I was recently approached about the After book series, and once I learned the backstory I was incredibly impressed. First-time author Anna Todd wrote the 2,500 page book mostly on her phone (that alone I can’t imagine). It was just a hobby to her, but the popularity of her story has turned into a four-book series by Simon & Schuster, with the first installment released last October. If that alone wasn’t enough, Paramount Pictures has also acquired the rights to the story for the big screen. It’s a success story you can’t help but admire!
Anna never thought she’d be an author, even though she has had a number of odd jobs. From working at a makeup counter to an IRS processing center, the 25 year old didn’t combine her love of reading and fandom until 2013. When she did, she used the free social reading and writing app, Wattpad.
I hadn’t heard of Wattpad before, but after checking it out, I had lost a little bit of time browsing through content. It’s pretty cool – It’s the world’s largest community of readers and writers with over 40 million members and over 80 million stories. Stories on the app are free to read on your phone, tablet or computer. If you’re not writer, you can create fan art and music to go along with the stories you read. So if you’re looking to start your own fan fiction and follow in the footsteps of Anna, this is a pretty good place to start.
So what’s After about? Main character Tessa has just started college at Washington State University. She’s moving into her freshman dorm, and she’s left her boyfriend back home. She’s a sweet girl who seems pretty innocent to the ways of the world, and like all good girls, as soon as she crosses paths with a mysterious bad boy, she’s immediately intrigued. The boy’s name is Hardin, and he’s got a rocker style along with a British accent. He’s cute, but he’s super cocky (Hardin is actually inspired by One Direction singer Harry Styles as Anna is an überfan of the band).
Hardin flirts with Tessa just enough to convince her that she should should pursue him, despite that perfect boyfriend back home and the reckless way Hardin treats her. Why would Tessa try so hard to convince Hardin that he’s wrong about nice girls? For the answer to that, you’ll have to read the book.
It’s immediately easy to compare Anna’s journey with this book to E. L. James and her journey with Fifty Shades of Grey. While After is in no way as sexual as that book series, there are still a lot of similarities. And if you love fan fiction, After is one you should check out. It’s had over 1 billion reads, more than 6 million comments and the print edition is available in 26 countries.
And if you want to follow Anna Todd, check her online at the following locations:
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