London: Author of the racy novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ E L James has said that she had a “very nice time researching the book.”
As UK’s fastest-selling paperback of all-time, it has beaten all of the ‘Harry Potter’ books and Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’.
First published a year ago, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has now sold 10 million copies and has also become the best-selling e-book of all time, hitting a milestone million digital sales this week.
The novel and its two sequels now sit at numbers 1, 2 and 3 in the bestseller charts on both sides of the Atlantic. In total, they have sold 20 million worldwide.
But ask first-time British author James, 48, about the graphic scenes in ‘Fifty Shades’ (and follow-ups Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed) and the married mum of two could hardly be more embarrassed.
“Well, yes, they are my fantasies lived out and explored,” a leading daily has quoted her as saying.
“But I don’t know how much detail I want to go into! Um, well, let’s just say I had a very nice time researching the book. That’s all I’m going to say! I’m actually now blushing!” she said.
She does seem quite shy, for someone who has described in detail “intense”, “delicious”, “violent”, “all-consuming”, “turbulent,” “agonising”, “exhausting”, “body shattering” and “Earth-shattering” orgasms, using a variety of methods from being tied up to being spanked with paddles.
“I am shy!” protests James, a former TV executive from West London whose real name is Erika Leonard.
“You know, I didn’t expect it to be a huge bloody success. I put it out there quietly, I had a pen name, I thought I would carry on working in TV and just write this stuff on the side. Who would have thought a racy romance would be a No 1 bestseller?” she said.
James said that it’s the mix – romantic longing plus hardcore sex – that’s the key to her books’ success.
“Women like to read a good romantic story. And that’s what it is at its heart. Plus it’s quite spicy and racy. I think of it as a romance... I don’t think of it as erotica really,” she said.