Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Fifty Shades of Grey Fad Is Pretty Surprising to E.L. James, Too
This morning, the Today show tracked down British TV executive turned best-selling "MommyPorn" author E.L. James for a segment on her erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, and it turns out that she's as shocked as anyone else that her "midlife crisis" became a hit. "I have no idea," James sheepishly chuckles when asked how the book took off. "It was just a hobby." James comes off as charmingly embarrassed about the whole affair — she actually cringes when the reporter tries to read lines back to her — and she doesn't pretend to be a Serious Writer or anything other than a mom who had a little too much fun on the Twilight message board sites. ("I'm not a great writer" is the quote Today chooses to go out with.)
There is one amazing flash of authority, when James explains that a "rich and domineering man" is "really attractive on paper," and you begin to understand how this cute suburban mom wound up writing S&M Lite fan-fic on the Tube. It's kind of great, that moment! And then, because it's the Today show, a group of random Fifty Shades fans show up to explain how the book is about honesty and love and stuff. You'll want to watch it all.