Names

Local writer becomes a fan fiction star with tales of Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigen

Cambridge, MA., 08/15/17, Kevin Fanning, photographed in a local coffee shop where he writes before he goes to work, writes fan fiction, but not of the Harry Potter variety. He has a HUGE following for his celeb fan fiction, which includes books about Kim Kardashian's dystopian life. Basically, he writes fan fiction about celebs. His latest is a Harry Potter-esque series about model Chrissy Tiegen, based on her cookbook. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff
The Boston Globe
Celebrity fan fiction writer Kevin Fanning at Kendall Kitchen, where he works on stories before he goes to the office.

In Kevin Fanning’s story “Kim Kardashian: Trapped in Her Own Game,” the aforementioned Kardashian wakes up in her luxurious bed to find a furious Paris Hilton standing over her.

Hilton is convinced that a character in the celebrity’s app game is a parody of her. Kardashian insists the similarities are coincidental.

“You try to destroy me and then lie about it to my face,” Hilton says. “Well, Kim, if you like your game so much, why don’t you play it . . . FOREVER.”

Advertisement

That’s when — as the story’s title suggests — Kardashian gets trapped in her own digital invention. She winds up having to decode her own world and conquer a villain to save herself.

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

It’s this kind of dramatic, reality-inspired narrative that has turned Fanning — who lives in Cambridge — into a star in the world of celebrity fan fiction.

After years of writing stories with the rich and famous as protagonists, he’s now a featured writer on the online story-sharing platform Wattpad, which means he’s commissioned to do work on behalf of brands, and flown around to talk about his tales. He’s also prioritized when Wattpad participates in more traditional publishing; hundreds of Wattpad writers have wound up with book deals from major houses.

“He has 23,000 followers, and his stories are always smart,” said Ashleigh Gardner, an executive at Wattpad Studios.

Gardner discovered Fanning in 2014 after reading his story about Beyoncé and Solange that went viral on the publishing platform Medium. She reached out, asking him to join the Wattpad world.

Advertisement

At that point, Fanning had been self-publishing. His first full-length book was 2010’s “Jennifer Love Hewitt Times Infinity”; the book’s tagline: THERE WAS NO BEGINNING. There was no history or time, no sea or sky, no language or life. There was only endless darkness, and Jennifer Love Hewitt.”

Once Fanning joined Wattpad, he could reach a fan following with every story. His subsequent works included “Taylor Swift & The Evil Ex-Boyfriend” and “Liking Someone Even When You’re Angry,” which is about the complicated relationship between Mark Ruffalo and a Pokémon, Eevee, that evolves based on how you treat it.

For the record, that one is not a light tale. Ruffalo returns to find that his partner (the Pokémon) has become someone new.

“It is a very serious story about two people having a very difficult hurdle to navigate,” he said of the narrative, adding that he likes writing works that cross genres.

One of his latest ongoing tales, which he publishes chapter by chapter, is a blend of celebrity and dystopian fan fiction.

Advertisement

“No More Selfies” (again) features Kardashian, this time trying to overthrow a government that outlaws selfies.

Gardner admits it’s her favorite of Fanning’s stories because it feels “of the moment.”

“I love that he incorporates things that are happening in the news.”

That story’s chapters have been read more than 40,000 times so far. (For context, “Trapped in Her Own Game” chapters have been read 2.3 million times. Wattpad has 60 million monthly users.)

His other ongoing serial is “Chrissy Teigen’s Culinary School for Wayward Models,” which spins off the actress and model’s best-selling cookbook, “Cravings” (yes, cookbooks can have fan fiction, too). In it, Teigen runs a cooking school and deals with “a difficult young student named Kendall Jenner.” The story’s installments have been read more than 9,000 times. Fanning said he’ll publish the last chapter soon. Worth mentioning: Teigen follows Fanning on Twitter.

“There’s no indication that she’s read it,” Fanning said of his tale, “but that’s fine. She followed me. That’s enough for me.”

Fanning’s name on Wattpad is @kfxinfinity, but he’s not anonymous. That means fans can find him in real life, and colleagues at the tech-industry firm where he works have become “very aware that I’m popular online,” he said.

They’re supportive, as is Fanning’s wife, even though she’d rather read other stories.

“She does not care about Kim Kardashian,” Fanning said. “She’s incredibly interested in ‘Star Trek.’ ”