Online authors should never forget that readers can travel backwards in Internet time and explore their earlier work. Author E L James scored a seven-figure book deal to publish the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and a movie deal quickly followed.
This erotica bestseller began as a work of Twilight fan fiction called Master of the Universe, earning a massive fan fiction following years before the book deal. Most traces of this fan fiction history have been removed from the Internet. Using the Wayback Machine, we were able to take snapshots from James’ old work–getting a peek into the book’s previous incarnation as an X-rated version of the Twilight story.
UPDATE: Since we first published this story, the Wayback Machine has stopped indexing the archives referenced in the screen-shots below. The site now posts this message: “Sorry. This URL has been excluded from the Wayback Machine.”
James’ agent told Deadline Hollywood: “This did start as Twilight fan fiction, inspired by Stephenie Meyer’s wonderful series of books. Originally it was written as fan fiction, then Erika decided to take it down after there were some comments about the racy nature of the material. She took it down and thought, I’d always wanted to write. I’ve got a couple unpublished novels here. I will rewrite this thing, and create these iconic characters, Christian and Anna.”
James career began on FanFiction.net, but she moved the work to her personal website, 50Shades.com. Now the site automatically redirects to her author page for straight erotica, but we found old snapshots of this work with the Wayback Machine. Follow the links below to explore…