Seems my mention yesterday of Kristin Knight's sale of Brennan's first YA fantasy trilogy to Karen Wojtyla at Simon & Schuster's Margaret K. McElderry imprint - after a heated auction that reportedly ran into the high six-figures - sparked an awful lot of hits.
Let's just reiterate here, in case I didn't make myself clear in that last paragraph:
Debut AuthorCurious, I decided to do a little more research about the author and discovered something amazing.
Major Deal (+$500,000)
= Holy Shit!
Sarah Rees Brennan may be new to traditional publishing, but to online Harry Potter fans, she is something of a cyber-celebrity. Online, Brennan is better known as "Maya", a prodigious Harry Potter fanfic author who has generated a rabid and loyal following of her own over the last few years. In fact, Brennan was the focus of recent a Washington Post feature on fanfic. In the article (which you can read in its entirety here), Washington Post staff reporter Monica Hesse writes:
Sarah Rees Brennan, known online as "Maya," is one of these "Big Name Fans," as they are called. She began writing short fanfic as a teenager, for her own amusement and to share with her friends. By the time she tried a novel-length story, her fan base had expanded. The first chapter of "Draco Malfoy, the Amazing, Bouncing . . . Rat?" garnered 48,467 Web hits. After posting her second fanfic novel, "Underwater Light," Rees Brennan, now 23 and a grad student in England, received a call from a stranger asking permission to tattoo its opening line on her back ("Harry Potter thought about himself as he entered the water." Not an auspicious beginning, but the novel improves).You can read some of Sarah Rees Brennan's Draco Malfoy fanfic here. And you can learn more about Brennan at her Livejournal here.
Then the inevitable happened: Rees Brennan became a victim of derivation herself when, in a karmic twist, her readers began producing . . . fanfic . . . of her fanfic. Rees Brennan's "The Dark Side of Light," which suggested a lonely end for Draco Malfoy, so concerned one reader that the reader immediately followed it up on FanFiction.net with "Five Years After," in which Draco finds love.
(BTW? I strongly suspect that we'll be seeing Sarah Rees Brennan's name on the New York Times bestseller list sometime in the next eighteen months.)