That book. You know the one I mean. Do I even need to tell you the title? Come on! You know it don’t you…
Anastasia Steele. Christian Grey. The red room.
And of course the incredibly talented EL James. What a woman!
50 Shades of Grey.
A book that has revolutionized relationships, changed that hour we call bedtime, opened the minds of many and changed the lives of most! The fastest selling book…EVER! Storming the 1million mark in 11 weeks and causing women around the globe to scrap in the supermarket for that last copy. Take a look at the Amazon top 100 books chart, EL James is currently at Number 1, number 2 and number 3!!
A couple of weeks ago after an exciting email from Emerald Street I was on my way to London with my mum to attend a special one-off ‘Evening with EL James’. On the train up, we sat with our Kindles avidly reading Fifty Shades Freed, the last in the trilogy and chattering about what we thought this ‘Goddess’ would be like.
EL James is probably one of the most respected women ever amongst females. Mutterings of ‘guru’, ‘angel’ and even ‘messiah’ could be heard in the queue for Londons IET auditorium. I scanned the room; bursting with women, journalists and girls wearing ‘Laters baby’ badges, for a man. Not a single one… Then, as if Christian Grey had just entered the room, the space fell silent and two well dressed gentleman walked in carrying the trilogy looking just as excited as every female. Do men actually read these books? Apparently so!
On entering the auditorium I felt like I was a child again queuing up outside the grotto to meet Santa. I was so excited to meet and listen to the things that EL James had to say. And on her entrance the room erupted into claps, cheers and even screams! It was clear from the look on her face that Erica, as she is traditionally known, is still somewhat overwhelmed by the effect she has had on the planet. She was everything and more that I wanted her to be. Laidback, casual, friendly, funny and witty. The kind of woman you could go out for cocktails with and have the biggest gossip and giggle!
Questions were firing all around the auditorium. Women (and men) of all ages and even generations were transfixed on Erica. Who is going to play Christian in the film? When is the next book coming out? How did you research the book? Do you have any favourite red room accessories and what does your husband think of your chosen topic? EL James answered honestly whilst keeping certain secrets locked away. However, she did say Pierce Bronson would not be playing Christian…phew!
James couldn’t quite believe the statistics and the crazy behaviour she is witness to every day. The book was written as fan fiction after she became obsessed about the famous Twilight trilogy that was given to her as a gift. EL James wrote 50 shades for herself (and her husband!) and not for mainstream. This was enlightening for me and explained why she no longer reads reviews about her books, “I wrote it for me, people don’t have to like it” stated EL James. Since January she hasn’t read any reviews on the books because she realises like all great authors it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
With any great success in life there is always an element of negativity, an element of uncertainty and in the 50 shades book one very large and underlying factor is the child abuse that Christian suffers as a young child. A few people have since asked, was EL James trying to state that all those who are interested in S&M have a dark past? No. Absolutely not, EL James has a massive amount of knowledge and compiled research endlessly whilst writing Christians character. Yes, there are parts of the books we can squirm at, feel uneasy at, but my argument is unfortunately these things in life go on and as Erica said, everyone has a past and a personality, Christian was everything she built him to be.
After the intense and exhilarating question and answer session, which included thanks from women whose partners now use the books as a ‘guide to women’ and praise from women who claim their relationships have been saved from the racy reads; it was time for the signing.
The end of a fantastic insight into the life of one of the most amazing women I think I will ever meet and who I have the upmost respect for, EL James took the time to thank every single one of us who attended and signed each and every book with one key line…