Everyone knows who Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele are, but no one knows very much about the author of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. The publishing phenomenon has been storming up the charts, and the media has been going wild trying to find out more about her.
This past weekend, E.L. James launched her U.S. book tour to a mountain of publicity. Hundreds of fans lined up to meet the author, and to find out more about the woman behind the books that have been labelled “mommy porn”, and which sparked a fierce bidding war in Hollywood for movie rights to the erotic tale.
But who is E.L. James? First off, E.L. James isn’t even the author’s real name. It’s a pen-name for the woman who’s just been named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. (That’s a pretty impressive feat considering the company she’s in – the list include President Barack Obama and songstress Rihanna.)
James is a former television executive for the BBC, and the mother of two teen boys. She’s revealed that she was born and bred in London, and still lives in the metropolis. She studied History in University, and never dreamed of writing books for a living. Indeed, the Fifty Shades books were her first foray into writing – and weren’t even intended for publication. Instead, she merely wrote the books as Twilight fan fiction, paying tribute to Stephenie Meyer’s young adult series.
Over the past few months, this working mom has led a fairy tale existence. She’s negotiated a seven figure book deal with Vintage Books, sold her books’ movie rights for an undisclosed sum to Universal Pictures / Focus Films. Her books are slated to be translated into 30 languages.
Still, James is staying grounded amidst the success. She continues to potter around her home doing household chores like the laundry, and remains a doting Mother to her boys. Indeed, she claims her boys have not read the books, saying she would be mortified if they did. Not surprising, since she says that the books were all her fantasied put down on paper! If you’ve read the books, you’ll know that these are not the kinds of things that you’d want to share with your kids.