Indie romance novelist Sylvain Reynard has inked a “substantial seven-figure deal” with Penguin Group’s Berkley imprint for Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture.
The book began as Twilight fan fiction, telling the story of “a sinful exploration of sex, love, and redemption” between a Dante scholar and his graduate student. Reynard had published with Omnific Publishing, a publisher “nurturing talented amateur writers into professional published authors.”
Knight Agency president Deidre Knight and co-agent Melissa Jeglinski represented Omnific Publishing in the deal with senior editor Cindy Hwang. Berkley will print 500,000 trade paperback copies of each book.
Omnific Publishing president Elizabeth Harper had this comment in the release: “These books transcend the stereotypical romance and take readers on a deep and moving journey that will stay with them forever … We believe that romance readers, who are primarily women, are intelligent, creative, sensitive, and complex, and books like these honor these qualities in those readers.”
Like Fifty Shades of Grey, the series began as Twilight fan fiction. As Anne Jamison notes on her blog, the book began as The University of Edward Masen by Sebastien Robichaud. Follow this link to watch a fan-made trailer for the original fan fiction. The story has since been removed from the web.
Editor’s Note: A tweet about this article falsely used the personal pronoun “she” to refer to the author of this book. Anne Jamison explained: “Sylvain Reynard … self-presents as male.” This article was also updated to clarify the role played by literary agents in the deal.