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The romance genre not only allows one to escape into a world of complicated and exciting relationships to live vicariously through, it has also quite historically idealized the publishing industry. From Kate Hudson playing an undercover journalist in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days to Jennifer Garner’s career at Poise in 13 Going on 30, Hollywood makes it seem like the world is oozing with writing jobs left and right. And as After We Collided author Anna Todd now realizes on the other side, this is not the case.
Following the success of After, Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin have picked back up for the adaptation of her second novel, After We Collided. The movie follows Langford’s Tessa as she nabs a huge publishing internship, where she’ll meet Dylan Sprouse’s Trevor. Since Anna Todd wrote the After series back in 2013 on Wattpad, she has completely shifted her mindset on book publishing. In her words:
Oh absolutely. It’s kind of funny because now when I read back or like when we were adapting [the movies], I’m like 'This is so not even remotely how it is.' When you go to a publishing house typically, it’s like boxes everywhere, papers everywhere. It’s not like a fancy, clean office. Tessa at 18 wouldn’t get offered a paid internship with no experience. So all of those things as a joke, I kept blaming all of my knowledge pre-publishing came from Fifty Shades of Grey, which did not really represent the reality of publishing either. So I definitely changed my idea of what publishing is because I had literally no clue what I was talking about.
There’s your reality check right there. It’s fun to see Tessa move forward in college with a publishing internship, but be warned, it’s not particularly true to the author's own experience getting her work published. Anna Todd continued with this in CinemaBlend’s exclusive interview:
And then I meet brilliant authors from our generation who have been querying for ten years and have never been published. Not really with After, I guess I could do it with something else, but I wish I could go back and talk about how hard it is to get published. For me, I was a complete anomaly, but it’s not as easy and it’s just a totally different beast than it seems to be in fiction.
It must be a trip for the best-selling author to venture back to her After series as she adapts them into films and reflect back on how her perspective on book publishing has changed since then. The author goes back to Fifty Shades of Grey, which similarly was born as fan fiction and also follows a woman working in publishing.
Anna Todd found her audience by posting the After chapters in a serialized manner on the mobile app until it became a phenomenon. (The Kissing Booth also started on Wattpad before becoming a Netflix movie series.) The author’s four After books were then published as paperbacks, and Todd has since ventured into Hardin’s life before Tessa, the Nothing More series, The Brightest Stars books and a modern retelling of Little Women called The Spring Girls.
Although Anna Todd might change how she writes Tessa’s career today, it’s certainly fun to see a lighter, more escapist version of reality. It’s part of why fans love the After books and movies. You can check out our interview with Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin and see After We Collided in select theaters and VOD now. For more movies rounding out the year, head on over to CinemaBlend’s 2020 release schedule.