50 Shades of Grey is No Piece of Literary Greatness, Author E.L. James Says

I dislike Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James because I'm not turned on by stalky men and wish women could get over the big romantic fantasy that never comes true in real life: a woman can fix her man if she just loves him enough. In a pleasant surprise, author E.L. James told NBC interviewer Michelle Kosinski that she had no particular plan when writing the book, was an undisciplined writer, and knew it wasn't "great writing."

James' unassuming attitude and good humor go a long way toward defusing criticism that the book is destructive. By all accounts in the romance field, it's not the best romance of its type ever written, and several experts have recommendations for other books for Shades of Grey fans. During the NBC interview, James told Kosinski that Fifty Shades of Grey was her "midlife crisis book." This has to be one of the most lucrative midlife crises ever, with 2 million copies sold to date and a $5 million movie deal.

A mini-controversy also swirls around the origins of Fifty Shades of Grey, which began as a Twilight fanfiction book. In addition to being the first wildly successful explicit BDSM erotic romance, Fifty Shades of Grey is also the first fan fiction based on another author's work to become broadly popular. E.L. James was known as "Snowqueensicedragon" in the world of Twilight fandom. The unassuming author in today's TV interviews was apparently overbearing, self-entitled and saw herself as "above" the other fans/fan fiction writers in the days when Grey was a Twilight story. Until recently, the original Master of the Universe book, which was so popular among Twilight fans that it had 20,000 readers, was available for free, but all links now redirect to E.L. James' website. 

I guess I have one piece of final advice: for most of the 2 million readers of the book, it's probably more fun to read about Christian's activities with Ana than it is to try it yourself at home. Or maybe not! Whatever floats your boat. Ladies, just remember, you can't "fix" a guy by loving him enough or having enough sex, of whatever kind, with him. 

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Amy Sterling Casil

I am a professional writer and college teacher. My most recent book is Female Science Fiction Writer (http://www.amazon.com/Female-Science-Fiction-Writer-ebook/dp/B008E95D2E) a major short fiction collection. I am a 5th generation Southern California native, and have a colorful heritage in my mother's and my father's families. I have a huge, wonderful exuberant family, including a beautiful daughter and I am very grateful for every opportunity I have had. I have a Jack Russell Terrier named Gambit (Badger died, Gambit is a new rescue) and have always disliked rubber bands. I'm an old school Republican by registration but probably a Libertarian in sentiment. I have a very varied professional background and have been known to raise a few funds in my day. I should add that I am award-nominated fiction writer, have published 26 books, and have two BAs from Scripps College, Claremont, CA and an MFA from Chapman University, Orange, CA. I do professional business consulting and planning and am Founder and CEO of Pacific Human Capital.

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