorite author is WhatsMyNomDePlume, and she wrote ’The Best I Ever Had.’ She just does a really amazing job of blending humor with swoon. So she’s got great banter dialogue. The kissing scenes just knock me over. She does a really good job of balancing sexy with funny.”
Christina was on the same page with Lauren’s The Black Arrow recommendation, adding one more of her own:
“One of my favorite stories—I remember when I was reading it as it was being written, it could have been easily a YA book—it was called ’Cascade and Cyanide,’ and it was by americnxidiot. It was a great, great story about a boy with a mental illness—I can’t remember what he had—it was great.”
Ultimately, the authors couldn’t say enough about the group of writers that fostered them in their early days.
“It was so amazing how many fabulous writers there are in the ’Twilight’ community,” Christina said. “We were just blown away every day by these stories.”
“I think people come there because it’s such a huge writing community, and you can get a lot of feedback on your writing,” Lauren added. “It’s certainly why we stayed so long. It’s a really wonderful community of people.”