Remember when I told you about the Fifty Shades of Grey fanfic-turned-self-published novel Devil’s Brand last week? Hopefully you had time to read excerpts of the BDSM story on author Casea Major‘s blog, because less than a week after we wrote about her book, she’s erased all mention of it from the internet.
The Daily Dot, which writes fantastic features on the various aspects of fandom, noticed that Casea removed all references to Devil’s Brand on her blog. She’d been excerpting multiple chapters but seems to have hastily deleted them, because now the most recent post is from July 18th. Further digging revealed that she’s also stopped promoting the book (which is supposed to come out this October) on various websites. It’s like it never existed—well, except for easily-accessible Google caches.
My knee-jerk reaction was to feel guilty, especially after such a swift and intense response from Casea. (Though she has yet to reach out to me or Crushable via email or social media.) And before you go calling me conceited or giving myself too much credit, the only sites to report on this book are Crushable and now The Daily Dot. Our post got picked up by Oh No They Didn’t yesterday, which is also when The Daily Dot noticed that Casea’s blog was wiped clean of Devil’s Brand promotion. So like I said, at first I felt bad because it’s not as if I were telling Casea to get rid of her book. I figured that the damage was already done, so to speak, and moreso I was trying to express that this change-the-names-in-your-fanfic mentality shouldn’t become the norm in publishing.
At the same time, it was a pretty big response to one blog post, and brings to mind that old adage The guilty flee where no man pursueth. What had Casea so spooked that she decided to pull Devil’s Brand? It’s not as if she’d ever denied its origins as a Fifty Shades fanfic; in one comment on her blog, she admitted that all she did was change the names from Anastasia and Christian to Marci and Devon. And as The Mary Sue pointed out when Fifty Shades first started to gain traction almost half a year ago, E.L. James actually had several peers who also turned their Twilight fanfics into “original” fiction, albeit with less success. Which is to say, Casea likely has a solid supporter base who could combat what I wrote. It’s strange that instead of arguing, she instead retreated. She must have anticipated some sort of backlash.
That’s all I can say for now. I’m curious to see if Devil’s Brand will resurface on Casea’s site and other book review blogs, and if it will still be published in October.
Photo: Casea Major
.gif: nuggles on Tumblr