Fans of One Direction are known for their loyalty to the British boy band. One Direction has a huge social media following, and woe betide anyone who upsets the One Direction fandom. One Direction members Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Niall Horan, have millions of fans around the world. Those fans hang on every word from their favorites, they have a voracious appetite for One Direction news, and they snap up One Direction merchandise, art, and memorabilia as soon as it appears.
When the One Direction boys came together on the 2010 season of X-Factor, they would have been hoping for chart success, but they would not have expected to generate a new literary world. Who would have imagined that One Direction would fuel a fan-driven literary industry? Who would have imagined that One Direction fanfiction would even become a thing?
In the beginning, One Direction fanfiction was the preserve of diehard fans, largely on blogging site Tumblr, and on social story sharing platform Wattpad. Fans used the platforms to share their stories of attending One Direction concerts, of meeting one of the band members, and to discuss the band and their music.
One of the most controversial subjects in the One Direction fandom is the thorny issue of Larry Stylinson, the claims that Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are a couple. This subject divides One Direction fans like no other. For every fan who is convinced that Harry and Louis are, or were, a couple, you will find another convinced that the claims of a relationship between them is no more than gay fanfiction.
Whatever the truth, One Direction is the inspiration for a whole new fanfiction industry. There can be no doubt thaOhio-bornrn Anna Todd is the most successful exponent of One Direction fanfiction.
Who is Anna Todd, And How Did She Become a One Direction Fanfiction Sensation?
Twenty-seven-year-old Anna Todd grew up in Clayton, Ohio and now lives in Texas. Todd was working for Waffle House when she began to write After, a One Direction fanfiction, on Wattpad. As the New York Post report, Todd’s After series became a Wattpad sensation.
Almost unbelievably, Todd’s work on Wattpad has been read by over 1.3 billion people. Yes, you read that correctly, almost one-fifth of the planet’s population has read Anna Todd’s One Direction fan fiction. Given those numbers, it is hardly a surprise that publishers were keen to add Todd to their writer’s stable. Todd signed a multi-book deal with Simon & Schuster, and has gone on to release no fewer than seven books in just three years.
It wasn’t just publishers that wanted a piece of Anna Todd’s One Direction fanfiction. The movie studios were soon coming to call too. Deadline reported that Paramount bought the rights to Todd’s After series, a movie will be released later this year.
Who would have thought that Anna Todd’s One Direction fanfiction would have taken her to the New York Times best-seller list? Todd has now sold well over five million copies of her books have outsold many of the world’s most popular writers. Todd doesn’t have a college degree, she married a soldier, when she was just 18-years-old, and moved to Texas when her husband was posted there.
Amazingly, Todd’s One Direction fanfiction has taken her from Waffle House to Hollywood, in a few short years. Todd’s after series is more than a little raunchy, it has been called “50 Shades junior,” but it certainly caught the imagination of One Direction fans. Todd’s novels are based on a fictional relationship between Harry Styles and a college freshman named Tessa. They are steamy, but heterosexual, unlike many volumes of One Direction fanfiction on “Larry Stylinson,” which focuses on the alleged relationship between Tomlinson and Styles.
This aspect of One Direction fanfiction infuriates many One Direction fans. As NME reported, in his recent biography, former One Direction band member Zayn Malik said that he found the fanfiction “unnerving.”
“When I was still in One Direction, fans would write stories based on me and the other lads and publish them online. I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty unnerving reading things about yourself as a character from somebody else’s imagination.”
One Direction may be enjoying a hiatus at present, but Anna Todd’s success as a writer of One Direction fanfiction shows that the band remain as popular as ever.
[Featured Image by Dario Lopez-Mills/AP Images]