E.L. James: Fifty Shades Of Grey “Brings Women Together”
10:30 am, May 11th | by Laura Donovan
E.L. James’s New York City book tour stop for her hot bestseller, “Fifty Shades of Grey” felt more like a Justin Bieber concert for an older group of women than a book signing. But when you keep in mind the author’s claim that the novel “brings women together,” the energetic atmosphere is to be expected.
The British author tried to explain the mass appeal of her series, which follows the multifaceted relationship between a recent college graduate named Anastasia Steele and a wealthy CEO with a flair for kinky sex, Christian Grey, to sexologist Dr. Logan Levkoff in front of a packed, hooting and hollering audience of about 200 at Barnes and Noble Union Square on Thursday evening.
“I don’t get [the books' popularity] at all,” said James. “I wrote this little love story…But it brings women together. I think that’s it.”
And she was right that this tale sparks conversation between women. Women staked out seats hours prior to James’s appearance, giving them time to get to know each other and chat about the books. I even found myself engaging in major debates with several ladies, all of whom instantly became very protective of me because I have not yet finished the first novel and they did not want anyone around to spoil a single part of the story.
“I finished the series three weeks ago. I miss Christian Grey. I miss him so much,” said attendee Mabel, who donned a silver tie, a nod to the front cover of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
James has said before that she wrote her books during her morning commute to work on the train, which begs the question: How can someone pen intense sexual experiences on public transit, which is just about the unsexiest place imaginable? James laughed at the question posed by Dr. Levkoff and said she got carried away in her own world of writing by listening to music.
“[I would sometimes] get lost in writing and miss my stop,” she said, adding she had a “Let’s Write Some Sex” playlist she’d turn on.
Though “Fifty Shades of Grey” has some very dirty sex scenes, James assured the crowd she’s a “dull and boring” person who’s looking forward to “four weeks of sleep” and time to redo her kitchen after the tour.
“I’m going to go home [after the tour], do laundry, shout at my children,” James said, noting that the first thing her kids will ask upon her return will be whether she has any souvenirs to distribute.
James may have three books on the New York Times bestseller list, but that doesn’t mean all of her works are well loved by all. When asked by The Jane Dough how she feels about several libraries banning her series, James said, “People should be entitled to read what they want…But libraries deal with state funding, and that’s a debate I don’t want to get into.”
And neither do we. Instead, how about we just chat who should play Grey in the (sure-to-happen) movie? A lot of women want Alexander Skarsgard or Ian Somerhalder to portray the domineering businessman, but I have my heart set on “Gossip Girl” star Ed Westwick.